Everyone is aware of the five-year drought in California. While the drought may not be officially over, those rains are reducing produce shipments on some items and will have an effect of loadings heading into spring.
California strawberry shipments have been hit hardest by the rains, while citrus loadings have also been affected, but not as much.
The rains post phoned the strawberry harvest along the Central and Southern Coast areas of Santa Maria and Oxnard, due to waterlogged fields A significant amount of strawberries were damaged and had to be dumped or sent to the processors.
The good news is more spring like weather is expected for the next 10 days or so.
There is a big bloom in California strawberries in Santa Maria and Oxnard, which should result in good shipments within a few weeks. At Watsonville, the heaviest production area for strawberries, the new season likely will be delayed to the end of March or early April, a couple of weeks later than last year.
Both Florida and Mexico are at the end of their strawberry season, but trying to extend shipments later than normal to help cover the losses in California volume. Caution is urged loading strawberries from any of these three areas as high market prices resulting from low volume sometimes tempt shippers to load product they normally would not otherwise send to the fresh market. Just make sure the receiver of this fruit knows what they are getting.
Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $3300 to Dallas.
Florida Produce Shipments
The Plant City area of Florida is shipping over 600 truck loads of strawberries a week, but as mentioned in the previous paragraph, watch for late season quality issues….Likewise, the light Mexcian strawberry volume is mostly crossing the border in South Texas and averaging about 125 truck loads as its season in winding down.
Back in Florida, perhaps the heaviest shipments are occurring with tomatoes with over 600 truckloads being shipped weekly. Other leading items such as cabbage and grapefruit have much smaller volume. Florida vegetable shipments in general will be increasing as we get further into March.
Florida tomatoes, and vegetables – grossing about $2600 to New York City.