Because of spring planting problems, New York’s cabbage harvest is scheduled to begin a little later than usual, but growers plan to harvest squash on time.
Grower-shippers plan to begin harvesting in mid-July, later than the typical early July start.
Eric Hansen, vice president of Hansen Farms LLC, Stanley, N.Y., said more than half of his acres planted in the spring for July production were lost because growers pushed planting during marginal conditions caused by heavy rains.
“We will have low volume all the way through July,” he said in early July. “Once we get into mid-August, barring any weather problems, we should have very good supplies by then.”
In early July, Hansen Farms was finishing shipping from storage and planned to end fresh harvesting in mid-November.
Hansen said the transition from North Carolina to New York could be volatile.
On July 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $9-9.85 for 50-pound cartons of green medium cabbage from Michigan, similar to the $9.50-10.85 those cartons fetched last year in mid-July.
A shorter national supply has helped keep prices high, said Tony Piedimonte, owner of Holley, N.Y.-based James J. Piedimonte & Sons Inc. and Anthony J. Piedimonte/Cabbco.
“Demand is exceeding supply because Florida started with a shortage because of all the bad weather and Georgia had sporadic plantings,” he said in early July.
“It seems like it was kind of late all the way up.”
Piedimonte characterized quality as high and said sufficient rainfall has helped produce a healthy New York crop.
Turek Farms in King Ferry, N.Y., planned to begin harvesting July 10.
“The cabbage deal is hot now,” Jason Turek, partner, said in early July.
“Our cabbage looks good. We will have a consistent and steady supply of fresh cabbage until early December.”
Torrey Farms Inc. in Elba, N.Y., planned to begin harvesting July 21, a week later than last season.
“We were 10 days late in planting but we planted consistently,” Shannon Kyle, saleswoman, said in early July.
“Once we get going, supplies should be good. The quality looks very good. Demand we hear has been very good.”
Turek Farms plans to begin squash harvesting in late July, about a month later than normal.
Turek attributes the late start not to planting disruptions caused by heavy rains but because of uncertainty of having enough workers to harvest the crop.
Because many other areas are in squash production during the New York season, Turek said he doesn’t expect any abnormal demand or markets.
“Unless someone has some serious weather issues, marketing can be kind of mundane in the month of August,” he said. “Consistent demand and steady supplies are what we’re looking for.”
Because of heavy rains that struck during plantings, Turek said last year was a disastrous season.
He said the King Ferry, N.Y.-based grower-shipper was forced to abandon planting up to 500 acres.
Torrey Farms planned to begin harvesting in mid-July, as usual.
“The first fields look excellent,” Kyle said. “There are a lot of blossoms on it. Our fields look good so far.”
Last season, after rain-caused planting gaps and disease led to limited supplies, markets soared into the mid-$20s, she said.
On July 14, the USDA reported that ½-bushel cartons of Michigan zucchini sold for $6.85-8.85 and mediums sold for $4.85-5.85. Yellow straightnecks received $8.85-10.85 for smalls and $6.85-8.85 for mediums.
Last year in mid-July, the USDA reported ½-bushel cartons of Michigan zucchini received $12.85-13.85 for small and $10-11.85 for medium. Yellow straightneck smalls received $14.85-16.85 and mediums received $12.85-14.85.