Late plantings likely mean supply gaps for Michigan crops

06/09/2011 10:35:00 AM
Dan Gailbraith

“Other than that it’s just too early to tell,” DeWaard said June 1.

He said bell peppers should be on time, but cucumbers and zucchini and yellow squash are behind a week or two.

Fred Leitz, principal in Leitz Farms LLC, Sodus, Mich., said his tomatoes and cucumbers should be about 10 days late this season. The company also grows cantaloupe, strawberries and a few fall apples, which it markets through other packing sheds.

For Costanza Farms, the early season crops were planted as of late May, but the midseason tomatoes weren’t in the ground yet because of the rain. Costanza said he expected to harvest cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash by the 22nd of June, just a couple days later than normal. He said he hopes to have moved on to late season planting by mid-June.

Todd Miedema said the first commodity coming out of the Miedema Produce fields is radishes but the company was a week to 10 days behind.

“People are packing new crop radishes, but we are not going to be packing until June 7,” Todd Miedema said May 31.

Turnips should be available mid-June, with lettuces coming off around the beginning of July — all a week late — Miedema said.

Jerry Van Solkema, owner of Van Solkema Produce Inc., Byron Center, Mich., was harvesting radishes by the first week of June, and expected a good supply if the weather cooperated.

Hearty Fresh, which acts as a marketing agent for the full line of Michigan vegetables but also grows its own celery, onions, sweet corn and pumpkins, should start harvesting with celery by July 4, Nething said.

“Everyone is behind on their transplants, and as it gets later and later, growers are faced with a tough decision about how much to put in,” Nething said.

Dave Miedema said he expects to harvest cabbage and summer squash by the latter half of June, and for sweet corn he said he hopes it will be in July. Fall squash was set to harvest around Aug. 1.

Pirrone said he expected there to be some spottiness in the corn supplies this summer.

“We do a lot of corn, and the planting schedule has been interrupted a little bit,” Pirrone said. “I think we’ll have plenty of sweet corn for August, but July should be a pretty active market.”

On a positive note, Michigan growers and marketers are expecting strong markets throughout the spring, summer and into the fall for their vegetables.


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