2012 Crops and Markets News - The Packer

2012 Crops and Markets News

12/28/2012 10:36:00 AM
Dan Galbraith

Fresh produce crop and market news from 2012:

JANUARY

Chinese New Year’s early arrival this year has limited opportunities for some produce shippers, but brands like Frieda’s and Melissa’s will have had retail marketing efforts in place for weeks ... Avocado shippers look forward to strong demand for highly promotable supplies of high-quality fruit heading into the Super Bowl ... Initial reports show the season’s first freeze damaged Florida’s bell peppers, squash and green beans ... The closely watched August apple crop estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture might not be issued this year. Budget cutbacks led to the decision to cut the report ... Low temperatures in California citrus growing regions in mid-January damaged mandarins but spared oranges ...

FEBRUARY

Low tomato prices pitted Florida and Mexico supplies against one another in a blame game ... A big, late Treasure Valley storage onion crop, combined with surging volumes from Mexico, has sent prices spiraling down ... Lingering banana production disruptions from hurricanes in 2011 have been complicated by ongoing cold weather and January flooding in growing regions, causing some suppliers to caution U.S. retailers to stay on top of ordering ... The melon category suffered a predictable decline in retail sales and volume in 2011 because of a listeria outbreak in cantaloupes, while berries again ranked as a star performer in fresh produce departments ... As freeze damage to Florida and George blueberry crops becomes clearer, retailers should expect tight supplies into late spring ...

MARCH

Shippers of California strawberries and asparagus expect markets to strengthen in the runup to Easter ... The organic produce community is praising the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco for obtaining a guilty plea from the ex-president of California Liquid Fertilizer, who admitted he sold nonorganic fertilizer to hundreds of growers ... The California Department of Food and Agriculture plans to pull out all the stops in the fight against the citrus greening if the disease is found in the state, including mandatory spraying and tree removal in commercial groves and the general public’s yards ... The California Avocado Commission works to make Independence Day a new focus for avocado dishes ...

APRIL

Gaps in California strawberry supplies this spring are translating into higher prices ... Both California and Mexico will ship large volumes of high-quality avocados for Cinco de Mayo but very strong demand will tighten supplies and could send prices rising ... Vidalia onion supplies should be tighter than usual, thanks in part to downy mildew disease claiming up to 20% of the crop ... Confirmation of a huanglongbing-diseased tree in a Los Angeles County backyard has failed to register much more than raised eyebrows from the California citrus industry. It was only “when,” not “if” the state would get citrus greening, growers say ... An April 11 hailstorm dented California stone fruit production ... Foodservice produce distributors expect another strong Mother’s Day, with demand for strawberries and asparagus spiking for restaurants’ busiest day of the year ... Rocky Ford, Colo., cantaloupe acreage plummets following the 2011 listeria outbreak, but growers say they’re embracing the challenges ... Initial estimates on damage from the California hailstorm indicate heavy losses on some stone fruit while other crops are OK ...


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