Southern California-based grower-shippers dodged a bullet when Hurricane Jimena roared into Baja California on Sept. 3.
“We suffered only minor damage, mostly to our shadehouses,” said Steve Yasuda, sales manager for Royal Flavor LLC, San Diego.
The company’s shipments to the U.S. will continue as scheduled, he said.
The hurricane raked across the southern tip of Baja California before moving east and onto the mainland. Most of Baja’s vegetable growing regions are in the central and northern parts of the state.
“We didn’t even get a cloud from the hurricane,” said Bob Schachtel, sales manager for Expo Fresh LLC, San Diego.
The biggest problem for the central Baja growing region of Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, San Diego, came a day before the hurricane’s arrival when a tornado touched down and damaged about 12 acres of cucumber shadehouses, said John King, vice president of sales.
“Those were cucumbers we were scheduled to harvest in October,” he said.
The company’s other fields also received about 3 inches of rain, which King said will reduce fall yields for tomatoes and cucumbers.
“The hurricane was certainly not a disaster, but in a perfect world we wouldn’t have gotten the 3 inches of rain,” he said. “When you have a crop in the ground and you get that much rain, there are going to be quality and yield issues.”
The reduced supplies will likely mean stronger market conditions in October,” King said.
The mid-Baja shadehouses of Pinos Produce, San Diego, encountered some strong winds but no crop or structural damage, said Danny Uribe, sales manager.
The company’s crops in the area are recently planted tomatoes that are targeted for fall harvest, he said.