The Week in Florida Agriculture
January 11-17, 2010
Planting of winter wheat has been delayed. Preparations for planting field corn continue. Cotton harvest is complete, but quality is low. Many strawberry fields were damaged by the freeze, which greatly reduced the harvest. Potato planting continues. The freeze killed many tropical fish. The freeze caused losses for beans, squash and tomatoes in South Florida. Sugarcane crop suffered significant losses from freezing temperatures. Weather Summary: Growers continue to assess freeze damage. Seafood: Beeliner snapper, king mackerel, oysters and tilefish are plentiful. Vegetables: Unusually low temperatures damaged vegetables and volumes are down. Damage assessment continues. Fields in northern areas had very few crops planted and were able to escape losses. Some cold-season crops survived with minimal damage. Vegetables moving through the market include snap beans, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, escarole, peppers, radishes, squash, tomatoes, and strawberries. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition is mostly poor to fair in all regions. Cold weather hurt the growth of pasture grasses, decreasing quality and quantity. Most ranchers are relying on supplemental hay. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most poor to good. Citrus: All packinghouses are open. Varieties being packed include early oranges (Navel and Hamlin), white and colored grapefruit, and tangerines (mostly Sunburst and Murcotts, with a few Dancys). Seventeen processors are open and accepting fruit. Early and midseason oranges and grapefruit comprise the majority of fruit going to the plants. Increased harvesting to gather as much fruit for processing as possible is the predominant grove activity.