The roller coaster ride of western winter desert vegetables has seen peaks and valleys in volume over the past three months and it is not over yet.
Light shipments of Western vegetables occurred in holidays ranging from Thanksgiving and Christmas through New Years and well into January. Then volume experienced a dramatic increase with lettuce and many vegetables heading into February. However, a potential shipping gap is looming as it appears winter vegetable shipments may come to a conclusion in mid- to late March. This would be ahead of the transition for many produce shippers to the Salinas and Santa Maria valleys.
The winter weather forecasts of hugh amounts of rains El Niño in Southern California have failed to materialize. Although a wet March is still being forecast. If that occurs and it drenches the desert, an even earlier end to vegetable shipments would most likely occur.
Some are saying that regardless of the El Niño situation, desert loadings are going to end early. While Salinas Valley vegetable shipments might get an early start, volume still will be light.
There will be some early Salinas fields harvested from mid-March to mid-April, but shipments will be variable at best.
Yuma, AZ vegetables shipments – grossing about $5700 to New York City.