Bell peppers, cucumbers and squash set for spring volume

03/11/2014 12:02:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Cheriton, Va.-based Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., plans to start harvesting South Florida squash in early April.

“Everything was going steady this winter until we had that bad weather,” he said. “We are on the same program as in the past with the same acreages, so we are expecting a smooth steady transition into spring.”

Double-cropping by strawberry growers affects central Florida production, said Jeff Williams, president of Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC, Wimauma.

“If they put squash in behind, the deal’s not very exciting,” he said. “If they put in peppers, eggplant or melons, it gives the squash deal a chance. But if they all jump in and plant squash, it pretty much kills the market.”

CUCUMBERS

Though Florida usually begins harvesting spring cucumbers in late March and early- to mid-April, supplies could be low at the start, Lytch said.

“There won’t be enough cucumbers in Florida to affect the market tremendously one way or another in the beginning,” he said in late February. “The deal’s generally affected by volumes in Mexico and Honduras. The young vines look good, and we have had good growing weather. They haven’t had many cooling nights on them and have been growing since they were planted.”

L&M plans to start its Immokalee production March 10-15 as normal.

“With this weather, which is rather nice now, we should hopefully have a good crop set, and we expect good yields,” Brian Arrigo, president of Southern Corporate Packers Inc., said in late February. “Fall markets were pathetic because of overproduction in Florida. We are hoping to see some decent weather coming into the spring deal along with some nice markets.”

EGGPLANT

Florida growers normally begin harvesting eggplant in early April.

“The new plantings should be fine,” Cullen said in late February. “The plants we have for spring production should be good. We should have big volumes for the month of April.”

J&J’s Rayfield said buyers should expect strong volume.

“We have had a very good Florida eggplant crop this season,” he said in late February. “Quality has been excellent. We have had a good and steady supply that meets and slightly exceeds our demand.”


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