As we approach summer vegetables shipments have started from North Carolina. Meanwhile, Arkansas tomato shipments are coming soon, plus a glimpse at that state’s sweet potatoes.
North Carolina vegetable shipments are starting towards the end of May or early June. Both squash and cucumbers will get underway about a week to 10 days later than usual. Pepper loadings will have a more start, around June 25. Onion movement als should be on time, with a late June or early July start.
Cabbage shipments from the Faison, N.C., are will get underway in late May, with other regions of the state beginning in the first week of June. Cabbage acreage in North Carolina is estimated in the 8,000-9,000 range, which would be down a bit.
Romaine lettuce loadings started in early May and the season is just being completed.
Arkansas Tomato Shipments
Strong volumes with Arkansas tomatoes will occur in early June, originating from the Hermitage, and Hamburg, Ark areas in the Southeastern part of the state. Shipments will continue for about six weeks. Arkansas tomato shipments are expected to be best the state has had in several years. Shipments could be up 15 to 20 percent. While vine ripe tomatoes provide most of the volume, there also are significant amounts of roma and grape tomatoes.
Distribution range for Arkansas tomatoes has increased over time. Loadings are destined for surrounding states, and as far as eastern Pennsylvania and throughout the Midwest.
Arkansas Sweet Potato Shipments
Arkansas may not be known for sweet potato production, but there is at least one large shipper in the Northeastern part of the state, Matthews Ridgeview Farms at Wynne, Ark. Plantings are underway, with the first loadings taking place in September. Shipments cover much of the Midwest and some Canadian markets. Only a small shipping gap is expected between the 2015-16 crop that will be winding down in a couple of months or so, and the new crop kicking off in September.
The leading sweet potato shipping states are North Carolina, California, Mississippi and Louisiana.