April and May tend to be the peak shipping months for Florida spring vegetables and favorable growing conditions are expected to provide a good shipping season.
For example, West Coast Tomato LLC of Palmetto is expressing optimism as its volume has been ahead of last year. It has about 3,000 acres in the Immokalee and Palmetto areas and has been shipping tomatoes since October and will complete shipments in early June.
Florida Vegetable Shipments
Duda Fresh Foods Inc. of Oviedo, which grows vegetables on 6,000 acres in the Belle Glade area, reports good weather and plenty of water supplies and has been shipping celery since December and will continue through April.
Scotlynn Sweet Pac Growers LLC of Belle Glade grows and ships corn and other vegetables reports similar good growing conditions. It began shipping in early March and reached good volume in early April that should continue through May. The company ships primarily sweet corn to start, but later in the season has radishes, beans and cabbage, among other items.
At Weis-Buy Farms Inc. of Fort Myers, ships tomatoes and peppers, with a season starting in early October and continuing until June 1st.
Overall Florida vegetable volume is ahead of last year, in part because of favorable weather without hurricanes, unlike a year ago.
L&M Cos is based in Raleigh, NC, but has offices in Palatka, FL. The company reports Northern Florida has had some weather issues causing some vegetable crop to be running late, particularly with cabbage, broccoli and greens.
Mack Farms Inc. of Lake Wales began digging potatoes in early February from about 1,600 acres and has had good volume.
Jones Potato Farm of Parrish reports good shipments of potatoes, and green beans after starting in late March.
Utopia Packing LLC of Myakka City has good volume with bell peppers and cucumbers.
Florida Specialties Inc. of Immokalee shipping
green beans, eggplant, bell peppers, squash and specialty peppers through May.
Florida Fruit Shipments
Wish Farms of Plant City plans to be shipping blueberries until Memorial Day, with Florida growers expecting to pack nearly 4 million pounds of “blues” this season. This would be an increase from 3.4 million pounds a year ago.
Florida Classic Growers, which markets product for the Dundee (FL) Citrus Growers Association is planning to ship valences through May.
Florida Watermelon Shipments
Southern Corporate Packers Inc. of Immokalee is shipping watermelons from Southern Florida through May, with loadings coming out of Northern Florida from late May though June.
The company also grows watermelon in Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Delaware, which enables the company to have melons available through December.
McMelon Inc., a subsidiary of Mack Farms Inc., both of Lake Wales will start shipping watermelons in early May.
Florida vegetables, watermelons and potatoes – grossing about $2700 to New York City.