Carolina vegetable shipments are underway….Over 3,000 miles away in British Columbia, the region’s largest cherry shipper is looking to have record loadings.
While North and South Carolina had their share of weather issues early in the year, it appears summer and fall vegetables shipments should be fairly normal. While crops such as peaches, blueberries and spring vegetables took a big hit, there’s much more optimism for the coming months.
Good shipments are seen for peppers, squash, cucumbers, greens, including cabbage and collards, as well as eggplant, okra, tomatoes, onions, kale and lettuce, and sweet potatoes.
Many of the vegetable shipments are just getting underway. Weather issues forced delays on several types of summer vegetables, such as squash and sweet corn. However, bell peppers, potatoes appear to be on schedule to run from about June 6-10 to the end of July.
While a good percent of North Carolina vegetables are shipped locally and regionally, some end up as away as in Canadian markets and as far south as Florida.
Canadian Cherry Shipments
Cooler weather this spring has resulted in a later start to the season for all commodities, which means cherry shipments will not begin until the latter part of June. BC Tree Fruits Cooperative of Kelowna, B.C. is forecasting it will have a record 12 million pounds of cherries for the upcoming season. Last year’s take was 8 million pounds, which weather had reduced from a 12 million-pound forecast.
BC Tree Fruits also said it is expecting “very good” volumes of peaches, nectarines, prunes, plums and grapes, with volumes similar to last year.
“With weather serving up a cooler spring this year, it has enabled our grower base to be prepared for a delicious and high quality crop of cherries at more traditional timing,” BC Tree Fruits Marketing Manager Chris Pollock said in a news release. “Cherries and the rest of our summer fruits went through the bloom period exceptionally well and our growers are excited for a great crop this year with harvest starting end of June for cherries in the south, with the fruit hitting retail shelves very soon after.”
The primary market for BC Tree Fruits summer fruits is Western Canada, although the co-op also continues to export increased volumes of cherries to the U.S. and other markets.