The Week in Florida Agriculture
September 28 - October 4, 2009
Peanut harvesting is 29 percent complete, compared to 52 percent this time last year and a 5-year average of 39 percent. Peanut condition is rated 2 percent poor, 43 percent fair, 42 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Good weather has allowed for cutting and baling of hay. Cool weather delayed picking of cotton in the Panhandle. Bolls are beginning to open in some cotton fields. Recent dry conditions are aiding the harvesting of peanuts. Eggplant and sweet corn harvest continues. Cabbage planting is under way. Strawberry planting is under way. Planting of vegetable crops continues in south Florida. Weather Update: Last week high temperatures were in the upper 80s and lower 90s. Nightly lows were mostly in the 50s and 60s. A few areas in the Big Bend fell into the 40s, while some southern Florida locations only got down into the 70s at night. Precipitation was scarce for the State with most locations receiving only traces. For updated weather impacts visit www.ag-er.blogspot.com. Forestry: October is State Forest Awareness Month. Seafood: Spiny lobster, red grouper, king mackerel, amberjack, flounder and Spanish mackerel are plentiful. October is Seafood Month. Vegetables: Some specialty crops such as basil began going to market. Avocados and okra are being marketed. Light harvesting of tomatoes and squash is under way. Livestock and Pastures: Drier soil and cooler temperatures decreased the state’s pasture condition. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pastures are fair to excellent with most in good condition. Seasonal cooler nighttime temperatures and shorter days have slowed summer pasture growth. Field preparation for fall forage have slowed due to dry soil conditions. Cattle are in good to excellent condition with most good. In the central areas, pasture is poor to excellent. In Marion County, drought has severely reduced growth of pasture. Pastures in Orange and Seminole counties are in good condition. In the Southwest, pasture condition is poor to excellent with drought hurting some of the pasture. Most pasture and cattle in the southwest are in good condition. Statewide, the condition of cattle is poor to excellent with most good. Citrus: Mild days had lows in the 50s and 60s and highs in the upper-80s and lower-90s. Widely scattered showers brought trace amounts of rainfall across the citrus-producing areas. Alachua received the most rain, less than two-tenths of an inch, while many stations received no rain at all. Trees are generally in good condition in well-tended groves. Cleanup for harvest continues, as does herbicide application, irrigation, and general grove maintenance. In addition, growers continue to survey groves for greening, treat trees for the citrus psyllid, and remove infected trees. Fourteen packinghouses are open and shipping fruit. Five processing plants are open and running fruit. Varieties being packed include early oranges (Navel, Ambersweet, and Hamlin), white and colored grapefruit, and Fallglo tangerines.