Field cucumber supplies are currently tight.
“Michigan volume is off quite a bit and Canada is also on the lighter side,” says Joe Marino with Sun Valley Orchards, LLC in Swedesboro, NJ. Marino notes that New Jersey typically has two seasons of production—the early season runs from June to mid-July and that’s the majority of the state’s volume in field cucumbers. The latter season is in September. “We’re about 10 days away and I’ve heard the market is pretty good right now on cucumbers,” adds Marino.
The early season however was a sub-average season for the vegetable. “It was weather-related but the virus also played a role in the gap that we’re seeing now,” he says. “When this virus hit and we saw what happened down south in Florida--losing the whole foodservice sector, shutting down restaurants and cruise lines which are the majority of the business--people wondered if we were going to plant normally or lower acreage. Some of this could play into why there’s a gap right now where there typically shouldn’t be.”
Average markets for spring
Marino says given the challenging season growers of produce have had in general in 2020, growers took a leap of faith in how the markets were going to handle the volume that was grown. “We ran into colder weather in the spring and that pushed us back about two weeks later. And then there were still some cucumbers from down south and the market couldn’t bear everything, so it was average to below average market for the early season,” says Marino.
However, the fall market could prove to be a better one. “If some cucumbers from up north start to peter out and Canada’s not much of a factor, it is going to be a tight cucumber market and we could see a nice rebound for what we have planted here in the fall,” says Marino. “Our acreage is the same and our volume is the same as what it typically is.”
New Jersey will come into a time when pricing on field cucumbers is strong. “We’re seeing prices for supers in the mid to high $20s right now. From what I gather, I really don’t see that going anywhere,” he says, noting that if it were a normal season, pricing for supers would range between $14-$15.
For more information:
Sun Valley Orchards, LLC
Tel: +1 (856) 769-5280