Changes for Florida acreage

03/29/2013 08:49:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

“Mexico is producing the largest market share for North American consumption. The fact of the matter is Florida is not planting enough squash to cover the nationwide demand in the event of a Mexican weather situation like we had this year with the freezes.”

At 169,000 acres in 2012, Florida’s total harvested vegetable acreage, excluding tomatoes, decreased 18% from the 1990s.

This decade-to-decade analysis shows big changes in production of the state’s leading vegetables.

Similar to Florida’s tomato growers, the gradual decline of bell peppers accompanies years of low prices that discouraged growers and prompted acreage cuts.

That’s really no surprise.

I can’t recall any grower ever telling me pepper acreage is on the increase. Most characterize acreage as down.

Buyers should expect additional pepper acreage declines as Florida growers compete against lower-priced imports.

Not facing similar competition, corn and beans run counter to the lower acreage trend and are enjoying production increases.

Perhaps those bright spots could counter losses elsewhere.

dohlemeier@thepacker.com

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