Cabbage Prices Starting to Cool Down; Frontera’s Tonya Hill and Boskovich’s Russ Widerburg Discuss
- by Christofer Oberst
CALIFORNIA & TEXAS - The winter weather may have been keeping pricing high for cabbage supplies out of California and Texas in recent weeks, but now the market is beginning to settle down as supplies finally start to ramp up. With the good demand and consistent quality, growers are still optimistic for the rest of the season.
“We’re just past our first phenomenal New Year’s pull and the season will go until the 10th or 15th of May so long as the weather leaves us alone,” Tonya Hill, Director of Sales at Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce, tells me. “Volume-wise, we’re about halfway through. The next pull is St. Patrick’s Day, which we expect to be a good holiday if the New Year’s pull was any indication.”
California and Texas had their fair share of storms over the past couple weeks, which curtailed harvest during the rainfall and also had an effect on pricing in the past few weeks.
“Since the New Year’s pull was so heavy, pricing ramped up for the season. The cold, wet weather in Texas slowed down production, but we were able to fill what we needed. We’re starting to see the jumbo market climb in pricing now. We are seeing a few jumbos in the field, however, the market is fairly strong,” Hill continued.
Out in Oxnard, California, the cold weather and precipitation from last week’s rain slowed down the harvest and growth. Growers tell us that the reason the markets have been so high is due to the damp weather we have seen in California so far.
“The market has been extremely high - similar to many commodities - in the early part of the winter,” Russ Widerburg, Sales Manager with Boskovich Farms, said late last week. “Still, demand is very good, even with the higher prices. Processed and contract cabbages are still taking up a lot of the volume.”
Overall though, the common theme seems to be that quality has been in-line with expectations.
“Quality on cabbage has been pretty consistent this season,” Widerburg continued. “We’ve dealt with some issues in the late summer and early fall with some die outs from the bagrada beetle, but that just kept yields a little lower and didn’t affect the quality of the product in the box.”
“This year we planted enough cabbage, and we’re seeing fantastic quality on the crop,” Hill said. “The demand matched what we had in the field, if not exceeded it.”
Barring any extreme weather in the near future, growers are looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day for the next big holiday pull.
Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue keeping track of the cabbage market.