Squash remains on schedule - The Packer

Squash remains on schedule

07/15/2011 11:38:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

Squash and cucumbers remain items New York growers ship in significant numbers. The growers also ship lesser volumes of bell peppers and eggplant.


Spring rains aren’t expected to delay New York’s squash crop. Growers say this season’s shipments should start close to on time in mid-July.

“So far, it looks well,” said Jason Turek, partner in Turek Farms, King Ferry, N.Y.

“That which has come up looks like it’s doing well.”

Turek said he plans to start shipments in mid-July.

Dave Walczak, sales and operations manager of Eden Valley Growers, Eden, N.Y., said the grower-shipper planned to start with light volume in early July, behind the normal late June and early July start.

Walczak said he expected Eden Valley to hit volume by the second and third week of July.
“The squash looks well,” he said in mid-June.

“The early squash is a little smaller but it will get there.”

Torrey Farms Inc., Elba, N.Y., plans to start July 19, a little later than the normal mid-July start, said Maureen Marshall, vice president.

“The fields are growing,” she said in mid-June. “We did well last season.”

The transition from New York to Georgia’s early fall deal usually works well with Georgia beginning its squash in late September as New York finishes, Marshall said.

On July 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported ½-bushel and 5/9-bushel cartons zucchini small from south Georgia selling for $12.35-12.85 with mediums at $10.35-12.85.

Small yellow crookneck squash sold for $10.35-12.85 with mediums at $6.35-7.85.

Last year in early July, the USDA reported ½-bushel and 5/9-bushel cartons of zucchini small from the Eastern Shore of Virginia selling for $6-7 with mediums at $4-5, and cartons of yellow straightneck smalls at $10 with mediums at $8.


Torrey Farms plans to begin cucumber harvesting July 25, a couple of weeks later than its normal mid-July start, Marshall said.

“They’re up and they’re growing,” she said in mid-June.

Marshall said numerous other growing regions such as Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Canada going simultaneously can make the deal challenging.

Marshall said last season was strong for New York cucumbers.

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 — normally begins harvesting in late July.

Some years, however, production can begin as early as July 18.

This year, owner Tony Piedimonte said he expects production to begin during the last week of July and the first week of August.

“We have good acreage this year,” he said in mid-June.

Piedimonte said last year proved to be a strong cucumber season.

He said the reason New York growers enjoyed a favorable season was because some other production areas experienced issues.

On July 11, the USDA hadn’t issued cucumber prices from North Carolina, but 1 1/9-bushel cartons of mediums from Michigan received $20-20.85, fair quality received $10-10.85, and cartons of 24s received $7-8.85.

The USDA wasn’t reporting North Carolina prices last season in late June, but reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons and crates of mediums from Michigan selling for $20-20.85 with cartons of 24s selling for $7-8.35.

New York volume normally runs through early October.

Bell peppers

Growers normally begin harvesting bell peppers in late July with larger volumes beginning in early August.

Piedimonte said he expects production to be strong in early August.

“The early ones look OK,” he said in mid-June.

“They could stand a little warmer temperatures as peppers like that tropical weather. They have greened up nicely and are coming along fine.”

While Piedimonte said last season only brought fair prices, Eden Valley’s Walczak characterized the deal as a good pepper season.

“We saw good prices and good demand,” Walczak said.

He said prices last year averaged $9.

The USDA on July 11 reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons of green jumbos from eastern North Carolina selling for $14.35 with extra larges at $12-12.35, fair quality at $8-10.35, and larges at $10-10.35.


Eggplant production typically begins in late July and early August and finishes by October.

Walczak said last season went well and said growers harvested quality eggplant throughout the deal. He said prices averaged $10 last season.

Though the USDA on July 11 hadn’t issued eggplant f.o.b.s for Eastern North Carolina, it reported south Georgia eggplant selling for $7.35-8.85 for 1 1/9-bushel cartons of mediums with fair quality fetching $5.35-6.85.

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