RUSKIN, Fla. — Buyers should expect lighter fall Florida tomato volume and slightly higher prices.

Florida’s season is opening a little later than normal. Grower-shippers say promotable volume on mature greens may not hit until the week of Nov. 21.

Central Florida tomato deal starts late with lower volumeTony DiMare, vice president of the DiMare Co., Homestead, which packs in Ruskin, said central Florida’s deal probably won’t produce any volume on all the varieties — mature greens, grapes, romas and cherries — until the week of Thanksgiving.

The heavy rains the Palmetto-Ruskin region received in September and October made the deal start late and cut volume, he said in early November.

“The weather we had early on created some light set,” DiMare said.

DiMare Co. packed its first mature greens on Oct. 31, a couple of weeks later than normal.

Central Florida’s tomato deal normally begins production in mid- to late October with grape tomatoes. Mature greens and romas typically begin in early November.

The deal usually transitions to south Florida in mid- to late November.