Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending November 15, 2015.
Weather Summary: According to Florida’s Automated Weather Network (FAWN), rainfall ranged from no rain to 1.67 inches of rain in Carrabelle (Franklin County). The majority of the FAWN locations received under one-half inch of rain with only five locations receiving one inch or more. As per the U.S. Drought Monitor, last updated November 10, 2015, Florida was 78 percent drought free.
Temperatures ranged from 39 degrees for night time lows to 92 degrees for daytime highs. The daytime high temperatures ranged from 76 degrees in Jay (Santa Rosa County) to 92 degrees in Palmdale (Glades County) and Sebring (Highlands County). The lowest temperature in the State was 39 degrees in Monticello (Jefferson County).
Field Crops: There was an average of 6.3 days suitable for field work this past week, up slightly from the previous week. Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Okaloosa, Washington, and Walton counties still have wet fields delaying harvesting. Peanut harvesting completion rate was at 95 percent, behind last year and the five-year average.
Peanuts were starting to rot due to excess water. Peanut harvest was complete in Levy County. Some cotton in Escambia County had been defoliated and was waiting to be picked, and more cotton still needs to be defoliated. Rain and cloudy weather in Jefferson County has caused some cotton to sprout in the boll. Soybean harvest began in Columbia County.
Orange and Seminole county farmers were cutting hay but the quality was too poor to be used for animal feed. Walton County farmers were cutting the last of their hay. Hay was also being made in Dixie, Flagler, and Putnam counties. Taylor County farmers were planting rye, oats, and wheat for winter forage. Sugarcane harvesting continued in Glades, Hendry, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties.
Fruit and Vegetables: Cabbage and leafy greens were being planted in Flagler and Putnam counties. Unseasonably warm temperatures in southwest Florida again caused sunburn on harvested fruit and loss of transplants. Crops coming to market included; eggplant, cucumbers, green beans, herbs, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon. Crops being harvested in Miami-Dade County were; okra, boniato, malanga, bitter melon, avocado, green beans, and other tropical fruits. All crops were being irrigated.
Livestock and Pastures: Permanent pastures across the State continued to decline seasonally. Winter forage benefitted from recent rains in Jefferson, Holmes, and Washington counties. Breeds of lactating cattle were starting to loose condition if not fed supplements. Ranchers were feeding hay in Washington, Flagler, Putnam, and St. Lucie counties. Statewide, the cattle condition was mostly good and pasture condition was fair to good.
Citrus: All citrus growing counties had warmer than average temperatures again this week. Daily highs were in the mid to upper 80s on most days. Recorded rainfall was the highest in the Indian River District. Indian River (Indian River County) and St. Lucie West (St. Lucie County) both had over an inch of rainfall.
All other stations except Clewiston (Hendry County) had less than a quarter of an inch of rainfall. The U.S. Drought Monitor, last updated November 10, 2015, is now depicting the eastern edge of Orange County, almost all of Osceola County, and the complete Indian River District as abnormally dry.
Growers were spraying to lower the psyllid population in order to control greening. Most owners were irrigating to compensate for the lesser rainfall. Grove managers mowed, applied herbicides, and put out boxes and trailers in preparation for harvesting of early variety citrus.
Harvest included early oranges (including Ambersweet, Hamlins and Navels), grapefruit, and early tangerines. Fruit being harvested is still for the fresh market. A couple of processing plants have opened to take eliminations.