According to the USDA/NASS field office in Florida, some broccoli and cabbage crops were damaged by frost in Columbia County and worms in Duval County during the week ended Dec. 7.
Cabbage was about 70 percent planted in Flagler County. Manatee County continued harvesting tomatoes. Cold weather has put some Charlotte County vegetables behind schedule. Other vegetables marketed last week were snap beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, radishes, and squash. Light volumes of endive, escarole, okra, and strawberries also moved through the market.
Avocados were still being marketed, but shipments declined seasonally.
Most cotton harvesting was complete. Santa Rosa County reported approximately 10 percent of their cotton had not been picked yet. Wheat was being planted in Calhoun County.
Rains over Thanksgiving weekend improved soil moisture in the Panhandle with most areas adequate. The rest of the state had short to adequate soil moisture levels.
In the Panhandle area, pasture condition was very poor to good with most in poor condition. Recent rains helped winter (small grain) pasture, but freezing temperatures damaged most pastures. The decrease in available forage due to frosts forced cattlemen to feed hay.
Cattle condition ranged from poor to excellent. In the northern area. The condition of pasture was poor to fair with cold and drought hurting forage. Light rain helped small grain forage establishment. Freezing and near freezing temperatures continued to reduce any remaining permanent pasture forage. Cattlemen were feeding supplemental hay and minerals.
In the central area, pasture condition was very poor to excellent. Light rain helped the grass, but grass growth was set back by the heaviest frost of the season.
Cattle condition was poor to good.
In the southwest area, pasture condition was very poor to excellent with most in poor condition. Frost, continued cool temperatures, and short soil moisture have suppressed pasture grass growth.
However a heavy rain in Hendry County caused some pasture flooding.
Statewide, cattle condition ranged from very poor to excellent with most in fair to good condition.
Another round of cool weather dropped lows to the upper 30s throughout the citrus producing area. Although not the coldest temperatures of the season, averages were several degrees below normal for the week. Rainfall was limited to a quarter of an inch or less in all citrus producing areas. Most caretakers continue to irrigate in order to maintain adequate surface moisture levels.
Processing picked up rapidly this past week. All of the plants have opened and were receiving fruit; most were running at or near full capacity. Growers reported high maturity levels on early and mid-season oranges being taken to the plants. Fresh fruit demand has been down slightly, but was picking up with the Christmas season. Grapefruit reports indicate excellent quality this season.
Fresh fruit harvested included Hamlin and Navel oranges, white and colored grapefruit, Sunburst tangerines, and a small amount of tangelos.
Other than harvesting, grove activity included cleaning up groves in preparation for harvesting, some fertilizing, and a small amount of hedging.