Sweet potatoes lead North Carolina produce shipments….We also take a look at the upcoming U.S. cranberry shipping season.
North Carolina Produce Shipments
North Carolina produce shipments were worth $608 million last year, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. However, it was sweet potatoes that led the way.
The Tar Heel state ranks number one in the nation for shipping sweet potatoes, which are not only used as fresh, but in making vodka, butter and chips, as well as microwave-ready yams and even recipes for gourmet meals with sweet potato French fries.
Because of its location in the Southeast, North Carolina’s fresh produce can be shipped to 65 percent of the U.S. population within 24 hours.
North Carolina sweet potatoes from the old season are virtually finished, while the new crop is being harvested and cured. Significant volume is a few weeks away.
Watermelons loadings are on the decline.
North Carolina watermelons – grossing about $1000 to Atlanta.
U.S. cranberry shipments are predicted to fall 4 perecent in 2014, because of lower production in industry leader Wisconsin. About 8.6 million barrels are expected this year.
Growers in Wisconsin are reporting lower yields than last year.
Cool weather in Wisconsin has resulted in smaller berries, plus there were some losses due to hail damage in late July.
In Massachusetts, reports are mixed. Some growers expect above-average yields due to good pollination, excellent weather and very little rot. Others report lower production due to heat stress.
Oregon and Washington growers are expecting higher yields due to good weather. Shipments are expected to be up in all major-producing states except Wisconsin.
Wisconsin should produce about 5.39 million barrels, Massachusetts 2.07 million barrels, New Jersey 558,000 barrels, Oregon 395,000 barrels and Washington 162,000 barrels. 90 percent of all cranberries are generally for the processing with the balance going to the fresh market. New Jersey has little if any cranberry shipments for the fresh market.