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(January, February, March)
January 18, 2000

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


This report reflects conditions as of January 1 and repre sents acreage for harvest during the winter months of Janu ary, February, March. Estimated acreage for harvest by growing areas is presented in order: area, previous year (1999), current year (2000).

WEATHER: Strong winds and abundant rain buffeted crops and blew some blooms and mature fruit off trees, plants, and vines in some parts of the southern Peninsula as Hurricane Irene passed in mid-October with Dade County and parts of the Southwest and East Coast regions feeling the brunt of this storm. Fall crop yields in the affected areas were significantly reduced due to this damage. Rain from the storm ranged from three inches along the East Coast to over twelve inches in Dade and Broward counties. For the month of October, rainfall ranged from about a half inch at Madison to over twenty inches at Ft. Lauderdale. Temperatures during the first part of October were mostly warm. Cooler weather arrived during the last half of the month with a few Panhandle and extreme northern Peninsula localities report ing frost during the last week. Temperatures averaged normal to two degrees above for the whole month of October. Drier and mostly warmer weather during November and December aided recovery of crops from the hurricane damage. November rain ranged from none at the Moore Haven lock to about five and a third inches at Madison. Temperatures during November averaged from one degree below normal to three degrees above. Temperatures dipped into the 30s across some northern Peninsula and Panhandle areas after mid-November with only very light frost reported. As December arrived, temperatures dipped into the 30s in many central Peninsula areas but caused no significant damage to crops. During most of December temperatures averaged normal to five degrees above. In late December cold weather dipped into many central Peninsula localities causing light frosts with no significant crop damage reported.

TOMATOES: Flooding caused by Hurricane Irene during the second week of October significantly damaged some plants and delayed some transplanting of the winter crop. Dade County growers replanted the acreage lost to this flooding. Dry, mild conditions during the last half of October, all of November and most of December allowed plants to recover and winter crop transplanting to get back on schedule. By mid-December, Dade County plants damaged by Hurricane Irene were making a good crop above the crown hand while southwestern and East Coast growers started picking acreage that had no damage from the storm. Dade County producers began harvesting in late Decem ber with some first pick yields lower than normal due to the storm damage. (Southwest, 9,600, 9,600; Dade, 4,000, 2,950; East Coast, 2,300, 2,050; all areas, 15,900, 14,600)

SWEET CORN: Flooding caused by Hurricane Irene's rains delayed some winter crop planting in the East Coast and Dade county areas. By late October, planting increased in the southern Peninsula growing regions. Mostly dry and mild weather during November and most of December aided crop development and allowed planting to progress normally. The oldest acreage in Dade County began tasseling in early to mid-December. Dade County growers expected harvesting to start about mid-January. (East Coast and Dade County, 4,800, 5,600; Everglades and other, 1,100, 1,200; all areas, 5,900, 6,800)

BELL PEPPER: Winter crop planting was delayed by flooding from Hurricane Irene during mid-October in the East Coast and southwestern areas. Planting got back on schedule as fields dried out. Mild and mostly dry weather during November and most of December provided nearly ideal conditions for plant growth and development. Cool temperatures during late December caused no significant damage to the crop. (Southwest and Central, 1,900, 2,050; Southeast, 3,100, 2,950; all areas, 5,000, 5,000)

CABBAGE: Planting and harvest are active in all areas. Crop is in fair to good condition. Quality is good. Head size is mostly small to medium. (North, Hastings, 3,000, 3,000; other areas, 3,000, 3,000; all areas, 6,000, 6,000)

EGGPLANT: The crop is in mostly good condition. Harvest ing of regular and specialty types is active. First cuts are producing good quality and color. (All areas, 700, 600)

SNAP BEANS: Planting and harvesting are both active. The crop is in good condition. Quality and color are both good. (All areas, 9,500, 9,600)

STRAWBERRIES: Strawberry acreage is up two percent from both 1998 and 1999. Harvest started near the end of November and has had no major problems. Quality is mostly good and supplies are increasing. (All areas, 6,200, 6,300)


    The prospective area for harvest of 14 selected fresh market vegetables during the winter quarter is forecast at 199,300 acres. This is 2 percent above 1999 and 1998. Acreage increases in snap beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, sweet corn, and spinach more than offset declines in celery, eggplant, and tomatoes. Spinach, cauliflower, and sweet corn had the largest acreage increases, while eggplant and tomatoes showed the largest acreage decreases. Broccoli, head lettuce, and bell peppers remained steady. Acres planted for spring onions, at 40,500, were up slightly from 1999 and up 4 percent from 1998.

Selected Fresh Market Vegetables: Area for Harvest by Crop, State, and
Total, Winter Season, 1998-2000
Selected crops
and States
Winter acreage 2000 area
for harvest
as percent
of 1999
Harvested For
1998 1999
Acres Percent
  Florida Jan-Mar 11,500 9,500 9,600 101
  Florida Jan-Mar 4,800 6,000 6,000 100
  Texas Dec-Mar 6,500 7,000 7,800 111
    Total 11,300 13,000 13,800 106
  Florida Jan-Mar 5,800 5,900 6,800 115
  Florida Jan-Mar 800 700 600 86
  Florida Jan-Mar 750 750 2/ 2/
  Florida Jan-Mar 4,300 5,000 5,000 100
  Florida Jan-Mar 10,900 15,900 14,600 92
  Florida Dec-May 6,200 6,200 6,300 102
  California Jan-Mar 21,000 22,000 23,000 105
  Texas Dec-Mar 2,300 2,800 3,500 125
    Total 23,300 24,800 26,500 107
  Arizona--Western Nov-Apr 51,000 44,000 45,000 102
  California Jan-Mar 17,000 20,500 19,300 95
    Total 68,000 64,500 64,500 100
  California Jan-Mar 30,500 30,000 30,000 100
  California Jan-Mar 9,000 10,000 11,500 115
  California Jan-Mar 7,300 7,800 7,500 96
  Texas Dec-Mar 2,500 2,100 2,600 124
  Florida 45,050 49,950 48,900 98
  United States 196,250 196,150 199,300 102
1/ Includes fresh market and processing.
2/ Not published to avoid disclosure.

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