Warmer weather brings Santa Maria harvest closer to normal - The Packer

Warmer weather brings Santa Maria harvest closer to normal

04/12/2013 05:30:00 PM
Andy Nelson

After a somewhat halting start to some of its spring Santa Maria deals, Pacific International Marketing was more or less back to business as usual by early April, said Henry Dill, sales manager for the Salinas, Calif.-based company.

Some items were delayed up to 12 days.

“The weather impacted us a little bit, but right now we’re in full swing on all our commodities,” he said.

Pacific International’s top Santa Maria items this spring include head and leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cilantro and fennel, Dill said.

Slower plant growth

The unseasonably cold weather early in the season affected timing, but likely little else, he said.

“I don’t think the cold had an adverse effect on yields and quality. The crops look good now.”

The first seasonal lettuce harvests began in early April, said Claire Wineman, president of the Guadalupe, Calif.-based Grower Shippers Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The growing season through March was marked by dry, temperate conditions, Wineman said.

“There hasn’t been a lot of rain, and it’s been fairly mild,” she said. “It’s not been nearly as cold as the last two years. We had a couple of frosts, but they didn’t damage the vegetables.”

Those frosts did, however, slow plants’ growth, Wineman said.

A possible concern this season, given the lack of cold weather, could be pest pressure, Wineman said.

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