While most of us have enjoyed the warmer than average winter so far (I know I have), this year’s El Nino weather pattern has wreaked havoc on other parts of the country. The produce industry has seen the worst north to south transition in growing areas in recorded history. California vegetables like head lettuce, celery, broccoli and cauliflower have severely been affected by this weather. This annual transition takes place around two major holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) so as supply is limited, holiday demand spikes and sends markets upward. Southern parts of the U.S. and parts of Mexico have seen freezing temperatures which have affected the green beans and green onions. Imported red and green grapes from Peru and Chile have had issues being cleared for shippers to pick up at the ports on the east coast. Tomato production in Canadian greenhouses has slowed considerably due to lack of sunlight and has caused prices to rise.
In spite of all the doom and gloom outlook in the produce world, there are some things to look forward to. California citrus is having a good year with great eating fruit with high sugar levels. Washington apples are in good supply with good quality. Imported blueberries from Chile are looking great with prices starting to come down. Texas grapefruit is looking good with plentiful supplies.
For more information and weekly market updates, please visit www.russdaviswholesale.com.
County Market Produce Manager