Growers optimistic for strong cucumber deal - The Packer

Growers optimistic for strong cucumber deal

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

“Cucumbers in the spring here were very tough,” said Gerry Odell, chief operating officer of farming and packing. “It was too cold for too long. That really hurt the crop. Our fall cucumbers last year were okay.”

Brian Rayfield, vice president of sales and marketing for J&J Produce, Loxahatchee, said it’s time for a better season.

“We had a very good fall last year. It went well,” he said. “We were off to a great start. This year, I think everyone is looking for an exceptional season of high-quality product.”

In late October, Rayfield said everything remained on schedule and said the fields looked well.

To make for consistent deliveries, Rayfield said J&J times its Florida plantings to begin harvesting as south Georgia production starts playing out in late October and early November.

Rayfield said cold weather caused the spring deal to start later than normal.

Then, production came in all at once, which harmed prices.

J&J’s offshore partners experienced a strong deal because they were able to take advantage of the cold weather in Florida and received good prices, Rayfield said.

At 3,500 acres, Florida accounts for 64% of U.S. fall cucumber production, according to the USDA.

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