Florida Vegetables: Crop quality high

11/01/2002 12:00:00 AM
Tracy Rosselle

F.o.b.s for Florida beans were not established by late October. By early December last season they sold at $6-6.85 for machine-picked bushel crates and $8.85 for handpicked crates.

Snap bean plantings are up sharply this fall in Florida, according to the statistics service. Growers have planted 11,000 acres for harvest by the end of the year, compared to 9,000 acres last year and 10,000 acres in fall 2000.

One crop that was already coming on strong by late October in Florida was squash, Wilson said. Between Oct. 21 and Oct. 25 the market for zucchini dropped from $16 to $8 per case, he said, noting cooler weather would slow volume through the state’s coolers and bring stability to the market.

Among the state’s other vegetable crops are radishes, leafy items and celery grown in the Belle Glade area.

Dan Mathis, Florida vegetable sales manager for Oviedo-based A. Duda & Sons Inc., said radish production started the fourth week in October and quality looked excellent.

“And the winter celery crop looks really good at this point,” Mathis said, noting that crop will begin harvest around mid-December and continue through early May.

“With the proprietary varieties we’ve developed for Florida, it’s comparable to anything out West.”


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