BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Following weather-related gaps, buyers should expect lighter supplies to bring higher prices for Florida sweet corn and green beans.

After torrential rains interrupted fall plantings, corn isn’t expected to begin harvesting in large volumes until December and growers predict bean production to be sporadic until December as well.



Pioneer Growers Co-op doesn’t expect to see its first Belle Glade corn beginning until the second week of December, said Jon Browder, sales manager.

“There will be a gap in November, so don’t expect any volumes then,” he said in late October. “Quality is looking good, what’s in the ground. Once we get into December, we should have decent volume.”

Georgia should finish production in mid-November as usual and Browder said he hopes the region can cover some of the gap and provide marketers some corn.

Hugh H. Branch Inc., South Bay, plans to begin harvesting by Nov. 10, slightly earlier than normal, said Brett Bergmann, co-owner.

“Because of the rain, there will be limited acres,” he said in late October.

“Growers were only able to plant a limited amount this fall but there should be decent supplies that should cover the demand. It should get more steady and consistent by Dec. 10-15. There will be ample supplies but we’re not sure if it will be large or small.”

On Nov. 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported wirebound crates of 4 dozen from Georgia selling for $8.95 for white, $7.95-8.95 for bicolor and $8.95-9.95 for yellow.

Last year in late October, the USDA reported those varieties from Georgia selling for $12.95 for yellow and bicolor and $14.95 for white.

The rains were more of an inconvenience and Scotlynn Sweet Pac Growers LLC expects to begin Florida harvesting Nov. 15, said Bryan Biederman, partner.


Green beans

Though growers plan to begin harvesting in early to mid-November, volume during the front part of the bean deal should be small because of sporadic plantings, said Gary Stafford, a Branch salesman and green bean manager.

“For November, we should be down probably 50% of normal,” he said in late October.

“In December, we will get into our normal planting schedule and volume should be normal. The early crop problems won’t affect quality because what’s there is good. The skips will just reduce the volume that’s available for November.”

Pioneer plans to begin harvesting in early November but Browder said typical November volume won’t begin until mid-December.

Homestead production should start in mid-November and Browder said the Homestead crop looks good.

Southwest Florida production was expected to begin in early November, said Chris Tordonato, sales manager of Immokalee-based Florida Specialties Inc.

“The crop looks good at this point and we can expect stable volume with good quality,” he said in late October.

Tordonato said he expects consistent supplies once harvesting starts.

In late October, Georgia bean volume was low and Calvert Cullen, president of Northampton Growers Produce Sales Inc., Cheriton, Va., said he expected supplies to remain tight even after his company begins Florida harvesting Nov. 5.

North Carolina finished Oct. 29 and Georgia volume is down considerably, he said.

“Combined with the loss of acreage in Florida, the bean deal will be extremely tight for Thanksgiving,” Cullen said in late October.

“It will be one of those deals where you come in and will have production for a few days only.”

On Nov. 3, the USDA reported $12.35-12.85 for bushel cartons/crates of machine-picked round green beans from Georgia.

Last year in late October, the USDA reported Georgia production selling for $12.35-14.85.