South Florida is abnormally dry. While it is not uncommon this time of year, vegetable and specialty crop producers are having to adjust with their irrigation management, says Gene McAvoy, University of Florida Regional Vegetable Extension Agent IV Emeritus.
“It’s pretty characteristic of this time of year in South Florida. We’re in the height of our dry season now. We had a little rain with the last front that went through; anywhere from a few tenths to a half inch, but yeah, it’s dry out there,” McAvoy said.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the majority of middle Florida to South Florida is classified as ‘D0’ or abnormally dry. With hot and dry conditions being the case for most of this region, it can lead to additional concerns for farmers beyond just water needs.
“Seasonally, we’re seeing an increase in insect pressure, particularly, things like whiteflies, worms, pepper weevils. Again, it kind of goes with this time of year. We’ve been planting since August, so populations build up,” McAvoy said.