Grower-shippers and marketers of Colorado fruits and vegetables report strong demand thus far this summer and hope the trend continues.
Richard Kinser, manager of organic grower-shipper Rogers Mesa Fruit Co. Inc., Hotchkiss, Colo., reported outstanding demand for Colorado cherries in the first half of summer.
“Shipments have been very brisk,” and it’s been a similar story for apricots, he said.
The strong demand this summer has provided an interesting variation on the law of supply and demand. Volumes have been up, Kinser said, but it’s had the effect of stoking demand, not suppressing it.
“It’s been several years since we’ve had a crop of this size,” he said. “People are just hungry for them.”
Rogers Mesa’s main market is Denver, but the company also ships its peaches, pears, apples and other fruit “as far east as we can,” Kinser said. “It could be quite a ways.”
That’s particularly true this year, given the devastating freeze damage to apples and other tree fruit in Michigan, Kinser said.
“We know Michigan got hurt, and we’re sure people will be looking for something to chew on.”
Helping demand this summer for Western Slope intermediate-day sweet yellow onions likely will be a shrinking size profile on New Mexico sweets, said Don Ed Holmes, president of Weslaco, Texas-based The Onion House. In mid-July New Mexico jumbos were fetching up to $3 more per box than smaller sizes because there weren’t enough of them to go around.
Colorado should be able to capitalize on that, he said.
At the front end of the intermediate deal, The Onion House expects to ship product to the Midwest due to lingering competition from New Mexico, Holmes said.
Once New Mexico winds down, around the end of August, Colorado’s main competition will shift northwest, to Idaho, Washington and Oregon. At that point, The Onion House will ship predominantly to Texas, Florida and other southern states.
Tommy Rusler, manager of Pueblo, Colo.-based Rusler Produce Inc., was hoping that the success of Colorado’s southern neighbor would spread northward later this summer.
“Hopefully markets will stay close to what New Mexico is getting,” he said. “The daily market reports from there look good. I hope that trend continues.”