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FALL ACREAGE (Oct., Nov., Dec.)
October 10, 1997

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


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).

SNAP BEANS: Picking has started in the northern areas. Planting started during September in central and southern areas. The West Central crop is in poor to fair condition. Some growers are replanting acreage lost to heavy rains in late September. (Southeast, 3,600, 2,300; Southwest-Everglades, 1,200, 1,300; other areas, 1,900, 3,100; all areas, 6,700, 6,700).

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, 6,600).

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 progress normally.

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.

State Statistical Report 97FAL2VG

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, fall quarter,
by States, 1997 with comparisons.

Selected crops
and States
Fall acreage 1997 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1996
Harvested For
1995 1996
Acres Percent
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 6,300 6,700 6,700 100
    Georgia Oct-Dec 7,000 3,500 4,200 120
    Maryland Oct-Nov 400 300 300 100
    New Jersey Aug-Oct 2,800 2,600 2,300 88
    South Carolina Oct-Dec 400 600 500 83
    Virginia Sep-Oct 2,300 2,100 2,100 100
        Total     19,200 15,800 16,100 102
     Florida Oct-Dec 900 800 1,000 125
    Georgia Oct-Dec 4,500 4,200 3,500 83
    New Jersey Sep-Nov 1,100 1,200 1,200 100
    Texas Sep-Nov 1,200 900 1,100 122
        Total 7,700 7,100 6,800 96
     Florida 1/      Sep-Dec 6,300 7,700 6,400 83
     California Oct-Dec 3,500 3,300 2,100 64
        Total 9,800 11,000 8,500 77
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 4,500 3,700 3,600 97
    South Carolina Oct-Dec 1,000 800 700 88
    Texas Sep-Nov 1,100 900 1,100 122
    Virginia Sep-Oct 3,500 2,700 2,800 104
        Total 10,100 8,100 8,200 101
     Florida Oct-Dec 1,000 600 500 83
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 800 400 400 100
    New Jersey Sep-Nov 400 500 500 100
        Total 1,200 900 900 100
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 7,200 7,100 6,600 93
    Texas Sep-Nov 3,700 4,200 4,300 102
        Total 10,900 11,300 10,900 96
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 18,100 13,400 14,200 106
    California Sep-Dec 10,900 10,700 9,900 93
        Total 29,000 24,100 24,100 100
     Florida 45,100 40,400 39,400 98
    United States 88,900 78,900 76,000 96
    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.