The Week in Florida Agriculture
June 7-13, 2010
Winter grain harvest is nearing completion, with below-normal yields due to excessive rain and cold in the winter and early spring. Soybeans are being planted after the completion of the wheat and winter grain harvest. Peanut planting is 97 percent complete. Condition ranges from fair to excellent with most good. Dry conditions are allowing hay baling to progress at a rapid pace. Growing conditions are almost ideal for corn, cotton, tobacco and peanuts. Earlier rainfall limited the need for irrigation, but excessive heat and little rainfall are now depleting soil moisture. Tomato harvest is active with heavy volume. Potato harvesting is nearly completed. Hastings area growers reported a good season. Sugarcane, rice, and corn for silage benefited from frequent showers. Seafood: Grouper, red snapper, mahi-mahi, flounder, yellowtail snapper, shrimp and clams are plentiful. For information about Florida seafood availability, visit www.FL-Seafood.com or call 1-800-357-4273. Forestry: Signup period for Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Cost Share Program runs through July 1. For information, contact local Division of Forestry offices or visit http://www.floridaforestservice.com/ Vegetables: Heavy volume of watermelons are being harvested and prices are low. Cantaloupe harvest is near its peak and quality is good. Okra and herbs are moving into the market. Cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, cucumber, eggplant, okra, pepper, squash, tomato, and watermelon are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture conditions are down slightly from the previous week. In the Panhandle area, pasture and cattle are mostly good. Hot, dry conditions causing short soil moisture resulting in some pastures in poor condition. Cattle condition is mostly good. Yellow flies continue to be a problem. In the northern areas, pasture is mostly fair due to drought. Cattle condition is fair. In the central areas, pasture and cattle are mostly fair. In the southwestern areas, range condition is mostly good. Statewide, cattle are mostly in good condition. Citrus: Highs this week were in the lower to upper 90s, with early morning lows in the 60s and 70s. Twenty-one of the 24 stations received less than 1 inch of rain. No report of drought anywhere in the citrus-producing areas. Growing conditions continue to be good across the citrus region. Fifteen of the 51 packinghouses remain open. Varieties being packed include Valencia oranges and a few colored grapefruit. Valencia oranges comprise the majority of fruit going to the processing plants. Grove activity includes harvesting, fertilizing, herbicide application, chemical mowing, irrigation, psyllid treatment, hedging and topping, brush removal, young tree care, and summer oil spraying. Floriculture and Nursery: Some sod is being harvested, but demand is light. Caladium crop is in excellent condition and some early planted varieties are moving into the market.