The Week in Florida Agriculture
July 28 - August 3, 2009
Peanut pegging continues with 80 percent complete compared with 94 percent this time last year, and a five-year average of 93 percent. Peanut condition is rated 20 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Field corn is being harvested. Planting of the fall tomato crop is under way. Soybeans are in good condition. Cotton is in fair condition. Watermelon harvest is nearing completion. Growers report a good crop for the season. Hay cutting continues. Corn silage harvest is complete. Fields are too wet for hay cutting. Due to wet conditions, hay yield is good but quality is below normal. Armyworm infestations are heavy in pastures, sod farms and forage crops. Fields are being prepared for planting of the fall vegetable crop. Soil moisture is adequate in most areas. Okra and boniato (white or Cuban sweet potato) is being harvested. This year’s longan crop is abundant. Seafood: Red grouper, black grouper, amberjack, king mackerel, clams, yellow fin tuna are plentiful. Florida’s spiny lobster season opens August 6. Atlantic Coast offshore bottom fishermen, both recreational and commercial, have new regulations for taking most grouper species and vermilion snapper. The regulations by the NOAA Fisheries Service for the South Atlantic Region are now in effect. The new rules are known as Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, afternoon showers continue to keep forage growth at or near seasonal normal. Pasture grass has caught up with grazing demand. Cattle are in fair to excellent condition with most in good condition. In the central areas, regular summer rains are benefiting pasture grass growth. Pasture in some locations is in very poor to poor condition due to drought. In the southern areas, locally heavy rains have caused localized flooding. Statewide, cattle are in poor to excellent condition with most fair to good. Citrus: All citrus growing areas experienced seasonally hot and humid weather for the week. Daily highs reached the low to mid-90s in all monitored areas. The warmest temperature was in Lake Alfred at 96 degrees. Rainfall amounts ranged from one-half inch in Balm to 4.5 inches in Arcadia. Trees and fruit look good in well-tended groves. Some trees have new growth where they were hedged and topped earlier in the year. The new crop is showing various sizes of grapefruit with more consistent sizes of oranges. Caretakers are busy marking and bulldozing unproductive trees, herbiciding, mowing and fertilizing. 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.