Early fall cabbage could be on the small side

11/04/2011 11:55:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Calvert Cullen, president of Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., Cheriton, Va., characterized early fall cabbage markets as decent. He said he expects to start his Florida production in early December, after Georgia begins in early November.

“I have to feel like the markets will stay good,” Cullen said in early October. 

“I don’t think there’s a lot of production planted, so the markets should stay rather strong. A lot of people have had some rough years in production. They’re having higher commodity prices with cotton, tobacco and some have switched out of produce to those items.”

Georgia’s fall deal typically runs through Christmas, overlapping with Florida production.

Adam Lytch, operations manager for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., characterized the market as steady.

“I have a feeling we will probably be in store for a good fall,” he said in late October. 

“I think there will be fewer acres because last fall, everybody really got hurt by that early December freeze, which really affected Georgia’s yields. 

This spring, it got so hot so fast in May that the cabbage burned. We had two back-to-back bad deals between this spring and the prior fall. We really hope to have a decent year with some decent prices.”

Lytch said prices were low, quoting $4-6 on 50-pound cartons. He said that isn’t enough of a return to cover grower production investments. 

L&M expects to start its Florida production in late December.

Pioneer Growers Co-op, Belle Glade, expects to have its Wilson Farms-branded cabbage in late December. 

“The cabbage season was a good one last year,” said Bryan Biederman, Pioneer’s assistant sales manager. 

“The December freezes didn’t affect our cabbage, though central and north Florida were hurt. That made for a hot market.”

Biederman said Wilson Farms plans to grow on similar acreage this season.

Hearne began cabbage planting in early October and Williams said plantings should continue through January.

South Florida’s cabbage deal usually runs through May while the Palatka deal typically ends in mid-April.


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