“Generally, people planted a little less everywhere, and that’s due to higher costs.” So says Neil Mazal of East Coast Farms & Vegetables about current cucumber production in North America.
Currently, production has moved out of Georgia, with the exception of two late-harvest growers who are nearing completion. “Production is now widespread in growing regions of South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Michigan and Baja Mexico. There are small local transactions in other regions, but production is still not abundant in one region. he says.
Greenhouse production of cucumbers from Mexico, Canada and the United States also continues, although Mazal notes that there has been a flurry of greenhouse cucumbers hitting the market. “The market was very depressed and people were shipping greenhouse cucumbers,” he says, noting that retailers, however, were not ad hoc promotion of greenhouse cucumbers and instead relied on advertisements scheduled two weeks in advance. . However, the hunt is over and prices for European-style cucumbers are now higher.
Why less area?
The lower planted acreage is not surprising given the number of increased costs producers face – fuel, fertilizer, lack of labor, etc. High fuel prices are particularly important as they put pressure on available supplies closer to home, as surcharges from the West Coast, for example, are more expensive.
Meanwhile, demand is good for cucumbers. However, local offerings are making their way into mainstream demand. “There are little pockets everywhere of someone with cucumber,” Mazal says. “And these small transactions are trying to get more money for their product because they don’t have the volume to help them overcome the additional costs that we all face.”
He adds that this year, these local offers have a particular advantage at the retail level. “Retailers will try to buy this local production because they save on freight. They can buy just-in-time products and can promote “buy local,” Mazal says.
As for prices, they range from a minimum of $8.35 FOB to a maximum of $10.35. Selections with super selections command higher prices ranging from $16.35 to $18.35. “With production increasing in most new regions, we can expect prices to fall and could fall quickly,” Mazal says.
This range is also partly due to transportation costs. “With cucumber weights, freight cost is a determining factor in the purchase decision
FOB The FOB cost may be lower in one area, but the cost of freight to the end user can be prohibitive,” explains Mazal.
Looking ahead, Mazal notes that, of course, growing conditions also take into account where the cucumbers are purchased. “One area may have too much rain while another area may be too hot and dry, which impacts quality,” he says. “The bottom line is that transition time is the time to search a little more than usual to find the best ‘deal.’ Keep inventory low as you follow the market down.”