Supplies of quality summer berries remain strong, growers say

07/20/2012 12:55:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Demand

California blackberry production ran extremely late this year, said Vince Lopes, vice president of sales for Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif.

“Demand has and will most likely continue to exceed supply into midsummer,” he said.

“At some point later in July, promotable supplies will be available well into the fall.”

Until then, volume should remain much lighter.

In North Carolina, growers were having a difficult time, said Ervin Lineberger, owner of Killdeer Farms in Kings Mountain.

“It’s been a rough year for everyone,” he said July 10.

Most North Carolina crops suffered some freeze damage in April, he said, and wet, hot weather has meant “less than ideal growing conditions.”

The navajo blackberries that Killdeer Farms was shipping in July did not suffer freeze damage, but overall yields were down, he said.

On July 16, USDA reported that flats of 12 6-ounce cups of blackberries with lids from the Salinas-Watsonville district sold for $16-18.

Meanwhile, in Watsonville, raspberries were coming off their peak during the first part of July, but Dan Crowley, sales manager for Well-Pict Inc., said they’ll ramp back up with another push in August and September.

Quality and flavor profiles have been outstanding, he said, and promotional volume should be available well into October.

On July 16, USDA listed trays of 12 6-ounce containers of raspberries from Salinas/Watsonville at $12.


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