The corn season in the Columbia Basin will be going strong until mid-October and will wind down in the last two weeks of the month. It has been a good growing season for corn in Washington State. Extremely consistent warm weather has put pressure on producers to process as much corn as they can before the crop over ripens, so harvesters have been hard at work. Noon International representatives tasted the late September corn while visiting corn harvest and reported it tasted juicy and sweet. The attached photos are of this recent visit.
Our Northwest Crops: Frozen Vegetables
Green Beans: Green Bean harvest is complete for 2009 season. Harvest finished up in late September. Excessive heat for short periods made yields slightly less than anticipated but still enough to meet budget. Yield was slightly affected during the hottest portions of the summer. Quality is good.
Corn: The Columbia Basin has been consistently warm all season with some very hot days. One producer commented that this was the most consistently warm season he could remember for a very long time. Usually summer heat in the Pacific Northwest is broken by some cool rainy days. This year consistent warmth has made bunch ripening an issue. The compressed harvest timeline has forced some suppliers to bypass certain corn fields in order to focus on fields with corn at ideal moisture levels for harvest. Full capacity corn production will persist into the end of October. Yield and quality are still good and producers are careful to only harvest high quality crops at the peak of ripeness.
Carrot: Sliced carrot production is over. Diced carrot production scheduled to start the week of September 28th and production should be in full swing by the issue of this report. Quality and yield should be average and no problems have been reported this season.
Potato: Russet Burbank harvest is underway in the Columbia Basin. Yield and quality look consistent and good. Late October should see Russet varieties other than Burbank harvested. Umatilla and Altura Russet potato harvest will round out the season at the end of October and possibly into the beginning of November. It has been a good year for potato growers in the Columbia Basin.
*Blueberry/Raspberry: A potentially damaging small fruit pest has made its way from South East Asia to Japan and now to the West Coast of the United States and Canada. Details discussed in “Did you know…?” section of the crop report.
Our Mexican and Guatemalan Crops: Frozen Vegetables
Broccoli/Mexico: Full capacity broccoli production beginning in Mexico. The rainy season is ending in Mexico and Broccoli harvest resumes at full capacity with high quality Broccoli harvested.
Cauliflower/Mexico: Large scale harvest to resume in late September or early October when seasonal rain lessens significantly.
Broccoli/Guatemala: Broccoli production continues with high quality broccoli currently being harvested and Guatemalan broccoli processors running their factories at full capacity. By mid October pictures of the Guatemalan broccoli crop should be available. Stay tuned!
Did you know…?
Of over 3,000 different species of fruit fly in the world only two are harmful to agriculture. One of those species, the Spotted Wing Drosophila or Drosophila Suzukii, has been discovered infesting crops on the West Coast of the United States and Canada. The insect is native to South East Asia and Japan and targets ripe fruit crops. Most fruit flies only target rotting fruit and cannot penetrate the skin of ripe fruit, but the female Spotted Wing has a saw like structure on its posterior end which can cut through fruit skin so the insect can deposit larvae inside fruits. While it is too early to judge the bug’s impact on next year’s fruit crop, one Oregon USDA contact conceded, “the SWD has the potential to be a very serious pest in fruit crops in OR and WA…it can impact fresh and processed fruit”. Noon International will monitor the situation and inform crop report readers of developments as they occur.
*Post Season Update