That compares to last season when the USDA in mid-October reported $14.85 for bushel cartons/crates of machine-picked round green beans from south Georgia.
Branch’s growers plan to begin shipments Nov. 10 to Nov. 15 as their Poulan, Ga., production winds down, Stafford said.
Stafford called fall demand weak.
“Business as a rule is real poor,” Stafford said. “There’s not much demand now.”
Thanksgiving demand usually pushes prices a little higher as Florida production begins in mid-November, he said.
Stafford said Georgia was producing high quality beans in mid-October.
An overabundance of production in Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina kept early fall bean prices low but steady, said Jeff Stepanovich, salesman for Florida Specialties Inc., Immokalee.
Depending on northern volume, opening prices in the south Florida deal can vary, Stepanovich said.
If the other deals end quickly, prices can open in Florida around $20 but often start around $14-16, he said.
South Florida growers hope northern producing areas such as Tennessee and Georgia — which run through the first hard freeze that normally hits in mid-November — finish before south Florida starts, Stepanovich said.
During January and February, when the Immokalee-area can be subjected to freezes and thus delay packings, Florida Specialties also grows beans in Homestead.
South Florida volume
Immokalee-area production normally runs through mid-April before the deal shirts to central Florida and south Georgia.
Florida Specialties sells beans grown from Grower 35, also known as former owner Jim Joiner.
Pioneer Growers Co-op, Belle Glade, began its south Georgia green beans harvesting on Oct. 10, on-time.
Bryan Biederman, assistant sales manager, characterized the Georgia growing season as favorable with ideal weather.
He said he expects a smooth transition between Georgia and Florida, as Belle Glade and Homestead normally begin production in mid-November after Georgia ends.
Belle Glade production normally runs through early May.
The majority of Homestead’s beans normally finish by mid-April.
Green beans remain a mixer item for Pero Vegetable Co. LLC, Delray Beach.
“Last year was a good year,” said Scott Seddon, brand manager. “It wasn’t a great year for beans, but it wasn’t bad.”
Because Pero grows beans in warmer areas of south Florida, the grower-shipper didn’t experience too much trouble with last winter’s freezes, Seddon said.