Colorado vegetable growers say they anticipate good volumes and strong markets this year, although they had to deal with some weather-related delays.
The first onions likely would move to market by mid-August, said Alan Kinoshita, sales manager with Eaton, Colo.-based Fagerberg Produce Inc.
“The crop looks really good so far this year; for the most part, the weather has left us alone,” he said.
“We had a cooler and wetter than normal May, so I’d say the crop is maybe 10 days to two weeks later than normal.”
He said he likely would begin harvesting around Aug. 15-19.
“Stands are good,” he said, noting that Fagerberg grows reds, whites and yellows. “Right now, yields look really good, but we’re a week-and-a-half or so behind. Provided the weather is normal, which it is now, yields look good.”
Sizing appeared to be “pretty much 50-50, as far as jumbos and mediums,” he said.
Robert Sakata, owner of Brighton, Colo.-based onion-grower-shipper Sakata Farms, said the growing season had been “near-perfect.”
“I don’t know what to expect, but the crop looks good,” he said. “We were able to dodge all the hail.”
He said his deal likely would start in September.
“The deal will start right after Labor Day — about on time,” he said.
Denver-based grower-shipper Ringer & Son started harvesting its first sweet corn acreage July 26, said Joshua Johnson, president.
“Corn is looking good,” said Johnson, whose operation has about 1,000 acres.
“We’re running about a week behind due to the cold spring we had — just kept it from growing.”
Corn harvest will get “pretty heavy” around Aug. 12-19, he said.
“So, we put it out there and run ads and what kind of aggressive pricing do you need?” he said of his retail promotional plans.
“The buyers have to rely on the retailer to run the ads. The buyers are usually on our side; they just need to get the retailers to run the ad, which is tough because they write their ads about 60 days in advance.”
Olathe, Colo.-based Tuxedo Corn Co. began shipping July 24, said Erik Westesen, operations manager.
That sounds early, but actually, it was slightly later than normal, he said.
“Normally, we start July 18,” he said. “We’re 10 days behind.”
There won’t be an extension to the season to compensate, he said.
“This is going to be an especially short season because it’s late,” he said. “Normally you can’t move sweet corn after Labor Day.”
The crop, late as it was, “was looking nice,” he said.
“Yields are looking good, and it’s sweet” and sizing well, he said.
The carrot crop “looks great,” said Jordan Hungenberg, sales representative with Greeley, Colo.-based Hungenberg Produce Inc.
“We have started packing and shipping organic and conventional carrots,” Hungenberg said.
All varieties of organic and conventional potatoes at La Salle, Colo.-based Strohauer Farms were scheduled to be harvested beginning Aug. 5, said Harry Strohauer, owner.
“We go nearly year-round, between our places here and in Texas and Oklahoma,” Strohauer said.
Colorado fruit growers forecast good season