GFVA Executive Director: It Was a Pretty Good Season

Clint Thompson Fruit, Georgia, Top Posts, Vegetables

By Clint Thompson

Photo by Clint Thompson/Watermelons on sale at the farmers market in Cordele, Georgia. Watermelon producers in Georgia had a good year with strong prices.

Georgia’s fruit and vegetable growers had their share of obstacles this growing season but emerged mostly unscathed with a productive season, according to Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Association (GFVA).

He credits alternative marketing outlets for helping products get sold in a timely fashion.

“Because of the Food Box program that the USDA had and the Georgia Grown to Go, there was a lot of product that was taken off the market,” Hall said. “Mexico had problems weather wise and production wise, so we did not have as heavier imports as we normally have. There was Mexican product on the market. They did not have the quantity of product coming in as they normally do.

“Prices stayed good most of the season, and demand stayed strong most of the season. Overall, it was a pretty good season.”

Pleasant Surprise

A good season was not always a guarantee, especially after Florida growers struggled during the early part of harvest season to sell their produce amid the coronavirus pandemic. And they also struggled with Mexican imports.

“Somebody told me that it’s very, very unusual when your prices in June are better than your prices in April. That’s the trend we would like to see to continue,” Hall said. “This has just been a strange year. If you had told me in March that I would have made the statement I just made, that growers had a pretty good year, I would have said you were crazy. Things coming out of Florida in March and early April, it looked bad. It really did.”

Prices stayed up and supply stayed strong for Georgia farmers, who needed a year like this season.

“We needed to have a decent year. Our guys for the last, two, three years, they’ve been devastated. Having a better year in 2020 has certainly been good for folks,” Hall said.