As of Nov. 1, 2008 Florida’s cotton yield was forecast at 812 pounds per acre, up 125 pounds or 18 percent from last year. The forecast for total harvested acreage was 65,000 acres. Cotton harvesting began in early October for most. Growers expected yields to be above average.
As of Oct. 31, just over half of the crop had been picked.
Florida’s peanut yield was forecast at 3,400 pounds per acre, unchanged from last month and up 700 pounds or 26 percent from last year. Acres harvested were forecast at 133,000, up 12 percent from last year. For the week ending Oct. 12, the last condition rating of the season, peanut acreage was rated 71 percent good to excellent. As of Nov. 1, only 10 percent of peanuts remained to be harvested.
Sugarcane yield for sugar and seed was estimated at 39 tons per acre, unchanged from last month. Last year yield averaged 36.1 tons per acre. Production of sugar and seed was forecast at 15,600,000 tons, up 10 percent from last year. Acreage to be harvested was set at 400,000 acres, up 7,000 acres from last year.
From a weather perspective, fields in northern counties were dry in early October. The harvesting of peanuts continued, despite some delays from extremely dry soils. As cotton and soybean growers began harvesting, most expected good yields.
During the second week of October, significant rain fell on the north and central regions of the state. Some peanut growers reported that cool nights slowed maturing of their crop that remained in the ground. Soil moisture quickly returned to dry in most of the Panhandle, delaying some winter grains from being planted.
Towards the end of October, beneficial rains revisited the Panhandle and southern areas. Sugarcane harvest had just begun.
By Nov. 1, peanut digging was approximately 90 percent complete, compared to 87 percent at that time last year.