The spring crop of slicing cucumbers started out in northern Mexico. "Production has been a bit on the slow side due to cooler weather, and that has not helped in terms of availability or sizing," says Raquel Espinoza of Produce House. "However, now we're seeing that it's starting to warm up, and we're getting better sizing and production."
The fluctuating temperatures in northern Mexico have led to the spring season starting at least two weeks late. Normally it would begin approximately March 15. This year it started at the beginning of April.
Meanwhile, while demand was weak at the start of the spring crop, it has gotten better. At the same time, Espinoza notes that processing opportunities continue to grow for cucumbers. "Particularly with off-grades, we've seen that the industry is developing the market for processing and is making juices out of them. There's a lot of juicing going on, and we've captured some of that business," she says. "I think that there's a niche for cucumbers as a whole, from retail to foodservice sectors and now the processing sector."
While pricing has been low, she notes the market is getting better, particularly with fair movement on cucumbers, especially on plains and small, while supers and 36s have maintained a good value.
Looking ahead, Espinoza says there are at least eight weeks of solid production coming out of the region. "We're going to have good quality for the duration of our season. As far as the volume, we'll continue with our normal growing acreage," she says.
For more information:
Produce House LLC
Tel.: +1 (520) 281-8943