California produce shippers are looking to a spring and summer of good produce shipments, while mostly avoiding talk of bumper crops.
It should be a decent year for produce haulers looking to transport items ranging from stone fruit, to table grapes, cherries, melons, apples, citrus or berries. While El Nino didn’t happen, at least to the extent many thought it would, there has been average rains in much of the state that have helped to fight, but not eliminate the California drought. Adequate labor also continues to be a concern.
Here’s a look at California produce shipments in the coming months.
California apple shipment should get underway the week of July 20th with galas and continue through September. Fujis loadings should be available from mid-August through October. Granny Smith apple movement should be from late August through December; Pink Lady apple loadings will occur from mid-October through December.
About 1.8 million boxes of apples will be shipped, with around two-thirds of the volume marketed by Primavera Marketing of Linden, CA.
Strawberry shippers from Ventura County are in a seasonal decline. However, good volume is predicted for Watsonville starting in May and will continue into August. Strawberries out of Santa Maria have started and will continue through July. Raspberries have a similar season, although there is much less volume with shipping gaps. California will ship blueberries through May, before loadings shift to the Pacific Northwest.
California cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon shipments should be in good supply this summer. Prior to California, there will be cantaloupe loadings starting out of Yuma, AZ. This is followed by the melon harvest shifting to Huron, CA around June 20th.
Stone Fruit Shipments
Loadings for stone fruit shippers from the Southern San Joaquin Valley are just starting and will continue for the next four months. Leading items are peaches, plums and nectarines.
Late-season navel oranges and mandarins continue to be shipped for a few more weeks. Valencias get underway in July. Lemon loadings are virtually over in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Loadings are now shifting to production areas on the coast.
Orange and mandarin shipments – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.
Coachella Valley grape shippers should start the first week of May and continue through most of June. Shipments will then shift to the Arvin district (Bakersfield) around July 1.
There is light but increasing volume with vegetable shipments from both Santa Maria and Salinas. Items range from head lettuce, to leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, celery, kale, parsley and cilantro, among others. There should be good volume by early May.
Santa Maria vegetable shipments – grossing about $6500 to New York City.