The Week in Florida Agriculture
September 21-27, 2009
Peanut harvesting is 27 percent complete, compared to 28 percent this time last year and the five-year average of 24 percent. Wet fields continue to hinder peanut harvesting. Peanut condition is rated 27 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 37 percent excellent. Sweet corn and cucumber harvests are under way. Wet conditions in the Hastings area are delaying the planting of seasonal vegetables. String bean crop is in good condition. Tomato harvest expected to begin next week. Soybeans and iron clay peas are in good condition. Sugarcane is progressing under favorable conditions. Land preparation and planting continues in south Florida. Weather Update: Last week’s high temperatures ranged from the high-80s to the mid-90s. Nighttime lows were mostly in the upper-60s, with the lower-70s reported across the southern Peninsula. Precipitation was scattered across the state with the central to southern Peninsula receiving the most rain. Less than a half-inch of precipitation was reported in locations across the Panhandle and Big Bend regions. Reporting stations in Miami-Dade, Lake, and Hernando counties received the most rainfall with 2.05, 1.52, and 1.14 inches, respectively. For updated weather impacts visit www.ag-er.blogspot.com Forestry: October is State Forest Awareness Month. SEAFOOD: Red grouper, flounder, pompano, Spanish mackerel, clams, red snapper, spiny lobster and swordfish are plentiful. October is Seafood Month. Vegetables: Land preparation for fall vegetables continues. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pastures are fair to excellent with most in good condition. Worm pressure is significant. Summer pasture condition is declining as the days grow shorter. Field preparation and planting of small grains for winter forage continues. Cattle condition is fair to excellent with most in good condition. In the central areas, pastures are poor to excellent. Armyworms have caused pasture damage. In the southwest, pasture condition varies from poor to excellent. Most pastures are in good condition, but some low- lying areas range from very wet to flooded. Cattle condition is poor to excellent depending on pasture condition. Statewide, cattle condition is poor to excellent with most good. Citrus: Scattered showers throughout this past week produced about one-half inch of rainfall across the citrus-producing areas. Rainfall was localized and highly variable. Umatilla in the northern citrus-producing region received about 1 1/2 inches, while Frostproof and Balm, in the central and western regions, each received less than one-tenth of an inch. Temperatures were warm again this week reaching the lower-90s across the citrus-producing areas and dropping to the 60s and 70s at night. Eight packinghouses are open and are accepting early oranges including Ambersweet and Navel varieties. Four processing plants are open. Three are shipping, while the fourth is accepting fruit for processing. Cleanup for harvest continues, as does herbicide application, irrigation maintenance, and caring for young trees. In addition, growers continue to survey groves for greening, treat trees for citrus psyllid, and remove infected trees.