Grower-shippers of greens reported good quality and promotable volumes in early December, and they hope for a boost in demand heading into Christmas.
After good Thanksgiving pull, Tifton, Ga.-based Georgia Vegetable Co. Inc. reported sluggish demand, said Bryan Thomas, the company’s sales manager.
“It’s always slow after the holiday, but it’s been exceptionally slow this year,” Thomas said Dec. 6. “Shippers down here have kind of dropped their prices.”
Product still in the pipeline from North Carolina, and even New Jersey, was keeping markets in check, Thomas said.
Markets started to show some signs of life Dec. 5, though, Thomas said, and retailers were starting to line up ads for holiday promotions. Carolina and Jersey product would likely run out soon, he said.
On Dec. 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a price of $7.50 for cartons of bunched 24s of collards, kale, curly mustard, flat mustard and turnip tops from Georgia, up from $6.50-7 last year at the same time.
Despite a couple of freezes, Thomas said, the quality of this winter’s Georgia greens crops is very good.
“Greens take a freeze really well,” he said. “They say it makes them taste better.”
Georgia Vegetables’s top greens products this season, in order, are collards, turnips, curly mustard, kale and flat mustard, Thomas said.
Georgia growers reported no major growing problems, and quality looked good heading into December, with normal weekly volumes expected, said Charles Hall, executive director of the La Grange-based Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association.
“There’s been a little frost, but everything’s looking good,” Hall said.
Temperatures dipped down to about 33 degrees the week of Nov. 28, but as long as they don’t go below 30, Hall said, greens won’t likely be affected.
Georgia greens acreage in 2011 is similar to last season, according to grower estimates, Hall said.