The Week in Florida Agriculture
March 15-21, 2010
Some areas remain wet, but longer days and reduced rainfall are aiding field work. Growers continue to prepare fields where possible. Cabbage production is progressing slowly due to cool temperatures. Planting of potatoes is behind schedule due to cold conditions. Potato harvest continues. Planting of cucumbers, watermelon and snap beans continues. Sugarcane harvest is nearing completion. Boniatos are being harvested. Weather Summary: Cool temperatures. Field work is progressing where conditions allow. Seafood: Escambia Bay and East Bay in Santa Rosa County have reopened for harvesting of oysters, clams and mussels, but not scallops, shrimp or crabs. 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: Winter freeze damage to some palms in the central peninsula is becoming evident. A few growers reported that orchids were negatively impacted. Vegetables: Throughout the state, vegetable planting continues although slowed somewhat by below-average temperatures. Snap beans, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, eggplant, endive, escarole, peppers, radishes, strawberries, and tomatoes are moving through the market. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition throughout the state is mostly poor to good, with recent heavy rain and unseasonably cold weather limiting grass growth. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most fair to good. 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.