By Clint Thompson
South Florida’s vegetable season started off strong but ended with a “whimper,” according to Gene McAvoy, associate director for stakeholder relations at the University of Florida/IFAS.
“It was pretty strong there in January and February. Then Mexico started coming in with more product, especially in April,” McAvoy said. “It varies by crop. Sweet corn had probably the best year they’ve had in a long, long time. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, not so good.
“We were good early on because we had wet weather and cool weather in the fall and winter. It kept the supply low and kept the prices strong. But when things started to get more normal and Mexico started dumping and we had more normal yields, we didn’t have markets for it, so prices went to hell.”
He said vegetable production in South Florida is pretty much done until the fall season, other than some sweet corn that will be finished in another week or two.
Fall production in South Florida will start with plantings in mid-August, though a few will start at the end of July.