The Week in Florida Agriculture
October 18-24, 2010
Rain is needed to aid crop development and the harvesting of peanuts. Cotton harvest continues across the Panhandle. Peanut harvesting is 84 percent complete, compared to 59 percent this time last year and the five-year average of 74 percent. Planting of cabbage in the Hastings area continues. Planting of fall vegetables has been delayed because the ground is too dry. Peanut grades are well below average. Some dry peanut fields are being irrigated in order to allow harvesting. Hay baling is active across the state. Tomato harvesting in the central peninsula is about to begin. Cooler evening temperatures delayed the cucumber crop maturity by about two weeks in the central and southern Peninsula. Drought conditions remain severe. Sugarcane harvesting continues in the Everglades. Three of the four mills are processing cane. Weather Summary: Temperatures for the week averaged from 3 degrees below normal to 1 degree above normal. Daytime temperatures were mostly in the lower to upper 80s. Nighttime lows were in the 40s and 50s with some areas recording at least one low in the 60s. Many localities across the state received no rainfall to minimal traces. Crops are in need of rain. Seafood: Spiny lobster, grouper, red snapper, amberjack, yellowfin tuna, scamp, mullet, king mackerel, and blue crab meat are in good supply. Forestry: Landowners should establish fire lines and prepare plans for dormant season prescribed burns. For winter tree planting, they should order seedlings, select planting contractors, and complete site preparation. Vegetables: Dry weather allowed most field activities to progress. Light harvesting of bell peppers, eggplant, and snap beans is under way. Avocados, cucumbers, okra, squash, and tomatoes are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture growth was slowed by the cool, dry weather. Most pastures statewide are in fair to good condition. Land preparation and planting of winter forage was delayed by dry soil conditions. Continued delays could reduce overall acreage planted for winter pastures. Stock pond levels throughout Florida have continued to decrease and are below normal for this time of year. The majority of the cattle are in fair to good condition. Citrus: Overall, there are abnormally dry conditions in much of the citrus area. Thirty-six packinghouses and six processors are open. Cultural practices included herbicide and fertilizer application, tree removal, and irrigation.