Spring Crop Report: Developing Plans to Succeed in Challenging Conditions

June 18th 2018 Comments
Spinach Field 2018 Hongfeng

After a cold winter followed by a hot spring with limited precipitation, many of our spring crops have been under unusual stress. Our U.S. and global teams work with our growing and dehydration partners in developing crop specific plans, to ensure the best yields and qualities possible considering actual conditions in our fields.

Silva remains confident in another successful spring season. Our spinach harvest is well underway with generally favorable results, despite the unusual weather patterns that seem to be more of the norm than the exception. In cooperation with our raw material partners, we continue to adjust for an increased uncertainty in weather patterns. Our work focuses on developing planting plans to allow us to maximize yields and to develop the proper nutrition plans for our crops. We also ensure that our teams are helping to reduce the need for any chemical intervention during the growing stage, all in accordance with U.S. regulation for the application of crop protection chemicals. Our international quality director has decades of experience in implementing integrated pest management systems, allowing for natural methods to combat pest activity and other diseases. This work is supported by our field staff, including three agronomists, who spend significant time with our growers and their agronomists.

Our commitment to our customers ensures confidence in the process. You can rely on Silva to take a true “field to fork” approach, ensuring the work at field level is done in accordance with our standards. At the same time, our U.S. operation ensures all raw materials are subject to stringent qualification and testing at accredited laboratories in the U.S. We also ensure all of our raw materials are finished processed on one of our 19 production lines in our Momence facilities.

While weather patterns have not been optimal, we expect normal yields for most of our spring crops from all origins. Our spinach, cabbage, and green onion harvests are largely favorable from China. Our spinach harvest in Europe is also expected to produce normal yields. We are still waiting on final results from the green garden pea harvest as the current heat wave is posing some challenges in terms of maturity and ability to dry all the field fresh material in a timely fashion.

In cooperation with our Middle-Eastern partners, we have been working on our traditional herbs through the winter and spring season. Late season heat waves and sand storms did present significant challenges, yet we have seen positive outputs from all locations. We are next looking to Europe and their summer harvest of herbs. Going into winter, quantities were limited with rising spot market prices as a result. Our supply position remains favorable as we have been able to rely on product from the Middle East as well as previous contracting at favorable costs.

In South America we are coming to the end of apple season. Limited carry over stocks and a declining value of the dollar has contributed to cost increases in this category.

We are pleased to see favorable yields and a stable outlook for the summer months. It is a little early to determine size and pricing trends for traditional summer crops such as bell peppers and tomatoes. However, macroeconomic tendencies are currently uncertain. We have seen a declining value of the USD over the last year against most major currencies where we engage in procurement operations. Lately, there has been some recovery but we are still faced with a decreasing purchasing power of the USD. In addition, the Chinese effort of continued attempts to combat environmental negative effects means increased investments and costs. Switching from coal to natural gas, as well as continued efforts to ensure waste water treatment is in place, contributes to an overall increase in production related costs. 

In general, we believe we are facing a stable market with normal yields where costs are notably impacted by macroeconomic trends and continued effort in developing countries to address environmental/pollution factors. Your Silva sales contact will be available to discuss the impact, if any, on your specific business. Silva International remains committed to providing you with the best vegetable ingredients in the industry through our unique farming and dehydration partnerships combined with our comprehensive testing and processing at our U.S. locations.