Grower Alliance LLC in Nogales, AZ, has picked up a small spring watermelon deal out of Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, according to Jorge Quintero Jr., managing partner.
It was a deal the company hadn’t planned on, he said, but it complements the company’s regular spring melon deal out of Hermosillo, Sonora.
The Guaymas deal consists of about 65 hectares [160 acres] of seedless watermelons. “We are expecting maybe about 120 to 140 loads,” Mr. Quintero said.
“After Guaymas, we move to Hemosillo right around May 10,” he said. “There we will have a combined 100 hectares [about 250 acres]“ from all growers, producing around 220 to 240 loads. “So we are talking about 360 loads, or something like that, for the whole spring deal,” which will continue into about the first week of June.
Then in late June, just as summer is beginning, “we are going to have another little field with about 18 hectares [45 acres] that starts in late June and goes through July.” That deal is a late planting in Guaymas and should consist of another 30 or 40 loads, he said.
After Grower Alliance’s Sonora watermelon deal wraps up, the company will have a gap in supplies until the fall deal out of Hermosillo begins, Mr. Quintero said.
This past winter, Grower Alliance had winter watermelons out of central Mexico for the first time. It was a small test plot in the state of Nayarit consisting of only 20 or 25 loads, but it was “something to build on for next season,” Mr. Quintero said.
During the watermelon season, Grower Alliance will also be shipping various other Mexican-grown produce items. Among them are Roma tomatoes. the company had Romas the year prior, but the program for spring 2013 is greatly expanded, he said. “We are expecting about 500,000 packages of Romas, starting right around the end of this week, and going all the way through May.” Those will be from Obregon, Sonora.
The company will also have a few more cucumbers than in the past and will be about the same in squash and Bell peppers. “We have already started those out of Hermosillo and Obregon,” he said.