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JMB Distributing adds small squash program

“Beans is all we do” had almost become something of a slogan for JMB Distributing Inc. in Nogales, AZ, which for a number of years had done nothing else.

This fall and winter, however, JMB has diversified just a bit, adding some soft squash to the program, according to President Harry Spragia.

The bean deal this year is “exactly the same” as it has been, Spragia said. “The warehouse is the same. All the personnel are the same. We’ve been doing this for 47 years” and have had the same grower for 18 years.

The grower’s farms are in the vicinity of Guasave in central Sinaloa, Mexico, he said. The fields are in various locations within about a 10-mile radius, but even that provides enough geographical diversity to reduce the risk of weather problems. “We’ve had frost on one side of the highway and not on the other,” he said.

The squash program this season will consist of Zucchini, yellow straight and Mexican gray squash, Spragia said Nov. 14. “That’s it. It’s a very limited deal. We started yellow yesterday, we’ll star Zucchini this weekend and gray next week sometime.” Although it is small volume, shipments are expected to continue through about mid-March or the first of April.

The green bean program runs a little longer. It will “always go to mid-April or the first of May,” he said.

JMB received its first green beans of the season Nov. 12. This year’s bean crop is “probably one of the best looking crops we have had in recent history,” Spragia said. “The plants are spectacular. The first crossings of beans look like something out of a seed book. It has been excellent.”

As usual, “we are out at a good price” and have “good business for the holidays,” Spragia said. The weather has been good, and the long range forecast does not indicate any cause for concern. Rains, that caused problems in some growing areas in Mexico, “didn’t bother us.” The only concerns now, he said, are frost “or white fly infestation which we think we have pretty much under control.”

The beans are marketed mainly under the “Top Seven” label.

So far, “the take has been very satisfactory,” he said. “We’ve got some good bean ads going. We look for a successful year.”