The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 22-28, 2009
Peanut pegging continues with 47 percent complete compared with 41 percent this time last year. Peanut condition is rated 25 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 12 percent excellent. First cutting of hay is complete. Hay cutting continues. Hay cutting continues. Hay and haylage harvest continues. Harvest of corn silage and hay continues. Blackberries harvest continues. Hay cutting continues. Sweet potatoes are growing. Watermelon harvest is concluding. Caladium crop is nearing peak as growers prepare for the Caladium Festival in August. Nurseries are active in South Florida. Mangos and lychee nuts are being marketed throughout South Florida. Sweet potatoes are being planted. Seafood: Grouper, amberjack, flounder, king mackerel, wahoo, mahi-mahi, swordfish, mangrove and red snapper, blue crab and oysters are plentiful. Vegetables: Vegetable season is concluding. Okra and tomatoes are being marketed. Overall, the quality and quantity of crops were fair to good this season. Producers coped with extreme growing conditions, from colder-than-normal fall and winter seasons, to drought followed by heavy rain during the spring season. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition improved in some areas and worsened in others, depending on recent rainfall. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is fair to good. The poor condition is due to lack of rainfall. Cattle condition is mostly good; however, hot, dry weather hurt pasture and livestock conditions. Livestock are suffering from the extreme heat and ranchers are concerned that the heat has diminished bull fertility. In the southwest, pasture is fair to excellent, slightly improved over the previous week. Cattle are in poor to excellent condition. Statewide, cattle are mainly in good condition. Citrus: Most areas had average or slightly above-average temperatures and several days of rainfall. Total rainfall amounts were the highest in the central and southern areas with about 5 inches each. The seasonal, tropical weather is excellent for fruit growth and tree foliage. In well-tended groves, the majority of next year’s citrus crop is in good condition. Production practices in all areas focus primarily on psyllid control through aerial spraying in an effort to control the spread of greening. Other limited grove care includes fertilizing, hedging, topping, mowing, and young tree care. Most fresh fruit packing is complete for the season. At least one plant plans to process Valencia oranges into the first week of July. Grapefruit utilization was relatively over with just a few thousand boxes harvested.