MARKET REPORT – AUG 3RD 2018
Well, it’s a sad and scary day for so many growers out there with huge forest fires raging near major production areas.
Here’s a couple of pictures from Grown Here Organics in the Chopaka area, a few km. south of Cawston in the Similkameen taken exactly 3 months ago. Under water. Field bins floating away.
And here is one taken last night from basically the same spot with the largest wildfire in BC at their door-step.
With most growers from the north end of Keremous to well south of Cawston under evacuation alert, it’s especially hard, right at the beginning of field crop season, with all its irrigation demands, and also in the middle of stone fruit harvest, to deal with a natural disaster, especially after so many growers lost their entire spring plantings. Grown Here (pictured here) lost early sets of carrots and onions. Destiny Lane, one of BC’s biggest carrot producers, tragically lost their entire season. We are nowhere near the peak of fire season, and with over 430 fires burning in the province, and dozens in production areas in the Fraser Canyon, Okanagan and Similkameen all we can do is keep our fingers crossed. This Snowy Mtn. fire is the biggest burning at this time, and has dropped to the valley floor, and jumped the Similkameen River, although fire officials are positive they can back-burn and burn up fuel closer to populated areas. Trevor phoned from Sundance Farm yesterday to say there were hot pine needles floating into his orchard. Scary.
ON other subjects:
Apples – first Earligold and Sunrise are coming in (might taste a bit like smoke?). Only have import Gala, Granny and Pinks. Fuji market has pretty well dried up. Expect BC early apples to be pricy for a couple of weeks as clever growers take advantage of high selling prices on imports.
Avocado – with help from local distributor we are scraping by. Our two major US suppliers haven’t been able to meet new requirements from a few weeks ago concerning Light brown apple moth, yet (they had no notice) so are unable to ship avo’s out of California still, and with fruit from other vendors we haven’t worked with in the past being pro-rated, we’re having little luck grabbing 70’s or 80’s which we had great price points on for the past few months. Awaiting an update from Pragor, but expecting the beginning of our Fair Trade program to start 5-6 weeks from now. Will also be out of our famous Rebel avo program any day until our first load from Mexico.
Citrus – in general, lemons continue to be a disaster on both the supply and price fronts. Not like growers are creaming on pricing – they just don’t have anything to sell, and are asking highly inflated prices because they are shipping a few boxes that should have been pallets. Oranges also hard to come by with Valencia the only card currently playing and supply tight! Lime prices also creeping up quickly while no one noticed – this is traditionally a low point for lime production in Mexico.
This is a picture of a 2 year old lemon tree (lemons grow green and ripen to yellow). My friend Rafa just sent this to me, and said he is wishing that he had planted the 4,000 that he just put in this spring back a couple of years ago instead – he would be swimming in pesos!
Stonefruit – Late season cherries are stunningly good (don’t taste like smoke.) Cots still coming off in a variety of packs. Peaches are plentiful as we move into cling-free varieties. And then there’s plums – the parade of variety, like what we experience from California earlier in the year, has begun. This is the fastest growing fruit category we see, year over year, and good reason with so many new plump, firm tasty varieties out there now. We can remember back to when it was just Shiro at the beginning of the season, and the big focus was on late Italian Prune Plums, which are sort of OK, but a lot better as prunes than as plums (that’s me interjecting some personal thoughts.)
Berries – BC Blackberries and Raspberries have wrapped up. A stunning BC Blues crop, especially right now these berries coming off right now were too young to remember the punishing heat from a week ago. Harvest should continue for at least another 2 weeks – upcoming heat later in the week is going to be potentially painful. The conventional supply goes into September, but organic growers don’t have the magic cure for Drosophila fly which burrows into the flesh. Conventional growers can spray Malathion and fix the problem. Lovely.