The market is strengthening on field cucumbers. “As we enter into late September and early October, the market starts to tighten up,” says Tony Incaviglia of GR Fresh. “There are local supplies available through summer but as you get into fall, acreages start to disappear. In states such as Michigan and New Jersey, it’s been warmer than normal so it’s extended the season a little longer.” The Southeast region also continues to have cucumber production.
That means this is the time of year when buyers begin thinking about production in Mexico which should begin in early November when the season gets going out of Sinaloa and Sonora. However, there is a concern about that crop right now. “Since that tropical storm that hit Baja, we haven’t had any rain in northwest Mexico. Water is going to become an issue if we don’t see any rain in the next couple of months,” says Incaviglia. “A lot of the smaller farms don’t have as deep a well and will dry out faster and while those who are bigger have deeper wells, it’s pretty dry and that’s a big concern.”
This is a challenge following an already tough few years out of Sinaloa and Sonora. “Growers have been able to absorb some costs because of the exchange rate between the dollar and the Mexican Peso. That’s now become a challenge with inflation and costs rising. They’re starting to feel that because the exchange rate isn’t where it was expected to be,” says Incaviglia.
In all, cucumber markets are going to be very active. “You’re going to see $20 cucumbers here pretty soon, especially on Super Selects that will jump up to the mid $20s. That’s because supply is dwindling in the initial growing areas and the transition is upon us,” says Incaviglia. “However if there was any type of normal demand, we would see some very high markets. There just hasn’t been that demand. Families are shopping for what they need--the basics--because it’s expensive to shop right now.”