The Week in Florida Agriculture
March 22-28, 2010
Corn planting is nearing completion. Fields are being prepared for planting peanuts. Planting of tomatoes, watermelons and other commercial vegetables continues. Growth of cabbage crop is progressing slowly due to cool temperatures. Standing water in potato fields is increasing the potential for disease and rot. Water in fields has delayed planting and spring tillage. Harvest of dry beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes continues. Only one sugar mill remains open and is processing freeze-damaged cane. Weather Summary: Seasonal temperatures, widespread rainfall. 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. Seafood: Yellowedge grouper, red snapper, golden tilefish, amberjack, yellowfin tuna, oysters and stone crab claws are plentiful. Floriculture and Nursery: Growers still waiting for freeze-damaged crops to green up so that losses can be fully assessed. Vegetables: A few greens are being harvested. Spring vegetable planting continues throughout the state. Below-average temperatures have delayed some vegetable crops. Snap beans, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, eggplant, endive, escarole, peppers, radishes, strawberries, and tomatoes are moving through the market with below-normal volume. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition across the state is poor to good with most fair. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most fair to good. Citrus: Most packinghouses remain open. Varieties being packed include 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.