One knows we’re getting close to the peak period for spring and summer produce shipments when California’s San Joaquin Valley starts pumping out everything from stone fruit to grapes, berries and melons.
Stone Fruit Shipments
Very light volume with apricots got underway last month from the San Joaquin Valley, this means peaches, plums and nectarines soon follow. Weather factors has all stone fruit items maturing up to two weeks earlier than usual this spring. Volume is increasing on a weekly basis and should be hitting full stride by June. No estimates have been issued, but it appears there will not be bumper crops this season.
The Coachella Valley is currently shipping the nation’s only domestic grapes. However, the vast majority of California grape shipments will get underway with the Arvin district (Bakersfield) around June 23rd. California shipped a record 117.4 million boxes of grapes last season. No record shipments are forecast this year, but it will still be a huge crop.
Sketchy information, and about the best info is it should be a “normal” crop. This is a much smaller volume than you’ll find out of the Northwest in a few weeks.
California apples shipments tend to fill a narrow window between the old season ending and the new season starting up in the nation’s leading state – Washington. California’s leading apple variety, galas, should start shipments around July 20th, with fujis getting underway around August 20th.
Because of the California drought, now in its third year, some acreage normally used for cantaloupe and honeydew is not being planted this season in the Bakerfield and Huron areas. Shipments will get underway around July 1st, but don’t expect any record volume.
Central San Joaquin Valley “blues” are in peak shipments, which should continue through June. Lack of water is a growing concern, but volume is expect to meet or exceed last season’s 53.9 million pounds.
Southern California strawberry loadings should be winding down as volume increases from the Santa Maria district and the Watsonville District.
Central San Joaquin Valley blueberries and cherries – grossing about $6300 to Atlanta.