MAITLAND, Fla. — According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Florida, there were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Sunday, December 8, 2019. Precipitation estimates ranged from no rain to 1.62 inches in Pensacola (Escambia County). The average mean temperature ranged from 41.6°F in Niceville (Okaloosa County) to 72.4°F in Key West (Monroe County).
Maximum temperatures in the citrus growing region ranged from the upper 70s to mid 80s. The highest maximum reading was in Bartow (Polk County), which reached 83°F. Citrus producing counties received little to no rainfall. The greatest rainfall was in Fort Pierce (St. Lucie County), at 0.4 inches. According to the December 5, 2019, U.S. Drought Monitor, abnormally dry conditions cover the complete southern area, the majority of the Indian River District and almost all of the western and central growing areas. Parts of Collier County now have moderate drought conditions. Only the northern area remains mainly drought free.
White and red grapefruit, early oranges, Navels, Sunburst, Fallglo, Early Pride, and Orri tangerines were being harvested. Grove activities included spraying, mowing, and general grove maintenance. Irrigation ran in all areas with observations of ditches being low.
According to the Florida Citrus Mutual Market News Bulletin, a couple of processing plants were processing packinghouse eliminations. Plants were testing fruit for acceptable maturity levels and expect to begin processing field run fruit as soon as it meets satisfactory ratios.
Fruits and Vegetables
A wide range of fruits and vegetables were planted while others were harvested and brought to market. Strawberry harvesting began in Hillsborough County.
Livestock and Pastures
Winter forage planting continued in multiple counties throughout the state. Some grazing began in annual cool season pastures in Levy County. Producers in Jackson County were feeding hay. Pastures continued their seasonal decline and frost was reported in multiple counties which further affected conditions.
Producers in Jackson County continued planting cover crops. Sugarcane harvesting continued.