California broccoli and cauliflower grower-shippers are happy to leave the cold, rainy winter — and its up and down effects on supplies — behind, and they project consistent volumes of high-quality product and steady markets in the coming weeks.
A lighter Mexican broccoli deal, combined with strong export sales, was helping to buoy domestic sales for Santa Maria, Calif.-based Pacific Coast Produce, said Derrick Doud, co-owner.
“Things are looking pretty good for markets,” Doud said April 5. “Hopefully, we’ll see double digits here. The exports are keeping us up. The domestic market is up and down, but with Mexico light, it’s holding its own.”
On April 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported prices of $5.65-7.06 for cartons of bunched 14s of broccoli from California, down from $13-15.45 last year at the same time.
Cartons of film-wrapped white cauliflower 12s from California were $6-8, down from $12.35-14.50 last year at the same time.
With the weather finally improving nationwide, East Coast pull likely would increase and help keep markets up, he said.
Japan and Taiwan have been two of Pacific Coast’s top export markets, Doud said.
Cauliflower production was lighter than usual the week of April 5, and a small gap expected to follow, but other than that, cauliflower and broccoli volumes for the spring should be normal, said Kevin Jordan, director of sales and marketing for Santa Maria, Calif.-based Adam Bros. Produce Sales Inc.
A broccoli gap at the end of March had been filled by early April, Jordan said.
“There may be a few glitches here and there, but the gaps should close up pretty quick,” Jordan said, forecasting the course of the deal this spring.
“Demand is fair at best,” he said April 5. “Coming off of Easter it’s a little slow.”
Looking ahead, Jordan predicted steady volumes and markets and better quality than was typical in the winter deal.
“The little (quality) glitches from the winter have been cleaned up, for the most part,” he said.
“The stuff that’s coming off now is pretty good,” he said.
Adam Bros. ships broccoli and cauliflower from the Guadalupe region of California year-round.