Fall bell peppers are underway out of South Carolina.
“We do a spring season and a fall season on peppers, eggplant and broccoli and we just got into our fall harvest of peppers last week,” says Matt Cornwell of Titan Farms Inc. in Ridge Spring, SC. “We were fortunate that Hurricane Florence didn’t do any damage where our farm is at. We’re expecting a good crop with a pretty good yield this year. We’ve got about 400 acres of green bell peppers for our fall season.”
While harvest is generally targeted for September 15th with Titan, this year it did try and get in slightly early. “We got out a bit ahead to get some peppers before the storm but it turns out we didn’t really suffer any damage from it,” says Cornwell.
The yield looks to be up from last year, which Cornwell attributes to developments within Titan. “We’ve gotten pretty technical into our production and we’re embracing technology, new growing practices and packing technology,” says Cornwell. “We also work closely with our land-grant research university, Clemson University, and their research team also helps us.”
Peppers should last until the beginning of November.
Meanwhile demand also looks healthy for peppers right now. “If we could get more out of the ground quicker, we could probably sell them. I think our market is a little better this year,” he says.
Altogether, that makes for a strong market with pricing slightly up from last year. While pricing is holding currently, Cornwell anticipates future fluctuations. “Pricing will move with supply and quality so once we get more product in our area, pricing will likely go down a little bit,” he says.
Titan’s pepper program is just one of the things it’ll be discussing at its booth at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit, held October 19-20 in Orlando, Fl. “It’s the Superbowl of shows,” says Cornwell. “It’s the premier show as far as vendors and attendees. You can find new business from not only other parts of the country but from all around the world. It’s one of those shows you have to go the extra mile to stand out so everyone shows up, puts on great displays and brings their A-Game.”