Doug OhlemeierAlex Hermida, assistant manager of harvesting for Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., examines some early planted celery at Duda’s Belle Glade, Fla., operation. Florida grower-shippers are eyeing regular fall celery, cabbage, lettuce and radish deals that are expected to begin on time. BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Florida grower-shippers are eyeing regular fall cabbage, lettuce, celery and radish deals.
They plan to begin harvesting on time or, in some cases, a little earlier than usual.
Florida grower-shippers are expecting a typical fall and winter cabbage deal.
Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC in Wimauma plans to begin harvesting light volume around Dec. 10 as normal.
Volume isn’t expected to begin until January, said Jeff Williams, president.
“Yield and growing conditions this season couldn’t be better,” he said in late October. “Everything looks well. We had 8 inches of rain, which beat it up a little, but it came out of it OK.”
Williams said Florida’s overall volume should be down 10% from last season.
In mid-October, Georgia was beginning light harvesting with most growers expected to begin in early November, Williams said. Georgia typically runs through December.
He characterized summer and fall markets as strong.
In late October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 50-pound cartons of medium green cabbage from New York selling for $8.50-10 and large 50-pound sacks fetching $7.50-8.
Last year in mid-October, the USDA reported 50-pound cartons of medium green cabbage from New York selling for $7-8 and large at $5.
Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., Cheriton, Va., plans to begin harvesting in early January.
In late October, Calvert Cullen, president, said plantings were underway.
“The Georgia to Florida transition usually goes well,” Cullen said. “Unless we have some weather problems, things should be OK.”
In south Florida, Homestead growers plan to start harvesting in late December as usual.
“Everything we hear from our grower, Wilson Farms, sounds well,” Jon Browder, sales manager of Pioneer Growers Co-op, said in late October. “The plants are looking good.”
Browder and Cullen said last spring went well and prices were higher than they had been in a number of years.
South Florida’s leafy lettuce deals should begin in mid-November as usual.
Buyers should expect high quality, shippers report.
“Quality looks very good,” said Dan Shiver, a co-owner of Hugh H. Branch Inc., South Bay. “Florida has really increased its quality during the last several years. The new varieties are really helping.”
Promotable volumes of green and red leaf, romaine, boston, endive, escarole, cilantro and curly and plain parsley should begin during early December, Shiver said.