Make us your home page

Whatever happened to: local agriculture

Efrain Napooseno waits to have his strawberries inspected in February.


Efrain Napooseno waits to have his strawberries inspected in February.

PLANT CITY — This year was not a great one for Hillsborough County strawberries.

"It was really warm early in the season," said Stephen Gran, the county's agriculture industry development manager.

The warm weather caused too many strawberries to ripen at once. That overabundance of berries flooded the market, driving prices down, Gran said.

There's hope for the current crop, though, said Ted Campbell with the Florida Strawberry Grower's Association.

"Right now, the weather is cooperating," Campbell said. "We're tired of this, all this hot and cold. Let's have a normal year for a change."

Citrus production was down in the past year, mostly due to acreage being reduced because of disease, Gran said.

Vegetables, such as tomatoes, zucchini and squash, fared better and the ornamental plants used in landscaping experienced a slight resurgence, Gran said.

"That industry had been declining over the last several years because of the downturn in the housing market, but that has begun to stabilize," Gran said.

But the newest additions to Hillsborough County's farming scene may be the fastest increasing crops of the year: blueberries and peaches.

"Blueberry acreage has been on the increase in the last several years," Gran said. "And we have quite a bit of peaches being produced."

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at

Whatever happened to: local agriculture 12/29/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 29, 2012 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.