Rain delays harvest, but growers expect good quality berries - The Packer

Rain delays harvest, but growers expect good quality berries

05/04/2012 12:39:00 PM
Susie Cable

Blackberry prices in late April were similar to last year’s. The USDA reported on May 2 that flats of 12 6-ounce lidded cups of large blackberries from Mexico were priced at mostly $14-16 at the Los Angeles terminal market. One label was priced as high as $22, the USDA reported. A year earlier, prices for the same packs were essentially the same in Los Angeles.

Miami-based Pure Fresh LLC’s Mexico berry season runs through May.

In late July, its Guatemala blackberry season will get underway, said Roberto Castaneda Jr., vice president. 
Guatemala-based Planesa S.A., Pure Fresh’s growing operation, handles crops in Guatemala and Mexico. Its largest crop is blackberries, but it is expanding its other berry deals, Castaneda said.

HBF expects to pack blackberries from Mexico through May, Perkins said. Its Oregon blackberry program should begin in late June and continue into September. HBF also plans to market raspberries from Mexico through early June.

Curry & Co.’s blackberry crop near Reedley was progressing well in April. Curry said he expects harvest to begin there in mid-May.

Production is expected to be about 10% more this year, which will allow Curry & Co. to expand its marketing area.

In addition to its California supply, Curry & Co. will market blackberries from Oregon. The crop’s canes were healthy in April, and it’s expected to be in production by early July, Curry said.

The program is still “modest” in size, he said, but is growing The crop might be as much as 25% larger, primarily due to increases in late-season varieties.

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