Heavy California strawberry shipments should continue for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Michigan asparagus was clobbered by a hard freeze, but good volume is returning soon.
While fresh strawberry shipments from Oxnard are over with only berries for processing being picked, fresh loadings have moved northward to Santa Maria and Watsonville. A significant increase in volume took place last week and will the trend will continue. Watsonville will experience its heaviest strawberry shipments the last week of May through the first week of June. Santa Maria strawberry shipments are currently peaking.
Additionally, raspberry loadings are now coming out of Watsonville and are expected to have significant volume increases during the next weeks, which will continue through Summer and into the Fall.
Grower report that the four year drought in California resulted in a build up of salt in the soil, but this season’s heavy rains leeched most of that salt out of the ground. This is making for prime growing conditions, and crop quality.
California strawberry shipments have been heavy since right after Easter with good loading opportunities expected for upcoming holidays in the weeks ahead from the Northern districts.
Santa Maria strawberriy and vegetable shipments – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.
Salinas Valley strawberry and vegetable shipments – grossing about $6600 to New York City.
Michigan Asparagus Shipments
Asparagus is one of the most unusual produce crops I am familiar with. I was once visiting an asparagus farm in California and the owner told me that under excellent conditions the vegetable grew so fast at night you could literally hear it growing. It can grow as much as four to six inches a day!
I was reminded of this with the May 8th hard freeze in Michigan that severely hit the asparagus crop (see photo). Despite temperatures plunging to 23 degrees F. for two to three hours, resulting in a loss of an estimated 5 to 8 percent of the total crop, the season is far from lost. Decent volume will be returning this week, with peak volume shipments out of Michigan coming next week.
Typically, the heaviest asparagus shipments occur early in the season. That won’t happen in Michigan this year. Even though all the asparagus that was above ground froze, it will quickly rebound.
Michigan apple shipments – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta.