Crazy hot weather for the past two weeks has stopped harvesting on many items here in North Carolina. Blueberries, Squash and Cucumbers are all finished for a while but we should have another crop coming to maturity in September or so. Meanwhile we’ve moved to New Jersey and Michigan for these items due to their cooler days. Supplies and pricing are staying steady.
The early freeze that Idaho experienced last fall during harvest has manifested itself as a sudden mess in their packing sheds. During the early part of the pandemic, tremendous retail demand wiped out much of their storage supplies, but then lack of demand due to foodservice accounts being closed gave them a glut they were trying to move. Then as they were nearing the end of their storage supplies in summer, quality issues ended many of the farmers seasons early. Suddenly there’s a huge shortage of Idaho potatoes until they begin harvesting again in September. Expect to see stronger prices through early fall.
Many farmers continue to struggle finding enough labor to harvest their crops. With social distancing slowing down everything they do, they have to make choices on what they harvest to spend their time most productively. As a result they’re focusing on the more valuable crops and leaving the other, less profitable items unharvested.
Onion farmers are beginning their seasons in many areas and shipping freshly harvested new crop onions. Though delicious and normally sweeter than wintertime onions, remember they will not have the shelf life that you’re used to because of the high moisture content. Buy only what you can use in a few days and work them closely to avoid losses.
After several weeks of very tight supplies, several areas are harvesting good volumes of green pepper. Volumes are much higher and bringing down prices quickly! Colored peppers should follow right along.
Lemon demand spiked quite a bit a weeks ago due to more and more restaurants being opened throughout the country. But as more states face hot spots of corona cases, this may be tempered with further shutdowns and less demand.
Limes suddenly went in the other direction, with good limes very difficult to find as many farmers experienced quality issues in the current crop. Prices are up significantly on good quality fruit.