Southern vegetables to begin later

05/10/2013 10:19:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Northampton, which grows and ships from south Florida to Virginia, plans to begin production May 10.

“They are looking good right now,” Cullen said in late April. “The fall went well. We had good quality and good demand. So far, this spring is going well too. Demand has been decent.”

Southern Valley plans to begin May 15.

Schwalls said buyers should expect less volume.

“Overall, the cucumber volume should probably be down in Georgia,” he said. “I don’t think there are as many cucumbers planted this year.”

Schwalls said many non-pole grown cucumbers sustained extensive cold and hail damage in late March.

Squash

Georgia’s squash normally starts in late April.

Though the growers who grow for J&S Produce Inc. in Mount Vernon, Ga., usually target an April 20 start, cold weather in recent years has prevented that early of a start, said Joey Johnson, president.

“We won’t have big volume to start and won’t hit heavy volume until after May 15,” he said in late April. “We will run strong through late October.”

In late April, Johnson said the plants weren’t blooming that much but said the fields looked strong.

Northampton began its squash harvesting April 25 and Cullen said Florida growers enjoyed a favorable winter market.

“The squash market has been very strong because there’s been no volume (in Florida),” he said in late April. “We’re starting to get decent volume now.”

In late April, Cullen said yellow squash in mid-April hit as high as $20 a carton while green fetched $8.85 and yellow fancy grade in late April sold for $12.85.

On May 6, the USDA reported priced of $12.35-12.85 for ½- and 5/9-bushel cartons of small zucchini from south Georgia and $8.35-10.85 for medium. Yellow straightneck small received $14.35-16.95 and medium received $12.35-14.95. Small yellow crooknecks in ¾-bushel cartons received $16.35-18.85 and mediums received $10.35-14.85.

Cullen said the transition from Plant City, Fla., to south Georgia usually goes well.

Coggins planned to start its harvesting in early May.

Sterling said many growers didn’t plant anything initially because of the cold weather, but, as soon as temperatures warmed planted much product.

“During the transition, you have guys down there who are usually a little bit cheaper because they need to keep the business down there as they clean up on their stuff,” Sterling said.



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