The Feb. 12 freeze could lessen supply and lift prices in mid- to late March, said Adam Lytch, operations manager for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc.
“I personally think cabbage will be in relatively short supply in April,” he said in late February.
“The way it looks now, we are in store for some cheap prices through St. Patrick’s Day. After that, cabbage will be relatively short.”
Lytch said a large percentage of the state’s cabbage is grown in north Florida in the Palatka and Hastings area.
He said the abnormally mild growing season is producing incredible cabbage.
Mid-February cold that struck central and northern Florida didn’t harm production for Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC, president Jeff Williams said.
“We have abundant supplies and quality has been good,” he said in late February.
“Weather conditions have been great. Cabbage should be a very promotable item for buyers this spring.”
Crop quality is high and the crop remains on schedule, said Calvert Cullen, president of Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., Cheriton, Va.
Northampton plans to harvest Florida cabbage April 15-20 before switching to Georgia, Cullen said. He said the transition usually works well.
Prices lower than usual
In late February, 50-pound cartons of round green medium cabbage from north, central and south Florida districts were shipping at $5, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
That’s a decrease from the $12-14 price point reported at the same time last year.
The USDA also reported Feb 22 that red mediums were moving at $8-9 and 45-pound cartons of savoy medium at $7-8, a decrease from last year’s prices of $14 and $12, respectively.