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VEGETABLES
FALL ACREAGE (October, November, December)
October 13, 1998

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


FLORIDA

GENERAL: Scattered showers during July 1998 lessened the threat of wild fires while temperatures soared to record-high levels. Many stations recorded temperatures at 100 degrees or higher during July with the heat indexes much higher. The threat of bad weather from Tropical Storm Alex disappeared in late July as the storm weakened and veered away from the State. By early August, land preparation for fall crop planting gained momentum over the Peninsula. Dry soils in a few areas, especially around Immokalee and in western Manatee County, hindered the preparation of land for fall crop planting during early August. Pepper, eggplant, watermelon, and tomato planting started in most southern Peninsula vegetable areas by mid-August. Dade County producers began to plant a limited acreage of squash during the last half of August. Rainfall dropped off in late August and early September as Hurricanes Bonnie and Danielle passed parallel to the eastern coast and drew moisture from the atmosphere. Hot temperatures during early September affected plant growth with growers resetting weaker tomato and pepper plants. Hurricane Frances kept skies mostly dry by drawing moisture from the atmosphere as it made landfall about mid- September with southern Peninsula producers irrigating young plants to maintain proper moisture levels. However, feeder bands from Frances dropped some rain over western Peninsula localities, including the Palmetto-Ruskin and Immokalee areas with minor flooding reported in Dade County and some plant beds washed out in the East Coast region. Most fieldwork halted during late September as Hurricane Georges passed by and made landfall over Biloxi, Mississippi. Some bloom loss occurred in a few localities due to strong winds with most crops suffering no significant damage. Cloudy skies during the last half of September slowed maturation of the Quincy tomato crop with some scheduled harvesting delayed.

This first quarterly release for the 1998-99 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 (1997), current year (1998).

SNAP BEANS: Planting was active in the southern areas during September. In Dade, the crop is in good condition. In other areas the crop is in fair to good condition. (Southeast, 2,000, 2,200; Southwest-Everglades, 1,700, 2,100; other areas, 3,000, 2,600; all areas, 6,700, 6,900).

CABBAGE: Planting was active in the West Central area during September. Planting will start in the Hastings area around mid- October. (All areas, 1,000, 900).

CUCUMBERS FOR FRESH MARKET: Planting started by early September in the Palmetto-Ruskin region with some East Coast planting delayed by rainfall in mid and late September. The crop showed no significant damage from the strong winds and heavy rains caused by tropical disturbances during September. (West Central, 1,600, 1,300; Southwest, 1,050, 1,100; Southeast, 450, 300; other areas, 500, 300; all areas, 3,600, 3,000).

EGGPLANT: Planting began in August in the East Coast area with the oldest plants blooming by mid-September. By the end of September the crop was developing and sizing fruit well. (All areas, 500, 600).

ESCAROLE-ENDIVE: Planting of a limited acreage began in both the Zellwood and Everglades region by early September. (All areas, 400, 300).

SWEET CORN: Planting started during September. Some planting was delayed due to the threat of bad weather from passing hurricanes. (Everglades, 2,600, 3,000; Central, 2,600, 1,700; other areas, 1,400, 800; all areas, 6,600, 5,500).

BELL PEPPERS: Planting started during early August along the southeastern coast with growers in the Immokalee area beginning by mid-month. Palmetto-Ruskin producers started planting during late August. Oldest plants showed blooms and began to set fruit by mid-September. Strong winds caused by the near-by passage of hurricanes during late September knocked a few blooms off plants, but caused no significant damage to the crop. (Southwest, 2,800, 2,600; Southeast, 1,870, 2,100; West Central and other areas, 2,430, 2,300; all areas, 7,000, 7,000).

TOMATOES: Transplanting began in southern Peninsula areas during late July. Growers in the Quincy area virtually finished planting by early August. Hot temperatures during August and September caused producers to make some spot resets of weaker transplants. Tropical waves crossed over the Peninsula around mid-September and brought rain to most localities with some field activities delayed. The Quincy area escaped significant damage from hurricanes Earl and Georges as they made landfall during September with Earl dropping six to seven inches over the area, and Georges, five or more inches. (Southwest, 6,800, 7,200; Palmetto-Ruskin, 5,500, 6,000; East Coast, 1,350, 1,200; other areas, 1,650, 1,600; all areas, 15,300, 16,000).

UNITED STATES

GENERAL: The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh market vegetables during the fall quarter is forecast at 182,400 acres, down 2 percent from last year and off 1 percent from 1996. Acreage reductions for snap beans, cabbage, carrots, sweet corn, and cucumbers offset increased acreage of cauliflower, celery, eggplant, head lettuce, and tomatoes.

SNAP BEANS: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 14,500 acres, down 10 percent from last year and 8 percent less than 1996. Conditions in some eastern areas were dry and unfavorable for planting. New Jersey experienced a normal season.

CABBAGE: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 7,400 acres, down 6 percent from last year but 4 percent above 1996. Growing conditions in New Jersey have improved since the dry summer weather.

SWEET CORN: Fresh market acreage for harvest is estimated at 9,500 acres, down 9 percent from last year, and 12 percent less than 1996. Extremely dry conditions in New Jersey affected fall planting. In California, quality has improved due to recent seasonable temperatures. Harvest is expected to proceed with no unusual problems.

CUCUMBERS: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 7,700 acres, 8 percent below last year and 3 percent below 1996.

ESCAROLE/ENDIVE: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 700 acres, down 22 percent from both 1997 and 1996.

BELL PEPPERS: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 11,000 acres, 3 percent less than both 1997 and 1996.

TOMATOES: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is estimated at 26,800 acres, 2 percent above last year and 6 percent above 1996. In California, recent cooler temperatures helped relieve the stress of extremely hot temperatures early in the season. Harvest is on schedule with few problems reported.


Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, October, November,
and December, by States, 1998 with comparisons.
Selected crops
and States
Usual
harvest
period
Fall acreage 1998 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1997
Harvested For
harvest
1998
1996 1997
Acres Percent
SNAP BEANS:
     Florida Oct-Dec 6,700 6,700 6,900 103
    Georgia Oct-Dec 3,500 4,300 2,600 60
    Maryland Sep-Oct 300 300 400 133
    New Jersey Aug-Oct 2,600 2,300 2,400 104
    South Carolina Oct-Dec 600 500 600 120
    Virginia Sep-Oct 2,100 2,100 1,600 76
        Total     15,800 16,200 14,500 90
CABBAGE:
     Florida Oct-Dec 800 1,000 900 90
    Georgia Oct-Dec 4,200 4,600 4,500 98
    New Jersey Sep-Nov 1,200 1,200 1,200 100
    Texas Sep-Nov 900 1,100 800 73
        Total 7,100 7,900 7,400 94
SWEET CORN:
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 7,500 6,600 5,500 83
     California Oct-Dec 3,300 3,800 4,000 105
        Total 1/ 10,800 10,400 9,500 91
CUCUMBERS:
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 3,500 3,600 3,000 83
    South Carolina Oct-Dec 800 700 800 114
    Texas Sep-Nov 900 1,100 900 82
    Virginia Sep-Oct 2,700 3,000 3,000 100
        Total 7,900 8,400 7,700 92
EGGPLANT:
     Florida Sep-Dec 600 500 600 120
ESCAROLE/ENDIVE:
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 400 400 300 75
    New Jersey Sep-Nov 500 500 400 80
        Total 900 900 700 78
BELL PEPPERS: 2/
     Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 7,100 7,000 7,000 100
    Texas Sep-Nov 4,200 4,300 4,000 93
        Total 1/ 11,300 11,300 11,000 97
TOMATOES:
     Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 13,400 15,300 16,000 105
    California Oct-Dec 11,900 11,100 10,800 97
        Total 25,300 26,400 26,800 102
TOTAL OF CROPS LISTED
     Florida 40,000 41,100 40,200 98
    United States 79,700 82,000 78,200 95
TOTAL OF CROPS ESTIMATED
    United States 3/ 200,400 205,600 201,600 98
1/ 1997 revised.
2/ Includes fresh market and processing.
3/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, cantaloups, honeydew melons, and watermelons.


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