Buyers should expect later starts for The Empire State’s sweet corn and cucumber deals, while green beans should begin harvesting on time but with lower volume.

Heavy rains that struck in April and May prevented growers from entering fields and completing plantings on time for summer production.


Corn, cucumbers late, beans slightly lower early Corn

Because of spring planting problems, King Ferry, N.Y.-based Turek Farms plans to begin harvesting July 29-30, later than the deal’s usual July 20-25 start, said Jason Turek, partner.

“It’s not the end of the world because it sounds like everyone else up the East Coast was delayed as well,” he said in early July.

“In the last few years, we’ve had an earlier start date, but I don’t see that happening this year. Our crop is looking well at this point.”

Though south Florida growers experienced a strong spring, Georgia’s crop bunched up a little and created a struggle in late June, Turek said.

He said buyers should count on low July corn supplies before northern production regions begin.

Through a partnership with Magee Farms in Selbyville, Del., Turek Farms ships Delaware corn from late June through early August.

James J. Piedimonte & Sons Inc. and Anthony J. Piedimonte/Cabbco, Holley, N.Y., plan to begin harvesting July 22-23.

“The crop is looking very nice,” Tony Piedimonte, owner, said in early July.

The company plans to harvest from more than 700 acres.

On July 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported wirebound crates of 4 dozen yellow, white and bicolor corn from Georgia selling for $6.95-7.95. Last year in mid-July, those same colors sold for $7.45.

New York corn production typically finishes by early October.



Unlike corn, growers were able to plant most of their green beans in a timely manner.

The plants, however, didn’t escape damage from early season rains.

“The first ones were beat up a little by the rain, but the crop gets a little better looking as we go,” Turek said.

“Yields should be down 20% the first couple of weeks. Because the ones that should come off in August haven’t experienced any real weather extremes, we expect to have good volume in August.”

Turek plans to begin harvesting on time in mid-July.

Piedimonte planned to begin harvesting in mid-July, as usual.

The state’s acreage should be similar to previous years and Piedimonte said demand and prices were fair.

“The beans look very good,” he said in early July. “They’re coming along nicely. We have kept a good planting schedule with few gaps, so I think we will have steady supplies. We are steady with volume and aren’t looking for any big increases in production.”

Torrey Farms Inc., Elba, N.Y., expects harvesting to start in mid-July, said Shannon Kyle, saleswoman.

“There was one field that had the toughest weather, the first field, but we were able to plant continuously,” she said in early July.

“Everything else looks better. Conditions have improved as we’ve gone along.”

On July 11, the USDA reported bushel cartons/crates of machine-picked round green beans from Virginia’s eastern shore selling for $17. Last year in mid-July, those cartons sold for $32-35.

Bean production typically runs through late September and early October.



California’s water crisis could help bring stronger markets and demand for New York cucumbers, grower-shippers report.

Because of the water shortage, Michigan grower-shippers plan to focus on customers in the Midwest and further west, Piedimonte said.

In early July, Piedimonte quoted cucumbers selling in the $20s.

On July 14, the USDA reported 1 1/9-bushel cartons of mediums from Michigan selling for $20-20.85, compared to $22.85-24.85 last season in mid-July.

Torrey Farms expects to start harvesting July 25-30, a week behind normal.

“The plants look good,” Kyle said in early July. “They are coming along and they look healthy.”