Over the past decade an estimated 30 percent of stone fruit trees in California’s San Joaquin Valley have been yanked out of the ground. This has resulted in fewer stone fruit shipments for produce truckers.
Growers and shippers in many instances replaced the trees with other crops, primarily because they were flooding the market every year, resulting in lower prices.
California stone fruit shipments are underway and moving into good volume. You should also be aware that shipments will be heavier the first half of the shipping season for peaches, plums and nectarines. While all supplies will be lighter the last half of the season, plums will be in particular short supply. Stone fruit supplies will be best during May and June, but tailing off in July.
Produce growers tend to increase plantings as volume declines from year-to-year and prices for product increase. However, unlike potatoes and most other vegetables items it will take stone fruit growers at least five to 10 years to replace trees and have fruit bearing trees for higher shipments.
With California’s winter weather being one of the warmest on recent record this year, the state’s stone fruit shipments have been fluctuating more than normal.
San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.
Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $5400 to Atlanta.