The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 29 - July 5, 2009
Cotton crop is reported in good condition. Peanut pegging is 49 percent complete compared to 52 percent this time last year. Peanut condition is rated 3 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 66 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Soybean, cotton, and peanut crops in the Panhandle are stressed by drought. Hot, dry conditions are raising concerns about inadequate pollination of the corn crop. High temperatures and low humidity during the tasseling stage can reduce pollen production, resulting in poor kernel set. High temperatures can also distort silk growth, causing the silks to emerge from the husks too late for pollination. Grasshoppers have damaged soybean crop; some were replanted. Light tomato harvests under way in the Panhandle and central Florida. Potato harvest is declining. Hay was cut in the central Peninsula with few rain delays. Blackberries are being harvested. Recent heavy rainfall has reduced the quality of the pumpkin crop. Watermelon harvest declining. Some fallow fields in southern Peninsula are being treated for weeds. Seafood: Yellowfin tuna, flounder, king mackerel and oysters are plentiful. Vegetables: Few fields have vegetables remaining as harvest is nearly complete. Okra and avocados are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is very poor to excellent with most fair to good. High temperatures have been oppressive for cattle and especially difficult for dairies. Cattle condition is mostly fair to good. In the central areas, the summer rainfall pattern has been beneficial to pastures. Range and pasture condition is mostly good. Stock ponds water levels are still low. In the southwest, pasture is mostly good to excellent. Some pastures are in poor condition due to localized flooding in low-lying areas. Cattle are in very poor to excellent condition with most fair to good. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most fair to good. Citrus: Summer weather patterns are normal across the citrus-producing areas. Temperatures reached the lower to mid-90s two to three days during the week and high 80s on the remaining days. All areas received at least some rainfall, with portions of the citrus belt receiving heavy downpours. The most rainfall recorded was in the western citrus-producing region, where showers brought 5 inches in one day. Growers in most areas reported trees in good condition. Cultural practices continue and include limited fertilizations, hedging, and the resetting of young trees. Some summer sprays are being applied as rainfall permits. Fresh fruit packinghouses are closed for the season. The Valencia orange harvest is nearly over as most of the remaining processing plants closed. Growers are now focusing on psyllid control using both aerial and ground spraying.