“Usually, we are packing a big pepper during that time,” he said. “It doesn’t normally interfere a lot as we’re not packing off-grade stuff that they’re packing. They won’t have much big pepper then. A lot of it kind of evens out. It may push together a little to where there may be a little bit of an oversupply during that short period.”
While the unfavorable weather has caused late starts for other items, Sheaffer said peppers should start on-time.
Prices for cucumbers were trending higher in late April as problems with some of Florida’s production became apparent.
Georgia’s deal normally begins in mid-May and ends by early July.
Adam Lytch, operations manager for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., which grows and packs pole-grown cucumbers from south Florida and Georgia, quoted $16 for 1 1/9-bushel cartons in late April.
That’s higher than the prices reported by the USDA which in early and mid-April said 1 1/9-bushel cartons of cucumbers from Florida were selling for $14.35-14.85.
Last year in late April, the USDA reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons and crates waxed medium from south and central Florida selling for $20.35-20.85, fair quality for $14.35-16.85; carton 24s for $8-9.
“The market has been kind of low the last couple of weeks, but it has been trending higher,” Lytch said. “There have been some issues in south Florida, where there has been a lot of disease pressure. It’s getting late to be in production in south Florida, which is normally finished up by this time and production moves up north, but everything has been delayed this year.”
Lytch said L&M had some cucumbers planted in south Florida that normally require 55 days to make a crop. Because of the colder-than-normal winter and early spring this year, however, those plantings took 90 days, he said.
Jon Schwalls, director of operations for Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable Inc., Norman Park, Ga., said cucumber movement stalled a little after Easter in early April but began picking up in late April.
“Movement is good now,” he said in late April. “Prices are beginning to tighten after stalling.”
Schwalls quoted $16-18 for cartons of supers.
He said an unexpected early cold snap that struck in mid-October prematurely cut off Georgia’s fall crop. The fall deal normally runs through late November.