The Week in Florida Agriculture
March 29 - April 4, 2010
Corn planting is nearing completion. Fields are being prepared for planting peanuts, cotton and soybeans. Spring vegetable planting is nearing completion. Tobacco is being planted. Potato crops in dry fields are doing well, but potato crops in wet fields are in poor condition and growth is slow. Vegetable growing conditions in southern counties are very good, however, crop growth is two to three weeks behind schedule due to previous freezes and prolonged cold conditions. Major outbreak of bacterial speck seen in tomato crops. Sugarcane harvest will conclude at the end of the month. Only one mill remains open. Beans, sweet potatoes, and okra are being planted. Weather Summary: Rain in the southern peninsula; drying in the Panhandle. Seafood: Red and black grouper, red snapper, flounder, golden tilefish, oysters and stone crab claws are plentiful. 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. Floriculture and Nursery: Nursery and greenhouse operations are still waiting for freeze-damaged crops to green up so that freeze losses can be fully assessed. Damage appears to be heavy in some locations. Losses to fern growers vary by location, ranging from minor to 70 percent. Vegetables: Snap beans, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, eggplant, endive, escarole, peppers, radishes, strawberries, and tomatoes are moving through the market with at below-normal volume. Livestock and Pastures: Statewide pasture condition ranges from very poor to good with most poor to fair due to cold weather. Rain and warmer temperatures are greening up pasture and grass is growing. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most fair to good. Citrus: Most packinghouses remained open. Varieties being packed included Temples, Valencia, white and colored grapefruit, and Honey tangerines. Fifteen processors were open and accepting fruit. Valencia oranges and grapefruit comprised the majority of fruit going to the plants.