Georgia’s squash and cabbage are expected to start harvesting later than usual.
Georgia growers planned to begin squash in late April and early May.
Volume, however, is expected to be lighter than normal, said Eric Bolesta, sales manager for Lake Park, Ga.-based Ken Corbett Farms LLC.
“I just don’t think there will be retail promotable volume on squash this year,” Bolesta said. “We should finally get some bigger volumes May 15.”
J&S Produce Inc., in Mount Vernon, Ga., expects bigger volume to commence in mid-May after an expected slower start in late April and early May, said Joey Johnson, president.
“So far, quality is good and the plants look well,” he said in late April.
Steve Sterling, salesman for Lake Park-based Fresh Link Consolidation LLC, the sales agent for Coggins Farm and Produce Inc., said he isn’t worried about the Plant City, Fla., to Georgia transition.
“The transition is typically smoother than the others,” he said. “There’s more squash planted this year in Plant City. The Plant City guys plant squash behind their berries. Squash doesn’t take as long to grow as bell pepper, eggplant and cucumbers. There’s usually enough squash planted in Georgia which makes the transition smoother.”
Squash volume for J&J Family of Farms Inc., in Loxahatchee, Fla., should begin in mid-May, said Brian Rayfield, vice president of business development and marketing.
“The plants look good,” he said in late April. “Georgia grows the best squash for our program and all the growing areas we grow in. There is good acreage and excellent yields and quality. We expect another good season this year.”
Squash usually finishes in late June.
Buyers should expect a later-starting cabbage deal.
While the deal typically begins April 20, this year, Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable Inc., in Norman Park, Ga., planned to start May 5, said Dug Schwalls, sales director.
“We’ve had too much rain and freezes, but the cabbage looks good,” he said in late April.
Significant volume wasn’t expected until early May, said Fresh Link’s Sterling.
“The quality is fine,” he said in late April.
Schwalls said last fall went well.
He said demand remained strong and growers produced high-quality product.
Georgia harvests cabbage through mid- to late June.
Late May and early June usually marks the start of Georgia’s eggplant production.
Fresh Link plans to begin harvesting eggplant in late May and volume isn’t expected to begin until early June, Sterling said.
“Every year, there’s a little bit of a gap between Florida and Georgia,” he said. “Plant City usually has a lot of eggs and then all of a sudden, it dries up quickly. There will be a week to 10 days when eggplant gets tight.”
Last fall went well and the transition between Plant City and Georgia is usually seamless, Schwalls said.
Eggplant remains on schedule for a May 25 start for Ken Corbett Farms, Bolesta said.
“The season will see a steady supply, a happy medium of no overproduction and no underproduction,” he said in late April. “There won’t be any real factors to heat it down and there isn’t anything to suggest it will be in abundance.”