Vegetable Market Report

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Vegetable Market Report
27 Jun 2018

Vegetable Market Report

Horticulture

Summary

The poor spring has resulted in only 10% of the total expected field vegetable planting being completed.at this stage and in general it has been a very difficult winter for producers. Many crops are up to 3 weeks behind schedule. Protected crops in heated structures were slightly delayed however those in cold glass have been slow to develop. The wet weather before and after Christmas has led to disease and poor quality in a lot of the overwintered outdoor crops which has also led to difficult harvesting conditions. Producers are going to need a rise in farm gate prices to compensate for the loss of yield etc.

Root crops:

  • After a slow start to the growing season, yields and quality were quite reasonable over the summer and autumn months. However, the wet and mild weather before Christmas resulted in higher disease levels and very difficult harvest conditions.
  • Since January due to weather and disease factors the market for carrots and parsnips in particular has improved as an oversupply has changed to an undersupply resulting in higher wholesale prices.
  • There were some early plantings of carrots in February however in general the planting season for crops has been delayed by up to three weeks which will leave gaps in the market at the start of the Irish season

Brassicas:

  • Due to the higher yields in the autumn the market was quite depressed however things improved over the winter and consumption was helped by the prolonged cold wet weather. As with the root crops above, the weakness of sterling and higher yields in the UK and NI put pressure across the entire brassica market in ROI.
  • Cauliflower supply and demand has remained balanced, therefore the market is positive with no recent gluts with the cooler weather slowing the progress of crops.
  • Along with the delayed cabbage plantings, spring cabbage has been very slow to mature with some crops almost a month late.

Protected crops and salads:

  • The season has started reasonably for the heated protected crops, however, there have been delays due to poor light levels
  • Storm Emma caused little structural damage in this sector however, there was considerable extra cost in heating glasshouse etc.
  • The reduction in the critical mass of growers in the salad vegetables remains a serious issue and the continued retail price deflation is becoming more serious.
  • Fusarium has caused major problems in the lettuce sector and will certainly affect supply during the summer this year.
  • As in all sectors there is a major problem in sourcing labour and securing accommodation for workers
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