MAITLAND, Fla. — According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Florida, there were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Sunday, October 18, 2020. Precipitation for the state ranged from no rain in many locations to 3.2 inches in John Pennekamp State Park (Monroe County). The average mean temperature ranged from 71.1°F in Bob Sikes Airport (Okaloosa County) to 83.4°F in Bahia Honda State Park (Monroe County).
Temperatures were average for this time of year in the citrus growing region. Highs ranged from the mid 80s to low 90s. The highest maximum temperature reading was in Central Florida (Lake County), at 92°F. Rainfall was less than usual compared to previous years. The most stations in the citrus growing region received less than a half-inch of precipitation for the week. Most rainfall was in Vero Beach (Indian River County), at .8 inches. According to the October 15, 2020, U.S. Drought Monitor, the entire citrus growing region remained drought free.
Growers continued harvesting Fallglo and Early Pride tangerines for the fresh market. A limited volume of red grapefruit and Navel oranges have just started coming into the packinghouses. Early non-Valencia oranges are being processed in small quantities.
Early and mid-season (non-Valencia) oranges were sizing above average. Fruit sets are lighter than normal on both non-V alencia and V alencia oranges. Field reports show that grapefruit quality is good, and sizes are larger than average.
The citrus crop continued progressing well. Grove activates included mowing, applying herbicides, fertilizing, and general grove maintenance. Irrigation was run several times in most areas.
A variety of fruits and vegetables were planted and marketed. Vegetable growers prepared for fall planting in the southern peninsula.
A dry week allowed farmers to get into the fields as crops started to dry out. Cotton was mostly defoliated and harvest began. Peanuts were dug and harvested in the Panhandle. Fungal issues, as a result of the wet conditions in previous weeks, were reported in cotton and peanuts. Disease among the peanut crop was noted by some farmers which might affect the harvest. With dryer conditions, farmers cut hay in the Panhandle. Most farmers continued or started sugarcane harvest in the southern part of the peninsula.
Livestock and Pastures
Cattle and pastures remained in mostly good condition throughout the state. Pastures showed seasonal decline, and fields were prepared for cool-season forage.
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