Low fall squash prices at start of Florida deal - The Packer

Low fall squash prices at start of Florida deal

11/03/2009 03:50:42 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Five Bros. began its south Georgia squash pickings Sept. 25.

He said Homestead pickings should begin on-time Nov. 1.

In Florida, Five Bros. planted 3,500 acres of yellow and zucchini squash this season, similar to last fall, Torbert said

Greg Cardamone, general manager of eastern vegetables for L&M Cos., Raleigh, N.C., agreed that as northern areas begin finishing production, prices should rise.

“Our quality (from Georgia) has been excellent,” he said in mid-October.

Jim Monteith, sales manager for Pacific Collier Fresh Co., which also grows and ships squash from Cecil, Ga., said spring squash prices were also low.

He said lower prices in the past aren’t necessarily due to south Florida production.

Florida overlaps

“It’s not so much that there’s a lot of product here in Immokalee,” Monteith said. “Immokalee always seems to get out of the way. But there always seems to be an overlap in squash production between Homestead and central Florida.”

Homestead, Monteith said, often has late plantings that overlap with central Florida’s spring start.

Pacific Collier planned to start its south Florida squash pickings in late October.  

Production usually runs through the end of March.

Though central Florida saw some typical early rains with excellent subsequent drying conditions, Dean Wiers, sales manager of Willard, Ohio-based Wiers Farm Inc., which has Florida production through Wiers-Turner Farms LLC, Palmetto, said the growing season has been favorable and has been shaping up to be a typical fall deal.

Wiers said his central Florida acreage remains similar to last year’s.

Wiers-Turner began pickings in late October.

Scott Seddon, brand manager with Pero Vegetable Co. LLC, Delray Beach, said last year brought an average but good deal.

He said Pero is looking forward to an even better year this season.

Pero planned to begin its squash harvesting in early November.

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