Are Florida spring produce shipments finally getting back on track? It’s been a lousy year for Florida growers and shippers, not to mention produce truckers.
After an unseasonably warm fall, the region was hit by severe storms and record-breaking rains. Rainfall was 139 percent above average in November, 199 percent above average in December, and nearly 350 percent above average for the month of January. Planting, spraying and harvesting schedules were delay for many of the area’s signature crops, including sweet corn, green beans, lettuce and leafy greens, parsley, radishes and sugar cane.
While produce shipments are late for some crops because of some delays in planting, loadings should become more steady heading on into spring.
Over the next couple of months, there should be good volume with items ranging from tomatoes, to green beans, blueberries, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, melons, lettuce, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, radishes and squash. However, the strawberry season is drawing to a close.
Florida produce shipments ranks number one in the U.S. with a number of fresh fruits and vegetables including grapefruit, snap beans, squash, sugar cane, cucumbers, oranges, tomatoes and watermelons.
By mid-April, new-crop shipments of tomatoes and other items should start coming out of the Palmetto/Ruskin area of Florida.
Florida vegetables – grossing about $1900 to Chicago.