September 5, 2012

Florida 100% Drought Free

Weather Summary: Areas of south Florida picked up five inches of rain from Tropical Storm Isaac as it passed just south of Key West. From August 27 through September 2, rainfall ranged from 0.34 of an inch in Clewiston to 4.94 inches in Lake Alfred. Since January 1, the Miami International airport has recorded 68 inches of rain compared to a normal of 39 inches. For the first time since June 29, 2010, Florida had no abnormally dry areas according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Rainfall from Tropical Storm Isaac helped refill Lake Okeechobee to rise three-quarters of a foot in two days. As of September 3, elevation at Lake Okeechobee was 14.24 feet compared 10.74 feet the previous year and an average of 14.30 feet during the 1965-2007 period of record. West Palm Beach recorded the soggiest August on record with 22.28 inches of rainfall that broke the 1995 record of 20.12 inches. Minimum temperatures ranged from 67 degrees in Brooksville to 76 degrees in Fort Lauderdale. While the maximum temperatures were 90 degrees in Carrabelle to 96 degrees in Bronson.
Field Crops: Hay harvest is on hold because of rain in Gadsden County. Santa Rosa and Escambia counties had rainfall for the past two weeks and have generated some problems for peanut and cotton growers. Corn harvest was almost complete and seems to be a very good crop in Washington County. There were a few reports of delayed planting of sugarcane and cane that had lodged due to wind in Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties.
Fruits & Vegetables: Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties growers delayed planting schedules for some vegetables. Later during the week, vegetable growers resumed land preparation and planting. Sweet potato (boniato) growers in Miami-Dade County were concerned for the crop due to standing water. Nurseries and small tropical fruit orchards in Loxahatchee and the Acreage areas were the hardest hit by TS Isaac in Palm Beach County. Some seedling vegetables may have sustained some damage in some areas in St. Lucie County.
Livestock and Pastures: Statewide, the pasture condition was mostly good, down slightly due to flooding throughout the State. The condition of the cattle was mostly good.
Citrus: Daily high temperatures remained in the low to mid-90s across the citrus region. All of the FAWN stations in the citrus growing region recorded some precipitation this week, with Lake Alfred receiving the most at 4.9 inches. The citrus region is now entirely drought free, as per the U.S. Drought Monitor; last updated August 28, 2012.

By USDA, NASS - Florida Crop Progress and Condition Report September 4, 2012

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