Empire State crops take a beating

07/15/2011 11:43:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

Growers normally begin production in late June or by mid-July. Because of the spring planting problems, growers say they expect to begin harvesting in mid- to late July.

Eric Hansen, vice president of Hansen Farms LLC, Stanley, N.Y., said the tight July crop should mean shippers will experience some supply challenges.

“From beginning to end, we will get all our acreage in,” he said in mid-June.

“After having zero during early July, it will gradually pick up. The whole month of July and for at least half of August, we will look at having 50% to 60% of our normal crop.”

Maureen Marshall, vice president of Torrey Farms Inc., Elba, N.Y., said buyers should expect half a crop during the early deal.

“The first plantings look really awful,” she said in mid-June.

“Everything planted early looks ugly. It’s not very even. Once you get into the crops planted toward the end of May, those look really nice.”

Torrey Farms produces its biggest volume in September, October and November before the storage deal starts in December and runs through mid-June.

Tony Piedimonte, owner of James J. Piedimonte & Sons Inc. & Anthony J. Piedimonte/Cabbco, Holley, N.Y. — the northern marketing division of Wimauma, Fla.-based Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC — said cabbage production should be light through July.

He said some of the earlier plantings appear to be stalled.

“We hope the stores don’t raise the retails too high in July,” Piedimonte said.

“We will need the support of the chains adjusting the retails to move the product.”

Last season, Michigan shipments during late June sold for $5.75-6.50 for 50-pound cartons of medium round green cabbage.

Green beans

Buyers can expect beans to enter the New York deal late.

Piedimonte said he expects his harvesting to commence in late July at the earliest, a couple of weeks later than the normal mid-July start.

Depending on weather, earnest harvesting may not start until early August, he said in mid-June.

“What’s up, other than the first two plantings, looks nice,” Piedimonte said.

“Everything looks good after the first two week of plantings which got hammered.”



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