Based on a survey of Florida growers contacted around Sept. 1, the state’s cotton growers expected to harvest 65,000 acres. Yield is forecast at 738 pounds per acre and production is expected to total 100,000 bales
Harvested peanut acreage in Florida is forecast at 133,000 acres. Yield is expected to be 3,100 pounds per acre and production is set at 412 million pounds.
Sugarcane production for both sugar and seed is set at 15.8 million tons with an average yield at 39.4 tons per acre. Harvested acres are forecast to be 400,000.
A weather summary for the state shows that early August began with showers covering most areas of the Sunshine State. Soil moisture was mostly adequate in all areas. Afternoon scattered showers kept the peanut crop progression on schedule and most of the peanut crop was rated good to excellent.
Mid-month brought on drier conditions for the Panhandle and Big Bend areas, while some spots in the central and southern Peninsula received substantial rainfall. Growers used irrigation when available and hoped for more rain in the upcoming weeks.
Santa Rosa County reported stress on the cotton due to dry conditions. Hay baling picked up in Marion County. Rainfall returned to the Panhandle and crop conditions once again improved.
Cotton, corn, and soybeans were mostly in good condition and soil moisture was adequate in most areas of the state. Tropical Storm Fay made its second landfall in Florida on the Aug. 20, causing excessive rainfall and flooding in many parts of the state. Many fields had standing water and flooding which halted field work.
Sod farms reported substantial losses. Limb breakage was reported in the pecan groves and the corn harvest was delayed until the moisture levels were lower There were concerns the heavy rains and flooding would cause disease problems in the peanut crop.
The final week of the month bought more heavy rainfall to the already saturated eastern half of the central Peninsula counties. Flooding in Nassau County damaged the cotton crop. Jackson County cotton growers reported hard lock and boll rot. Hay fields in many places could not be harvested due to standing water.
Other areas reported that water was draining quickly and damage from the tropical storm was minimal.