The Week in Florida Agriculture
October 25-31, 2010
Soybean harvest is concluding. The lack of rain hindered some pods from filling. Peanut harvest is 93 percent complete. Cotton harvest is concluding. Overall, the cotton crop withstood the dry weather. Drought conditions are hindered the planting of forage and cover crops. Cabbage is being planted in the Hastings area. Strawberry fields were irrigated due to dry conditions. Drought conditions remain severe. Cabbage is being planted. Sugarcane harvest continues. Weather Summary: Warm, dry conditions persisted in Florida. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, last updated October 26, drought conditions were present in approximately 75 percent of the state. Temperatures during the past week averaged 4 to 7 degrees above normal, with highs in the 80s and 90s. Seafood: Spiny lobster, grouper, red snapper, amberjack, mullet, flounder, clams, oysters 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. Floriculture: The warmer weather during the past weeks has delayed the development of caladium bulbs. Vegetables: Fall vegetable harvesting in the north is increasing. Cool overnight temperatures have delayed crop maturity. Fields are being prepared and winter season vegetables are being planted. Avocados, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, bell peppers, squash, and tomatoes are being marketed. Livestock and Pastures: Statewide, pasture condition is mostly fair due to drought and seasonal decline of warm-season pastures. Winter forage planting is at a standstill. Cattle producers are feeding supplement hay due to poor pasture conditions. Stock pond and cow well water levels have dropped. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent with most good. Citrus: Overall, the citrus area has experienced abnormally dry conditions, with moderate to extreme drought conditions extending to over a third of the region. Thirty-eight packinghouses and seven processors are open, with others scheduled to open soon.