Florida snap beans bounce back from bad growing season

Following a season plagued with heat and floods, Florida snap beans are back in action. “It’s been beautiful weather and supply is plentiful,” says John L Alger of Alger Farms Inc. in Homestead, FL. “Barring any natural disaster, we’re right in at the time when freezing could happen—but it’s not freezing so we have beautiful supplies.” 

Supplies are so good, Alger estimates they’re up at least 25 per cent from the year before. “We had such a terrible time last year with high temperatures which caused the beans not to set very well,” says Alger. “And we had the flood in early December and altogether that eliminated acres, reduced yields and reduced quality. So this year it’s been a good growing season. The crops are growing themselves.” 

Prices on the rise? 
Prices have increased as well, notes Alger. “It’s in the $20 range. If that’s an anomaly before Christmas, a rush on business, I don’t know,” he says. “They weren’t this good a few weeks ago. It’s a perishable item and price goes up and down based on supply and demand.” 

Continuing labour battles 
While Alger didn’t have to battle any natural disasters like floods, he notes that other concerns do continue to plague farms. “Labor is getting tighter and we’ve got to come up with some sort of a strategy on immigration,” he says. “We need to replenish our supply of labor. We need these folks because domestic Americans aren’t going to do this work. We can hardly even get a tractor driver anymore for example.” 

For more information:
John L. Alger 
Alger Farms Inc. 
Tel: 305-342-2505

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