(Sept. 12) Promotable volumes of southern Georgia cucumbers should start on time in late September, shippers say.
Unfavorable growing conditions caused by hotter-than-average weather in northern production regions such as Michigan and North Carolina have tightened supplies a little, said Harry Sheaffer, salesman for Onancock, Va.-based Marker 29 Produce Inc., the sales agent for Coggins Farm and Produce Inc., Lake Park, Ga.
The heat has created a small gap, Sheaffer said.
Georgia growers received average prices last spring of $10-14 for 1 1/9 bushels of supers, Sheaffer said.
In late August, 1 1/9-bushel cartons of medium cucumbers from Michigan sold for $20-20.35, with fair quality $12-12.35. Cartons of 24s sold for $8-9, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In western North Carolina, 1 1/9-bushel crates of mediums sold for mostly $22-22.85.
Last year, in mid-September, 1 1/9-bushel cartons of mediums from Michigan sold for $12-12.85, fair quality were $5-6.35, carton 24s were $5-5.50, and 36s were $8.35.
Georgia’s cucumber deal normally runs through mid-November.
Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable Inc., Moultrie, Ga., has 350 acres of pole-grown cucumbers.
“We are looking for good quality cucumbers again this fall and into winter,” said Jon Schwalls, director of operations. “All in all, everything is looking good and is on time. We’ve had no adverse factors.”
While Michigan winds down as Georgia ramps up fall volume, North Carolina growers remain a wildcard, Schwalls said. The region may or may not have early fall volume.
The Carolinas haven’t had the best growing circumstances, Schwalls said, and the whole Eastern Shore experienced a lot of rain during late spring. It’s typically difficult for North and South Carolina growers to turn the situation around and get through their spring crop to have a fall crop, Schwalls said.
Florida growers enter the market after Halloween toward the middle to end of November.