Watermelons may jump the gun - The Packer

Watermelons may jump the gun

03/11/2014 01:59:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

A drier summer in 2013 also helped growers avoid some of the problems rains usually bring, he said.

This year, growers expect to harvest 1.1 million bushels, similar to last season, Leifermann said.

On tropicals, South Florida growers harvest a variety of tropical items throughout the year, including mamey sapote, Thai guava, star fruit, passion fruit, boniato, water coconut and lychee.

Spring usually represents the smallest production, however.

Mamey sapote, the white and Thai varieties of guava and lychees typically begin production May 22, when the region’s rainy season starts with passion fruit beginning in June.

Though mamey sapote can start as early as March 1, promotional volume usually won’t hit until closer to May, Leifermann said.

Because of warmer than normal winters, Brooks hasn’t produced much lychees during the last two seasons but expects to produce a crop this season, Leifermann said.

Brooks expected star fruit or carambola to finish in early March but resume production in late May.

“Though there isn’t much fruit peaking or even available during the spring, we do expect to have some,” he said. “Buyers need to be ready to make shelf space for their new customers, the people that will demand the dragon fruit, the guavas and the passion fruit. Tropical fruit consumption is increasing, and retailers need to be looking to offer an even greater selection in 2014 than in years past.”

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