Weather accelerates peppers, other vegetables - The Packer

Weather accelerates peppers, other vegetables

05/07/2014 04:26:00 PM
Jim Offner

Corn shipments should continue through Memorial Day, Van Dyke said.

“After that we have a deal in Phoenix,” he said.

Above-normal daytime highs — with seven of the first 20 days in April reaching 95 degrees or above in Coachella — have sped up the corn crop, Van Dyke said.

“It’s been solid above-normal temperatures for about the last four weeks,” he said April 13.

“It’s been that way consistently for so long, it’s made the crop really good.”

Five Crowns expected to start with its cantaloupes at the end of April, Van Dyke said.

“I’ve been here going on 19 years and I cannot ever remember starting in April before,” he said.

Activity was brisk in the green bean crop, said Kirk Pohl, president of Westfresh Distributing in Monterey, Calif.

“We’re packing away,” he said.

He said he had been running close to a normal April 4 to May 15 schedule.

Westfresh also grows and ships yellow, straightneck and a few specialty varieties of squash from mid-March to around July 1, Pohl said.

Prime Time International in Coachella started harvesting green beans and bell peppers in early April, said Mike Aiton, marketing director.

“Things are moving along quickly. The markets have been good and growing conditions overall have been perfect,” he said.

Prime Time expected to start its sweet corn, watermelon, chili peppers, eggplant, red peppers, yellow peppers and miniature peppers by the first week of May, Aiton said.

Everything should be in place for a “banner sales year” that peaks on Memorial Day, Aiton said.

“Our busiest two months of the year are May and June, but we have peppers every month of the year,” he said.

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