Pennsylvania cauliflower harvest ending early

A warmer-than-typical autumn has meant larger yields and an earlier end to the season for Pennsylvania cauliflower growers.

“We’ve had a lot of heat this year. We have a lot of heat right now,” says Rick Stauffer of Stauffer Huling Farms, Inc. Referring to early November temperatures, Stauffer adds, “We’re used to being in the 50s, not the 70s.”

The weather has meant strong production for Pennsylvania cauliflower. Stauffer Huling’s operation was hit by a heat wave in August that led to low yields on its first planting. Since then, however, Stauffer reports that yields have consistently hovered between 90 percent and 95 percent. “Product quality and yields are exceptional. Everything went very well this year.”

The heat also means that Stauffer Huling will finish harvesting ahead of schedule this year. “We’re probably going to be finished as of this week or Monday,” says Stauffer, who spoke with FreshPlaza on November 5. That puts Stauffer Huling, which normally finishes its season closer to Thanksgiving, two weeks ahead of schedule. Stauffer says this is due to the heat “pushing” the product up earlier than expected.

While the yield increase has flooded the market with cauliflower, the company has been able to avoid depressed pricing thanks to its “unique” sales program. “Most of what we grow is sold when it’s planted,” Stauffer explains. 

But Stauffer Huling’s early end to cauliflower season also means that many of its buyers will be turning to California farms earlier than usual. Stauffer, who maintains a close professional relationship with all of his clients, says that his buyers were all informed of the scheduling issue well in advance, giving them a head start on sourcing new product.

For more information:
Rick Stauffer
Stauffer Huling Farms, Inc. / Seminole Produce Distributing, Inc.
Tel: (+1) 407-322-7785
Mobile: (+1) 407-417-0530

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