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(Oct, Nov, Dec)
October 10, 2000

USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service   |  1222 Woodward Street   |  Orlando, Florida 32803   |  407 / 648-6013


WEATHER: Mostly dry conditions during July allowed producers to prepare land for fall crop planting with Palmetto-Ruskin and East Coast growers starting to plant, and Quincy growers finishing tomato planting by late July. Rainfall during July ranged from about two and a third inches at Pensacola to about nine and three-fourths inches at Melbourne with most central and southern Peninsula localities recording from four to almost nine inches for the month. The July rains were slightly above normal at some stations but most others were a half inch to over five inches below normal. July temperatures were one degree below normal to four degrees above at the major stations with most daytime highs in the 80s and 90s. Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Umatilla each recorded at least one high at 100 or more in July. Nighttime lows during July were mostly in the 70s and 80s with several stations recording at least one low in the 60s. Producers in southern Peninsula areas delayed some fieldwork early in late August as Hurricane Debby approached but found relief when the storm broke up before hitting the State. Southwestern producers began fall crop planting in late August. Rainfall during August ranged from about two and a quarter inches at Bunnell to almost eleven inches at Hollywood. August rainfall for most localities remained below normal for the year. Temperatures in August averaged from one degree below normal to two degrees above at the major stations. Tropical weather during September caused some fieldwork delays. Heavy rains accompanying the tropical storms reduced yield prospects of some crops and caused some abandonment in flooded fields. The passage of Hurricane Gordon and Tropical Storm Helene off the west coast and over the big Bend area in late September brought abundant rainfall to some northern areas. During the last week of September, strong winds from the Atlantic brought significant precipitation to many eastern coastal localities. September rainfall ranged from about one and two-thirds inches at Lake Alfred to over twenty-three inches in the Jacksonville area. Most localities recorded normal to above normal rainfall for the month. Temperatures for September at the major stations ranged from highs in the 80s and 90s to lows mostly in the 60s and 70s. Both Tallahassee and Pensacola recorded at least one low in the 50s during September. Most September temperatures averaged normal to one degree above. A tropical disturbance passed through the Florida Straits in early October brought heavy rains to many southern and central Peninsula localities. These heavy rains flooded some Dade County fields with actual damages and losses currently being assessed.

This first quarterly release for the 2000-2001 season shows acreage for harvest during fall months of October through December based on conditions existing October 1. Estimated acreage for harvest by growing areas is presented in the following order: area, previous year (1999), current year (2000).

SNAP BEANS: Planting was active in the southern areas during September. The Dade County crop is in good condition. In other areas the crop is in fair to good condition. (Southeast, 5,000, 5,000; Southwest and Everglades, 4,000, 4,600; other areas; 1,500, 2,400; All areas, 10,500, 12,000)

CABBAGE: Planting was starting in the Hastings area in late September. The crop was reported in good condition. (All areas, 900, 900)

CUCUMBERS FOR FRESH MARKET: Planting started during early September in the Palmetto-Ruskin region. East Coast and southwest started planting in late September. The crop is in good condition as of the first of October. (West Central, 2,300, 2,050; Southwest, 1,800, 1,550; Southeast, 950, 850; other areas, 350, 250; All areas, 5,400, 4,700).

EGGPLANT: Planting began in August in the East Coast area and continues in the Dade and the southwest areas at the present time. Oldest fields are in good condition. Workers are staking and tying as needed. (All areas, 700, 700)

SWEET C0RN: By mid-September plants were knee-high in the Zellwood area. Hurricane Gordon and Tropical Storm Helene caused no significant damage to the fall acreage after mid-month. Planting started in the East Coast and Southwest regions during the last half of September. Acreage in the Everglades is in good condition. (Everglades, 1,700, 3,000; Central, 1,000, 900; other areas, 1,100, 1,300; All areas, 3,800, 5,200).

BELL PEPPER: East Coast producers started planting in early August, while growers in the Palmetto-Ruskin and Immokalee regions started planting after mid-month. By mid-September oldest plants started to show blooms in the East Coast area. High temperatures and gusty winds increased the need for irrigation during the last half of September. (Southwest, 2,700, 2,850; Southeast, 1,700, 1,600; West Central and other areas, 2,600, 2,850; All areas, 7,000, 7,300).

TOMATOES: Growers in the Quincy area finished planting in mid to late July with harvest to begin in late September. Producers in the southern Peninsula areas delayed some fieldwork early in late August as Hurricane Debby neared but found relief when the storm broke up before hitting the State. Palmetto-Ruskin growers started planting in early August while East Coast producers began about mid-month. Southwestern growers around Immokalee commenced transplanting in late August. Most southern Peninsula acreage escaped damage from Hurricane Gordon and Tropical Storm Helene as they passed by the Gulf of Mexico coast ant traveled inland over the Big Bend area. Acreage around Quincy received some rain from Helene but most acreage avoided significant harm. Quincy growers began picking a very light volume during the last week of September. The oldest fruit reached golf-ball sizes in the Palmetto-Ruskin area in late September with harvesting started by early October. (Southwest, 8,200, 6,500; Palmetto-Ruskin, 5,800, 6,100; East Coast, 1,500, 1,300; other areas, 1,600, 1,500; All areas, 17,100, 15,400).


SNAP BEANS: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 19,900 acres, up 2 percent from last year and 24 percent more than 1998. Georgia's rainfall slowed the planting of this year's crop. New Jersey's night tempera tures were much lower than normal which slowed the growth of snap beans. Virginia's fall harvest began in September and will continue until frost.

CABBAGE: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 6,700 acres, up 5 percent from last year and 20 percent above two years ago. Georgia's recent rainfall slowed planting. Conditions in New Jersey were favorable and beneficial to the fall cabbage. Texas is experiencing a severe drought, leaving irrigation water in short supply.

SWEET CORN: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 9,700 acres, up 17 percent from last year but 3 percent less than 1998. California's crop had a good start, but erratic weather patterns and occaional reports of worm damage in some areas affected quality.

ESCAROLE/ENDIVE: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 750 acres, the same as 1999 but 15 percent above 1998. Below normal temperatures and excessive moisture adversely affected New Jersey's crop.

BELL PEPPER: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 8,100 acres, 26 percent less than 1999 and 7 percent less than 1998. Severe drought conditions in Texas affected growers planting decisions.

TOMATOES: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 26,000 acres, 11 percent below last year and 1 percent below 1998. California's fall tomato crop is in good condition and maturing normally. There are no reports of major pest problems.

WATERMELONS: Arizona acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 900 acres, down 10 percent from 1999 and 18 percent below 1998. Above average temperatures had no influence on harvest and use of irrigation prevented damage to the crop.

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, October, November,
and December, by States, 2000 with comparisons.
Selected crops
and States
Fall acreage 2000 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1999
Harvested For
1998 1999
Acres Percent
   Florida Oct-Dec 7,800 10,500 12,000 114
  Georgia Oct-Dec 2,600 4,000 4,000 100
    Maryland 1/ Oct-Oct 400 400 -- --
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 2,600 2,100 2,000 95
  South Carolina 1/ Oct-Dec 600 600 -- --
    Virginia Sep-Oct 2,100 1,900 1,900 100
    Total 2/     16,100 19,500 19,900 102
   Florida Oct-Dec 800 900 900 100
  Georgia Oct-Dec 3,000 3,400 3,500 103
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 1,000 700 700 100
  Texas Sep-Nov 800 1,400 1,600 114
    Total 5,600 6,400 6,700 105
   Florida      Oct-Dec 5,600 3,800 5,200 137
   California Oct-Dec 4,400 4,500 4,500 100
    Total 10,000 8,300 9,700 117
   Florida Oct-Dec 3,500 5,400 4,700 87
  South Carolina Oct-Dec 800 900 900 100
  Texas Sep-Nov 900 1,200 1,400 117
    Virginia Sep-Oct 2,400 2,200 1,300 59
    Total 7,600 9,700 8,300 86
   Florida Oct-Dec 700 700 700 100
   Florida 4/ Oct-Dec 150 350 -- --
  New Jersey 4/ Sep-Nov 500 400 -- --
    Total 650 750 -- --
   Florida Oct-Dec 7,500 9,900 7,300 74
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,200 1,000 800 80
    Total 8,700 10,900 8,100 74
   Florida 5/ Sep-Dec 15,300 17,100 15,400 90
  California Oct-Dec 11,000 12,000 10,600 88
    Total 5/ 26,300 29,100 26,000 89
   Florida 41,350 48,650 46,200 95
  United States 75,650 85,350 79,400 93
  United States 5/ 6/ 195,750 206,950 191,800 92
1/ Seasonal estimate discontinued. Estimates to be published in the Vegetable 2000 Summary, released January 2001.
2/ Percent calculated excluding MD and SC.
3/ Includes fresh market and processing.
4/ Not published in 2000 to avoid disclosure of individual operations.
5/ 1999 revised.
6/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, cantaloups, honeydew melons, and watermelons.

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