WEATHER: Freezing temperatures dipped down into the southern
Peninsula as the New Year arrived with lowest readings coming on
New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and late in the first week of 2001.
Some Homestead and Immokalee crops not protected by freeze covers
or irrigation suffered significant damage from this freeze. Cool
temperatures throughout January slowed plant growth and fruit
development with supplies of many crops significantly below normal.
January temperatures averaged one to six degrees below normal.
January rainfall ranged from a third inch to almost four inches below
normal. Milder conditions during February allowed some acreage to
recover from the freeze damages. February temperatures averaged
four to almost eight degrees above normal while precipitation totals
ranged from two and a half to five and a quarter inches below normal.
Storms during March brought welcomed rains to many Peninsula
localities but strong winds caused some foliage damage with blowing
sand scarring some fruit. The March rain totals ranged from one and
a half inches below normal to over seven inches above. Cloud cover
during storms kept March temperatures below normal for a few days
but clear skies during most of the month caused monthly average
temperatures to hover around normal levels. The mostly dry weather
during the first three months of 2001 kept the threat of wild fires at
dangerous levels with drought conditions persisting throughout the
|This report reflects conditions as of April 1 and represents acreage 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 (2000), current year (2001).|
SNAP BEANS: The snap bean crop is in mostly good condition.
Planting of the spring crop is virtually complete. Harvest is active in
southern areas with good quality and volume available. (All areas,
CABBAGE: The cabbage crop is all planted. Harvest is active in the
central and northern areas. Harvest is winding down in the southern
areas. The crop is in fair to good condition. Head quality and size are
generally good. (All areas, 4,000, 5,500)
SWEET CORN: Acreage in the Everglades region suffered heavy damage during the New Year's freeze with growers replanting plants killed by the cold. Dade County producers planted corn in some abandoned potato fields during late January and finished all planting by early February. Southwestern growers finished planting during early February when Zellwood producers began planting in the Apopka area. Everglades producers wound down planting by mid- March when picking of a limited acreage that recovered from the freeze began. Strong winds around mid-March damaged some leaves in southern Peninsula localities with plants expected to recover. Cool temperatures at the end of March slowed crop development in the Zellwood area with producers expecting spring crop picking to begin during the first week of May. (Everglades, 20,600, 20,200; Central, 1,500, 1,200; North, 2,050, 1,900; other, 1,650, 2,100; all areas, 25,800, 25,400)
CUCUMBERS: Planting of the spring crop is winding down.
Harvesting is active in the southern areas. The crop is in fair to good
condition. Growth and development are normal. The quality of the
harvested fruit is fair to good. (All areas, 4,300, 3,800)
EGGPLANT: Crop condition is fair to mostly good with normal
growth and development. (All areas, 500, 400)
BELL PEPPERS: Growers used freeze covers to protect a lot of
acreage from the New Year's freeze. This freeze caused some
leaf burn to unprotected plants while strong winds that followed
increased bloom and small fruit drop. Producers in the West Central
area began planting during the last week of January and finished after
mid-March. Southwestern growers completed planting after mid-
February. Cool temperatures during January and part of March slowed
plant growth and fruit maturation. Harvesting in the Southwest and
East Coast areas continued throughout the first three months of the
year with supplies down due to adverse weather. East Coast producers
finished spring crop planting in late March. (Southwest, 2,800, 2,700;
Central, 2,650, 3,100; East Coast, 1,050, 1,000; all areas, 6,500, 6,800)
TOMATOES: Temperatures near freezing during the New Year's
holiday caused significant damage to foliage with some fruit frozen in
the Immokalee area. Dade County growers ran overhead sprinklers as
protection from this cold weather. Strong winds accompanying the
freeze increased bloom and fruit drop with winter crop supplies
significantly lower than normal. Cool weather during January and part
of March delayed plant growth and fruit maturation. Strong winds that
followed welcomed showers near mid-March in the Southwest and
Palmetto-Ruskin areas, broke some stems and caused some leaves to
fall off plants with blowing sand scarring some fruit. Dade County
producers finished transplanting in late January while growers around
Immokalee finished during late February. Growers in the Quincy area
started planting about mid-March with transplanting ending in the East
Coast and Palmetto-Ruskin regions during late March. In late March,
southern Peninsula producers started to pick acreage planted after the
New Year's freeze. (Palmetto-Ruskin, 7,250, 8,200; Southwest, 1,850,
4,700; East Coast, 1,450, 1,950; other 2,150, 2,950; all areas, 12,700,
WATERMELONS: The crop is in fair to good condition. Recent
storms in the Palmetto-Ruskin area flooded some acreage with the
amount of damage currently being assessed. Planting in northern areas
expected to start shortly. (All areas, 27,000, 24,000)
The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh market
vegetables during the spring quarter is forecast at 230,300 acres, up 8
percent from last year. Acreage increases for broccoli, cabbage,
carrots, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, bell peppers, and tomatoes
more than offset decreases for snap beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, and
eggplant. Acreage for escarole/endive remained the same. Acreage
for spring harvest of 3 selected melons is forecast at 89,300 acres,
down 9 percent from last year. Cantaloupe, honeydews, and
watermelon were down 4, 9, and 12 percent, respectively.
Vegetables for fresh market, prospective acreage for harvest, spring quarter
by States, 2001 with comparisons
|South Carolina 1/||May-Aug||1,100||--||--||--|
|New Jersey 3/||May-Aug||400||400||--||--|
|BELL PEPPERS: 4/|
|TOTAL OF CROPS LISTED|
|TOTAL OF CROPS ESTIMATED|
|United States 5/||336,450||312,500||319,600||102|
1/ Seasonal estimate discontinued in 2000. Estimate to be published in January 2002 annual.
2/ 2000 State data revised.
3/ 2001 State data not published to avoid disclosure.
4/ Includes fresh market and processing.
5/ Total of crops listed plus broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, head lettuce, cantaloups, and honeydew melons.