Unusually warm weather along California's Central Coast is threatening to cause gaps in supplies of broccoli in the coming months. With prices already strong, less produce could lead to even higher prices.
“Our greatest concern right now is the above-average temperature,” said Mark McBride of Coastline Produce. “We've had warm nights for weeks on end that have led to rapid growth. We set a planning schedule to have uniform product, but when you have warm weather for that long, you get ahead of schedule.” The accelerated nature of the season means that supplies out of Salinas will likely be exhausted early, and that could lead to gaps in supplies.
Though prices are somewhat varied, they are relatively strong. Out of the Salinas-Wattsonville area, prices for a carton of bunched 14s ranged from between $7.50 and $11.64, and a carton of crown cut broccoli was between $11.00 and $15.00. But the coming months could see much higher prices.
“We already have a shortage in supply, but it could lead to a critical stage in November,” said McBride. “The months leading up to November could be spotty, and some could be out of product for extended periods of time.”
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