Jason Turek, partner at Turek Farms in Kings Ferry, NY, said things are a bit damp in upstate New York. “It’s rainy and blah here,” he said. “We had a tropical storm that dumped a lot of rain. Some of the crops have wet feet right now.”
Turek Farms, a multi-generational grower and shipper of fresh vegetables, is located in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Grower operations are also situated in Delaware and Florida. “The vegetable business started with my father, grandfather and uncle in the late ‘60s,” said Turek, who is a member of the family’s fourth generation in the business.
Turek’s manifest is comprised of sweet corn, green beans, summer squash, cabbage, winter squash, pumpkins, Indian corn, gourds, radishes, tray pack corn and cucumbers. “We strive to build long-term relationships with our clients based on a few key values, including trust and delivering quality products,” the company’s website states.
Turek provided some insights about 2013 weather patterns and the effects to the coming crops. “We’re completely opposite of where we were a year ago,” he said, adding that temperatures were a full 10 degrees below typical readings. “If the weather doesn’t warm up, we could be late with all crops.”
Despite the situation, Turek said sweet corn and snap beans are the only commodities heading for a delayed harvest.
Cayuga Produce Inc., the marketing arm for Turek Farms, handles all sales. This season, Turek Farms/Cayuga Produce partnered with Magee Farms in Delaware and will move its sweet corn.
Turek Farms’ customers are “from Maine to Miami and Texas,” he said. Turek Farms occasionally exports some of its vegetables when there is demand and volume. Export destinations include England and Puerto Rico.
Turek Farms works with major seed companies and has a number of seed trials on its property. “One company has 300 varieties on the farm,” Turek commented. This year, Turek Farms is 100 percent GMO-free on its sweet corn.
“We work with Cornell University and Primus Labs to implement the latest advances in biological control to reduce pesticide use in our fields,” the website states. “This produces a cleaner product for you and a healthier environment for all of us.”
On the food-safety front, Turek said, “We have spent some money on printers and computers to get ourselves PTI compliant. Our produce is stickered with PTI labels.”