California Stone Fruit Shipments Increasing; Strawberries Shifting from Ventura Co.

California Stone Fruit Shipments Increasing; Strawberries Shifting from Ventura Co.

DSCN9036Focusing on California, stone fruit volume is building, while strawberry shipments are shifting from Ventura County to Santa Maria.

While there has been light volume of California stone fruits in recent weeks, decent volume is expected to occur with the next 10 days to two weeks.

The state does not  have a big crop of stone fruits this year, but shipments should be strong, in large part due to production problems in the SoutheastA.

About 90 percent of the South Carolina peach crop was wiped out by a devastating freeze, while Georgia  lost about 40 percent of its peaches.

California stone fruit shipments should be fairly steady by the middle of May.

While heavier shipments have occurred the past couple of season during late April with nectarines and some other stone fruit items, that is about a week earlier than what’s considered normal.  More normal is returning this season with the crop a little later.

Strong volume is seen by the third week in May, just in time for deliveries for the Memorial Day weekend May 27 – 29.

West Coast stone fruit shipments used to be much larger, but that has change over the past decade or more with a decline in acreage.   Also, a marketing order was eliminated several years ago, resulting in it now being difficult to get a firm handle on acreage totals.  However, appears acreage declines have bottomed out.  Many stone fruit growers also had shifted to growing other items such as almonds and Mandarins.

California white peaches started in late April, while yellow nectarines and white nectarines, plus apricots got underway in early May.  Black and red plums will be starting in the middle of May.

California Strawberry Shipments

As of April 15th, California strawberry volume was over 5.5 million trays, more than half a million over the projected 4.9 million.   Currently, Ventura County strawberry shipments are in a seasonal decline with volume still a little more than a little northward at Santa Mara, where volume is approaching peak loadings.  Last week, Santa Maria shipped about 450 loads of strawberries.  The Watsonville area near Salinas is shipping strawberries in very light volume, which will be increasing.

Santa Maria strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $6400 to New York City.