BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Because of lighter early national fall volume, Florida growers hope markets remain strong when they begin shipping their sweet corn in mid- to late November.
Bryan Biederman, assistant sales manager for Pioneer Growers Co-op, said a hotter than normal summer in northern producing regions rushed production and finished the deals sooner than normal, and provided a skip in late September when south Georgia hadn’t really started when corn was difficult to find.
When Georgia opened, prices remained high.
In mid-October, Biederman quoted $14.95 for wirebound crates of 4-4 1/2 dozen yellow corn from south Georgia.
He called that a strong early season price and said prices generally remain consistent with how the markets have dictated when Georgia transitions to Florida in mid-November.
Pioneer initially planned to begin shipments Nov. 15, but rains that hit during planting knocked growers out of that time frame, and the Belle Glade deal should start in late November and early December, Biederman said.
He said growers normally like to hit the pre-Thanksgiving holiday pull.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wirebound crates of 4-4 1/2 dozen from south Georgia in mid-October sold for $14.95 for yellow and $12.95 for white and bicolor.
Last fall, the USDA reported wirebound crates of 4-4 1/2 dozen from south Georgia in mid-October sold for $10.95 for yellow and white; bicolor sold for $8.95-9.35.
During the fall of 2008, opening season prices from Georgia were $16.70 for yellow, white and bicolor.
Brett Bergmann, co-owner of Hugh H. Branch Inc., Pahokee, said Branch’s growers plan to finish Georgia harvesting Nov. 5-10 and begin Florida production Nov. 15-20.
“It usually makes for a good transition because in a lot of years, Florida can start by the 15th,” he said. “We try not to overlap too much but occasionally the weather doesn’t cooperate.”
Bergmann said Florida plantings have gone well and according to schedule.
“We have had a decent planting season without a lot of weather adversity, like hurricanes,” he said in mid-October. “We expect to have really good quality and steady supplies of all three colors of corn.”