The Week in Florida Agriculture
October 19-25, 2009
Peanut harvesting is 60 percent complete, compared to 82 percent this time last year and five-year average of 81 percent. Peanut harvest continues, with some fields too wet to harvest. Cotton is ready for defoliation, but growers are busy finishing the peanut harvest. Peanut condition is rated 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 23 percent excellent. Cotton picking is under way. Last cuttings of hay are being baled. Cabbage is being planted. Last cuttings of hay are being baled. Winter crop planting is under way. Lettuce, tomatoes and bell peppers are being planted. Sugarcane harvest is active. South Florida vegetable fields are being irrigated. Forestry: October is State Forest Awareness Month. Seafood: Red grouper, amberjack, flounder, spiny lobster, red snapper, yellowfin tuna, stone crab claws and oysters are plentiful. October is Seafood Month. Vegetables: Very light harvesting of snap beans, squash, watermelon and eggplant is under way, with light harvesting of sweet corn and hot peppers. Avocados, okra, cucumbers and tomatoes are moving through the market. Livestock and Pastures: In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture condition is fair to excellent. Permanent pastures are going dormant as temperatures fell to the low-30s. Planting of small grains for winter forage is on schedule with some planting already completed. Supplemental hay feeding will begin soon. Cattle condition is poor to excellent with most good. In the central areas, pasture condition is very poor to excellent with most fair. Drought and cooler weather have hampered grass growth. Cattle condition is poor to excellent with most good. In the Southwest, pasture condition is very poor to excellent with most good. Drought and cooler weather have hurt forage growth. Water levels are dropping in ponds and canals. The fall calving season has begun. Statewide, cattle condition is poor to excellent with most good. Citrus: Temperatures returned to average for the week, following a cold front the previous weekend. Lows dropped to the 40s in the beginning of the week in most citrus-producing areas and rapidly returned to normal by mid-week. Rainfall remained sparse with most stations reporting trace amounts or none. Belle Glade was the most notable exception with over 2 inches of precipitation. The quantity and quality of fruit continues to be good in most areas. Grove activity includes limited harvesting, irrigating, herbiciding and mowing. Scouting for greening and removal of affected trees continues. Thirty-four major packinghouses are open and shipping fruit. Six processing plants are running fruit in small quantities. Varieties being packed include early oranges (Navels, Ambersweet, and Hamlin), white and colored grapefruit, Fallglo tangerines, and a few tangelos.