Warm weather brings strong Florida crops

Doug Ohlemeier, 01/30/2013

IMMOKALEE, Fla. — Florida’s unseasonably warm weather is helping grower-shippers produce quality crops, shippers report.

Adam Lytch, operations manager for Raleigh, N.C.-based L&M Cos. Inc., which grows and packs bell peppers, squash and other vegetables from Immokalee, said the favorable growing conditions is producing high quality fall and winter crops.

He said buyers should also expect consistent supplies when south Florida transitions from fall production to winter production in late January and early February.

“The crops have been good,” Lytch said in late January. “Quality, size and yield have all been good.”

On watermelons, Brian Arrigo, president of Southern Corporate Packers Inc., says the warm weather could see an earlier than normal start for south Florida’s harvesting.

Usually, watermelons begin harvesting in mid- to late April.

This year, however, Arrigo says production could start as early as March 10, the earliest ever.

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