Late-summer growing conditions have been positive for production of cabbage, cucumbers and greens, growers report.

Cabbage

Though Norman Park, Ga.-based Southern Valley Fruit and Vegetable Inc. plans to harvest small volumes of cabbage in late October, production should begin in earnest in early to mid-November, said Nate Branch, a salesman.

If early fall cabbage demand is high, that could prompt Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and New York growers to cut early and possibly lower volume toward the end of September and first of October, he said.

Branch said he has also heard of possible lower Georgia acreage.

"If the demand is really good on cabbage over the next month, we will see people cutting a little earlier," Branch said in late August. "In my opinion, there will be high demand. Demand should be a little better than it has been in years past in the fall."

Lake Park, Ga.-based South Georgia Produce Inc. expects to begin harvesting in mid-November as usual, said Brandi Hobby, a saleswoman.

"Buyers should expect consistent volume and typical quality," she said in late August. "The transition is usually easy because we're not typically competing with a lot of other regions."

South Georgia Produce expects to pack about 25,000 cartons of cabbage, a little higher than last fall, Hobby said.

Spring and summer demand was strong, said Calvert Cullen, president of Cheriton, Va.-based Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc.

Early November will mark the start of the grower-shipper's Georgia production.

"We should have good volume for holiday business, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years'," Cullen said. "So far, planting conditions have been good. Quality and sizings should be good. We should have a good deal."

Northampton plans to harvest through Jan. 10 after starting its Florida production in early January.

A week of overlapping production is typical, Cullen said.

Cucumbers

Eric Bolesta, sales manager for Lake Park-based Ken Corbett Farms LLC, said he expects the fall to bring fewer planted acres.

The grower-shipper expected to begin harvesting Sept. 15-20.

"They are looking good," Bolesta said in late August. "There haven't been any real issues, which is good for us. Buyers should expect good quality and volume once harvest gets going."

Southern Valley plans to begin harvesting Sept. 10-13.

Volume of its pole-grown cucumbers should start as soon as harvesting starts, Branch said.

"The great thing about starting cucumbers on Sept.15 is that our Tennessee production goes all the way into October, which will make for an overlap," he said. "Buyers should expect consistent supplies."

South Georgia Produce plans to begin harvesting in late September and hit volume about a week later, Hobby said.

"The quality is usually the best up front," she said. "The cucumbers are always the better the newer they are. We anticipate good quality. We haven't changed our acreage, so buyers should expect consistent volume."

South Georgia Produce expects to finish in early November.

"The cucumber deal should bring good volumes and good quality," Northampton's Cullen said in late August. "We are expecting a good season."

Greens

In mid-September, Georgia growers typically begin harvesting leafy greens, including kale, collard greens, turnip roots and mustard greens.

Norman Park-based Baker Farms LLC expects to start then and ramp up larger volume in mid-October when northern buyers begin purchasing from the Southeast, said Heath Wetherington, general manager.

Wetherington said he expects a 20% increase in the state's volume.

"Everything looks great," he said in late August.

"We haven't had any weather issues or anything to set us back. We are expecting good quality and good volumes and are looking forward to a good fall."
 
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