Spring weather conditions have gradually improved California’s Salinas Valley produce shipments, which had been hampered by rain and cold weather.
Still, some shippers such as Tanimura & Antle Inc. of Salinas see volume being lighter than normal on some items in late May and early June because of planting delays.
At the same time growing conditions and ultimately shipments are expected to better than in 2017, which had even worse weather conditions.
Salinas Valley vegetable crop acreage increased slightly from 286,637 acres in 2015 to 290,987 acres in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available from the Monterey County agricultural commissioner’s office.
There has been a significant decline in artichoke acreage in Monterey County, from 7,242 acres in 2006 to 4,050 in 2016.
Weather has been a problem for impacted overall artichoke production for a number of years. This has resulted in the nation’s largest artichoke grower Ocean Mist Farms of, Castroville, CA
deciding to diversify artichoke growing locations to include areas such as the Coachella Valley, rather than concentrate all of its volume in Monterey County.
D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, based in Salinas, completed its desert lettuce shipments the last week of March after finishing up other vegetable crops in mid-March. Most Salinas vegetable shipments got underway in early March, but a spring rain descended on the area the last few days of the month, bringing most of the harvests to a halt, and resulting in quality issues. The quality of Salinas vegetables has improved with the weather.
Another Salinas produce company, Coastline Family Farms, started its Salinas vegetable season April 9th following a few days of rains. Early season leaf lettuce and romaine hearts showed some signs of blister and peel because of an early spring frost, but apparently has experienced a significant improvement in quality since.
Lucky Strike Farms of Burlingame, CA., expects to have a steady vegetable deal this season.
Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8300 to New York City.