Georgia vegetable crops could begin early

05/04/2012 12:57:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

“They all look really good,” he said in mid-April.

“I would say they are better this year and better than we have had in the last several years. This should be the best crop I’ve seen in several years.”

Georgia growers normally harvest through early to mid-July.

A tighter supply of the larger cucumbers during early spring could make for better markets when the deal moves from Florida to Georgia, said Sheaffer.

“South Florida has been kind of tight on the No. 1s and a little looser on the off-grades,” Sheaffer said in late April.

“They’re finishing up quicker down there and moving more toward the middle (central Florida). We will see consistent quality (in Georgia) as long as the weather permits,” he said.

“The market will be in a reasonable shape, maybe a little tight through our start. It should be a good deal for everyone.”

South Georgia Produce plans to start harvesting its cucumbers in early to mid-May, earlier than normal, Vickers said.

Vickers said Georgia’s fall deal went well. He said it ended a little quicker than most growers wanted.

The USDA in late April reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons of cucumbers from Florida selling for $16.35-18.35 for waxed mediums. That’s similar to last season.

“I think the market’s average now,” he said in mid-April. “They have had a real warm winter down there in south Florida. No one has been knocked out of the game. There are plenty of cucumbers around.”

L&M plans to begin its harvesting in early May, ahead of its normal mid-May start, Lytch said.

He said the heat is bringing the cucumbers on fast.

“The offshore deal recently wrapped up,” he said in mid-April.

“Price and demand are fair. The Florida crops are not tremendous. There was a lot of wind this spring in Florida, which really affected the cucumbers. We have blown through a lot of acres and are not getting a tremendous yield for what we normally do,” he said.

“Quality has been good but there’s not a lot of yield. The market hasn’t really responded to that lack of yield.”

Lytch quoted $16 for supers and $8 for selects.

This season’s squash harvesting began in mid- to late April, about a week earlier than usual.

Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., Cheriton, Va., which grows and ships from Florida, Georgia and other East Coast regions, started production in late April.



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