Florida spring production escapes winter freeze problems - The Packer

Florida spring production escapes winter freeze problems

03/11/2014 02:16:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

“Demand is fair, but the biggest thing that has impacted movement for all in the produce business is these winter storms,” Tony DiMare, vice president of the Homestead-based DiMare Co., said in late February.

DiMare said January’s freezing temperatures caused some minor losses to the early part of central Florida’s mid- to late April mature-greens crop and forced growers to replant.

CORN, BEANS

Though late January freezes hammered Florida’s winter sweet corn and green beans, the cold didn’t affect the bulk of the spring deal, which is expected to begin volume in mid- to late April.

Spring beans should start on-time by mid-March with corn beginning harvesting by early April, grower-shippers report.

“In late March and April, we should have excellent quality and volume going into the spring,” Jon Browder, sales manager for Belle Glade-based Pioneer Growers Co-op, said in late February.

Grower-shippers expect to finish grapefruit shipments in early May, a little earlier than usual, while late season valencia oranges were bringing high eating quality.

“The grapefruit is tasting really good so retailers should forgive the extra scars, as we’ve had a tough season,” Mark Hanks, vice president of North American sales and marketing for Fort Pierce-based DNE World Fruit Sales, said in late February. “Demand has been good all season as it’s been tough finding the lots to pick because of the smaller sizings.”

While Florida’s strawberry shipments typically peak in March and begin ending by the end of the month, growers usually start harvesting blueberries in light volume in mid- to late March.

“The fruit looks really good,” Brian Bocock, vice president of product management for Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif., said in late February. “The crop looks really strong, and barring any weather events we should see increased production from Florida this year.”


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