Holidays should have ample greens

12/12/2012 11:52:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Greens growers report good quality and promotable volumes heading into the winter holidays.

Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc. was sourcing collards, kale, mustard and turnip tops from the Moultrie, Ga., area in December, said Lee Anne Oxford, marketing director.

“The quality’s been very good, and we have good supplies,” Oxford said.

Volumes were promotable in the run-up to Christmas and New Year’s, and several of L&M’s customers were promoting greens for the holidays, Oxford said.

“It’s a traditional holiday food,” Oxford said.

Specialty vegetable grower C&B Farms, Clewiston, Fla., is adding conventional greens to its roster of organic greens this season, said owner Chuck Obern.

C&B is growing a 10-acre trial plot of kale and collard greens south of Clewiston this year, Obern said.

That will complement the company’s lineup of organic kale, collards, red chard, plain and curly mustard and other greens. All of C&B’s greens are marketed by Pelion, S.C.-based Walter P. Rawl & Sons Inc. and packed in Rawl-branded bags, Obern said.

After an adventurous start to the Florida deal, growing conditions in December were excellent, Obern said.

“It was hot early, then we had a lot of rain, but there’s gorgeous product now.”

Georgia growers have reported good growing conditions, with no adverse weather throwing a wrench in production, Oxford said.

“We feel good about the crop.”

Demand for L&M was fairly strong in December, though Oxford said cooler weather in the Southeast would help spur even more demand, as more people are likely to cook with greens after temperatures fall.

On Dec. 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $7.50 for cartons bunched 24s of collards, kale, curly and flat mustard and turnip tops from South Georgia, comparable to last year at the same time.

Acreage and volumes in Moultrie are similar to a typical year, Oxford said.

L&M expects to ship greens from Georgia into March or April, Mother Nature permitting, Oxford said.

C&B also expects to ship through March or April from Florida, Obern said. The company reported slightly higher acreage for 2012-13. It could be higher, Obern said, if it weren’t for competing deals in California and Mexico.

“We face some pretty stiff competition, so we’re not expanding wildly.”



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