After a difficult spring experienced by some growers, south Georgia growers are hoping for a more typical fall cabbage deal.
The state also grows and ships eggplant, which also is expected to bring normal production this fall, grower-shippers report.
In late August, Georgia growers were in the midst of fall plantings.
Growers typically begin harvesting in late October and early November.
Cheriton, Va.-based Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc. plans to begin harvesting around Nov. 15, as usual, said Calvert Cullen, president.
Georgia’s production typically finishes around Dec. 31 but can run through Jan. 5-10, he said.
“The plants have had ideal growing conditions this season,” Cullen said in late August.
Because of inclement weather last spring, Northampton’s production was off by as much as 40%, he said.
Markets remained strong, which helped counter decreasing yields, Cullen said.
The Florida to Georgia spring transition went well, and Cullen said he expects Georgia’s finish to flow well into Florida’s early to mid-December start.
In late August, cabbage demand was average, said Steve Sterling, a salesman for the Lake Park, Ga.-based Fresh Link Consolidation LLC, the sales agent for Coggins Farm and Produce Inc.
In late August and early September, Georgia plantings were underway for Coggins.
“It should be a good quality deal this season,” Sterling said. “When we get started here, it will be the right time to jump in and go. In mid-November, we are looking at some pretty good cooking holidays coming up.”
Coggins plans to begin harvesting in mid-November, he said.
In early September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported $6-7 for 50-pound cartons of round green medium from New York.
Buyers should expect a normal fall eggplant deal from south Georgia, grower-shipper report.
Ken Corbett Farms LLC in Lake Park plans to begin harvesting Sept. 15-20 as usual.
“The eggplant is looking really good,” Eric Bolesta, sales manager, said in late August. “Everything is growing on course. The heat affects them a little but not as drastically as other crops.”
Northampton plans to begin harvesting in late September and early October, Cullen said.
“We are experiencing ideal growing conditions,” he said in late August. “We are expecting good yields.”
Cullen noted summer production from New Jersey, New York and Michigan and characterized late summer demand as steady.
Coggins Farm plans to begin harvesting eggplant in early October, said Fresh Link’s Sterling.
“I think it will be a battle early on,” he said in late August. “There will be plenty of eggplant in south Georgia. It will be good quality. We will be battling New Jersey and Canada and what’s left from Michigan. Unless there’s an early frost up there, the deal sees a lot of competition during this time of the year.”
Loxahatchee, Fla.-based J&J Family of Farms Inc., plans to begin harvesting eggplant Sept. 15.
Brian Rayfield, vice president of business development and marketing, characterizes overall demand for summer vegetables as disappointing.
“It’s been a tough summer and demand has been very flat,” he said. “Once we came off the higher than normal f.o.b. pricing in May and June, this summer supply has exceeded demand on most commodities and f.o.b.s have been lower than normal.”
In early September, the USDA reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons mediums from Michigan selling for $10.85-11.35.