Supplies of organic lettuce out of California look even.
“Production for the lettuces and greens we currently grow for our organic spring mix blends is in good standing,” says Jesus Rodriguez of Duncan Family Farms based in Buckeye, AZ. Rodriguez notes that supplies are fairly consistent with spring mix production this time last year and are mainly coming from the West Coast. “Most of the competition is focused in the Salinas area,” he adds.
As far as challenges to the crop go, Rodriguez notes that insect pressure and mildew are Duncan Family Farms’ biggest concerns. “Currently our product out of Cuyama Valley is clean and we are not experiencing any mildew pressure,” he says.
Meanwhile demand for the product is coming from the Central Coast region as well as Salinas, CA. He notes that typically demand drops somewhat in the summer months due to closures of major foodservice outlets such as schools and restaurants. “Our product is distributed mainly into retail outlets, so we anticipate consumption remaining consistent for this time of year,” says Rodriguez. “However, COVID-19 is definitely causing some fluctuations in consumer demand levels.
But we have remained steady and in some instances are seeing an increase in orders from our customers.”
Looking ahead, Rodriguez notes that supplies of organic lettuce out of California look pretty consistent right now but he does anticipate some supply fluctuations due to recent weather patterns impacting plantings.