Asparagus – Are much lower this week with Peru and Mexican growers increasing their production. We should begin to see some local asparagus soon, also, which will put more pressure on the markets.
Corn – The hard Florida freeze back in February caused some yield and quality issues. We expect sporadic market conditions and tight supplies for the next week to 10 days. Next week looks like when good volume and quality should start. Georgia had 5 hours of below-freezing temps recently which could impact Memorial Day corn.
Eggs – Fears of the consequences of Avian Flu on our chicken flocks have eggs at record levels. If the Flu continues to kill birds in the manner that it has, the farmers will need those eggs to repopulate their layers, the broiler flocks as well as to cover demand for eggs to eat. So far in NC, our farmers have lost about 280,000 chickens and 90,000 turkeys to the flu in the past month or so. Supplies of eggs remain extremely tight at the time of year when there’s always a surge in demand.
Grapes – Are in abundance, but quality is hit and miss and it’s one of those times where you really get what you pay for. There are cheap, bad grapes, and there are higher priced, higher quality grapes.
Lettuce – Though weather issues haven’t improved very much for them, sluggish demand at the higher prices is forcing lower markets. Quality remains iffy, with smaller heads and light case weights for the little bit of lettuce that they’re able to bring to market.
Onions – Supplies and quality continue to improve as we move into the new crop of onions from Mexico. They’re starting the season with low quantities in storage, so we should see pricing remain steady at the higher levels until harvests increase.
Peppers – Outlook doesn’t look pretty; both Mexico and Florida continue to struggle with quality and volume. Weather has really taken a toll on both regions, and we are now seeing the results. Florida is currently fighting an infestation of pepper weevil that is really depleting their yields. This past week, many fields were damaged by a hail storm, making things worse. Georgia is not set to start until the end of May, so conditions will remain very difficult until then.
Strawberries – Demand is increasing as we get closer to Easter Breakfast, and markets for fruit are getting stronger. We expect it to steadily climb through Easter weekend.
Q: What’s orange and sounds like a carrot?
A: A parrot.
Q: What’s brown and sticky?
A: A stick.