Mostly favorable weather allowed field work in Florida vegetable areas to progress on schedule throughout July. Scattered showers during August interrupted the laying of some plastic and other field preparations. However, producers also irrigated some acreage in drier localities.

Warm temperatures throughout August accelerated crop growth and development. By early September hot, dry conditions caused stress on transplants in some central Peninsula localities.

Vegetable planting was in high gear in most central and southern Peninsula areas by mid-September. Near the end of the month, scattered thunderstorms hampered some field activities in central and southern Peninsula areas.

Tomato picking was slowly increasing around Quincy and getting under way in the southern Peninsula. Several tomato growers will not be replanting this year due to low market prices.

The harvesting of sweet corn, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon was expected to begin around mid-October.

Snap beans

Acreage to be picked at 10,300 acres harvested compared to 4,500 acres harvested in 2006.

During August and September, mostly dry weather allowed land preparations to remain on schedule. Planting in central and southern areas started in September. Some growers waited until high soil temperatures cooled to avoid germination problems.

Cabbage

Florida growers expect to harvest 900 acres, the same as last year. Throughout August and September, scattered showers interrupted some planting over the central and southern Peninsula with most progress on schedule. Mostly warm temperatures boosted growth and development. The crop remains in good condition with growers planning to continue planting through mid-December.

Sweet corn

Growers expect to harvest 4,200 acres compared to 1,700 acres harvested a year ago. Most planting stayed on schedule during August and September over the southern Peninsula with only minor delays due to rain. Warm and mostly moist conditions encouraged good germination in virtually all fields.

Cucumbers

Florida growers expect to pick 3,200 acres, down 800 acres from last fall's 4,000 acres harvested. Throughout August and September, scattered showers delayed some planting over the central and southern Peninsula with most progress on schedule. Mostly warm temperatures boosted growth and development but more ample rains are needed to loosen soils.

Bell peppers

Producers expect to harvest 4,400 acres this fall, up 1,500 acres from last year's 2,900 acres. Field work activities were interrupted by scattered rains during late August and mid-September. However, dry conditions in southern Peninsula localities allowed field work to progress with fall harvest expected to begin last month.

Tomatoes

Producers hope to pick 7,400 acres, down 2,600 acres from last year's 10,000 acres harvested. Picking in the Quincy area is slowly increasing and getting under way in the southern Peninsula. Scattered showers in the southern Peninsula areas in August and September delayed some fall crop planting with most harvesting on schedule.

United States

The prospective area for harvest of 11 selected fresh market vegetables during the fall quarter is forecast at 154,300 acres, up 5 percent from last year. Acreage increased from last year for snap beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, sweet corn, and bell peppers while acreage declined for broccoli, cucumbers, head lettuce, and tomatoes. Area harvested for celery remains unchanged.

Snap beans

Fall fresh market area for harvest is forecast at 19,200 acres, up 47 percent from last year. In Georgia, soil moisture supplies are mostly short to very short. Drought conditions that have existed since early spring have been somewhat alleviated by recent rainfall. In New Jersey, topsoil moisture supplies were short in August and irrigation was necessary in the south Jersey area.

Rainfall in late August relieved some crop stress Growing conditions improved in late September with near normal temperatures. In Virginia, dry conditions have had an adverse effect on the quality of the crop.

Cabbage

Fresh market area for harvest is forecast at 6,700 acres up 2 percent from last year. Recent rainfall in Georgia has helped to somewhat alleviate drought conditions that have existed since early spring. In New Jersey, harvest of the cabbage crop started in mid-September. The quality of the crop is reported to be good. In Texas, conditions have been good with few insect problems reported.

Sweet corn

Fresh market area for harvest is forecast at 8,300 acres, up 34 percent from last year. The California crop is in good condition due to favorable weather.

Cucumbers

Area for fall harvest is forecast at 5,500 acres, down 13 percent from 2006. Downy mildew was reported in portions of South Carolina and Texas. Growers in Virginia have experienced an extremely dry growing season.

Tomatoes

Fresh market area for fall harvest is forecast at 17,600 acres, down 16 percent from 2006. In California, ideal early season weather produced plentiful supplies of fall season tomatoes. However, cooler than average daytime temperatures in August slowed ripening in some fields, followed by heat issues in late August.