Though cabbage, sweet corn and cucumbers are starting late, growers expect to begin harvesting other summer New York vegetables on time.
Growers expect to start harvesting the tardy crops about a week later than normal.
Despite the late start for some items, grower-shippers plan to harvest green beans, squash, potatoes and onions on time, with normal volumes for most crops.
Buyers should see 50% less cabbage volume while beans are expected to be 20% lower in volume during the early part of the deal, grower-shippers report.
Labor, however, is a critical factor.
“The key will be who has labor,” said Shannon Kyle, saleswoman for Torrey Farms Inc., in Elba, N.Y.
“The crops may be in the ground, but will growers get them harvested?”
Otherwise, growers experienced favorable growing conditions since planting and Kyle in early July characterized the quality of the vegetables as high.
Because of the planting disruptions, New York growers plan to begin harvesting at the end of July rather than mid-July.
Since other East Coast growing regions also started late, however, it shouldn’t make for a catastrophe, said Jason Turek, partner in King Ferry, N.Y.-based Turek Farms.
He said Georgia production began bunching up in late June.
“Somewhere in mid- to late July, corn will become very scarce before the North gets going,” Turek said in early July.
Turek said the New York crop shows high quality.
Green beans fared better and should start in mid-July as normal, he said.
Because of heavy rains that hit after planting, buyers can expect about 20% less volume during the first part of the season, Turek said.
After torrential rains gutted spring plantings, cabbage production should be considerably smaller.
Eric Hansen, vice president of Hansen Farms LLC in Stanley, N.Y., said volume could be down by up to 50% through August.
“Everyone in New York is late this season,” he said in early July.
“There will not be much early cabbage because everything is so late.”
Hansen said supplies should increase in mid-August and provide buyers with normal volume.
Onions and potatoes
Though potato growers experienced few spring planting problems, heavy rains after plantings cut into onion production, grower-shippers report.
“We have had some tough years in potatoes,” said John Williams, partner with Marion, N.Y.-based Williams Farms LLC.
“Now, they look as good as they have in four to five years. We’re very pleased.”
Onion volume could be slightly lower at the start of harvesting, which typically begins around Labor Day, he said.
Some warm days and timely rains, however, are helping the onions grow, he said.
In late July and early August, James J. Piedimonte & Sons Inc. and Anthony J. Piedimonte/Cabbco, Holley, N.Y., plan to begin harvesting Tasti-Lee-branded round red tomatoes.
“Demand has exceeded supply,” Tony Piedimonte, owner, said in early July.
“The bushes look good. They’re setting some nice fruit.”
Tasti-Lee is a hybrid round beefsteak-style tomato licensed through Bejo Seeds Inc. in Oceano, Calif.