New York State vegetable growers fear supply gaps - The Packer

New York State vegetable growers fear supply gaps

07/16/2009 05:23:05 PM
Susie Cable

Soggy fields hampered New York vegetable growers’ spring planting, and some growers say there might be gaps in the supply this summer.

New York’s major vegetable crops include sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, cauliflower and snap beans. In early July, growers were cutting cabbage, picking squash and harvesting cauliflower, and most were hoping fields would dry out so they could plant more vegetable crops.

Eden, N.Y.-based Eden Valley Growers’ 150 acres of sweet corn were right on track in early July, said Dave Walczak, sales and operations manager. He expected harvest to be in full swing by late July, and said this season Eden Valley should ship its typical 42,000 crates of 4 dozen ears.

The region’s wet and cool weather in April and May did not harm the co-op’s corn crop. In early July, temperatures were still lower than normal with highs in the low 70s and lows in the 50s to 60s, Walczak said. Usually, highs would be in the upper 70s to lower 80s.
 
Walczak declined to speculate about corn prices in early July, saying it was too early to do so. He said he expects sweet corn supplies to be slightly tight this season. If they are, New York corn prices could be high.

On July 9, with supplies light and demand strong, southern Georgia’s sweet corn prices for pre-cooled wire-bound crates of 4 dozen ears were at $14.95-16.95 for yellow or white, and $14.95 for bicolor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Most of the region’s shippers were done for the season, the report said.

A year earlier, southern Georgia’s sweet corn prices were high because nationwide supply was light, the USDA reported. Prices for pre-cooled wire-bound crates of 4 dozen ears were $14.70 for yellow or bicolor, and $12.70 for white.

Gill Corn Farms Inc., Hurley, N.Y., planted its usual 1,400 acres of sweet corn this season. It was on schedule and quality looked good as of July 6, said Tim Richards, salesman. Though the fields received more rain than was needed at planting time, the company was finishing planting right on schedule on July 6. The fields had dried out and soil conditions were right for planting then, Richards said.

Sweet corn planting went well for A. Gurda Produce Co. Inc., Pine Island, N.Y., said Andrew Gurda, owner. The last two weeks of June brought lower-than-normal high temperatures around 70 degrees and rain, but no flooding. Frequent rainfalls made it difficult to get into the 100 acres of corn to spray for pests or disease, but Gurda said he doesn’t expect quality to be adversely affected.


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