Florida spring vegetable shipments appear to be building, and they should be, considering it’s mid-April. With the increasing volume, demand for trucks is picking up, resulting in some modest rate increases.
Now through May should be the best time for obtaining loads out of the Sunshine state. For the immediate future most loads are available out of the Central and Southern portions of the state. Northern Florida has a few blueberries available, but it’s early in the season and volume is increasing. Still, Northern Florida is going to be pretty scarce overall for produce loads until the seasonal migration of watermelons and a few other items start there, which is several weeks away.
South and central Florida mature green tomatoes, along with much smaller volumes of roma (plum), grape and cherry tomatoes are averaging around 950 truck loads per week. However, the single biggest volume item right now is sweet corn, with around 785 truck loads per week. There is still good volume with potatoes (mostly red and other colors) with about 385 truck loads per week.
After this, you’ll find good volume with items ranging from green beans, to cucumbers and bell peppers, each averaging roughly 225 truck loads a week. Aside from the aforementioned items, there’s much lesser volume with such vegetables as eggplant, escarole-endive, radish, spinach, etc.
South Florida watermelons have recently started, but this week accounted for less than 200 truck loads. However, volume will be quickly increasing prior to the harvest gradually moving to central and northern Florida, before migrating up the East Coast. In fact, after the Florida heat ends vegetable shipments, probably sometime in June, watermelons will easily have the biggest volume in Florida.
Currently Florida is the number one destination for volume loads (but that don’t mean you will avoid multiple pick ups). Enjoy it while you can, because it may be “slim pickins” down the road apiece with Georgia vegetables and especially blueberries, that got hit by a March freeze.
South Florida vegetables – grossing about $2400 to Cincinnati; $3000-plus to Brooklyn, NY.