All of the rains hitting North Carolina have ended many crops early. Tomatoes have really suffered, as the fruit soaks up the water and shelf life goes to almost nothing. Squash and beans were also hit by the rains, and damage was most often determined by proximity to the storms. Some farmers are betting for water, some are praying for dry fields.
With tomatoes in season practically nationwide, the market has gotten very soft. So many local growers are harvesting now, and so many families have a couple of tomato plants in the backyard, demand is way down and pricing is following.
Normally, green cabbage is so widely used and widely available that it gets little press or attention by most. But this summer, it has stayed extremely short for almost a solid month. Supplies are extremely limited, and strong pricing demonstrate the limited quantities available.
Warmer weather in California growing areas is bringing on the strawberries. Harvests are very strong on the berries, but the warm days and nights are causing some quality issues like bruising and dark red berries.
Watermelons are in a glut situation, with more melons coming to market than the farmers can sell. Supplies are abundant, prices are low, and quality has been excellent.
Mexican Limes are at their peak, with strong harvests of preferred sizes like 175 and 200 count. Quality is excellent and pricing remains very good.
Green pepper supplies are finally catching back up with demand and markets are on the slide back to lower levels. Quality has been very nice.
High winds late December heavily damaged the lemon crop, but the recent high heat delivered the knock out blow to the lemon industry. Supplies are at critical levels and not expected to recover for months. Expect record level high pricing, marginal to poor quality, hit or miss availability and non-typical sizing. In recent weeks we’ve been suggesting substituting limes where possible and that’s still a good idea.
Asparagus harvests are improving in both Mexico and Peru. Volumes are increasing and pricing is on a slide as a result. Quality should be better with the change also.
Summertime is a fun time for produce. We have lots of new and seasonal items. A few examples are Pomegranate seeds, Dragon Fruit, Crenshaw Melons, and Fresh Currants
Download the PDF version of this Produce Supply Update.