Florida entering bigger fall tomato season shipments

11/18/2013 02:26:00 PM
Doug Ohlemeier

In late October, Palmetto-based West Coast Tomato Inc. began harvesting mature-greens and romas.

Bob Spencer, vice president and sales manager, said harvesting hit promotable volume early and called quality typical.

“We have been able to start shipping them to the eastern half of the U.S.,” he said in mid-October. “As the California deal winds down, we will be able to send them west too.”

Spencer said the Quincy crop, which normally begins by early October and runs through mid-November, was bringing high quality but not heavy volume.

He said the August and September rains cut into Florida’s early volume.

In mid-November, Weisinger said romas were in shorter than normal supply.

The USDA in mid-November reported 25-pound loose cartons of extra large from Florida selling for $14.95-15.95.

Last year in mid-November, the USDA reported $13.95-14.95 for the 25-pound cartons for extra large.

For cherry tomatoes from central Florida, the USDA reported $10.95-11.95 for flats of 12 1-pint baskets, higher than last year in mid-November when those flats sold for $6.95-8.95.

On central Florida grape tomatoes, flats of 12 1-pint containers with lids marketed for $9.95-11.95 while 20-pound cartons of loose grapes sold for $19.95-21.95.

That’s higher than during the same time last season from central Florida when the USDA reported those same flats selling for $7.95-8.95 and reported $13.95-14.95 for the cartons.

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