FALL ACREAGE (Oct., Nov., Dec.)

October 9, 1996

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


GENERAL: Below normal rainfall during July, August, and September in most of the major vegetable producing areas allowed field preparations and planting to stay on schedule. In July, precipitation totals were one half inch to over eight inches below normal. In August, only northern and some central localities received above normal rains with most locations recording from an inch to almost ten inches below normal precipitation. September rainfall was normal at a few northern and western Panhandle cities, but ranged from a half inch to almost eight inches below normal over the rest of the State. This dry weather allowed some southern Peninsula growers to enter fields that usually are too muddy to work until October. Growers did delay some field work during early September due to the threat of adverse weather caused by Hurricanes Fran and Hortense. Some muckland planting was slowed by heavy rains around Lake Okeechobee in early September, but drier conditions for most of the month allowed growers to get back on schedule. Monthly temperatures averaged normal to two degrees above during July, normal to two degrees below during August, and ranged from two degrees below to three degrees above normal during Septem ber. Heavy rain and strong winds from Tropical Storm Josephine affected crop development in most areas during October 7 and 8.

This first quarterly release for the 1996-97 season shows acreage for harvest during all months of October through December based on conditions existing October 1. Estimated acreage for harvest by growing areas is presented in the follow ing order: area, previous year (1995), current year (1996).

SNAP BEANS: Picking is starting in the northern areas. planting started during September in central and southern areas. In Dade County the crop is in good condition. In the East Coast most acreage is in good condition and recent plantings are germinating well. The west central crop is in fair to good condition and the southwest crop is in good condition. (Southeast, 3,700, 3,000; Southwest and Everglades, 1,000, 1,400; all areas, 6,100, 6,700).

CABBAGE: Planting was active in the west central area and starting in the Hastings area by the end of September. The west central crop is in good condition. Growers are making preparations for planting in Dade County and the southwest. (Central, 800, 700; all areas, 900, 800).

CUCUMBERS FOR FRESH MARKET: Growers in northern and west central localities began planting during August. Producers along the southeastern coast started planting in early September. Southwest ern growers commenced planting about mid-September. Several growers planted on plastic used for vegetables in prior quarters. Some growers delayed planting until receiving funding and did not begin planting until October. Harvesting of very limited northern acreage began in late September. (West Central, 1,700, 1,400; Southwest, 750, 600; Southeast, 900, 900; other areas, 1,050, 600; all areas, 4,500, 3,500).

EGGPLANT: Planting began before the middle of August in the East Coast area and continued at a steady pace. By late September the crop was in very good condition with the oldest fields showing blooms. (all areas, 1,000, 600).

ESCAROLE-ENDIVE: Planting in the Everglades was delayed by wet soils during the first half of September, but was well underway by mid-month in both the Zellwood and Lake Okeechobee areas. (all areas, 800, 400).

HEAD LETTUCE (Boston, Bibb, Iceberg): Wet soils delayed some activity around Lake Okeechobee during early September. However, planting became active in both the Zellwood and Everglades region by mid-September. (Not published to avoid disclosure of individual data.)

SWEET CORN: Mostly mild weather kept field work and plantings in the Zellwood and northern areas on schedule during July, August, and most of September. Growers delayed some field work during early September due to the threat of adverse weather caused by Hurricanes Fran and Hortense, and due to heavy rains around Lake Okeechobee. However, producers got back on schedule by mid- month. The crop is in mostly good condition with some Zellwood fields knee to waist high by mid-September. East Coast growers started limited planting during the last half of September. South western, Everglades, and Dade County producers scheduled planting of larger acreage for late September and early October. Northern picking began during late September. (Everglades, 2,650, 3,300; Central, 1,700, 2,400; other areas, 1,950, 2,000; all areas, 6,300, 7,700).

BELL PEPPERS: Pepper plantings were underway in the East Coast region during the last half of July with producers in the southwest and Palmetto-Ruskin areas starting by mid-to-late August. Drier than normal fall weather kept plantings on schedule throughout September with some growers able to plant acreage in September that they usually do not plant until October. Fruit began to set about mid-September in the oldest fields along the southeastern coast and by late September in southwestern and West Central localities. Northern picking is getting underway. (Southwest, 2,800, 2,750; Southeast, 2,675, 2,575; West Central and other areas, 1,725, 2,275; all areas, 7,200, 7,600).

TOMATOES: Planting began around Quincy about mid-July with most acreage in the ground by early August. Transplanting started around mid-August in southern Peninsula areas. Dade County growers commenced planting during the last half of September. The drier than normal fall weather allowed planting and spraying for disease control to proceed on schedule. Harvesting began around Quincy during late September with most growers starting to pick in early October. Some southern growers are delaying planting until they receive funding. The estimated acreage includes round and plum or pear varieties, and U-Pic acres. (Southwest, 8,800, 5,550; Palmetto-Ruskin, 6,100, 5,250; East Coast, 1,300, 950; other areas, 1,800, 1,350; all areas, 18,000, 13,100).


GENERAL: The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh market vegetables during the fall quarter is forecast at 179,900 acres, down 3 percent from last year but up 3 percent from 1994. Acreage reductions for snap beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cucum bers, eggplant, escarole/endive, and tomatoes offset increased acreage of cabbage, carrots, sweet corn, head lettuce, and bell peppers.

SNAP BEANS: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 18,600 acres, down 2 percent from the last year and 8 percent less than 1994. Unfavorable weather discouraged producers from planting more acres in Maryland and New Jersey.

CABBAGE: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 7,700 acres, up 1 percent from last year and 22 percent greater than in 1994. Favorable growing conditions benefitted the crop in New Jersey. Although water shortages reduced acreage in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, producers increased acreage in other parts of the State.

SWEET CORN: Fresh market acreage for harvest is estimated at 11,000 acres, up 12 percent from last year, and 28 percent more than in 1994.

CUCUMBERS: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 7,900 acres, a 22 percent decrease from last year and a 25 percent decline from 1994. Drought conditions in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas prompted producers to reduce acreage.

ESCAROLE/ENDIVE: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 800 acres, down 400 acres from last year but the same as in 1994. The fall crop in New Jersey was reported as being in good condition.

BELL PEPPERS: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 11,800 acres, an 8 percent increase from 1995 and up 17 percent from 1994. In Texas some pepper acreage that was not planted in the Rio Grande Valley was planted in the high plains region.

TOMATOES: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is estimated at 24,400 acres, down 16 percent from last year and 17 percent less than 1994. The California crop was reported in good condition.

ACREAGE - October-December

Page 2
October 9, 1996

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, fall quarter,
by States, 1996 with comparisons.

Selected crops
and States
Fall acreage 1996 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1995
Harvested For
1994 1995
Acres Percent
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 6,600 6,100 6,700 110
    Georgia Oct-Dec 6,500 7,000 6,000 86
    Maryland Oct-Nov 400 400 400 100
    New Jersey Aug-Oct 3,100 2,800 2,600 93
    South Carolina Oct-Dec 700 400 600 150
    Virginia Sep-Oct 2,900 2,300 2,300 100
        Total     20,200 19,000 18,600 98
     Florida Oct-Dec 0 900 800 89
    Georgia Oct-Dec 4,000 4,500 4,900 109
    New Jersey Sep-Dec 1,200 1,000 1,100 110
    Texas Aug-Nov 1,100 1,200 900 75
        Total 6,300 7,600 7,700 101
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 5,800 6,300 7,700 122
     California Oct-Dec 2,800 3,500 3,300 94
        Total 8,600 9,800 11,000 112
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 5,000 4,500 3,500 78
    South Carolina Oct-Dec 1,000 1,000 800 80
    Texas Aug-Nov 1,200 1,100 900 82
    Virginia Sep-Oct 3,400 3,500 2,700 77
        Total 10,600 10,100 7,900 78
     Florida Oct-Dec 800 1,000 600 60
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 400 800 400 50
    New Jersey Sep-Oct 400 400 400 100
        Total 800 1,200 800 67
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 6,500 7,200 7,600 106
    Texas Aug-Nov 3,600 3,700 4,200 114
        Total 10,100 10,900 11,800 108
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 18,600 18,000 13,100 73
    California Oct-Dec 10,700 10,900 11,300 104
        Total 29,300 28,900 24,400 84
     Florida Oct-Dec 300 3/ 3/ --
    Arizona--Other Oct-Dec 600 1,200 1,300 108
    California Oct-Dec 30,500 34,000 3,500 103
    New Jersey Sep-Nov 800 600 500 83
    New Mexico Oct-Nov 1,000 1,100 1,100 100
        Total 33,200 36,900 37,900 103
     Florida 44,000 44,800 40,400 90
    United States 119,900 125,400 120,700 96
    United States 4/ 186,000 200,600 196,600 98
1/ 1995 revised.
2/ Includes fresh market and processing.
3/ Estimate discontinued.
4/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cantaloups, honeydew melons, and watermelons.