Florida grower-shippers are enjoying brisk movement of high-quality sweet corn and beans.

Hugh H. Branch looks forward to strong movement of its spring Florida sweet corn crop, thanks largely to a TV ad campaign launched by the Maitland-based Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida, Shiver said.

“The quality is excellent and the price has bee good,” he said.

The Sunshine Sweet campaign will feature, for the first time, ads in Midwestern and Eastern markets. The ads are set to run April 14 through May 11.

Pioneer Growers expected corn to start shipping in volume by the week of April 14, with ample volumes through Memorial Day, Browder said. The company expects its Georgia deal to kick off the last week of May.

The week of April 7, Browder was eager for higher temperatures to arrive in the Midwest and East to help spur demand for a big Florida crop.

“This is the largest volume we’ve had the last four years, and up dramatically from last year,” he said. “We just need warm weather to get it moving.”

Quality and yields were particularly good for the front end of the spring Florida deal, said Jason Bedsole, sales manager of eastern vegetables and citrus for Oviedo-based Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., the fresh division of A. Duda & Sons Inc.

“Demand is very good,” he said. “Hopefully there are a lot of hungry folks who are tired of the snow and ready to get outside and start grilling.”

On April 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $9.95 for wirebound crates of 4-4 1/2 dozen yellow, white and bicolor corn from Florida, down from $11.35-12.35 last year at the same time.


Belle Glade, Fla.-based Pioneer Growers Co-op expects to ship green beans from Florida through about May 5, said Jon Browder, sales manager.

The company anticipates a smooth transition, with Georgia beans starting about May 10, Browder said.

“Volume looks good going into Easter,” he said. “Pricing’s fair, in the $12-14 range.”

Markets will likely stay stable through Easter, after which volumes will start to taper heading into the Georgia deal, Browder said.

Dan Shiver, a co-owner of South Bay, Fla.-based Hugh H. Branch Inc., reported strong movement of a seasonally normal-sized bean crop in the Belle Glade/South Bay region.

“Demand is good right now and the quality is excellent,” he said.

On April 8, the USDA reported prices of $17.35-18.35 for bushel cartons and crates of round green handpicked beans from Florida, down from $20.85-21.85 last year.