Following a difficult winter on spinach, supplies are ample again as transition time comes around.
During the winter growing season in Yuma, Ariz., Lex Camany of The Salad Farm in Salinas, Ca. notes that weather was a relatively regular concern. “In November we had the rains and the rains precluded planting. The rains kept coming and coming and we couldn’t get onto the ground to plant so that created the supply gaps that were in early January on a lot of different products,” says Camany. “Also when you get rain, you get more yellowing in spinach.”
To Lex and Joyce Camany, veterans in the industry, it was a season to remember. “In all my years—and we’ve been in the baby leaf industry for 30 years—this has been the hardest winter because of the cold winter and then the rain. We’ve never seen it short like it was,” says Joyce Camany.
That said, out of Yuma, supplies are back on track says Camany. “There’s plenty of supply now. At this time of year though we like to keep product really tight as far as bringing only what you’re going to sell so you have a lot more shelf life for your end users,” says Camany.
That said, she adds that transition will be underway by the end of the month to bring production back to Salinas and that will happen starting March 30th. “Then within two weeks, everyone transitions back to Salinas,” she says.
Meanwhile demand is steady again after slower demand in January and even the first part of February.
All of this means pricing has come down a bit on spinach. “Pricing is back to normal but about 1.5 months ago, it was elevated pricing on spinach and arugula,” says Camany. “It jumped up and stayed there. But now that the freezing cold of January has turned to warmth, pricing is back to normal and spinach is off to the races.”