Crop News

Green Pea Season Starts


United States

Most Northwest Green Pea processers will begin harvest this coming week.  Conditions have been perfect for pea growing in the Northwest and yields and quality expected to be excellent.

Northwest corn plantings began in April and approximately 50% of crop is now planted, with an expected harvest date of end July.  The weather has been a bit cooler than normal for this time of year and corn has not silked yet so depending on future weather conditions the season may start a few days later than usual, however this could change quickly if weather warms up.

Carrot and Lima Bean plantings are underway.

Due to the Covid-19 virus and the abrupt challenges it has created in the market – foodservice sales are down, while retail sales are up – (this is the same situation for all frozen vegetables and fruits, however it seems that potatoes have been hit the hardest.

It is estimated that North American potato contract volumes for raw material are down by about 15% – 25% compared to last year. Many contracts were quickly cancelled as the effects of the virus became known.  As well, we heard that one large producer has returned a large volume of 2019 storage potatoes back to grower.   Processors will be running on past years storage potatoes longer than they ever have in the past.

Freezer storage is filled with finished product and processors are cutting back on production.    On a more positive note, with the opening of some parts of the country, we expect the situation to gradually improve.   It was also announced this month that the USDA will award a $50 million-dollar purchase in order to help the potato industry during the Covid – 19 pandemic.    New season harvest is expected to begin in July.

Washington State’s red raspberry crop was reduced by about 12% compared to last year due to rain during the harvest season which sent more product to juice.   I.Q.F Raspberry prices are on the rise and most processors are sold out.   The season this year is coming along nicely in British Colombia and Washington state with good soil moisture and mild weather conditions.

Blueberry bushes in Oregon have completed pollination and favorable weather conditions make it look as though a good season is on the horizon.

Eastern Washington blueberry harvest will begin middle of this month and, again due to mild weather we look forward to a budget crop in this area.

Western Washington and British Colombia currently in bloom stage.   Some inconsistent pollination but overall, we expect a good blueberry season.

Frozen Blueberry is currently in demand in the retail market, for both conventional and organic as sales continue to climb due to the Covid -19 pandemic.   Consumers look to blueberries due to their health benefits of high antioxidants levels and low calories and frozen can be held for long periods of time; fresh cannot.  While much of the foodservice category was lost and freezers were full, much of the inventory was quickly moved into the retail market. This may firm up the blueberry market sooner than later.

Washington State cherry growers are contending with “little cherry disease”.   The disease produces a small, pale, low sugar fruit which cannot be used.   Once a cherry tree has this disease it must be cut down.   In regard to fresh cherries, estimates are that 2.5 – 3 million boxes of fruit will be lost.

Midwest peas are about 70% into the ground.  Freeze and rain could affect the early peas in regard to maturity.  Sweet corn continues to be planted, however cooler temperatures and rain have slowed down planting progress

The USDA announced in May it will purchase $470 million in surplus food for distribution to communities nationwide.   This will help growers and communities during this pandemic.


Broccoli and Cauliflower growing regions are coming into their rainy season.   Factories in Mexico are running as much product as possible due to the huge demand caused by the corona virus.   Repack rooms are running at capacity in order to fill demands.


Broccoli season in Guatemala will begin end June first week of July.


Raspberry season was disappointing this year due to weather conditions including a drought.  Prices on Chilean raspberries have risen, and shortages are expected by about 30%.  Blueberry season is completed.

Philippines:  Pineapple raw material for can market is very tight and processors there are not accepting any new buyers


A lack of seasonal workers in Europe due to travel restrictions are making it difficult to harvest and labor many berry and vegetable crops there, while Belgians are being called upon to eat more French fry’s due to the glut in the market caused by foodservice shops closing due to Covid – 19.   75% of Belgium’s potatoes are used for the freezers and 25% are used for snacks and as fresh.  Those two markets have been good as people are cooking more at home and eating snacks such as potato chips.

In the Netherlands the government there has provided 650 million euros to save farmers from losses caused by the pandemic of which 50 million euros will go to potato farmers.


Prolonged drought has reduced the raw material yields for sweet corn.  Prices remain high.   Thailand’s worst drought in 4 decades will affect all crops, including rice and sugar.   It will cost the economy US$1.9 billion, equivalent of 0.34% of Thailand’s gross domestic products.


Tasmania, the island state of Australia, which produces the majority of the French fry’s for Australia, are experiencing large losses in crops this season.   Due to many months of wet weather it is making is difficult to get into the fields to harvest the crop and many farmers are leaving crops in the ground to rot.   It is estimate that 60,000 tones of potatoes will be lost but the estimate could be much higher.

With this shortfall many are concerned that Europe will begin to dump potatoes on the Australian market.


Edamame season will begin June/July.   Sugar snap season is now completed.


































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