|This report reflects conditions as of January 1 and represents acreage for harvest during the winter months of January, February, March. Estimated acreage for harvest by growing area includes the acreage that may be abandoned due to recent freezes and is presented in order: area, previous year (2000), current year (2001).|
WEATHER: A sub-tropical low that formed in the Florida Straits in
early October brought significant amounts of rain to Vero Beach,
West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Ft. Lauderdale, Homestead, and
Tavernier with monthly totals ranging from six to thirteen inches.
Elsewhere, rainfall was mostly limited to an inch and a third or less
except for three to four inches reported in St. Augustine and Canal
Point. Live Oak reported no measurable rain for the month and St.
Leo recorded only traces. October rainfall was mostly an inch to over
three inches below normal. Temperatures during October were mostly
one to four degrees below normal. October minimum low tempera
tures were in the 50s, 60s and 70s with the Crestview airport
recording at least one low at 49 degrees. Cool, dry weather continued
into November. Temperatures at the major stations averaged normal
to three degrees below. Most low temperatures were in the 50s, 60s
and 70s while most high temperatures averaged in the 60s, 70s and
80s. Jacksonville, Pensacola and Tallahassee recorded at least one
low in the 20s. November rainfall totals ranged from none at Ft.
Myers to over eight inches at Pensacola. Dry conditions persisted
during December with rains at the major stations totaling from traces
at Melbourne to about six inches at Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
Homestead recorded from two to fifteen inches which nearly all fell
on only one day during early December. These heavy showers de-
stroyed the winter potato crop in Dade County. Frost and freezing
temperatures dipped into some central Peninsula localities after mid-
December with temperatures plummeting into the 30s at Homestead
and the 20s at Immokalee during the first week of the new year.
These freezes caused significant damage to vegetables with actual
losses currently being evaluated.
TOMATOES: Mostly dry weather during October, November and
December provided nearly ideal planting and harvesting weather.
The heavy rains in Dade County during early December caused no
significant harm to the crop. Strong winds tossed vines in the
Southwest and East Coast regions, and in Dade County, about mid-
December with no significant damage reported. Picking in southwest
ern and southeastern localities remained mostly steady during
December and into January. Dade County producers started picking
a small acreage during late December with volume increasing in
early to mid-January. Dade County growers ran irrigation to protect
plants from freeze damage during early January. Southwestern
producers picked fruit from fields damaged by the early January cold.
Freeze damage around Immokalee to foliage was significant with
younger plants receiving less damage than older plants. Southwestern
growers kept fields as wet as possible to aid plant recovery after the
freeze. Some plants in the East Coast region showed cold damage to
the tops of plants while other plants in warmer spots were not
affected. However, yield prospects were reduced by strong, cold winds
accompanying the freeze which increased bloom drop. The following
estimates include the acreage that may be abandoned due to recent
freezes. (Southwest, 9,000, 10,000; Dade, 2,800, 2,900; East Coast,
2,100, 2,000; All areas, 13,900, 14,900)
SWEET CORN: Planting started during early November in Dade
County and became more active during late December in the East
Coast region. Picking in the Everglades area gained momentum
during early December. Oldest plants were tasseling in Dade County
by early December when a storm brought heavy rain to acreage in east
Homestead. However, the crop suffered no significant damage from
this rain with plants recovering by mid-month. A few Dade County
fields contained small ears by mid-December. Cool temperatures in
the East Coast region near mid-month caused no significant damage
to the crop. However, temperatures reached down into the 20s in
some pockets of the Everglades region during the new year freezes.
These cold temperatures caused some major losses with actual
damage currently being evaluated. Dade County producers started
harvesting by the new year. The following estimates include the
acreage that may be abandoned due to recent freezes. (East Coast and
Dade County, 6,100, 5,800; Everglades and other, 1,300, 2,700; All
areas, 7,400, 8,500)
BELL PEPPER: Dry weather during October, November and
December provided nearly ideal conditions for winter crop planting.
Cold temperatures and strong winds around mid-December caused no
significant damage to the crop. Picking in the Southwest and East
Coast regions remained steady during December and into the new
year. Producers used freeze covers as protection from the very cold
temperatures during the first week of the new year with most plants
saved. Some uncovered plants show foliage damage to the tops with
actual loss currently being measured. The following estimates include
the acreage that may be abandoned due to recent freezes. (Southwest
and Central, 1,900, 1,400; Southeast, 2,900, 3,100; All areas, 4,800,
CABBAGE: The cabbage crop is in good condition. The cold
temperatures on December 31 and January 1 did no major damage to
the crop. Harvest is active. Quality and head size are good. (All
areas, 3,000, 1,000)
EGGPLANT: Crop conditions were good until the cold weather at
the end of December and early January. Freeze covers were used in
some areas to protect the plants. Uncovered foliage suffered varying
amounts of damage. Crop condition ranges from poor to good.
Harvesting is underway. (All areas, 600, 500)
SNAP BEANS: The crop is in poor condition. The cold temperatures
burned the top leaves on snap bean plants. Most plants are expected
to recover. The very cool temperatures are slowing growth and
development. Actual losses are currently being assessed. (All areas,
STRAWBERRIES: Crop production has proceeded at a slower pace
than last season due to some growers switching to later producing
varieties. Harvest started in late November. Growers irrigated plants
and immature fruit as protection from the recent cold with wet fields
slowing some picking in early January. Picking is active with fair to
good quality available. (All areas, 6,300, 6,500)
The prospective area for harvest of 13 selected fresh market vegetables during the winter quarter is forecast at 193,000 acres. This is 2 percent below 2000 but 2 percent above 1999. Acreage decreases in broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, head lettuce, bell peppers, and spinach more than offset increases in snap beans, celery, sweet corn, escarole/endive, and tomatoes.
CABBAGE: Winter acreage for harvest is forecast at 7,900, 27 percent below 2000 and 39 percent below 1999. In most areas of Texas, rain has been plentiful. The Rio Grande Valley crops are progressing well under favorable weather conditions. Rains in the San Antonio/Winter Garden areas delayed planting but actually benefitted acreage already planted.
Selected Fresh Market Vegetables and Strawberries: Area for Harvest by Crop,
State, and Total, Winter Season, 1999-2001
|BELL PEPPER: 1/|
|TOTAL OF CROPS LISTED|
1/ Includes fresh market and processing.
2/ Not published to avoid disclosure.