Vegetables and Melons Outlook February 2011

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Fresh-market vegetable supplies have been sporadic following several December freezes in Florida, periods of cool, wet weather in coastal California, and several periods of subfreezing temperatures in California and Arizona. In addition, Mexican vegetables were damaged by a 2-day freeze in early February (extent of damage is unknown at this time). As a result, vegetable prices are now at or above the highs experienced a year earlier.

According to early crop intentions, California tomato processors are considering contracting for 2 percent more tomatoes in 2011, despite record-high stocks. Assuming growers mange to again attain record-high yields, the total 2011 U.S. processing tomato crop could exceed 13 million tons—the second-highest on record.

Gary Lucier
Lewrene Glaser
USDA Economic Research Service