Mexican Freeze Out

It is a measure of how cold thenorthern Hemisphere was this winter when Mexico is knocked out.  Cheap produce will disappear for a couple ofmonths and we will see expensive produce flown in from Africaand the southern hemisphere.

Otherwise, these reports sharewith us, just how ready the growers are in terms of responding to thesituation.  The shortfall will be brief.  Enjoy your potatoes and carrots.  That is what we used to winter over withalong with sauerkraut.

Yet it is a remarkable testament tomodern agriculture that both Florida and Mexico can beexperiencing crop failure without seriously over straining the supply chain.  A few items will simply be unavailable for a rathershort while.

I continue to look forward to theadvent of airships able to carry four containers of produce on regular routesstraight from processor to your local wholesaler.  All Central America and the Caribbean willbecome North America’s market garden.

Mexico freeze kills 80-100 pct of crops; USfood prices to soar


Feb. 8, 2011

All of our growers have invoked the act of god clause on our contracts(force majuere) due to the following release:

The extreme freezing temperatures hit a very broad section of majorgrowing regions in Mexico,from Hermosillo in the north all the way southto Los Mochis and even south of Culiacan. The earlyreports are still coming in but most are showing losses of crops in the rangeof 80 to 100%.

Even shade house product was hit by the extremely cold temps. It willtake 7-10 days to have a clearer picture from growers and field supervisors,but these growing regions haven’t had cold like this in over a half century.

This time of year, Mexicosupplies a significant percent of North America’srow crop vegetables such as green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, squash,peppers, asparagus, and round and roma tomatoes.

Florida normally is a major supplier for these items as well but they havealready been struck with severe freeze damage in December and January and upuntil now have had to purchase product out of Mexico to fill their commitments;that is no longer an option.

With the series of weather disasters that have occurred in both ofthese major growing areas, we will experience immediate volatile prices,expected limited availability, and mediocre quality at best.

This will not only have an immediate impact on supplies, but because ofvery strong blossom drops, this will also impact supplies 30 – 60 days fromnow. Some growers are meeting with their boards right now to determine whetherthey should immediately re-plant, hoping for a harvest bylate-march-to-early-april, or whether they should disc the fields under andwait for another season.

We are doing everything we can with our growers to minimize the effectof this disaster on you. With the unprecedented magnitude of this event wewanted to immediately make you aware of the conditions. We will continue tosend out communications as our people on the ground report back to us. We thankyou and we appreciate your understanding during this time. Reduced solaractivity coupled with a currentLa Nina event contribute to freezing temperatures across much of North America. ~ Ed.

11 February 2011 Last updated at 20:41 ET

A spell of unusually cold weather in northern Mexico hasseverely damaged the maize crop in the state of Sinaloa.

Officials estimate the losses could amount to four million tonnes ofcorn - 16% of Mexico'sannual harvest.

President Felipe Calderon said everything possible must be done tore-sow the fields over the next two weeks.

There are fears the losses could force up the price of the corntortillas that most Mexicans eat with every meal.

Officials say up to 600,000 hectares (1.5m acres) of maize have beenlost to frost in Sinaloa, which is home to some of Mexico's richest farmland.

At a meeting with Sinaloa farmers and state officials, PresidentCalderon promised federal aid, credit and prompt insurance payments to helpfarmers get new crops in fast before it was too late in the season.

"It is not an ordinary catastrophe or the simple loss of aharvest, but an emergency situation that demands a clear and forceful responsefrom the authorities, a response that is not lost in bureaucratic delays,"he said.

"It's not just the billions of pesos that may be lost," headded. "We have to recover all we can because it is vital for feeding thecountry."

Tortilla prices have already been rising in line with a spike in grainprices on global markets.

In 2007 high tortilla prices provoked widespread protests in Mexico.

Maize was first domesticated in Mexico and remains the main staplecrop.

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