Early summer oversupply depresses southeast watermelon prices - The Packer

Early summer oversupply depresses southeast watermelon prices

06/30/2010 05:01:16 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Greg Leger, president and partner in Leger & Son Inc., Cordele, Ga., and Randy Smith said they hope prices improve as volume declines during the seasonal transition to North Carolina and Indiana production regions.

North Carolina and South Carolina usually start in early July, while Indiana typically begins harvesting in mid-July.

“I don’t feel we will have the volume that drug this deal into the dirt after the Memorial Day holiday that we saw before,” Leger said June 29. “The growing regions won’t be on top of each other as bad as they were from Florida to Georgia. Everyone should get back into their slot.”

Leger, who by late June had finished his Ocala, Fla., production, said he expected south Georgia to end harvesting July 12-16 with a limited number of fields going a little later.

High heat and humidity brought on much south Georgia fruit which has produced high quality and high volume, Leger said.

“We are blowing and going pretty hard for our Fourth of July shipments,” he said.

In late June, Randy Smith said Midwest Marketing’s Georgia growers were close to finishing harvesting and should finish volume by early July with scrapping commencing afterwards.

Smith said he plans to start Indiana harvesting on-time July 15-18.

He said Missouri production started in late June and was expected to run to mid-August.

Excessive heat and dryness, however, brought Missouri volume on earlier than normal, Smith said.

Because of the adverse growing weather, Smith said Missouri growers say they’re not expecting a large crop.

Rain forecast to hit the boot heel growing region July 3-4 could help change the situation some, he said.

Smith said he expects a strong Indiana crop which normally runs through Labor Day.

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