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June/1st/2009

Our Northwest Crops

Peas: Cold and wet spring weather has delayed the Northwest pea crop by one week. The pea harvest will begin in the Columbia Basin approximately June 6th. The early peas are showing signs of limited pods. Last year’s early peas had twice as many pods on the vines compared to this year’s early peas. We are expecting an average grade distribution and smaller pack. Peas require consistent warm weather; however Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon weather has been inconsistent with hot weather, then cold weather.

Green Beans: The crop is a week behind in the Willamette Valley due to rain and yields are expected to be down. Some seeding is still taking place in the Columbia Basin. The harvest is expected to begin around July 15th and run through October 5th.

Corn: Approximately 35-50 percent of the corn acres have been planted. The estimated start date for the Northwest corn is July 20th and harvest will go through October 15th. Organic corn seeds are being planted now and the weather has been warm in the Pasco/Quincy area which is ideal weather for organic seeding.

Carrots: In the Northwest the carrot seeding for sliced type carrots and baby whole type carrots were planted week of May 4th. The harvest should begin approximately July 10th.

Potatoes: Early variety potatoes are just above the ground. The first variety potato, Shepordy will be available for harvest around July 10th followed by Ranger Russets in August and Russet Burbank in September. The ideal growing conditions for potatoes are warm days and cool nights.

Blueberries: Due to colder spring weather, blueberry harvest in the Pacific Northwest will be later than usual; however this should not affect the supply.  In Oregon, blueberry harvest is estimated to start the beginning of August.  Washington State is estimating a start of Duke around Aug 8; Reka Aug 15; Hardy Blue Aug 22; Blue Crop Aug 25. Overall the Northwest should have a very good supply of berries this year.

Raspberries: The Raspberry crop this year is slow again due to the colder temperatures this spring.  Usual harvest starts around June 26-28, but current estimate for 2009 crop is the second week of July.  For raspberries, a delayed crop usually signals a short crop.  Also, some fields have damage from the recent colder weather.  Like the blueberries, the warmer weather that is predicted should be helpful.

Our Mexican and Guatemalan Crops

Broccoli/Mexico: At present we are receiving broccoli from North of Guanajuato State. The quality of the broccoli is up to standards; however the quantities are limited with only 30 percent of the average raw material being received.

Broccoli/Guatemala: We began transplanting broccoli to the fields located in the highlands of Guatemala (Patzun area) the last week of April. The rains started earlier than usual and these early rains have been beneficial to the young broccoli plants. At the present time the broccoli plants look healthy and vigorous. Broccoli harvest and production will start up again in Guatemala approximately June 22nd.

Did you know…

Well, pea season is upon us and what better time to learn some interesting information about that small little green vegetable we call the pea. Shu Nung, the Chinese Father of Agriculture, is said to have discovered peas 5000 years ago. Shu Nung wandered the country side looking for suitable plants which could be used for medicine or food. First the plant was fed to a dog, then a servant and if both survived Shu Nung himself would taste the new food! Welcome Pea Crop!

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