The Week in Florida Agriculture
July 13-20, 2009
Some peanuts were planted late and are currently behind schedule. The peanut crop is 62 percent pegged, compared with 85 percent this time last year, and a five-year average of 79 percent. Peanut condition is rated 2 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 59 percent good, and 28 percent excellent. The blueberry and blackberry harvest is concluding. Heat stress cut short the late-melon harvest. Drought and grasshoppers are hindering the soybean crop. Lower yields expected for non-irrigated field corn. Peas, cucumbers and squash harvested in low volumes. Rain delayed the second cutting of hay. Corn silage is being chopped. Soil moisture is short to adequate in most locations, with some surplus areas in the central Peninsula. Fields are being prepared for fall planting. Longan harvest continues. Seafood: Red and black grouper, amberjack, flounder, pompano and red snapper are plentiful. Vegetables: Growers continue to market okra. Avocado harvest is increasing. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition ranges from fair to excellent. Cattle condition continues to improve. In the central areas, range and pastures are mostly in good condition. Pasture condition is good in most areas with some pockets that have missed afternoon showers showing some stress. In the southwest, pasture is reported as mostly good. Some low-lying areas have standing water. Cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most in good condition. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most in good condition. Citrus: More rain, hot weather, and high humidity have provided near-ideal growing conditions for most citrus. Daily highs reached the mid-90s. Afternoon and evening rain showers brought one-half to 1 1/2 inches of rainfall to citrus-producing areas. Trees and fruit are responding well to the subtropical climate. The new crop fruit shows advanced sizes on grapefruit and some oranges. New tree growth is observed in many groves. Grove activity includes fertilization, nutritional spraying, and hedging. Some growers are combating canker with additional copper spraying during the rainy season. Growers are using both aerial and ground spraying to reduce the citrus psyllid population that spreads greening. Some growers with heavy concentrations of greening are bulldozing individual tress, while others are bulldozing entire blocks.