By Clint Thompson
One of the most challenging aspects of vegetable production this season doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. In fact, it may only worsen when South Florida’s fall production comes back online.
The idea of a pallet shortage was unfathomable for producers prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic. But it’s a continuing problem with no end in sight, according to Aaron Troyer, Florida farmer and chairman of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.
“I think the pallet shortage is going to take some time to get figured out. You can get pallets now where you couldn’t get them two months ago. The price is higher. I don’t know what happens when South Florida starts running again in a meaningful way; north Florida, south Florida and all that stuff comes back online,” Troyer said. “I’m not sure there’s going to be enough pallets to go around again.
“You talk about sawmills. These guys can’t make enough dimensional lumber to build the houses that are in demand. They’re running at maximum capacity and there’s just not enough in there. It’s not just about the raw product, it’s also about the labor. Some of the sawmills can’t run at capacity because they don’t have the people to do the jobs. They’re running into the same problems we are.”