Florida packing lighter cabbage volumeWIMAUMA, Fla. — Florida’s winter cabbage deal is running a little behind this season.

A cooler than normal winter growing season disrupted plantings and slowed volume, said Jeff Williams, president of Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC.

Still, Williams said he expects central Florida to satisfy St. Patrick’s Day demand.

He characterized quality as high and said buyers should expect an “active market” with tight supplies through the end of May.

In north Florida, the cabbage deal is running a month behind normal, Williams said.

Hearne’s Bunnell, Fla., grower didn’t begin harvesting until Feb. 4, 30 days later than normal, Williams said.

“The northern area that grows a lot of cabbage, in the Hastings area, they’re just now getting started,” he said Feb. 4. “They have had extreme cold. With them being three-and-a-half to four hours north of us, it’s a different temperature zone.”

Florida packing lighter cabbage volumeIn early February, Williams said prices were strong and quoted $14 for 50-pound cartons of round green medium cabbage.

On Feb. 3, the U. S. Department of Agriculture reported supplies of green and red cabbage as light.

From south, central and north Florida, the USDA reported 50-pound cartons of round green cabbage selling for $14 with red mediums at $14-16 and 45-pound cartons of savoy medium selling for $10-12.

That compares to last year in late February when the USDA reported 50-pound cartons of round green medium cabbage from the same growing regions selling for $7-8 with red mediums at $12-14 and 45-pound cartons of savoy medium fetching $12-14.