Colorado growers expect continued demand for quality carrots

08/01/2011 09:20:00 AM
Tara Schupner

Hungenberg Produce Co., Greeley, Colo., began harvesting carrots, its main vegetable crop, on July 20, said Paul Hungenberg, owner.

Shipments are expected into December.

Severe hailstorms in Colorado in July missed Hungenberg Produce’s fields.

“The crop looks really good,” Hungenberg said. “We haven’t had any severe weather. Fortunately, we missed the hail.”

Colorado grower-shippers enter a market that, while starting to cool, is still hot.

“Carrots have been very, very high,” Hungenberg said. “They’ve come down some.”

Markets have to be strong, he said, to compensate growers for high input costs.

“They’re up 10% to 20% on everything this year,” Hungenberg said. “Packaging, boxes, fuel, seed, fertilizer. It’ s why it’s good we’re getting a pretty good price.”

What the company missed in hail, it more than made up for in water, Hungenberg said.

“We had double the snowpack in northern Colorado this year,” he said. “There’s plenty of water.”

Hungenberg Produce began harvesting its No. 2 vegetable crop, cabbage, on July 1. Shipments should last into early November.

“The market’s going OK” on cabbage, Hungenberg said the week of July 18.

The company increased both its carrot and cabbage acreage slightly this season, he said.

Both commodities ship nationwide. About one-third of the company’s carrots stay in Colorado, Hungenberg said. Arizona and Texas are the company’s other two big carrot markets.



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