GENERAL: Most producers delayed planting due to the threat of
stormy weather during July. Daily showers continued over inland
areas of the Peninsula during mid to late July. Feeder bands from
Hurricane Danny brought thunderstorms to most localities July 18
through 20. Rainfall from Danny ranged from two to eight inches
with Santa Rosa County and northeastern localities of Escambia
County affected. Official rain amounts for July totaled from six to
about ten and a half inches. July temperatures averaged near
normal. Daily afternoon showers during August delayed some land
preparations for the laying of plastic and the planting of fall crops
over the southern Peninsula. Planting started in early August along
the southeastern coast and in the Palmetto-Ruskin region. Showers
later in the day around Immokalee about mid-August allowed
growers to begin planting. For the month of August, rainfall totaled
from almost four to almost ten and a half inches, and temperatures
averaged within a degree or two of normal. Temperatures during
the first three weeks of September averaged mostly one to five
degrees below normal as scattered showers brought from a trace to
three to five inches of rain each week. During late September heavy
rains fell over the West Central region, some parts of the Southwest
and East Coast area, and over Dade County. Unofficial reports
showed about nine to sixteen inches of rain fell in the Palmetto-
Ruskin area. Rivers and creeks flooded some adjoining agricultural
land as they crested during the days following the rain. Drier
weather over most of the Peninsula in late September and early
October helped fields dry out from previous heavy rains. However,
Dade County received about two and a half inches of rain south of
Homestead and about three and a half inches in northern parts
during the period. Temperatures averaged near normal to above late
September into early October. No tropical storms or hurricanes
threatened the State during August and September.
|This first quarterly release for the 1997-98 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 (1996), current year (1997).|
CABBAGE: Planting was active in the West Central area and starting
in the central and Hastings area by the first of October. Crop
condition in the West Central area is poor to fair due to heavy
September rains. Hastings cabbage is in good condition. (Central,
650, 850; other areas, 150, 150; all areas, 800, 1,000).
CUCUMBERS FOR FRESH MARKET: Planting in Palmetto-Ruskin
area started during August, and in the East Coast region, by early
September. Oldest plants in the Southwest area were showing four
to five leaves by the second half of September. Acreage for harvest
is expected to be down three percent from a year ago. (West
Central, 1,500, 1,600; Southwest, 800, 850; Southeast, 900, 450;
other areas, 500, 700; (all areas, 3,700, 3,600).
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 and fruit starting to set. (All areas, 600, 500).
ESCAROLE-ENDIVE: Light plantings started in both the Zellwood and
Everglades regions during early September. Harvesting will start in
mid to late October. Acreage to be harvested is unchanged from a
year earlier. (All areas, 400, 400).
SWEET CORN: Planting in the Everglades was active during early
September as Zellwood growers finished planting. Growers irrigated
some acreage around Lake Apopka as conditions became dry at the
end of August into early September. Heavy rainfall in Zellwood in
late September benefitted plant growth and ear development. Light
harvesting started in late September and early October in Zellwood
and northern areas. Harvested acreage is expected to fall 17
percent below last fall. (Everglades, 4,000, 2,500; Central, 2,150,
2,500; other areas, 1,550, 1,400; all areas, 7,700, 6,400).
BELL PEPPERS: Pepper planting began 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 weather through most of September kept plantings on
schedule 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.
Heavy rainfall in the West Central region during late September
caused some damage with losses currently being assessed.
Growers planned to harvest seven percent less acres this fall than
last year. (Southwest, 2,400, 2,200; Southeast, 2,200, 1,900;
West Central and other areas, 2,500, 2,500; all areas, 7,100,
TOMATOES: Producers in Gadsden County laid most plastic for fall
plantings by mid-July. Many southern Peninsula growers delayed
field preparations and laying plastic until the threat of bad weather
from Hurricane Danny passed. Transplanting finally got underway
during late July in the Quincy area with most of the plastic escaping
damage from strong winds as Hurricane Danny stayed to the west.
Frequent afternoon showers delayed ground preparations during
most of August. High temperatures affected fruit development in
the Quincy area. during August, but cooler nighttime temperatures
during September aided fruit setting with the crop in excellent
condition by late month. Picking started during late September in
the Quincy area. Acreage for harvest is expected to be up six
percent from a year ago with all areas showing an increase. This
acreage estimate includes round and plum or pear-shaped varieties
and U-Pic acreage. (Southwest, 5,900, 5,700; Palmetto-Ruskin,
5,200, 5,300; East Coast, 1,000, 1,400; other areas, 1,300,
1,800; all areas, 13,400, 14,200).
GENERAL: The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh
market vegetables during the fall quarter is forecast at 176,400
acres, down 2 percent from last year and off 7 percent from 1995.
Acreage reductions for cabbage, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn,
eggplant, head lettuce, and bell peppers offset increased acreage of
snap beans, carrots, and cucumbers.
SNAP BEANS: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at
16,100 acres, up 2 percent from last year but 16 percent less than
1995. Wet conditions in New Jersey disrupted planting schedules,
which caused producers to plant fewer acres.
CABBAGE: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 6,800
acres, down 4 percent from last year and 12 percent less than in
1995. Favorable growing conditions benefited the growth of fall
cabbage in New Jersey. Texas producers increased acreage due to
an increase in the availability of irrigation water.
SWEET CORN: Fresh market acreage for harvest is estimated at
8,500 acres, down 23 percent from last year, and 13 percent less
than in 1995.
CUCUMBERS: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 8,200 acres,
1 percent above last year but 19 percent below 1995.
ESCAROLE/ENDIVE: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 900
acres, unchanged from last year but 25 percent less than in 1995.
The fall crop in New Jersey is in good condition. Good quality and
steady supplies are expected to last throughout the season.
BELL PEPPERS: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 10,900
acres, a 4 percent decrease from 1996 but unchanged from 1995.
Increased water availability encouraged Texas producers to plant
more acres than last year.
TOMATOES: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is estimated at
24,100 acres, unchanged from last year but 17 percent less than
1995. Ideal weather conditions in California allowed the crop to
WATERMELONS: Arizona acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 700
acres, up 100 acres from 1996 but unchanged from 1995. Harvest
was active in the central part of the state.
|BELL PEPPERS: 2/|
|TOTAL OF CROPS LISTED|
|TOTAL OF CROPS ESTIMATED|
|United States 3/||205,100||195,900||194,700||99|
1/ 1996 revised.
2/ Includes fresh market and processing.
3/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, cantaloups, honeydew melons, and watermelons.