Despite weather setbacks, buyers should expect strong volume once Georgia’s sweet corn and green bean deals begin.
Georgia growers expect to begin harvesting green beans in mid-May with shipments of corn arriving later than normal during the latter part of the month.
Corn should begin production in late May and early June, behind the typical mid- to late May start.
“Once we get started in Georgia, we should have volume the whole deal,” said Jon Browder, sales manager for Pioneer Growers Co-op in Belle Glade, Fla. “The transition from Florida to Georgia should be seamless and buyers can expect great supplies all the way through the end of the deal during the Fourth of July.”
While demand typically slows after the big Memorial Day push, Browder said he foresees a strong late May week this season, similar to last year when Georgia began production June 1.
Flavor 1st in Hendersonville, N.C., and Belle Glade-based S. M. Jones & Co. Inc., market for Green Circles Farm in Bainbridge, Ga.
Green Circles plans to start harvesting May 19 but that harvest will be lighter-than-normal volume until mid-June, when it expects to bring promotable volume, said Ted Wanless, S. M. Jones’ chief operating officer.
“There should be excellent quality and volume to follow,” he said in late April. “We look for a very strong Fourth of July holiday. If we stay on plan with Florida finishing and Georgia starting in a light way in late May, with Georgia seasonably building volume in June, I think it should be a good transition.”
In late April, Browder quoted $9.95 for wirebound crates of 4-4½ dozen yellow, white and bicolor corn.
He said he expects prices to carry through to Georgia which usually opens at similar prices to Florida.
Fresh Link Consolidation LLC, the Lake Park, Ga.-based sales agent for Coggins Farm and Produce Inc., plans to begin its green beans May 10-15.
“They were planted on time and won’t be too late this year,” said Steve Sterling, salesman. “The cold weather left before they got above the ground. The transition usually goes well. By the time we start, Homestead (Fla.) may have a little overlap but it won’t be much.”
Lake Park-based South Georgia Produce Inc., plans to begin harvesting May 12 and hit promotable volume the following week, said Al Hiers, salesman and food safety manager.
“They are looking great,” he said in late April. “The height is good and they’re blooming.”
Florida was expected to end production May 6 and the transition to Georgia should go well, Pioneer’s Browder said in late April.
“They should be great,” Browder said. “During the transition, the deal is usually overwhelmed with volume.”
J&S Produce Inc., Mount Vernon, Ga., plans to start May 10, about five days late.
“We expect to have steady supplies and good quality,” said Joey Johnson, president. “The crops are good. There aren’t any problems except being delayed because of wetness.”