Heavy rains last spring set back vegetable crops and shipments from the mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, which in some cases will result in shipping gaps. Still, growers are expressing optimism for a strong year.
Some farmers reported actually pumping off more water in May from the field than they pumped in for irrigation. The result could be shipping gaps in July.
Fifer Orchards of Wyoming, DE is an exception claiming the rains did not prevent normal planting of crops and the season’s shipments should be on schedule for vegetables, although a little later than usual.
Fifer Orchards also is expecting a full crop of peaches, with no injury from cold weather. Peach shipments start in mid-July and continue through mid-September.
Papen Farms of Dover, DE report cool and wet weather during March, April and May set crop progress back, but weather in June was favorable. However, yields could be off because of growing conditions.
Papen Farms cabbage shipments started in mid-June, about two weeks later than normal. Sweet corn shipments were about a week late and got underway in early July and will continue into September. Green bean loadings will get started started the last week of July.
Papen Farms will be shipping vegetables to markets ranging from Maine to Florida. The company’s early shipments tending to go north because the Delaware harvest is running ahead of those northern regions. Later in the season, the pattern is reversed, with more shipments to Southern states.
As for the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the spring was cold and wet at Dublin Farms of Horntown, VA. The operation ships red potatoes, white potatoes, and yellow fleshed potatoes. Some shippers also have russet potatoes. Shipments will continue until mid-August from acreage similar to a year ago. Potato acreage in the area is normally between 3,000 and 4,000 acres.
Most Eastern Shore of Virginia vegetable shipments consist of potatoes, green beans and tomatoes.