Michigan vegetables escape cold snap mostly unscathed - The Packer

Michigan vegetables escape cold snap mostly unscathed

06/06/2012 10:49:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Hudsonville-based Superior Sales expects to begin harvesting green cabbage in early June, ahead of last season’s late June start, said Todd DeWaard, the company’s sales manager.

“We haven’t had a lot of rain to interrupt plantings,” he said.

Next out of the gate for Superior will be zucchini and yellow squash in mid-June and cucumbers in late June, DeWaard said.

Superior expects a similar mix of vegetable commodities in 2012.

Cold, wet spring weather set vegetable crops planted by Sodus-based Leitz Farms LLC back about a week, said Fred Leitz, the company’s principal.

Leitz Farms expects to begin harvesting cucumbers in mid-June, grape tomatoes in mid-July, romas at the end of July and rounds in early August, Leitz said.

The company expects its product mix to be largely unchanged from 2011, Leitz said.

“I don’t like to jump between raindrops. Just because a crop is good last year doesn’t mean I’m going to plant more of it this year. If everybody else thought that, they’d plant more, too.”

Byron Center-based Hearty Fresh was shipping radishes already in mid-May. The company expects to begin shipping zucchini and squash about June 15, cabbage about June 20, cucumbers about June 25, celery about July 6 and grape, roma and round tomatoes about July 20, said Talbert Nething, the company’s general manager.

The company expects continued growth for its mini-sweet peppers, which it introduced in 2011.

“Demand was very good, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t continue to increase,” Nething said.

The company packs the peppers in one-pound clamshells, which have been a big hit with retailers, he said.

Byron Center-based E. Miedema & Sons expects to begin shipping zucchini, squash and cabbage about the third week of June, said Dave Miedema, the company’s president.

The warm March didn’t tempt Miedema into planting early.

“We just kind of watched the clock and didn’t pay attention” to the unseasonably warm growing weather in early spring, Miedema said.

For 2012, Miedema expects to ship a little less cabbage and a little more sweet corn.

“We have a little more contract business on sweet corn,” he said. The company expects to begin shipping Michigan sweet corn about July 20.

E. Miedema will likely ship summer squash and sweet corn through September, will fall squash following from about Labor Day to Thanksgiving. Cabbage also will likely ship until about Thanksgiving.


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