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October 8, 1999

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


WEATHER: Although frequent afternoon and evening showers occurred during the month of July 1999, rainfall over most of the state was well below normal. Monthly precipitation ranged from about five inches below normal at West Palm Beach to about a half inch below at Daytona Beach. Ft. Pierce recorded only six tenths inch of rain falling during July. Temperatures during July averaged normal to one degree above with several stations recording at least one high of 100 degrees or more. Dry soils delayed the laying of plastic for fall crop planting in the southern half of the Peninsula during late July into early August with some growers in the East Coast region irrigating prior to laying plastic. For the month of August, rainfall totaled from an inch at Avalon to almost eighteen inches at Bradenton. Precipitation ranged from over four inches below normal at Inverness to almost seven inches above at Miami. Most temperatures averaged one to two degrees above normal. The threat of bad weather from Hurricane Dennis, Hurricane Floyd, and Tropical Storm Harvey delayed the start of fall crop planting throughout September. Dry conditions turned wet during early September as daily rains arrived over most of the Peninsula. Rain from Floyd during mid-month helped ease drought conditions in many localities. Dade County and southwestern localities felt the brunt of rain from Harvey after mid-month with some drainage canals overflowing. Rain from tropical waves passing over the state near the end of September flooded some low lying areas in some southeastern coastal areas. Cloud cover from the tropical systems kept most temperatures below normal during the last half of September.

This first quarterly release for the 1999-2000 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 follow ing order: area, previous year (1998), current year (1999).

SNAP BEANS: Planting was active in the southern areas during September. In Dade County the crop is in very good condition. In other areas the crop is in fair to good condition. (Southeast, 3,800, 3,600; Southwest and Everglades, 2,000, 1,900; other areas; 2,000, 1,200; All areas, 7,800, 6,700)

CABBAGE: Planting was active in all fall and winter cabbage areas during September. The crop is in fair to good condition. (All areas, 400,450)

CUCUMBERS FOR FRESH MARKET: Planting started during early September in the Palmetto-Ruskin region. Some East Coast growers began planting by early October. The crop showed no significant damage from the strong winds and heavy rains caused by tropical storms and hurricanes passing nearby during September. (West Central, 1,400, 2,000; Southwest, 1,000, 1,000; Southeast, 300, 600; other areas, 800, 700; All areas, 3,500, 4,300).

EGGPLANT: Planting began in August in the East Coast area and continues at the present time in the Southwest area. The crop is in fair to good condition with tying and staking active as needed. (All areas, 700, 600)

ESCAROLE-ENDIVE: Planting of limited acreage began by mid- September with some activity delayed due to the nearby passage of tropical storms and hurricanes. (All areas, 150, 250).

SWEET C0RN: Heavy rains in September caused some discoloring in fields around Zellwood with dry weather needed for plants to recover. Planting gained momentum during late September in the Everglades area. Picking is expected to begin in November in the Zellwood region. (Everglades, 3,050, 2,800; Central, 1,750, 1,400; other areas, 800, 800; All areas, 5,600, 5,000).

BELL PEPPER: East Coast growers began planting of a limited acreage during late July, while Palmetto-Ruskin and Southwest producers started in late August. Young plants in the East Coast region not protected by wind breaks suffered some damage from wind and blowing sand when tropical storms and hurricanes passed by in September. Growers planned to replant some recent trans plants suffering this damage. (Southwest, 2,900, 2,850; Southeast, 2,200, 2,200; West Central and other areas, 2,400, 2,450; All areas, 7,500, 7,500).

TOMATOES: Planting around Quincy started about mid-July with growers finishing by late August. Significant planting got underway about mid-August in the East Coast and Palmetto-Ruskin regions. Southwestern producers started transplanting in late August while Dade County growers began planting about mid-September. Hurricane Floyd and Tropical Storm Harvey caused no significant damage to the early planting but delayed some fieldwork during mid to late September. Land leveling prior to planting allowed water to drain rapidly from most acreage. However, rain from these storms filled drainage canals to the brim with some overflowing. Harvesting of a small amount started in the Quincy area during the last week of September. (Southwest, 6,800, 6,000; Palmetto- Ruskin, 6,100, 5,500; East Coast, 1,300, 1,400; other areas, 1,500, 1,600; All areas, 15,700, 14,500).


SNAP BEANS: Fall fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 16,100 acres, up 1 percent from last year but 11 percent less than 1997. New Jersey reports a normal season. In South Carolina, most of the crop is located in the southeast and was not affected by flooding associated with Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd, but did receive adequate rainfall for a good crop.

CABBAGE: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 5,650 acres, up 9 percent from last year but 10 percent below 1997. In Georgia, recent scattered showers throughout the State have improved conditions after the summer drought. New Jersey acreage has been affected by low market prices and unfavorable weather conditions.

SWEET CORN: Fresh market acreage for harvest is forecast at 9,100 acres, down 5 percent from last year and 12 percent less than 1997. The California crop is on schedule for harvest with only minor pest problems.

CUCUMBERS: Acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 8,800 acres, 16 percent above last year and 9 percent above 1997. In South Carolina, recent rainfall has improved chances of a good harvest and most of the State, with the exception of the Pee Dee area, was spared the excessive rains of Hurricanes Floyd and Dennis. In Virginia, some fields were affected by excessive rains in mid- August.

ESCAROLE/ENDIVE: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 650 acres, the same as 1998 but 28 percent below 1997. Extremely dry summer conditions in New Jersey affected the fall planting.

BELL PEPPER: Fall acreage for harvest is forecast at 8,500 acres, 2 percent less than 1998 but the same as 1997.

TOMATOES: Fresh market acreage for fall harvest is forecast at 25,400 acres, 3 percent above last year and 5 percent above 1997. Cool weather in California allowed the plants to develop well. Quality of California tomatoes has been reported as exceptional with above average size. Markets are expected to be stronger as the season moves into the late summer and fall periods.

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, October, November,
and December, by States, 1999 with comparisons.
Selected crops
and States
Fall acreage 1999 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1998
Harvested For
1997 1998
Acres Percent
  Florida Oct-Dec 7,300 7,800 6,700 86
  Georgia Sep-Dec 5,000 2,600 3,800 146
  Maryland Oct-Oct 300 400 400 100
  New Jersey Aug-Oct 3,000 2,600 2,800 108
  South Carolina Oct-Dec 400 500 600 120
  Virginia Sep-Oct 2,100 2,100 1,800 86
    Total 18,100 16,000 16,100 101
  Florida Oct-Dec 400 400 450 113
  Georgia Sep-Dec 3,700 3,000 3,100 103
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 1,100 1,000 700 70
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,100 800 1,400 175
    Total 6,300 5,200 5,650 109
  Florida 1/      Oct-Dec 6,600 5,600 5,000 89
  California Oct-Dec 3,800 4,000 4,100 103
    Total 1/ 10,400 9,600 9,100 95
  Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 3,900 3,500 4,300 123
  South Carolina Oct-Dec 700 800 1,000 125
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,100 900 1,200 133
  Virginia Sep-Oct 2,400 2,400 2,300 96
    Total 8,100 7,600 8,800 116
  Florida Sep-Dec 700 700 600 86
  Florida 1/ Oct-Dec 400 150 250 167
  New Jersey Sep-Nov 500 500 400 80
    Total 900 650 650 100
  Florida Oct-Dec 7,200 7,500 7,500 100
  Texas Sep-Nov 1,300 1,200 1,000 83
    Total 8,500 8,700 8,500 98
  Florida 1/ Sep-Dec 15,300 15,700 14,500 92
  California Oct-Dec 8,800 9,000 10,900 121
    Total 1/ 24,100 24,700 25,400 103
  Florida 41,800 41,350 39,300 95
  United States 77,100 73,150 74,800 102
    United States 1/ 3/ 198,300 200,650 199,200 99
1/ 1998 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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