The Week in Florida Agriculture
November 8-14, 2010
Cotton harvest is concluding in Santa Rosa and Washington counties. Peanut harvest is 98 percent complete, compared to 92 percent this time last year, and the five-year average of 96 percent in the panhandle and Big Bend. Peanut harvest is complete in Washington county. Wheat is being planted in Jackson county. Quincy area tomato harvest volume has decreased as the season nears its end. Potato fields are being prepared for planting in St. Johns county. Tomato harvest continues in Hillsborough, Collier and Miami-Dade counties. Drought conditions remain severe in Indian River county. Sugarcane harvest continues in Glades and Hendry counties. Avocado harvest volume has decreased seasonally in Miami-Dade county. Weather Summary: A cold front brought below-freezing temperatures to North Florida which set new record lows. Temperatures in the major cities averaged 4 to 7 degrees below normal. Pleasant, daytime highs were in the 70s and 80s. Several areas across the state continue to experience drought conditions; fire index remains high. Rainfall reports ranged from none to minimal traces in a few stations. Seafood: Stone crab claws, spiny lobster, grouper, red snapper, king mackerel, mullet, yellowfin tuna, blue crab, crab meat and oysters are plentiful. For information visit www.FL-Seafood.com. 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: Vegetable harvest is gaining momentum to meet the Thanksgiving holiday demand. Light supplies of sweet corn, eggplant, and radishes are being marketed. Endive and escarole are expected to begin in two weeks in South Florida. Vegetables being marketed include snap beans, cucumbers, okra, bell peppers, squash, and tomatoes. Livestock and Pastures: Pasture condition across the state is very poor to excellent, with most fair. Drought and cooler-than-normal temperatures have decreased forage growth and increased hay feeding needs. Supplemental hay is being fed until winter forage is ready. Winter forage planting is active. Some locations are too dry for planting ryegrass forage. Statewide, cattle condition is very poor to excellent, with most good. Citrus: Overall, there were abnormally dry conditions in all of the citrus areas, according to the U.S. drought monitor last updated on November 9. Moderate to extreme drought conditions extend over a third of the citrus area. Thirty-nine packinghouses and eight processors are open, with a few more scheduled to open soon.