Return to the Table of Contents for Publications
SPRING ACREAGE (April, May, June, July)
April 10, 2000

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


WEATHER: Mostly dry and warm conditions during January, February, and March provided nearly ideal conditions for vegetable growth and development but increased the need for irrigation. Some cold temperatures and frost occurred in January causing some sweet corn acreage in the Everglades to be replanted. Otherwise, no significant weather problems occurred during the winter months.

This report reflects conditions as of April 1 and represents acre age for harvest during the spring months of April, May, June, and July. Estimated acreage for harvest by growing areas is presented in order: area, previous year (1999), current year (2000).

SNAP BEANS: The snap bean crop enters the harvest season in mostly fair to good condition. There were no freezes this winter to damage the crop. Planting is virtually complete. Harvest is active with good quality available. Yields are mostly good. (Southeast 5,000, 6,200; Southwest and Everglades, 4,100, 4,200; other areas, 4,900, 5,100; all areas, 14,000, 15,500)

CABBAGE: The cabbage crop is all planted. Harvest is active in the central and northern areas. Cabbage harvest is winding down in the southern areas. The crop is in fair to good condition. Growth and development are normal. Head size and quality are good. (All areas, 1,600, 1,000)

SWEET CORN: Growers in the Everglades region started spring crop planting during the last half of December. Producers in Dade County completed planting in early January with winter crop picking starting about mid-month. East Coast growers finished winter crop planting by early January as oldest acreage started to tassel. In late January a cold front passing over the Peninsula caused temperatures to dip to freezing levels in many areas with Dade County reporting frost during the early morning hours of January 27. The cold temperatures caused leaf burn in the East Coast region, and severely damaged a portion of the west side of some of the oldest fields in the Everglades area. Spring crop planting started in the Southwest at the end of January as fall crop harvesting ended. Nearly ideal conditions during February and March allowed most plants to recover from the cold with plant growth and ear development progressing very well. Harvesting began in the East Coast area about mid-February as growers around Zellwood started planting. Southwestern producers finished planting about mid-March. Everglades growers started harvesting during late March as East Coast growers finished picking. (Everglades, 21,500, 22,800; Central, 2,750, 2,600; North, 2,550, 2,400; other, 1,300, 1,000; all areas, 28,100, 28,800)
CUCUMBERS: The cucumber crop is in fair to good condition. There was no freeze this winter to damage the crop. Planting is winding down. Growth and development are normal. Harvest is active in the southern areas. Fruit is of good quality, size, and color. (North, 400, 400; Central, 1,900, 2,300; Southwest, 1,100, 1,100; Southeast, 1,900, 1,500; all areas, 5,300, 5,300)

EGGPLANT: Plant growth and development have been good to very good in most areas. There have been no major weather problems this year. Cutting of regular and Italian types is currently underway with good color, quality, and yield. Harvest will continue into June. (All areas, 500, 500)

BELL PEPPERS: Producers in the West Central area finished fall crop picking by early January and started spring crop planting in late January. Southwestern and East Coast growers transplanted steadily from January until mid-to-late March. Cold, gusty winds caused some leaf burn during late January with no significant damage reported. Nearly ideal weather through February and March allowed plant growth and fruit development to progress very well. Central and northern producers began transplanting during late February. Palmetto- Ruskin and southwestern growers finished planting about mid-March while East Coast growers completed planting in late March. (South west, 2,800, 2,800; Central, 2,550, 2,400; other, 1,150, 1,400; all areas, 6,500, 6,600)

TOMATOES: Palmetto-Ruskin producers began spring crop trans- planting during the last week of December and finished about mid- March. Dade County planting ended in early January. Southwestern growers finished transplanting about mid-February while producers along the southeastern coast stopped planting about mid-March. Cool, dry weather provided almost ideal conditions for plant growth and fruit setting during January, February, and March, but hindered some fruit sizing. Several growers limited the first pickings to vine-ripes due to the poor market for mature greens during the winter quarter with some plantings never harvested for the mature green market. (Palmetto- Ruskin, 7,350, 7,200; Southwest, 1,750, 2,700; East Coast, 1,650, 1,700; other, 1,450, 2,300; all areas, 12,200, 13,900)

WATERMELONS: The southern crop is in fair to good condition. The central crop is in good to excellent condition. Recent rains have helped the northern crop. The crop is being irrigated as needed. There was no late winter or hard early spring freezes to kill the northern crop. (West, 7,900, 3,100; North, 11,400, 11,100; Central, 7,100, 6,700; South, 8,600, 8,100; all areas, 35,000, 29,000)


    The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh market vegetables during the spring quarter is forecast at 222,300 acres, down 3 percent from last year. Acreage reductions for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, escarole/endive, head lettuce, and tomatoes offset increased acreage of snap beans, carrots, sweet corn, and bell peppers.

SNAP BEANS: Acreage for spring harvest is estimated at 24,800 acres, up 6 percent from last year.

CABBAGE: Intended acreage for spring harvest, estimated at 6,500 acres, is a decrease of 13 percent from last year. New Jersey's mild winter and seasonable spring weather were favorable for spring planting.

SWEET CORN: Intended acreage for harvest is estimated at 42,800 acres, up 4 percent from 1999. The California crop was affected by
heavy rain in February and early March which could delay harvest until later in the season.

TOMATOES: Intended acreage for harvest is forecast at 24,900 acres, down 7 percent from 1999. The progress of the California crop was affected by rainfall during February. However, in the past few weeks the weather has been very warm allowing the crop to progress normally.

WATERMELONS: Acreage intended for harvest is estimated at 60,100 acres, down 13 percent from last year. Arizona planting is on schedule. California planting was delayed by heavy rains in February. This delay combined with poor market conditions and grower losses in 1999 could reduce the spring watermelon supplies in California.

Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, spring quarter
by States, 2000 with comparisons
Selected crops
and States
Spring acreage 2000 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1999
Harvested For
1998 1999
Acres Percent
   Florida Apr-Jun 15,000 14,000 15,500 111
  Georgia Apr-Jun 6,200 7,000 8,000 114
  New Jersey Jun-Jul 1,300 1,300 1,300 100
  South Carolina 1/ May-Aug 1,100 1,100 -- --
    Total 23,600 23,400 24,800 106
   Florida Apr-Jun 2,300 1,600 1,000 63
  Georgia Apr-Jun 4,000 4,200 4,000 95
  New Jersey Jun-Jul 1,000 900 900 100
  Texas Apr-Jun 1,200 800 600 75
    Total 8,500 7,500 6,500 87
   Florida 3/ Apr-Jun 1,500 -- -- --
  California Apr-Jun 25,000 23,500 25,000 106
  Texas Apr-Jun 1,300 1,700 700 41
    Total 27,800 25,200 25,700 102
   Florida Apr-Jul 28,900 28,100 28,800 102
  California Apr-Jun 13,700 13,000 14,000 108
    Total 42,600 41,100 42,800 104
   Florida Jan-Jun 5,600 5,300 5,300 100
  South Carolina May-Aug 1,200 1,000 1,100 110
  Texas Apr-Jun 600 600 400 67
    Total 7,400 6,900 6,800 99
   Florida Apr-Jun 700 600 500 83
   Florida 4/ Apr-Jun 600 400 -- --
  New Jersey 4/ May-Aug 400 400 -- --
    Total 1,000 800 -- --
   Florida Apr-Jun 7,300 6,500 6,600 102
  Texas Apr-Jun 300 400 500 125
    Total 7,600 6,900 7,100 103
   Florida Apr-Jul 13,100 12,200 13,200 108
  Alabama 1/ Jun-Jul 300 600 -- --
  Arkansas 1/ Jun-Aug 700 750 -- --
  California Apr-Jun 9,000 8,000 8,200 103
  South Carolina May-Jul 3,200 3,600 3,500 97
  Texas 1/ Apr-Jun 1,400 1,600 -- --
    Total 27,700 26,750 24,900 93
   Florida Apr-Jun 32,000 35,000 29,000 83
  Alabama 1/ Jun-Jul 1,600 2,100 -- --
  Arizona May-Jun 6,500 6,500 6,100 94
  California Apr-Jun 4,100 4,200 3,000 71
  Texas Apr-Jun 24,500 21,000 22,000 105
    Total 68,700 68,800 60,100 87
   Florida 107,000 103,700 99,900 96
  United States 215,600 207,950 199,200 96
  United States 5/ 340,800 342,150 327,300 96
1/ Seasonal estimate discontinued. Estimate to be published in January 2001 annual.
2/ Includes fresh market and processing.
3/ Estimate discontinued in 1999.
4/ Not published to avoid disclosure.
5/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, cantaloups, and honeydew melons.

Return to the Table of Contents for Publications