February 9th, 2011 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Heavy Freeze Damages Crops
Freezing temperatures spread across a wide area of Southern California, Arizona, Texas and Mexico the night of Feb. 3-4, with temperatures hitting as low as 18 degrees. This has had a huge effect on supplies of bananas, citrus, salads and lettuces, and items such as peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and winter squashes. These areas have been battling freezing evening temperatures for the past few weeks which range at night from 20-30 degrees. This has already caused limited markets and high prices on the many of our staple organic items. And now, with this past weekend freeze, we are looking at something much more devastating.
The freeze reached fields as far south as southern Sinaloa, Mexico and as far north as Coachella, CA. All reports are pointing to 1957 as the last time a freeze hit this hard in these growing regions. Many Mexican growers have lost their entire crops for the season. For those who will have product, expect extremely high prices and very limited availability particularly on peppers, tomatoes, zucchini , hard squash and cucumbers. This could last for up to 12 weeks.
Heger Farms, one of our key Southern California growers, has lost their entire melon and corn crops for the late Spring/Summer season. All row crops will be very limited for the rest of this Winter until we transition back to Northern California in April. Expect smaller sizing on many items, limited availability, higher prices, and slight chill damage. This is the scenario for the next 8 -12 weeks.
As always, we will do our best to provide you with the finest quality fresh organic produce available, but it’s important to understand that because of the severity of this freeze and the breadth of products that are affected, we expect to see limited availability, higher pricing, and smaller sizing on many key items. We think it’s important as well, that you are able to communicate to your customers what’s going on in the market, so we have created a sign that is posted on our website that you can print out (and laminate if possible) that will help explain the situation to your shoppers. Click Here to download the sign.
We will do our best to keep you informed of the enduring affect of this freeze, and as always, we appreciate your support and will continue to serve you with the best organic produce available.