Georgia southern vegetables expected to start with normal supplies

05/11/2010 09:16:29 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

The grower-shipper planned to start harvesting its pole-grown cucumbers May 10.

Blackwater plans to begin shipments in mid- to late May.

Sheaffer said Plant City, Fla., was to start shipments in late April and early May, overlapping a little with the south Georgia deal.

Sheaffer said scattered disease harmed south Georgia’s fall cucumbers, which he said also finished a little earlier than expected because of quality and disease issues.

He said he doesn’t expect to see those issues this spring. Such conditions, Sheaffer said, are more likely to happen to Georgia fall production which usually experiences more challenging growing conditions.

Shay Kennedy, co-owner, vice president and sales manager of Georgia Vegetable Co. Inc., Tifton, called cucumber plants healthy.

“They look really great,” she said in mid-April. “Everything looks really nice.”

Kennedy said she hopes this season’s deal will bring the packing of a higher number of supers.

Georgia Vegetables planned to start pickings May 20 and finish at the end of June.

Squash
Because of pollination problems in south and central Florida, prices for some squash varieties have been slowly increasing during the spring.

Joey Johnson, president of J&S Produce Inc., Mount Vernon, Ga., said bees in south Florida have been pollinating mango trees and other tropicals instead of squash.

That, he said, hasn’t affected quality but has limited yields and boosted prices.

Prices for in late March reported by the USDA:

half- and 5/9-bushel crates and cartons of zucchini small from central and south Florida sold for $12-14.85 and medium for $6-6.85;yellow straightneck small sold for $12-12.85 and medium for $10-10.85; and

three-quarter bushel cartons of yellow crookneck small sold for $8-10.85 and medium for $6-6-85.

By mid-April, however, brought higher prices:

$12-14.85 for small and medium zucchini from Florida;

$20-20.85 for small yellow straightneck, $18-18.85 for medium; and

$18-20 for small yellow crookneck and $14-16. medium.

Johnson said his growers planned to begin harvesting in late April and run throughout the summer through late November.

Last year, J&S’ growers finished at Thanksgiving.

Georgia Vegetable planned to start shipments in early May.

Kennedy said south Georgia should bring a normal spring season.

“The plants look really pretty and good,” she said in mid-April. “The growers are planting them and getting them in the ground on time. We are anticipating a very good crop.”

South Georgia Produce planned to begin its harvesting by early May, about two to three weeks later than normal.


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