Growers optimistic for strong cucumber deal - The Packer

Growers optimistic for strong cucumber deal

11/05/2010 11:41:12 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

PALMETTO, Fla. — Florida shippers of cucumbers await typical fall and winter seasons.

In central Florida, Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC, Wimauma, planned to begin shipments of its pole-grown cucumbers on time on Nov. 1.

Doug Ohlemeier

Kim Malcolm, farm manager of J&J Produce Inc., Loxahatchee, Fla., views some cucumbers in late September. J&J officials say the crop is going well and running on schedule and say buyers should expect normal supplies in early November.

Able to pick the pole-grown variety 10 to 12 times, shipments normally run through December but can vary, depending on weather, said Jeff Williams, president.

Williams said south Georgia’s volume this fall is considerably smaller than previous years, so he said he doesn’t think the region will remain in the deal as long as normal.

He said growers are optimistic that smaller overall Georgia volume could bring a little higher prices for Florida’s deal.

“Hopefully, we will have a window if we can get Georgia out of the way earlier,” he said in late October.

Williams called last year’s market average at best.

He described this year’s quality as strong.

Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc. planned to start south Florida harvesting in early to mid-November.

In mid-October, Adam Lytch, operations manager, called cucumber prices cheap.

He said he expects prices to become firmer as northern areas finish and production becomes limited to Georgia, which he said should finish in mid-November.

Cucumber prices began rising as the season moved along.

In late October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported light harvesting of cucumbers from central Florida with sufficient volume for price reporting expected to hit in late October.

From south Georgia, the USDA reported waxed 1 1/9 bushel cartons medium selling for $18.35-18.85, fair quality $10.35-12.85; cartons of 24s, $7.35-8.85.

That’s higher than in mid-October when the USDA reported $16.35-18.35 for the 1 1/9 bushel cartons medium with fair quality $8.35-10.85; cartons of 24s, $5.35-7.85.

Last fall the USDA in mid-October reported 1 1/9 bushel cartons of waxed medium cucumbers from south Georgia selling for $12-14.85; $8-8.35 for fair quality; cartons of 24s sold for $5-5.35.

While it has some acreage in Palmetto, Immokalee-based Six L’s Packing Co. Inc., a part of the Lipman Family Cos., plans to begin harvesting in early November.

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