California – the Vegetable Mecca

04/05/2012 8:49:00 AM by By: Ron Correia

Ron Correia about innovative hybrid varietiesMy name is Ron Correia, and I have worked in vegetable seed sales since 1988. Over the past 25 years I have sold seed for two major suppliers as well as direct to growers. Prior to 1988 I was an owner and manager of a large vegetable operation in Central California. I have been married to my wife, Sandy, for 41 years, and we have four children and six grandchildren. We currently live in Firebaugh, California on our family farm.
As the title of this article indicates, California is a vegetable Mecca because of its vast acreage and crop diversification. In fact, many refer to California as the breadbasket of the world. California growers produce many crops including, but not limited to, fruit, grain, cotton, nuts, and vegetables. Over one million acres of California’s agriculture production is devoted to vegetables. The top three vegetable crops are processing tomatoes, lettuce, and broccoli at 255,000, 201,000, and 123,000 acres respectively. The remaining balance of California’s vegetable production is comprised of 19 other vegetable crops. Therefore, given the large and diverse vegetable acreage, it is evident that California is one of the world’s premiere seed markets.

Hazera products have grown market share by continuing to remain competitive. Additionally, I believe, we have created a niche in California’s cotton acreage through our innovative hybrid varieties, which will continue to expand. As far as other crops are concerned, we are focused on California’s commercial onion acreage with our two onion programs, as well as cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprout, mini and midi seedless watermelon, Roma tomato, lamouyo/bell pepper, and radish markets. Moreover, there is a growing interest in the processing tomato industry for Ezri’s high Lycopene tomato types. There is new development in California for Plastic/shade/glass and green house production which Hazera are advanced in world wide.

The future for sales is bright as the intellectual property gained from our breeding programs continues to grow and garner respect in the agricultural community. Our competitors are well aware of our presence and are watching our products closely as we continue to gain market share. Success is evidenced by our increased sales, and — being the eternal optimist that I am — I believe Hazera will soon become a major force in the above-mentioned markets.