Vegetables peak in Nogales, but cloud follows tomatoes - The Packer

Vegetables peak in Nogales, but cloud follows tomatoes

02/14/2013 02:59:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Farmer’s Best International, also of Nogales, expects to start its ataulfos in late February.



Prime Time International director of marketing Mike Aiton said colored peppers suffered minimal weather damage and are peaking now through mid-March as usual.

Prime Time has more than doubled last year’s acreage of mini peppers.

“Vegetable, tomato and row-crop people in Mexico have not experienced anything like the row crops and vegetables in Yuma and Coachella,” Aiton said Jan. 28. “The Mexican market is fairly stable.”

Vancouver-based marketer The Oppenheimer Group also reports normal peak bell pepper volume from Divemex production sites in Etzatlan and Culiacan that escaped the cold.

More of Guadalajara-based Divemex’s production will appear under the Fair Trade label, as certified hectares have increased to 139 from 72 in 2011.

Oppenheimer’s Mexico bells run through May. The marketer also launched an organic heirloom tomato program in October that’s expected to run until June.


Cucumbers, squash

As January ended, Crown Jewels Produce was just starting to see good quantities on cucumbers, said Luis Corella, director of Mexican produce.

Squash was tight, he said, as it was for most shippers.

Zucchini f.o.b. prices were mostly $28 for 4/7 bushel cartons on Feb. 13.

Between its acquisition of new growers and warming weather, Crown Jewels expects to boost package count for all vegetable items 25% to 30% this spring from last spring

“Price on cucumbers is probably average, but it’s a nice average compared to the last couple of years,” said Greg Cardamone, general manager of vegetables for L&M Cos. Inc.

Production generally lagged on vegetables, Cardamone said.

“Everybody’s behind,” he said Feb. 4. “Growers will catch up. We’ll have the same yields, just later. Probably late February or early March.”


watermelon File photoWatermelons

Mexican watermelons could be the slowest to recoup volume, as that crop was hit not just by cold in the north but rains and mildew to the south.

Volume was down as much as 70% from typical February levels, said Brent Harrison, president of Nogales-based Al Harrison Co.

“The watermelon industry will definitely see a hit in volume for the next couple months,” Harrison said.

He forecast high prices through March with little relief expected from Central American supply.

Honeydews also sustained damage in January’s weather.

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