BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Buyers should expect light volume during the early part of Florida’s fall cabbage harvesting while the lettuce and celery crops should be typical crops.
Wm. P. Hearne Produce Co. LLC in Wimauma plans to begin harvesting cabbage in mid-December.
While the season is predicted to begin on time, because of heavy rains during September early plantings, growers aren’t expecting to bring their usual volume during the opening weeks, said Jeff Williams, president.
“Some of the early stuff really got beat up,” he said in late October. “The early production will be in light supply. Once you get later into the deal, I think your volume will be pretty much normal and quality will be back to like it typically is that time of the year.”
Because of weather disruptions, this season’s Georgia production started almost a month later than normal and in late October, Williams characterized Georgia quality as OK at best.
He said he expects to finish Georgia by mid-December.
In October, Cheriton, Va.-based Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc. had begun plantings in Okeechobee.
On Nov. 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 50-pound cartons of medium green cabbage from New York selling for $8-10 with 50-pound sacks of large fetching $4.
Last year in late October, the USDA reported the cartons from New York selling for $8.50-10 and $7.50-8 for the sacks.
Central Florida’s cabbage deal typically runs through early June.
Hugh H. Branch Inc. planned to start lettuce harvesting in early November, as usual.
Dan Shiver, co-owner, said Branch’s growers and south Florida’s overall deal should harvest from acreage similar to last season’s.
He said Branch’s growers were able to plant when some weren’t.
“The crop looks very good and the quality should be high,” Shiver said in late October.
“Since the rains have ended, temperatures have cooled and it has been very conducive to good growing conditions. We should be about normal in supplies.”
Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., the fresh division of Oviedo-based A. Duda & Sons Inc., plans to begin harvesting in mid-December as usual, said Jason Bedsole, sales manager of Eastern vegetables and citrus in the company’s Wellington office.
“Everything appears to be in good condition,” he said in late October.
“We are expanding production a little. We’re adding a fair amount of new harvesting equipment.”
Duda plans to start harvesting celery in early to mid-December.
“Everything is being planted as scheduled,” Bedsole said in late October. “We will have good volumes from the start. We don’t expect any gaps in supply once we get started. Everything looks good.”
Last season went well and Duda experienced strong demand for its production, he said.
Duda began harvesting radishes in late October as normal.
“Everything looks good,” Bedsole said in late October.
“Supplies and quality are good. We look for an exceptionally strong start and a great season.”
Last season saw steady demand and Duda experienced some increasing purchases in different regions, he said.
Florida’s radish production typically finishes in mid- to late May.
Pioneer planned to begin harvesting Nov. 6.
“They look good from what we’re hearing from the scouts in the field,” Browder said.
Pioneer plans to harvest through early June.