Greenpoint Distributing LLC in Nogales, AZ, lost “probably over 300 hectares” or around 750 acres of sweet corn in the freeze that hit northern Mexico in mid-January, resulting in the loss of “over 300 truckloads of corn that we would have been receiving in the spring,” said Rick Burkett, sales director for the company.
But apart from that, the company’s other spring crops should be at normal production or better, Mr. Burkett said Feb. 8.
“We will still have our normal crops [of] zucchini and yellow squash,” he said. “We will have hard squash. We will have hot peppers. We will have Romas and it looks like a few vine-ripes this year. And we will have watermelons.”
The watermelons will come out of Hermosillo and Obregon, Sonora. “The projection is, for right now,” that they will start in late March and continue probably into June, he said.
Greenpoint has added to its Roma production this year, and in addition “we’ll have some type of volume on round tomatoes,” he said. “That is going to be a new item for us that we didn’t have last year.”
The company will not have any green beans this spring, Mr. Burkett said. But “we do have some English peas.” Also, “we should be back with Euro cucumbers, and we continue to have green, red and yellow bell peppers” out of Mexico.
Greenpoint’s watermelon program this spring will be “similar to what we had before,” except that “I believe we are going to see more seeded than we had last year. We are not sure how that is going to go. Seeded is an item we don’t see much anymore. But maybe that is a good thing,” because there are people in some markets, particularly in the Midwest, that still prefer a seeded watermelon.
“I kind of agree with that,” he said. “I’ve been doing watermelons one way or another since I was about eight years old, so I’m kind of a traditionalist that way. I like a good seeded watermelon over good seedless.”
Mr. Burkett feels that “we need to bring back some things that used to be the only item around, and maybe some people would be nostalgic about it.”
In its yellow squash program, Greenpoint had “a chunk of production that was expected to start out of Guaymas [Sonora] when that freeze hit [in mid-January] and we were affected pretty significantly down there. But fortunately, we weren’t affected as much” as some other squash growers in the area. In addition, “we’ve got a smaller farm up in the Obregon area that managed to pull through in good shape, and we have taken advantage of some good markets. We are still currently receiving out of there.”
Greenpoint’s grower in Obregon is “one of the few growers in that area that didn’t get totally wiped out,” he said.
“I think that’s what it takes anymore for a grower to see a good market,” Mr. Burkett said. “There’s got to be bad weather in another growing area.”
In addition to its Mexican products, Greenpoint is bringing various products out of the Dominican Republic. “I think we are going to see some mangos, and we should see some cucumbers,” he said. There is also “a possibility of some Persian cucumbers. We have even looked into some organic product and possibly some aromatic herbs. Those little niche markets is what we are aiming for as far as rolling out the Dominican project we’ve got going on, and I think organics and things like that are going to help us move our mainstream commodities.”
Greenpoint added a new hire, Diego Arrellano, as a sales assistant in November. “He’s got some quality-control experience with another company,” Mr. Burkett said. “He’s working in the sales office with us, with a future of possibly training him to take on some sales as we grow the company.”
Continuing on sales, along with Mr. Burkett, are Alfred Nuñez, who has been “looking after things while I’ve been on the road a lot,” as well as Rachel Espinoza and “our other sales assistant, Stephanie Varela,” he said. “They take care of things really well while I’m traveling.”