The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 15-21, 2009
Hay growth is slow due to dry soil. Peanut planting is 99 percent complete and 12 percent pegged. The condition of peanuts is rated 18 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 19 percent excellent. Sweet corn harvest is under way. Early-planted cotton is squaring. In the Panhandle, tomatoes look good and harvest is increasing. Organic peppers and eggplants are being harvested. Hay baling is under way. Some blueberry rot is being reported. Potatoes are moving through the market, but spring harvest is nearing completion. Some watermelons lost due to rain. Hay baling is under way. Tomato harvesting is concluding in central and southern Florida. Land is being prepared for late summer planting. Heavy rains caused some crop damage and many fields remain saturated. Avocado harvest is picking up. Seafood: Red grouper, snowy grouper, flounder, mahi-mahi, mullet and red snapper are plentiful. Fruits and Vegetables: Okra, cucumbers, lychees and mangoes are moving through the market. Watermelon harvest is light as the crop seasonally decreases. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition improving slightly. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is poor to excellent with most fair to good. Drought has slowed grass growth. Pasture condition is mostly good. Cattle condition is mostly good, however, temperatures up to 102 degrees stressed pastures and livestock. Pastures produced enough forage to keep up with the grazing pressure. In the central areas, pasture is poor to good with most fair to good. Pasture, where poor, suffers from drought. Cattle condition is poor to excellent with most fair to good. Pasture condition in the southwest is poor to excellent with most in good condition; some locations are in poor condition due to drought. Stock pond water levels are low, with some being augmented by pumping from wells. Statewide, cattle condition is poor to excellent with most in good condition. Citrus: Hot and humid weather spanned most citrus-producing areas. The extreme heat coupled with the high humidity produced indexes in excess of 100 degrees. Temperatures ranged from the high 60s at night to the high 90s during the afternoon. During mid-week, violent afternoon thunderstorms moved south through central and southeast Florida. Storms produced excessive amounts of rain, damaging wind, and lightning that sparked fires. Frostproof received almost 5 inches of rain and Kenansville reported minor flooding. The seasonal, tropical weather is contributing to excellent fruit growth and tree foliage. In well-tended groves, the majority of next year’s citrus crop is in excellent condition. Production practices continue in all areas with the primary focus on psyllid control through aerial spraying to control the spread of greening. Valencia harvest dropped due to decreased availability of fruit. A few processing plants plan to run Valencia oranges into the early weeks of July. Grapefruit harvest is nearly over with just a few thousand boxes harvested for the week.