Persistent heat in Florida has brought on an early harvest for escarole this season. Though the early start is not expected to have an impact on the volume or quality of this year's crop, supply gaps could arise later in the season if too much product comes on at once.
“We just started harvesting, and though things did get pushed a little forward because of the weather, we usually start during the first week of November,” said Paul Orsenigo, a grower with Growers Management Inc. “We'll see a normal amount of product for the area. Because we're on a regimented planting schedule we'll have a continuous supply, though we may have a little bit of bunching until we get past this warm weather.” The warm weather is not expected to significantly disrupt the pace at which supplies reach the market. But if something accelerates production further, then supply gaps could occur.
“You usually harvest incrementally so that you have a staggered harvest,” said Beth Waldorf of I. Boris Company. “Sometimes the heat makes it all come at once. Then you have to sell it, and then you could have a shortage later in the season. If there is a shortage, then you'll have higher prices. It's all supply and demand.”
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