The Week in Florida Agriculture
March 8-14, 2010
Wet conditions in the Panhandle have slowed field preparations and planting. Planting of most field crops will be delayed a few more weeks. Some potato crops in the Hastings area are being replanted due to flooded fields. Cool and wet conditions have slowed the growth of winter forage. Spring watermelon planting is active in many areas, but cold weather has slowed growth. Cabbage harvest is below normal. Sugarcane harvest is nearing completion. Beans and other alternative food crops are being planted. Weather Summary: Strong storms and heavy rain. Seafood: Shellfish areas off Franklin and Wakulla counties will temporarily close at sunset March 12, 2010, for the harvest of oysters, clams, and mussels. Affected areas are 1802 CA Alligator Harbor Shellfish Harvest, 1622 Apalachicola CA Winter West 2 Shellfish Harvest, 1642 Apalachicola CA Winter East Shellfish Harvest. This action does not include scallops, shrimp or crabs. The action is based on operating procedures in Chapter 5L-1.003 (1), Florida Administrative Code Forestry: Land owners are advised to continue prescribed burning where appropriate, protect forest lands from wildfire with control lines and other measures, beware of strong winds during March and dry conditions in April and May, and begin plans to prepare sites for pine planting next winter. Greenhouse and Nursery: Nursery growers are waiting for freeze-damaged crops to green up so they can assess the extent damage. Vegetables: Warmer conditions this week favored vegetables but growth is still below normal due to cool nights and the long duration of cold weather. Moving through the market this week are beans, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, eggplant, endive, escarole, peppers, radishes, strawberries, and tomatoes. Volume is been increasing but shipments remain below normal. Livestock and Pastures: Pastures throughout the state are in very poor to good condition. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most fair. Citrus: Most packinghouses remain open. Varieties packed include midseason oranges, Temples, Valencia, white and colored grapefruit, and Honey tangerines. Fifteen processors are open and accepting fruit. Valencia oranges and grapefruit comprise the majority of fruit going to the plants.