South Georgia vegetable volume buildingLAKE PARK, Ga. — South Georgia is beginning June production with bigger volume.

While many grower-shippers have been harvesting since late May, some were just starting, packers reported in early June.

Lower than normal volume has also helped keep prices strong, said Steve Sterling, salesman for Fresh Link Consolidation LLC, the sales agent for Coggins Farm and Produce Inc.

Sterling characterized quality as okay.

“Quality has been better than we once thought it would be,” he said June 4. “Yields are down but quality is holding up. The packouts aren’t typically what you’d love to have but with these markets, you can certainly live with it. The demand has been strong enough for the supply and in most items, demand has exceeded supply.”

Coggins remains in the middle of harvesting bell peppers, cucumbers, squash and green beans, Sterling said.

Cucumbers were starting to peak and said he expects Lake Park area cucumbers to finish in mid-June but said growers in the Moultrie area were just starting harvesting.

Otherwise, Sterling said buyers should expect steady volume through July.

Demand remains strong, said Jeff Stepanovich, sales manager for Ken Corbett Farms LLC.

South Georgia vegetable volume building“Demand for the most part has been good, due to pricing as high as it is,” he said June 4. “There’s some downward pressure but markets are holding because there’s not a lot of volume from Georgia yet. We will see additional growers come online this week.”

Squash prices have fallen, Stepanovich said, in part because of central Florida and even a south Florida grower were continuing harvesting into June as well as production in other East Coast regions including New Jersey.

Stepanovich and Sterling cited higher than normal pepper markets.

In early June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported bell peppers selling for $28.35-30.85 for 1 1/9 bushel cartons of jumbos with extra-large selling for $26.35-28.85.

For cucumbers, the USDA in early June reported 1-1/9 bushel cartons of waxed mediums sold for $24.35-26.85 with cartons of 24s selling for $8.35-8.85.

For squash, the USDA in early June reported 1/2- and 5/9-bushel cartons of small zucchinis $8.35-10.85, medium at $6.35-8.85; small yellow straightnecks at $14.35-18.85 with mediums at $10.35-12.85; 3/4-bushel cartons of small yellow crookneck at $18.35-20.85 with medium bringing $12.35-12.85.


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