James Sharp, grower and salesman at Southeastern Growers Association, Kenly, N.C., also has good news to report. Although they had a lot of rain, watermelons are on schedule for harvesting around July 9.
“So far the crop looks clean and seems to be growing really well,” said Sharp.
Troxler said that the state needs the weather to cooperate but that one of the great things about farming is that “you can always enter a new growing season with enthusiasm and hope and we’re always optimistic this time of year.”
Tomato and melon markets
Tomato prices are down in North Carolina.
Doug Patterson, co-owner and vice president of Patterson Farm, Inc., China Grove, N.C., said he hopes tomato prices start increasing before Patterson Farm starts picking.
“Right now there are just too many tomatoes out there are they are selling too cheap,” he said.
The cantaloupe and watermelon season in Georgia looks to be about 10 days behind schedule, said Jackson Farming’s Solana. Georgia’s late start time could potentially run into the first part of North Carolina’s season.
“What is going to drive the pricing is how much of Georgia’s product carries in because that could deflate the market to a degree, based on what our normal pricing would be,” he said.
Solana said that as North Carolina reaches its peak in mid-July on cantaloupes and watermelons, pricing should be in the normal range as Georgia and South Carolina should be finishing.
Although it’s too early to tell what the market has in store, everyone is positive about the season. “As long as Mother Nature doesn’t interfere, we anticipate a high quality and good inventory crop this year,” said Laura Kornegay, marketing director at Nash Produce, Nashville, N.C.