It’s been a long winter, and growers, shippers and retailers are ready for warmer weather in the Twin Cities.

Cooler weather has created a slower start to the Twin Cities market, shippers said, which can make it hard to estimate and plan for the market.

“This winter was the coldest we’ve had in 35 years, which resulted in more schools closed than other years, so it’s a little hard to tell where the market is right now,” said Nina Brooks Haag, director of marketing and strategy for New Brighton, Minn.-based H. Brooks & Co.

“It’s been an interesting six months just because the produce business is so weather related,” Haag said.

Shippers are excited for summer grilling promotions to begin.

“We’re ready for summer. We’re excited for it to warm up and for people to start grilling. That’s a great time of year for us,” Haag said.

Pat Miller, vice president of Russ Davis Wholesale, Wadena, Minn., said the company has a grilling promotion that runs in the first part of June each year.

“You can’t tell by the weather, but it’s spring and summer grilling time, when we focus on anything that we can relate to grilling,” Miller said.

Value-added items such as kabobs or grill packs can be tied in to these promotions, Miller said.

It’s clear everyone is ready for winter to be over.

“We had a slow spring with not enough sun. That’s one of the only things that holds us back, but we’re looking forward to the sunshine starting soon,” said Adam Gamble, president of Russ Davis.