Brisk pepper demand leads to strong markets - The Packer

Brisk pepper demand leads to strong markets

05/22/2014 03:46:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

Retail demand has been equally strong.

“It’s marrying up very well with the supply, which is nice,” he said.

Baloian Farms will transition to the south San Joaquin Valley in June, followed by production in the northern San Joaquin Valley as well as in the Hollister and Gilroy areas.

Mike Aiton, marketing director for Prime Time International, Coachella, Calif., said he, too, was seeing good quality and yields in the green and yellow bells and the elongated red peppers coming out of the Coachella Valley in late April.

“It’s been perfect,” he said of the growing conditions. “We’ve had a couple of months where temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, so everything in the Coachella Valley is progressing nicely.”

In fact, he said peppers as well as other crops in the valley are about seven days ahead of schedule.

Markets have been fairly stable, and demand has been good, he said, noting some problems with the East Coast.

“There’s been some issues on the East Coast as far as weather that’s stimulated more shipments from the West Coast to the East Coast than we normally would have,” he said.

Prime Time plans to transition to production in the Oxnard region in June.

Gilroy, Calif.-based Uesugi Farms Inc. just started harvesting in the Coachella Valley in early May, one of the last growers in the region to begin. Pete Aiello, owner and general manager, said demand has been good.

“Demand, unfortunately, has exceeded what we’ve been able to supply,” he said.

“The demand right now is really good. Prices are really good. We just don’t have a lot of production happening right now.”

Aiello said he didn’t expect it to pick up until the operation transitions to its Kern County production areas.

Uesugi has year-round production of green bells, and red and yellow Lamuyos, as well as chili peppers in seven California counties as well as near Phoenix and in Mexico.

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