Growers expect typical fall Florida season

10/13/2011 02:38:00 PM
Chris Koger

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Florida grower-shippers are preparing for what they hope becomes a more typical fall.

Grower-shippers started transplanting crops in late September and continued through mid- to late October, for product that normally begins production by early to late November.

Doug OhlemeierFlorida grower-shippers began transplanting crops like these tomatoes south of Immokalee, Fla., in late September and continued through mid- to late October. Growers say they’re optimistic about their fall and winter harvests.Tomatoes remain one of the Sunshine State’s leading crops. Lipman started harvesting grape and cherry tomatoes in central Florida in September and early October while new plantings went into the beds in south Florida growing regions.

Growers remain optimistic about fall and winter harvests.

Brian Rayfield, vice president of sales and marketing for J&J Produce Inc., Loxahatchee, said Georgia is experiencing a bumper crop and that he expects Georgia production to run into early November when Florida begins.

“We are planning to start in south Florida in early November,” he said in mid-October. “Unless we have a weather event that changes things, our intention is to have a couple of weeks overlap with Georgia instead of a gap to ensure supply continuity.”

Growers say they hope this year won’t bring abnormal freezes which wrecked production during the fall of 2010, winter of 2011 and in other recent seasons.

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