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Bumper crop floods bell pepper market in northern US

A mild summer with moderate temperatures has resulted in a bumper bell pepper field crop across the northern United States growing regions. The season is holding on in the north while southern regions have already finished their crop for this season. 

Todd Van Solkema, of Van Solkema Family Farms in Michigan, explained that the season has resulted in a bumper crop of the vegetable. "There's still bell pepper being grown in Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Ohio - basically the northern half of the United States and into Canada. The weather has been great and so has the quality. We haven't had extreme heat and hot nights during the summer. Temperatures have largely held in the low 80's which has meant big volumes for this year, and for the past 3 weeks, we've seen cool weather in our region," said Van Solkema. 

"We'll be picking Crown for about another week and after that, it'll be more about odd sizes before the cold arrives to finish off the season," he continued. 

Not good news for growers on the market front
While the weather has created favorable growing conditions, it also has meant the big volumes have translated into lower prices. Van Solkema said the market has been poor due to the overabundance of the product. "Everybody's had peppers this season and the market has been poor as a result. At the moment, the price for bigger sizes is $12 per carton while choice varieties are attracting around the $10 mark."

Growers will have to wait some time before the market picks up again after the majority of produce has been sold off. "We did see the market strengthen in the last week," continued Van Solkema. "It should continue to strengthen in the next few weeks as players start to pull out."

For more information: 
Todd Van Solkema
Van Solkema Family Farms
Tel: +1 (616) 878-1508

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