Spring volume of lettuce, celery and radishes largely survive freeze damage - The Packer

Spring volume of lettuce, celery and radishes largely survive freeze damage

03/18/2011 04:41:48 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

Though he declined to state acreage, Biederman said celery has done well for Pioneer’s growers and that growers have increased acreage every year including this season.

Pioneer expects to end celery harvesting by April 10.


The December freezes damaged a small amount of Florida radish plantings.

Pioneer’s Biederman said the cold affected some fields but that the short 30-day planting to harvest crop has moved beyond any injuries.

“Moving forward, quality is excellent,” Biederman said in late February. “We are hoping that demand will remain strong and that we can have another decent radish season.”

In early February, Biederman called markets low. He quoted $5-6 for cartons of 30 6-ounce film bags of red radishes.

The USDA in late February reported cartons of topped red 30 6-ounce film bags from south Florida selling for $5.95; 14 1-pound film bags selling for $6.45; 25-pound film bags, $9.95; 40-pound film bags, $14.85.

In late February and early March of last season, the USDA reported cartons topped red 30 6-ounce film bags selling for $6.95; 14 1-pound film bags, $7.45; 25-pound film bags $10.85; 40-pound film bags $16.35.

Bedsole said Duda plans to harvest its radishes to mid- to late May.

“Everything is good on our radishes,” he said in late February. “There are no issues there. Buyers can expect good supplies of a quality product.”

Bedsole said Duda has seen consistent demand for the vegetable.

He and Biederman called last season favorable.

The cold December weather made for a tardy north Florida broccoli deal.

Adam Lytch, operations manager for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., which grows and packs broccoli from Palatka, said the deal, which normally begins in mid-December, didn’t get started until mid-January.

A continuing drought also harmed crop growth during October planting, Lytch said.

Lytch characterizes product integrity as high.

“We have absolutely outstanding quality,” he said in late February. “It is just really, really good.”

Because of heavy rains, Lytch said this season’s western crop has been spotty in quality.

After Georgia’s broccoli deal finishes after Christmas, north Florida production usually runs through mid-April before Georgia returns to production.

South Florida normally picks up in January and goes through late March.

Lytch said Florida production is seeing increasing demand from East Coast buyers interested in lowering freight costs and fresher arrivals.

Lytch called prices strong and quoted $12-14 for 20-pound cartons of iced and iceless broccoli.

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