U.S. watermelon shipments continue to increase, plus an update on Salinas veggies, California cherries and almonds. Finally, did you know North Carolina ships potatoes?
Mexican watermelon shipments through Nogales easily leads volume in the U.S., hitting about 2,500 truck loads a week. Florida melon loadings are only about one-third this amount and Texas is even lighter.
Nogales rates on watermelons, grapes, tropical fruit ,up as much as 15% this week – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
Salinas Valley Vegetable Shipments
It continues to be less than a steller shipping season for Salinas Valley vegetables. Various types of lettuce in particular are in a shipping gap, with low production coming out of the fields due to weather factors this spring. Vegetable shipments are not expect to show major improvements until the week of June 6th.
Salinas vegetables – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.
California Cherry Shipments
California cherry loadings will come to a screeching shortly after Memorial Day. A once promising harvest of 8 to 9 million cartons has been decimated by rains. The final total for the product is estimated at only 4.5 million cartons. This compares to 6 million cherries shipped a year ago.
If you are picking up one of the final loads of the season, use caution. Cracking or splitting are among problems being reported with the fruit. New high tech grading equipment is supposed to catch this, but caution is still urged.
California almond movement should be up 5.8 percent over last year, according to the most recent forecast. In 2016, almonds totaled 2 billion pounds. This compares to 2015’s volume of 1.89 billion pounds.
North Carolina Potatoes
The Tar Heel state doesn’t even rank in the top 10 nationally for potato loadings. However, still has about 16,000 acres of plantings, although this is down from about 2010 when it had 21,000 acres. Shipping, primarily from the Elizabeth City area, will get underway the last half of June. Shipments are destined to receivers mostly along the East Coast, with some product going to Canada. About 30 percent of the loads are for table stock, with the balance going to processors. Around 30 percent of the product is red potatoes.