Randy Hooper - November 16, 2014
I tried to get you all primed for chestnuts last week, and then the USDA put an inspection hold on them and they were at the border for several days – finally getting delivered today. You’ll see a widening whole nut selection near the bottom of the price list. Sorry to bug you with a lot of weather information below, but it is very pertinent to your pricing and supply over the next few weeks on a vast array of product. Weather has certainly been in the news this week, with the first major cold snap of the year hitting most of the US with copious snow and temperatures well-below freezing. (The Prairies and Ontario were cold too, but regular ol’ Canadian cold becomes “Massive Arctic Blast” on the other side of the line.) Hundreds of records for cold and snowfall were broken, simply because the first major Arctic outbreak normally hits far south of the border in mid-December, not mid-November. While not affecting any growing area we are currently working in, ground-croppers in places still usually warm –like Georgia and Tennessee and many more - all had their local seasons end 4-5 weeks early. Below freezing temperatures dropped well into eastern Mexico and some areas of Florida – the net result being that there is much more pressure on California to supply greens across the whole continent. Salinas shippers have been under huge pressure because the winter growing areas of Imperial and Yuma are just getting going with full production not expected for another 2 – 3 weeks. Those desert growers are also behind this year after several huge rainstorms, related to 4 remnant hurricanes, pounded transplants down in September.