Increasing prices put Salinas growers back in the black - The Packer

Increasing prices put Salinas growers back in the black

04/28/2014 11:15:00 AM
Mike Hornick

“A lot of guys still haven’t really cranked up as far as head lettuce in Salinas,” Dill said April 15. “They’re packing, but I wouldn’t say some of these guys are going full bore yet.”

Salinas-based Colorful Harvest LLC reported cauliflower volumes were on the uptick after a brief slowdown.
The grower-shipper also plans to nearly double its production of purple, orange, green and white cauliflowers this year, said Doug McFarland, marketing director.

End-of-May shortage

Mark Adamek, general manager for romaine and mixed leaf production at Salinas-based Tanimura & Antle, said April 17 that demand is driving this market — strongly enough, perhaps, to put the industry on course for a shortage by the end of May.

“Inventories will stay good here in the Salinas Valley until late May,” Adamek said. “I believe there’s a hole coming. All growers are harvesting seven to 14 days ahead of schedule because of the lack of winter weather.

There’s almost always a reckoning when that happens.”

“It’s not like inventories are bad,” he said. “We went through a period where we couldn’t get product back to East Coast customers, but most of that winter weather is gone now. I have a feeling people were just hungry for some produce.”

That pricing on romaine, for example, rose even while processors showed little vigor for buying it, points to a demand-driven market, he said.

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