Florida vegetable harvest at full speed

According to a report issued by the Florida state USDA/NASS field office for the week ending Jan. 4, wheat is looking good in Escambia County.

Winter forages and grains in Columbia and Jefferson counties slowed due to warm, dry conditions. Mild conditions had not reduced aphid populations this winter and raised concerns of barley yellow dwarf mosaic virus in winter grains. Some fungus was reported in the Panhandle in areas that received excessive rainfall.

Oats for harvest in Walton County were reported in good condition.

Soil moisture was mostly adequate in the Panhandle and southern Peninsula but mostly short in the Big Bend and central Peninsula.

Cabbage and broccoli continued to be harvested in Putnam and St Johns County with good quality. Greens and cabbage continued to be irrigated and harvested in Columbia County. Much of the southern Peninsula continued harvesting during their peak time of year.

Fifty two different vegetables were harvested, which included beans, cucumbers, sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, and peppers. Light late blight was found in isolated areas among tomato and potato crops.

Other vegetables marketed included celery, eggplant, endive, escarole, lettuce, and strawberries. Vegetable grower’s activities included planting, staking, spraying, and performing other cultural needs.

The pasture condition throughout the state was mostly fair to good. Drought, cold and frost have hurt forage growth. Warmer days have caused the permanent pasture to green up in many locations. In the Panhandle and northern areas, pasture was in very poor to good condition. In locations that received rain in the past couple weeks, cool season forages were doing well.

Most warm season forage (permanent pasture) was dormant, but some has started to green up following days of 80 degree temperatures. The warm temperature has helped the growth of small grain forage for grazing. Hay and protein supplement was being fed. The cattle condition was mostly fair to good.

In the central areas, pasture was mostly poor. Pasture in some locations has greened up due to warm weather in the month of December, but growth is minimal due to drought and cold in most locations.

Pastures with planted ryegrass were being grazed. The cattle condition was poor to fair.

In the southwest areas, the pasture was very poor to good, with most in fair condition. Due to fertilizer and fuel costs, growers did not plant the normal amount of winter ryegrass. Grasses were being depleted, depending on grazing pressure.

Statewide, cattle condition was very poor to excellent, but most was fair to good.

Florida’s citrus producing areas had another week of warm temperatures and very little rainfall. Highs reached the mid to upper 70s on several days in all areas. With no significant rainfall recorded since mid-December, trees began to show slight afternoon wilt and drought conditions were extending further into the citrus region.

Growers continued to push trees affected with greening, irrigate, perform irrigation maintenance, and fertilize.

Hedging and topping of grapefruit was observed on the East Coast after harvest. The grapefruit picked for the fresh market was of very good quality this year following a cold snap in late November.

Early and mid-season orange harvesting slowed for the holidays, but was picking up now that the new year has begun. Sunburst tangerines’ utilization has slowed and Honeys are being picked in very small quantities.

TAGS: Vegetables
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