The Week in Florida Agriculture
December 21-27, 2009
Wet conditions persisted in the Panhandle, fieldwork continues to be delayed. Hard freezes slowed forage growth. Harvesting of remaining cotton and soybean is behind schedule. Fall plantings remain behind schedule and winter plantings are virtually halted. Cabbage and cool-season vegetables are being harvested. Potato planting is ready to begin. Vegetables being harvested to meet the holiday demand include tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, cucumbers, snap beans, sweet corn, herbs, and specialty items. Sugarcane harvest is active with some areas delayed due to heavy showers. Weather Summary: Below-normal temperatures. More rain in the Panhandle. Seafood: Red grouper, scamp, mangrove snapper, beeliner snapper, swordfish, mako shark, amberjack and yellowfin tuna are plentiful. Forestry: Landowners are beginning to plant bare-root tree seedlings. Forestry officials remind landowners who are preparing for dormant season prescribed burning to develop plans and obtain authorizations. Vegetables: Volume remains light for many items. Wet weather over the past few weeks has caused some disease and quality issues, with culls higher than normal. Livestock and Pastures: Most pasture is in good condition as continued wet weather keeps most pasture in good shape for this time of year. Statewide, the cattle condition is poor to excellent with most good. Citrus: Most packinghouses are open, with only three remaining that have yet to ship. Varieties being packed include early oranges (Navel and Hamlin), white and colored grapefruit, and tangerines (predominately Sunburst, with a few Honeys and Dancys). The first of the Honey Belles hit the markets this week. Seventeen processors are open and accepting fruit. Early and midseason oranges and grapefruit comprise the majority of fruit going to the plants.