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Baja squash production helping to alleviate short supply
Squash production in the Baja region in Mexico is on track to continue steady production. Mexico has experienced cool temperatures and significant rainfall in certain regions, but Baja has seen mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures. The good growing conditions and steady production have also enabled growers to fill a gap in the market left by other winter growing regions like Florida, where production has either slowed down or suffered damage.
"Demand has been strong in recent months due to the problems other areas have had with cooler weather," said a squash grower based in California. "The Baja region has seen some weather recently, when rain fell in the area last week. However, this has been the only rain we've had all season and it has mostly been sunny."
With supplies expected to remain short in the near term, growers believe the market should remain steady over the coming weeks. "The market is now sitting between $8.95 - $12.95, depending on size," he added. "We expect the market to remain steady as cold weather continues to hamper production in other regions."
Shade houses protect from wind
One of the hazards faced by squash growers in Baja is the potential damage suffered from wind. Navarro said they take measures to protect their fields during the winter months when rain and wind events are more likely to occur.
"During the winter months, we protect our crops from the wind and rain by putting them under shade houses," he explained. "This helps to avoid any wind damage and also gives the squash a better color, resulting in a better quality product. This season, the weather has been good but we keep the squash under the shade houses throughout the winter."
The company grows Italian squash during the winter and spring seasons and are hoping to extend the program in the future. "Our production of Italian squash currently supplements our existing programs," he said. "The squash is available right through until summer, but we are looking to extend this to all year round in the future."
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