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VEGETABLES
ACREAGE-FALL QUARTER (October, November, December)
October 8, 2002

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


FLORIDA

Florida Weather: Rainfall during July kept soil moisture supplies at adequate levels. Frequent scattered showers during August interrupted the laying of some plastic and other field preparations. However, producers also irrigated some acreage in drier localities. Weed and worm populations escalated rapidly in wetter areas with many growers spraying for the control of pests on recent plantings. Rain and wind caused by tropical systems also interrupted some field activities during September. Rains from Tropical Storm Hanna, falling about mid-month, and storms caused by Tropical Storm Isidore at the end of the month slowed some planting. However, producers reported no significant damage from these storms. Mostly dry weather prevailed in early October as Hurricane Lili rushed northward through the Gulf with the storm pulling rains away from the Peninsula.

This first quarterly release for the 2002-2003 season shows acreage for harvest during fall months of October through December based on conditions existing October 1. Estimated acreage by growing region is no longer available.

Snap Beans: Acreage to be picked is set at 11,000 acres, up 2,000 acres or 22 percent from the 9,000 acres harvested during the fall of 2001. The crop escaped significant damage from the recent tropical storms.

Cabbage: Growers hope to harvest 500 acres, equal to the acreage cut during the fall of 2001.

Cucumbers For Fresh Market: Acreage to be picked this fall is estimated at 4,000 acres. This compares with 3,500 acres picked last fall. Harvesting is underway.

Sweet Corn: Producers expect to pick 4,700 acres this fall, down 200 acres from the 4,900 acres harvested last fall. Growers reported no significant damage to the crop from the recent tropical weather.

Bell Peppers: Acreage to be picked this fall is set at 4,900 acres. This compares with 4,500 acres harvested last fall. Wind and rain from recent tropical systems caused no significant damage to the crop. Harvesting is underway.

Tomatoes: Producers hope to pick 15,500 acres this fall, up 1,500 acres or 11 percent from the 14,000 acres harvested last fall. Picking around Quincy started in late September.

UNITED STATES

General: The prospective area for harvest of 11 selected fresh market vegetables during the fall quarter is forecast at 168,550  acres, virtually unchanged from comparable commodities last year. Acreage increased for snap beans, cabbage, cucumbers, head lettuce, bell peppers, and tomatoes, while acreage decreased for broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, and sweet corn. Area forecasted for melon harvest is 15,600 acres, up 6 percent from last year. Cantaloupe acreage is forecast at 9,700 acres, up 9 percent from 2001. Honeydew acreage is forecast at 4,900  acres, up 2 percent from last fall. Watermelon acreage is forecast at 1,000 acres, the same as last year.

Snap Beans: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 19,300 acres, up 12 percent from last year and 5 percent above 2000. Georgia has received several inches of rain in past weeks which should aid crop development. However, drier weather is needed so growers can begin harvest. The New Jersey crop is on schedule but dry conditions have reduced the projected yield. Drought conditions in Virginia had little effect on snap beans since most are irrigated, but high winds and temperature extremes have reduced quality and caused some bloom loss.

Cabbage: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 6,300 acres, up 7 percent from last year and 2 percent above two years earlier. The Georgia crop has benefitted from several inches of rain in recent weeks. However, drier weather is needed to begin harvesting. New Jersey early plantings had sizing problems but conditions have improved for the fall crop. In Texas, wet and unseasonably cool conditions have been ideal for cabbage production. The crop is progressing well with few pest problems reported.

Sweet Corn: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 9,000 acres, down 5 percent from last year but 10 percent morethan 2000. Yields in California are reported to be excellent. Demand for sweet corn has been very good and it appears the new varieties introduced last year are popular with consumers.
Cucumbers: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 8,050  acres, 12 percent above last year and 1 percent greater than 2000. South Carolina acreage has decreased from last year due to extreme drought conditions at planting time. In some areas of Texas, rains kept harvesters out of the fields and the cucumbers grew too large for use or rotted in the fields. Cucumber harvest in the Plains was nearing completion. In Virginia, hot days and cold nights have slowed crop development.

Bell Peppers: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 5,400  acres, up 4 percent from 2001 but 31 percent less than 2000. In Florida, rain from scattered showers boosted growth and development during September and caused only a few delays in planting. The Texas harvest is mostly complete and appears to be a smaller crop than last year due to lack of moisture in late spring and early summer.

Tomatoes: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 25,500 acres, up 4 percent from last year and 12 percent above 2000. California growers expect ample supplies from the fall harvest. Most summer temperatures, except for a heat wave in July that adversely affected yields at that time, were conducive to tomato growth and are expected to help the quality of the fall crop.

Watermelons: Arizona acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 1,000 acres, unchanged from both 2001 and 2000. Arizona's fall season is typical following a long and hot summer with below normal moisture.


FALL ACREAGE

PAGE 2
October 8, 2002

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, October, November and
December, by States, 2002 with comparisons
Selected crops
and States
Usual
harvest
period
Fall acreage 2002 area
for harvest
as percent
of 2001
Harvested For
harvest
2002
2000 2001
  Acres Percent
SNAP BEANS:
   Florida Oct-Dec 10,000 9,000 11,000 122
  Georgia Sep-Dec 4,500 4,500 4,500 100
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 2,000 1,800 1,800 100
  Virginia Sep-Oct 1,900 2,000 2,000 100
    Total 18,400 17,300 19,300 112
CABBAGE:
   Florida Oct-Dec 900 500 500 100
  Georgia Sep-Dec 3,000 3,500 4,100 117
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 700 500 500 100
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,600 1,400 1,200 86
    Total 6,200 5,900 6,300 107
SWEET CORN:
   Florida Oct-Dec 4,200 4,900 4,700 96
  California Oct-Dec 4,000 4,600 4,300 93
    Total 8,200 9,500 9,000 95
CUCUMBERS:
   Florida Oct-Dec 4,700 3,500 4,000 114
  South Carolina Oct-Dec 600 800 650 81
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,400 1,500 1,400 93
  Virginia Sep-Oct 1,300 1,400 2,000 143
    Total 8,000 7,200 8,050 112
EGGPLANT:
   Florida  1/ Oct-Dec 700 700 -- --
BELL PEPPERS2/
   Florida  Oct-Dec 7,000 4,500 4,900 109
  Texas Sep-Nov 800 700 500 71
    Total 7,800 5,200 5,400 104
TOMATOES:
   Florida Oct-Dec 13,300 14,000 15,500 111
  California Oct-Dec 9,500 10,500 10,000 95
    Total 22,800 24,500 25,500 104
TOTAL OF CROPS LISTED
   Florida 40,800 37,100 40,600 109
  United States 72,100 70,300 73,550 105
TOTAL OF CROPS ESTIMATED
  United States 3/ 183,300 185,100 184,150 99
1/ Estimates discontinued in 2002.
2/ Includes fresh market and processing.
3/
Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, endive/escarole, head lettuce, cantaloupes, honeydew melons and watermelons.


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