While prices could come down after Thanksgiving, a cold storm forecast for coastal California in late November could throw another wrench in supplies.
“By mid-December, it should be slightly better, but there are still questions,” he said.
Demand for broccoli and cauliflower always picks up around the holidays, thanks to demand for party trays, in addition to foodservice and regular retail pull, Church said.
In mid-November, supplies of both were short, and Church characterized cauliflower volumes as erratic. With a late start to broccoli and possibly cauliflower production in Yuma, markets could stay tight in the immediate future.
“We really have to watch the weather,” he said. “The desert is really a weather deal — or, like last year, a weather and disease deal.”
Demand for those items could slow, if retailers keep prices too high, Church said.
On Nov. 16, the USDA reported prices of $16.55-19.25 for cartons of broccoli 14s from California, up from $14.47-16.50 last year at the same time.