Mid-Atlantic vegetable growers ramping up for summer production - The Packer

Mid-Atlantic vegetable growers ramping up for summer production

06/04/2010 11:06:58 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

In early May, Colson quoted prices in the mid- to high teens.

The USDA hadn’t started reporting Georgia prices, saying the first report should come in late May when most growers expect to begin harvesting.

Bushel cartons/crates of round green beans from south and central Florida in late May sold for $8.85-10.85.

After planning to finish its central Florida production in late May, C&E expected to move up the Eastern Seaboard starting production in North Carolina and in Virginia on May 25 as well as in the Eastern Shore area of Maryland, in Delaware as well in Pennsylvania near York, Pa., and Bloomsberg, Pa.

C&E, which packs all of its beans in Cheriton, plans to pack through Nov. 1.

Northampton’s Cullen said the grower-shipper is set to begin Virginia harvesting June 10-15 and run through July 10.

He said price during the transition from Georgia to Virginia can vary, depending on the length of the overlap.

During the last couple of years, pricing has been fair as there hasn’t been a large overlap between the two growing regions, Cullen said.

He said prices can often open $10-16-20.

Northampton also packs in Moultrie, Ga.

Tennessee production usually begins in Crossville, Tenn., in early June and runs through late September while Ohio, Indiana and Michigan are also in summer production.

Papen Farms’ Papen said prices can often vary.

“This winter was just crazy,” he said. “There was no corn or beans. If we can get $18, we will do all right.”

Papen plans to start its harvesting in late June.

Sweet corn

Virginia sweet corn production normally begins June 20-25 and runs through the end of August.

Parker Farms’ Parker said production is expected to start on-time.

He said the deal normally has a two week overlap with Georgia harvesting, which runs to around the Fourth of July.

Parker said he doesn’t think growers will encounter cheap prices this season.

He said prices soared to $28 after January freezes destroyed south Florida’s crop but then fell to $7-9 during late April and early May.

“There is a big slug getting ready to move through the pipeline, which will keep prices depressed,” Parker said in early May. “Memorial Day is the first big usage of the year, the first summertime corn sale. When that drops off, Florida will generally be done and Georgia has it all to itself. This year, there is a lot of corn out so I don’t know what prices will be.”

The USDA in late May reported wirebound crates of 4½ dozen yellow, white and bicolor corn from Florida selling for $8.95.

Parker said corn during the Delaware deal has averaged $10-12.

Papen Farms plans to begin harvesting July 1 with volume rolling through mid-September.

If Georgia finishes on time, the Mid-Atlantic deal should see fair prices, Papen said.

Papen called last year’s deal strong and said prices opened at $12 last season for yellow, white and bicolor corn.

He said he sent more corn to Florida retailers during July and August when the state doesn’t produce corn.

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