It’s still a little too early to predict how a cool, wet spring is affecting Texas-grown honeydews and cantaloupes.
“Typically we start Texas cantaloupes around May 15,” said Chris Eddy, director of sales and operations at Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce LLC. “It remains to be seen whether we’re going to be later than normal this year or not.”
Eddy said the Texas deal for Frontera is short — about four weeks.
That’s also how long Rio Queen Citrus expects to have its honeydew melon deal, said Mike Martin, president.
“The harvest is expected to begin around May 10 or so and run for about a month,” he said.
In early April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that Caribbean imports of cantaloupes via South Florida were $9-10 for half cartons of 9s. Honeydews from the Caribbean basin were bringing $8.75-10 for 2/3 cartons of 5s.
Texas has few cantaloupe and honeydew shippers left, said John McClung, president of the Mission-based Texas Produce Association. Most, he said, have moved production to Central America.
Watermelons should start around May 1 said Ward Thomas, salesman for McAllen, Texas-based Majestic Produce.
“It could be delayed because we had a colder winter than we’ve had in the past 20 years,” Thomas said.
Texas watermelons typically ship through November and start peak volumes around Memorial Day, he said.
Watermelons are grown all over the state, with concentrations northwest of Houston, in the Rio Grande Valley and in the Texas Panhandle.