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Markets “higher than they have been in years”

US(FL): Cabbage market washed out by heavy rains

Florida cabbage prices have spiked this winter, reports one prominent grower, as rainclouds continue to darken the sunshine state.

“We’ve been experiencing a lot of heavy rainfalls, but we’re working our way through it. It’s been a rough season overall,” says Calvert Cullen of Northampton Growers. Northampton, which harvests cabbage from approximately 200 acres in Okeechobee, FL, in the winter months, has experienced heavy crop loss as a result of the rain. “We’ve already lost 50% of our crops to disease and rain,” says Cullen.

Despite these conditions, Cullen says that Okeechobee has fared better than other cabbage-growing regions in the state. “We’re actually in better shape than some areas,” he says. “In the Homestead area, they’ve lost well in excess of 50% of their crops.”

Per-carton prices nearly twice typical rates
Cabbage prices, in response to the shortage, have reached $16.00 a carton. Cullen notes that at this time of year prices should be closer to $8.00 or $10.00. “Markets are up higher right now than they have been in years,” he says. Cullen adds that such pricing has remained consistent over the past several weeks.

With heavy rains once again hitting Florida this week, Cullen is unsure of when supplies will rebound from their current levels. “Realistically, we could be [dealing with] this same problem for at least another month,” he says, but adds that he and other growers remain optimistic. “We’re hoping that our new plantings will fare much better.”

Northampton Growers will be at the upcoming Southern Exposure show in Hollywood, FL, where they will be showcasing their cabbage in advance of St. Patrick’s Day, which Cullen says is his company’s busiest time of year for cabbage demand.

For more information:
Calvert Cullen
Northampton Growers
Tel: +1 (561) 364-8260
Visit us at booth 416 at Southern Exposure.

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