September 25, 2012

Weather and Crop Report

Weather Summary:
Scattered showers have kept Florida drought-free compared to a year ago when the State was 46 percent dry. Rainfall ranged from 0.41 of an inch of rain in Ona to 4.68 inches in Bronson according to the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released water from Lake Okeechobee once it crested to 15 feet. The Corps keeps the lake’s water levels below 15.5 feet to ease the strain on the 70-year old dike. Temperatures have also remained steady with minimum temperatures ranging from 59 degrees in Jay to 72 degrees in Fort Lauderdale, while the maximum temperatures ranged from 86 degrees in Quincy to 92 degrees in Bronson.
Field Crops:
Continuous showers caused problems for field crop growers. Armyworms and grass loopers were prevalent in several fields. In Gadsden County, some disease problems were reported in cotton and peanuts. Cotton was defoliated in Washington County. The majority of corn harvesting finished in Washington County except for very wet areas. Peanut harvesting throughout the Panhandle and northern Peninsula was delayed due to the daily rains. Peanut condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 10 percent fair, 66 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Standing water in sugarcane fields delayed planting.
Fruits & Vegetables:
Most areas that experienced daily showers disrupted schedules for some vegetable growers. Growers were operating pumps to manage water levels. Vegetable planting continued. Vegetable growers laid plastic and were also staking, tying, and spraying as needed. Avocadoes were marketed in southern Florida. Okra harvesting continued in Miami-Dade County. In Putnam County, growers planted cabbage.
Livestock and Pastures:
Statewide, the condition of pasture was mostly good with some pastures flooded. Pasture quality was in seasonal decline. The cattle condition ranged from very poor to excellent with most in good condition.
Daily high temperatures were in the upper 80s to low 90s across the citrus region. All of the FAWN stations in the citrus growing region recorded some precipitation this week, with Immokalee receiving the most at 3.12 inches. Eleven stations received more than two inches and another eleven received more than an inch. Ona recorded the least with 0.41 inches recorded. The citrus region remained entirely drought free, as per the U.S. Drought Monitor, last updated September 18, 2012. Application of fall miticide and herbicide, young tree care, harvest preparations for Navels and grapefruit, and general grove maintenance were the primary grove activities.
By USDA, NASS – Florida Crop Progress and Condition Report

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