November 2, 2012

Weather and Crop Report

Weather Summary:
Florida experienced another dry, cool week last week as Hurricane Sandy stayed far offshore, but did contribute to wind and rain along the Eastern Coast. Producers observed that the dry, windy weather was taking its toll on topsoil moisture. However, most of Florida’s 36 Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations reported insignificant rainfall.  There were five stations reporting more than an inch of rain: Homestead (1.27 inches), Fort Lauderdale (1.41 inches), Fort Pierce (1.46 inches), Kenansville (1.84 inches), and Indian River (2.00 inches). Daytime high temperatures were mostly in the mid-80s, and low temperatures were mostly in the mid-50s to low 60s. The coldest temperatures were at Quincy (48 degrees), Marianna and Jay (47 degrees), and Monticello (46 degrees).  
Field Crops:
It was great weather for harvesting crops including hay, but the lack of surface moisture was impacting recently planted fall crops. In Bradford, Highlands, and Seminole counties, producers were harvesting hay. In Jackson and Washington counties, cotton defoliation and harvesting was in full swing. Drier weather helped get the sugarcane planting and harvesting back on schedule. Peanut harvesting was completed in Dixie County, winding down in Jackson County, and making good progress in Washington County.
Fruits & Vegetables:
Market movement of bell peppers, cucumbers, okra, and tomatoes was fairly light.  In Flagler County, cabbage planting was making good progress. Vegetable producers were preparing fields for planting potatoes in December. In Bradford County, producers were planting cabbage, greens, onions, strawberries, and other winter vegetables.
Livestock and Pastures:
Statewide, the condition of pastures ranged from very poor to excellent, with most in good condition. The condition of the pasture was limited in the Panhandle by drought and disease, and by some flooding in the southwest area. The quality and quantity of pasture grass declined seasonally. The cattle condition was very poor to excellent, with most in good condition. Fall calving began in some locations.
Daily high temperatures were in the mid 80s across the citrus region. Twenty-one of the twenty-four FAWN stations in the citrus growing region recorded some precipitation this week, with Indian River receiving the most at 2.0 inches.  Three stations received more than an inch. Three stations reported no measurable precipitation. The citrus region remained entirely drought free, as per the U.S. Drought Monitor, last updated October 23, 2012. Seven processors and 36 packinghouses were open. Application of fall miticide and herbicide, young tree care, general grove maintenance, and harvesting of grapefruit, tangerines, and oranges were the primary grove activities.
By USDA, NASS –Florida Crop Progress and Condition Report

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