The Week in Florida Agriculture
October 12-18, 2009
Peanut condition is rated 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 23 percent excellent. Peanut harvesting is 50 percent complete, compared to 72 percent this time last year and a five-year average of 68 percent. Recent cool temperatures slightly damaged some vegetables. In the Panhandle, rain impeded the peanut harvest. Some peanut crops showing signs of disease. Harvest of sweet corn, eggplant and southern peas continues. Squash were severely hurt by frost. Strawberries are being planted. Watermelon and specialty crops are being marketed. Sugarcane harvest is under way. Sun scald and heat stress has affected crops in South Florida. Forestry: October is State Forest Awareness Month. Seafood: Stone crab and spiny lobster harvest is expected to pick up considerably over the next week. Red grouper, yellowfin tuna and blue crab are plentiful. October is Seafood Month. Vegetables: Vegetable planting continues. Light harvesting of snap beans, eggplant, peas, squash and sweet corn has begun. Avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers and okra are also being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition has declined due to seasonally shorter days and cooler temperatures, but also due to drought. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pastures are fair to excellent with most in good condition. Permanent pastures are going dormant. Small grains for winter forage are being planted; rain delayed planting in some locations. The rainy weather in the Panhandle has hurt forage quality. Cattle condition varies from poor to excellent with most in good condition. In the central areas, pasture is in very poor to excellent condition. Pasture condition is declining seasonally. Drought accounts for most of the pasture that is very poor to poor. In the Southwest, pasture condition is poor to excellent with most good. Some winter forage planting has been postponed due to high daytime temperatures and lack of moisture. Stock pond water levels are going down. Statewide, cattle condition is poor to excellent with most good. Citrus: Warm weather continued until the weekend with light winds and little rain in most of the citrus-producing counties. Over the weekend, a cold front moved through the state bringing much cooler temperatures. High temperatures were reported in the 80s and 90s with lows dropping into the 60s and 70s during the week, with weekend highs in the 60s and 70s and lows dropping to 40s and 50s. Rainfall was light throughout the state with the exception of portions of Hillsborough County. Grove activity includes limited harvesting, irrigating, herbiciding and mowing. Scouting for canker and greening continues. Thirty-two packinghouses are open and shipping fruit, and four processing plants are running fruit in small quantities. Varieties packed include early oranges (Navels, Ambersweet and Hamlin), white and colored grapefruit, Fallglo tangerines, and a few Nova tangelos.