Today's Pricing

WATERMELONS — F.O.B.S AS OF SEPT. 15

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. — Shipments (277-238-202, seedless 259-223-192, seeded 18-15-10) — Movement expected to decrease seasonally. Trading early moderate, late fairly active. Prices 60 count generally unchanged, others slightly higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 and 45 counts mostly 16-18 cents, approximately 60 count 14-16 cents. Quality generally good. Many present shipments from prior bookings and/or previous commitments.

TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA — Shipments (TX 215-166-135, seedless 189-150-126, seeded 26-16-9, OK seedless 7-5-10) — Movement expected to decrease seasonally. Supplies light. Trading early moderate, late fairly active. Prices higher. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless-type approximately 35 and 45 counts mostly 20 cents. Quality variable.

SOUTHWEST INDIANA AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS — Shipments (426-166-123, red-flesh seeded 21-8-4, red-flesh seedless 405-158-119) — Movement expected to decrease as many growers finish for the season. Trading red-flesh seedless 45s very active, red-flesh seedless 60s slow. Prices red-flesh seedless 45s higher, 60s generally unchanged. 24-inch bins per pound red-flesh seedless 45s 16 cents, 60s 11 cents. Quality generally good.

DELAWARE, MARYLAND, EASTERN SHORE, VA. — Shipments (317-166-90, red-flesh seeded 5-2-2, red-flesh seedless 312-164-88) — Supply insufficient and in too few hands to establish a market. LAST REPORT.

MICHIGAN — Shipments (149-116-76, red-flesh seeded 14-8-3, red-flesh seedless 135-108-73) — Movement expected to decrease as growers finish for the season. Supply insufficient and in too few hands to establish a market. LAST REORT.



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Kern County Produce

Demand builds for sweet peppers, growers say

Sweet peppers, whether green or colored, remain a strong crop in Kern County, Calif.

In 2012, the last year for which figures are available, the county’s growers harvested from about 2,100 acres, up from 1,960 acres in 2011, according to the annual Kern County agricultural commissioner’s crop report.

Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International has seen demand for its elongated colored sweet peppers continue to grow and plans additional acreage in its three California production areas this season, said Natalie Erlendson, marketing manager.

Although water remains a concern, she said the company’s growers have enough to make it through the pepper season.

This spring, Sun World will offer field-grown red La Rouge Royal and yellow La Jaune Royal peppers from the Coachella Valley before transitioning production to Kern County in June. Harvest will continue in the southern San Joaquin Valley through August, when it will move to the Oxnard, Calif., area.

Retailers can help pump up sales by promoting the varieties’ sweet mild flavor and health benefits as well as their versatility in recipes ranging from fajitas to pastas and salads, Erlendson said.

Last year, Sun World introduced a 2-foot bin and a half bin program, which saw tremendous success from retailers as a vehicle for high-turn, high-volume promotions, she said. The company plans to offer it again this season.

For Arvin, Calif.-based Kern Ridge Growers, the window for its Kern County green bell peppers is short, running from the end of May through July. But if this season is like past ones, movement should be good, said Andrew Bianchi, sales manager.

“Coachella is finishing, and the north hasn’t started yet, so we have a pretty good couple of weeks,” he said.


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