Crop News

Green Pea Harvest Has Started!


United States

Green Pea harvest is now underway in the Pacific Northwest.   High temperatures over the last week has brought on the season quickly.  Dry land pea fields are suffering due to lack of rain, and we may see a 40% to 50% reduction on yields for those that grow on dry land without irrigation.   For sure expect the pea market to remain tight with higher prices this season.

 Sweet corn, green bean, carrots and lima bean plantings now underway with about 65 to 70% of sweet corn in the ground.  Early variety sweet corn should begin harvest about first week July, especially if temperatures continue to rise.

90-day outlook on weather in the Pacific Northwest looks to be a warmer season than last year.

Commodity prices on grain corn and soybean rose sharply in April.   Prices are at levels not seen in a while.   This will impact food processor’s ability to secure land at reasonable prices which in turn will reduce volumes and increase prices for frozen vegetables.

Midwest area pea planting has been ongoing with some delays due to rain and cooler weather.   At this moment about 75% to 80% of the green peas are in the ground.  Green pea harvest is expected to start sometime later this month. 

 Sweet corn plantings are ongoing and to date about 40% planted.    Carrots, lima beans and sugar snaps also being planted.  Cooler spring temperatures slowed down growing, however recent warmer temperatures have helped move the season along.   Overall the Midwest area, based on a 90-day forward forecast is expecting normal weather patterns this season.

The state of Michigan suffered through frost and freeze conditions at the end of April and Early May.   Michigan’s cherry crop will see damage and yields are expected to be below average.

Asparagus season has started in Michigan, with first fields going to fresh market. Volume, quality and price will be similar to last season.  Cooler nighttime temperature delayed the harvest start by about a week.

United States processing potatoes are now planted and potatoes in the Colombia Basin are emerging.  Early varieties are expected to begin harvest in early July.  U.S. acreage as a whole is up this year, however not yet to the pre-pandemic level.  French fry sales have been strong in recent months domestically, but processors are still cautious if this demand will continue due to uncertainties still concerning the covid 19 pandemic.  Also, of concern to growers and processors are the uncertainties of foreign markets in regard to covid 19.  However, with some economies beginning to open up, including the U.S, there may be a shortage of raw product supply through 2020/2021.   Processors/fryers have not been able to keep up with current export orders received within recent weeks.   Domestically, frozen potato sales are rising.

Frozen Fruit stocks in the U.S are down 18% – 20% from last year.  To secure any U.S. offer on strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries is pretty much impossible at the moment. 

Cold storage holdings on frozen blueberries were down about 13% at end January from the same time last year.   The U.S. has imported about 90,000 tons of frozen blueberries this past year (includes wild and cultivated) and remains the highest imported product to date.

Frozen Blueberry retail sales has grown by about 24% over the past year.   This is due in part to covid related sales as well as blueberry’s high antioxidant properties to boost immune systems.

A disappointing 2020 blueberry season for both cultivated and wild blueberries in conjunction with extreme demand has resulted in more production planned this season.   Expected production increases are up by 14% for cultivated and up 27% for wild blueberries.

The California Strawberry season is ongoing.  Due to consumer demand acreage has been increased and consumer interest is not slowing down.  Anticipation is for a good season, however earlier rains and now drought conditions may affect the outcome of the crop.  Demand remains strong and so do prices.   U.S. strawberry imports rose by 26% over the last year.

Prices for all U.S. berry fruits are up and expected to continue to rise due to smaller crops last season, high demand, and struggles with the berry crops in Chile.

2021 Northwest blueberry and raspberry crops have wintered well with no adverse conditions to report.   Raspberry and blueberry buds have started to show.  Growers are optimistic for a good season.  Estimated start date for early variety raspberries are mid to late June, with later varieties around first week of July.

Blueberries for the frozen market should be processing around end of July, however everything will depend on weather going forward.


Harvesting of Broccoli and Cauliflower in the Bajio Valley has now stopped as Mexico’s quarantine becomes effective in May/June.   Transiting to the Northern fields in the state of Guanajuato is now taking place.

Pepper season now ongoing in Mexico and should wind down this month.

Avocado season in Mexico runs July through end May.   A freeze this past winter could affect the volume coming out of the season later this summer.  U.S. consumption continues to increase and prices for fresh and frozen avocado is expected to increase going forward.


Broccoli harvest is now completed, and the season will start up again in July.  Late year rains reduced the volume of broccoli coming into the factories for processing and reduced total production volumes.   Mango, melon, okra season are underway.


Fruit season in Chile has been very challenging.   A devasting storm at the end of January damage crops.  Grape crops were particularly hit hard, however, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries also suffered much damage. Price are up, and inventories will be very tight moving forward.   It is estimated that damages from this storm will be over US$150 million.   Current prices on all berry fruits are up due to Chile’s crop challenges, lack of labor, and high demand worldwide.


Avocado season is ongoing.  Yields and quality expected to be good, however labor costs will increase prices.   Mango prices have risen further due to small fruit size and dry weather conditions resulting in a reduced crop.  The season is now completed, and prices will remain firm.


Green peas and beans remain very short in Europe with no relief in sight until new season.   Spinach and cauliflower are also short and in high demand.

A 2021 spring freeze which struck across Europe has damaged most of the stone fruit crop there.   Cold and rain in Serbia has delayed blackberries, raspberry and cherry crops there by about 14 days.  

Early vegetable crops such as peas were also affected during planting stage and will result in lower yields this season.   Expect the pea market to remain firm.

It has recently been reported that potato growers in Europe will reduce their potato acreage this year in order to rebalance the market.  Expected acreage decline is on average 3% to 5%.   Crop development has had a slow start due to cooler and wet weather.   Potatoes are emerging slower than usual.   Disease and yield production are also of concern.

Potato processers in Europe are facing many challenges aside from the covid challenge.   The 2020 season was the first season in which CIPC was not allowed to be sprayed to prevent sprouting in storage potatoes.   Storage has become more expensive and the new anti-sprouting treatment is expensive and not working as well as CIPC…. some sprouting is still occurring.


Raw material price for Thai pineapple expected to decline.   Peak season worries about fruit ripeness may hold price low.  Summer crop will reach its peak in May with volume decline in June


On April 1, Japan dropped the remaining tariff of 2.1% from all frozen potato products, including frozen French fries.   The original 8.5% tariff gradually went down under an agreement between the U.S. and Japan and as of April 1st is now fully eliminated.  

In 2020 the U.S. exported over 342M of potato products to Japan making Japan the largest overseas market for U.S. frozen potatoes.  The National Potato Council has estimated that with the complete elimination of the tariff the U.S could possibly grow the market by another 150M annually.


Pea pod and sugar snap pea season is now underway in China.   Raw material prices were up this year so expect prices to be firm. 

Spring Asparagus season is ongoing.

Edamame, sugar snap peas, green bean season is beginning this month.

Strawberry harvest is ongoing, and prices are expected to be up due to decreased acreage and various effects from covid.   We have heard reports that stock levels ex 2020 season are low and this along with reduced acreage and higher transportation costs will increase prices into the U.S.   The U.S. is the 6th largest importer of Chinese strawberries.















































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