When you think crop protection services you naturally think protection from pests, livestock and such. However with natural fluctuations like the deluge in Southern California, is there really any protection from that? California normally suffers from a lack of rainfall, thus the need for irrigation on most farms in that region. With the unseasonably warm weather in winter, the growing season was cut short and was succeeded by unusually heavy rainfall. This delayed planting in the coastal area of California which is the country’s largest source of fruit and vegetables and has impacted other industries as well.
The Domino Effect
The planting delay has led to a shortage of many staple crops such as broccoli and lettuce thereby leading to skyrocketing wholesale costs. The shortage is expected to last well into May and retailers are feeling the impact as are end consumers.
The consumer market is where the impact is most visible as it reaches a wider demographic of the population. Lettuce heads going for triple what they used to as well as a slew of other vegetables is putting a crimp on many people’s budgets as they try to feed their families. Shortages and empty produce aisles only add to the frustration.
Restaurant & Hospitality
Restaurants are having to alter their menus, charge higher prices or trim offerings altogether. In some niche restaurants, that center on salads like Jason’s Deli or Souper Salad the impact is even harder with some locations facing supply issues. To give an idea of how bad the costs have risen, a carton of 36 heads of romaine lettuce has soared to $53, four times its cost just last year.
Seeding suppliers, crop protection services, and other farm support industry players are feeling the impact as the planting season is delayed and their cash flow is taking a hit without clients to serve.
The Good News
The Storm Will Pass
While the crop yield that is harvestable is not at normal levels due to the weather, over the next few weeks; supply gaps should begin to decrease and eventually go away by the end of May. Being that the west coast is our main source of leafy greens, cauliflower, and broccoli; some of the most popular vegetables with consumers, the impact is felt immediately. Salinas Valley, for example, grows nearly 70 percent lettuces sold in the US. It is one of the largest markets for crop protection services and other farm support industries and that impact trickles down. In contrast, once the supply normalizes business will be booming again and these are just the risks involved with an industry that is heavily dependent on uncontrollable forces.
The Drought Has Nearly Been Erased
With the exception of some parts of Southern California, the inundation of what are called “Atmospheric Rivers” of precipitation has quickly erased a severe drought that has lasted several years. It doesn’t come without some unexpected negative effects, but on the whole, it brings relief; especially for farmers and support industries like crop protection services and seed suppliers.
This is Texas
Thankfully, Heli-AG crop protection services have not had to endure the problems our colleagues in California have had to endure. We live in a fairly balanced climate that famously can go from 90 degrees and sunny in the morning, to 65 degrees and thunderstorms by evening. Our services are second to none with our unique helicopter delivery method, garnering greater and more accurate pesticide coverage. Contact us today to see how we can help protect your investment from pestilence.