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ACREAGE-FALL QUARTER (October, November, December)
October 10, 2001

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


FLORIDA WEATHER: Frequent rains during July replenished topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies in most areas and totaled from about two and three quarters inches at Fernandina Beach to almost fourteen inches at Perrine. The formation of Tropical Storm Barry off the southwestern coast in early August replenished soil moisture in some areas with most localities receiving from one to two and a half inches. Spotty showers during the rest of August left soils dry in many localities. However, wet soils in some areas delayed some planting. Total August rainfall ranged from about an inch and a half at Live Oak to almost twelve and a half inches at Plant City. During early Septem ber, almost daily showers boosted growth and development of vege- tables in central and southern Peninsula areas as the planting of fall crops increased. Around mid-September, Tropical Storm Gabrielle crossed the Peninsula and brought significant rains and strong winds to most areas delaying some fall crop planting. Drier conditions followed the storm which allowed planting to proceed at a normal pace. A tropical disturbance in the Gulf combined with a cold front passing over the State at the end of September brought abundant rains to many southern Peninsula localities. The heavy rains and strong winds from these storms interrupted some field activities and reduced yield prospects for some crops. September rainfall at the major stations ranged from a little over two inches at Pensacola to over eighteen inches in Miami. Drier conditions following these storms allowed field work to progress normally during early October.

This first quarterly release for the 2001-2002 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, current year (2001), previous year (2000).

SNAP BEANS: Planting started in Dade County about mid-Septem ber while planting began in the East Coast and Southwest regions by the end of the month. The crop escaped significant damage from the recent tropical storms. (All areas, 10,300, 10,000).

CABBAGE: Planting started in Dade County about mid-September while planting in the Southwest and East Coast regions started during late month. Planting was active in the Everglades by early October. (All areas, 900, 900).

CUCUMBERS FOR FRESH MARKET: Planting began in late August and early September in southern Peninsula localities. Picking started by the end of September around Zellwood. (All areas, 4,200, 4,700).

EGGPLANT: Planting started in the Immokalee and East Coast areas during late August. Dade County producers began to plant in early September. (All areas, 700, 700).

SWEET C0RN: Most of the fall crop corn was planted by early to mid September. Heavy rains and strong winds from Tropical Storm Danielle caused no significant damage to the crop around mid- September. Some planting of the winter crop in the Everglades was delayed up to ten days by wet soils in late September. Everglades and Zellwood growers reported the crop was in good condition by October 1. (Everglades, 3,200, 2,500; Central, 1,250, 900; other areas, 1,350, 800; all areas, 5,800, 4,200).

BELL PEPPER: Planting increased during September in the Southwest, East Coast and West Central regions. Tropical Storm Danielle's strong winds and heavy rains caused some bloom drop near mid-September. Crop condition was rated fair to mostly good by October 1. (Southwest, 2,250, 2,850; Southeast, 2,250, 1,700; Central and North, 3,200, 2,850; all areas, 7,700, 7,400).

TOMATOES: Almost daily showers during August and the first half of September kept soil moisture supplies adequate over the southern Peninsula but delayed some plantings in wetter localities. The formation off the west coast and the passage over the central and northern Peninsula of Tropical Storm Danielle in mid-September brought significant rains and strong winds to some southern fields. Growers reported only minor damage from this storm with some leaves broken and some blooms blown off plants. Most blooms were not open when the storm passed. Drier and somewhat cooler weather during late September boosted plant growth and development. Harvesting around Quincy started by early October. (Southwest, 6,000, 4,500; Palmetto- Ruskin, 6,400, 6,100; East Coast, 1,200, 1,150; other areas, 1,500, 1,550; all areas, 15,100, 13,300).


GENERAL: The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh market vegetables during the fall quarter is forecast at 177,400 acres, up 4 percent from last year. Acreage increased for snap beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, sweet corn, head lettuce, bell peppers, and tomatoes, while cucumbers showed the only acreage decrease. Cauliflower, eggplant, and escarole/endive acreage were unchanged from a year ago. Area forecasted for melon harvest is 15,100 acres, up 9 percent from last year. Cantaloup acreage is forecast at 8,900 acres, up 3 percent from 2000. Honeydew acreage is forecast at 5,300 acres, up 23 percent from last fall. Watermelon acreage is forecast at 900 acres, down 10 percent from last year.

SNAP BEANS: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 18,500 acres, up 1 percent from last year but 5 percent below 1999. Planting in Georgia was active during most of August. The State had scattered showers during this time but they did not seem to affect planting schedules. Soil moisture conditions were mostly adequate. New Jersey's planting was on schedule this year. Despite heavy rains, Virginia's planting was on schedule. Prospects for the crop look excellent.

CABBAGE: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 6,400 acres, up 3 percent from last year but unchanged from two years ago. In Georgia, weather conditions were favorable for planting. New Jersey's harvested acreage is down due to low market prices and unfavorable weather conditions. In Texas, the crop is progressing well with good moisture conditions. The fall harvest is mostly complete in the High Plains.

SWEET CORN: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 10,200 acres, up 24 percent from last year and 29 percent more than 1999. In California, the grounding of crop duster planes caused some problems with the crop. Occasional report of worm damage resulted from spraying intervals that went beyond three days.

CUCUMBERS: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 7,900 acres, 1 percent below last year and 19 percent less than 1999. In South Carolina, precipitation has been below normal thus far. Additional rainfall is needed to make a good crop. In Texas, the crop is develop ing well with good moisture conditions. Planting in Virginia was on schedule despite heavy rains. Harvest will continue until a heavy frost arrives.

BELL PEPPER: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 8,400 acres, up 2 percent from 2000 and 5 percent more than 1999. In Texas, the crop is progressing well with good moisture reported. Newly planted peppers are maturing well.

TOMATOES: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 24,600 acres, up 3 percent from last year but 15 percent below 1999. California experienced ideal growing conditions in early July. However, by mid-to-late July the weather was cooler than normal. By July's end through mid-August ideal growing conditions returned, however, hot weather set in by late August. Despite weather fluctua tions, the crop is progressing normally.

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, October, November and
December, by States, 2001 with comparisons
Selected crops
and States
Fall acreage 2001 area
for harvest
as percent
of 2000
Harvested For
1999 2000
  Acres Percent
   Florida Oct-Dec 10,500 10,000 10,300 103
  Georgia Oct-Dec 4,000 4,500 4,500 100
  Maryland 1/ Oct-Oct 400 -- -- --
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 2,100 2,000 1,800 90
  South Carolina 1/ Oct-Dec 600 -- -- --
  Virginia Sep-Oct 1,900 1,900 1,900 100
    Total 19,500 18,400 18,500 101
   Florida Oct-Dec 900 900 900 100
  Georgia Oct-Dec 3,400 3,000 3,500 117
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 700 700 600 86
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,400 1,600 1,400 88
    Total 6,400 6,200 6,400 103
   Florida 2/ Oct-Dec 3,900 4,200 5,800 138
  California Oct-Dec 4,000 4,000 4,400 110
    Total 7,900 8,200 10,200 124
   Florida Oct-Dec 5,400 4,700 4,200 89
  South Carolina Oct-Dec 900 600 900 150
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,200 1,400 1,500 107
  Virginia Sep-Oct 2,200 1,300 1,300 100
    Total 9,700 8,000 7,900 99
   Florida Oct-Dec 700 700 700 100
   Florida  Oct-Dec 7,000 7,400 7,700 104
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,000 800 700 88
    Total 8,000 8,200 8,400 102
   Florida 2/ Sep-Dec 17,100 13,300 15,100 114
  California Oct-Dec 12,000 10,600 9,500 90
    Total 29,100 23,900 24,600 103
   Florida 45,500 41,200 44,700 109
  United States 81,300 73,600 76,700 104
  United States 5/ 203,850 185,000 192,500 104
1/ Seasonal estimate discontinued in 2000. Estimate to be published in January 2001 annual, released January 2002.
2/ 2000 State data revised.
3/ 2001 State data not published to avoid disclosure.4/ Includes fresh market and processing.
5/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, endive/escarole, head lettuce, cantaloups, honeydew melons and watermelons.

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