The Week in Florida Agriculture
August 10-16, 2009
Row crops benefited from scattered showers across most of the Panhandle. Peanut pegging continues with 96 percent complete, compared with 99 percent this time last year and a five-year average of 98 percent. Peanut condition is rated 1 percent poor, 7 percent fair, 70 percent good, and 22 percent excellent. Cotton fields are being treated for insects. The corn harvest is near completion. Snap beans are being planted. Corn for silage is being harvested. Tomato planting is under way. Land preparations for fall vegetable planting continues. Growers are laying plastic as they prepare fields for planting of vegetables. Avocados and other tropical fruits are being harvested. Forestry: On October 1, 2009, “Nicole's Law” goes into effect to further promote the safety of children. This law requires any child under the age of 16 years and riding an equine on any public lands, roads or trails to wear a certified helmet. Florida’s State Forests are public lands, and all riders under age 16 must comply with this law. Seafood: Spiny lobster, red grouper, amberjack, flounder, mahi-mahi, mangrove snapper and yellowtail snapper are plentiful. Vegetables: Okra and limited truck crops continue to be marketed. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pastures ranged from fair to excellent with most in good condition. Most pastures had received adequate moisture. Overgrazing has contributed to the diminished condition of pastures and cattle. Cattle condition ranges from fair to excellent with most in good condition. In the central areas, pasture is fair to excellent with most in good condition. Some pastures show damage from armyworms. In the southern areas, pasture condition varies from poor to excellent with most in good condition. Recent heavy rain caused some pasture flooding. Hay is being baled in fields as weather permits. Weeds are starting to show in some pastures. Statewide, cattle are in very poor to excellent condition with most in good condition. Citrus: A tropical disturbance moved into the Gulf of Mexico creating heavy winds and bringing rain to much of Florida’s peninsula. Weekly totals ranged from 1 inch in Balm to almost 2 1/2 inches in Ona. Groves and ditches are full and soil moistures are adequate in all active groves. Groves that have received little or no care continue to decline due to citrus tristeza virus, young tree decline, and canker. Growers continue to remove trees affected with greening. Daily highs reached the low- to mid-90s in all monitored areas. The warmest temperature was in Lake Alfred at over 96 degrees. Caretakers are mowing, chopping, and disking cover crops. Summer fertilizations, herbicide treatments, and sprays on fresh fruit crops continue in all areas. Resets are receiving attention, while dead or declining trees are being removed and burned.