Warm Michigan summer welcomes start of zucchini season

Michigan is on the verge of its zucchini squash season, and growers are expecting a high quality crop, with close to normal volume. Weather conditions have been relatively favorable during the growing season. The recent warm temperatures are causing growers to see if the zucchini plants will mature more rapidly, however at this stage the beginning of the season is due to commence on time.

"On our farm, we will be shipping zucchini from July 18 through the whole month of August, and finishing around September 1," said Aaron Fletcher of Todd Greiner Farms. "Expectations are for a good zucchini crop with good sizing and quality. We expect to ship between 30,000 to 40,000 half-bushels across all grades and sizes, which is pretty close to the average. Temperatures have been very high recently but not enough to change the crop outlook. However, the warmer it is, the faster it grows, and if temperatures are extremely high it can add stress to the plants."



Michigan growers seeing more interest due to high freight costs
Freight rates have been rising again with some shippers reporting that a truckload of produce is costing over $10,000 to ship from California to the Northeast. This is giving Michigan growers an opportunity to be very competitive due to significantly lower transport costs to the East Coast. Aside from this, producers are hoping for a decent window for zucchini once the Michigan season starts.

"With high freight rates out of California, there are likely some good opportunities for Michigan shippers to capitalize on that competitive advantage in certain regions," Fletcher noted. "Right now, the market is cleaning up as some regions finish and others begin. It has been trending upwards and Michigan growers are hopeful that they should open up well once the season begins in a couple of weeks."



Current programs going well
Fletcher shared that the company is very pleased with their current programs. He said their current offerings, for both varieties and packaging are fitting their needs well. According to him, there has been some minimal new product testing for a few new Fall items, and overall quality on their existing produce is providing plenty of optimism.

"Todd Greiner Farms has an excellent program overall, and we are very happy to run with what we have," he said. "We offer a corrugated wax carton and RPC for our zucchini, both of which are a half-bushel. Our zucchinis are excellent quality and we are also seeing this for our upcoming sweet corn season. Due to the heat, Michigan is likely to be ahead of schedule, but we appear to have a very high-quality crop, and we are optimistic that the market will be good as well."

"There has been a small amount of new product testing happening for our Fall program," Fletcher continued. "Mainly for our pumpkins, for a white pumpkin as well as the giant-sized pumpkins." 

For more information:
Aaron Fletcher 
Todd Greiner Farms
Tel: +1 (231) 873-2828

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