Prime Time International LLC, Coachella, Calif., was among the first to benefit from fall demand. It started green bell pepper production by mid-October, about a week sooner than usual.
“We were fortunate to start early because the market was ready for them,” said Mike Aiton, director of marketing at Prime Time International. “The turnover and prices have been very good. The last couple of years have been higher priced than normal.”
“A lot of shippers, like Prime Time, cut their planting for late summer and early fall because of the impact locally grown had on us,” Aiton said. “And local areas had a lot of disruptive weather that shortened their growing cycle and left them with quality issues. It caused the overall pepper market to be stronger than we’ve seen in several years.”
Prime Time expected to start field-grown red peppers around Nov. 10 and have them through the New Year. Its hothouse program for red, yellow and orange peppers starts at about the same time and will last until mid-April.