An early start for West Mexican vegetables crossing the border at Nogales, AZ is a result of warm weather and good growing conditions. It is resulting in earlier-than-normal good supplies of winter produce items.
Good volume has started this week with vegetables ranging from green bell peppers to squash. Mexico’s biggest volume produce item, tomatoes, should start crossing the border at Nogales no later than the third week of December.
Of particular interest to many produce haulers should be the fact that there may be more loadings of Mexican vegetables at Nogales destined for the East Coast this season since weather factors in the East have delayed plantings.
Loading delays in Nogales has been an issue for years, but observers say the situation is improving at the Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry, although more customs agents are still needed. A load of produce crossing the Mexican border into Arizona used to take six to eight hours, but this has reportedly been cut to two hours or less.
Here are examples of what some shippers of Mexican produce are doing.
Calavo Growers Inc. has shade house-grown tomatoes through mid-May and the Santa Paula, CA based company expects to increase its volume by 10 to 15 percent this season from Mexico.
Del Campo Supreme Inc. in Nogales, Ariz., will start shipping a full line of tomatoes, ranging from vine-ripes, beefsteak, tomatoes-on-the-vine and grape tomatoes, starting in mid-December. The tomatoes are grown in both shade house and green house facilities.
During the 2016-17 season, Mexican growers exported approximately 1.2 billion pounds of round, roma, cherry and grape tomatoes to the U.S.
Some of the shippers for Mexican vegetables through Nogales are:
Big Chuy Distributing Co. Inc, Nogales, plus Ciruli Bros. LLC, Grower Alliance LLC, IPR Fresh, and Thomas Produce Sales Inc. all located in Rio Rico, AZ.
Here are some of the Mexican vegetables and when they will be shipped.
** Eggplant, and squash started in early November
**Beans will be in peak volume all of December
** Roma and beefsteak tomatoes start in mid December
** Hothouse-grown red, yellow and orange bell peppers and shade house-grown green bells are being shipped September through May
**Green bell peppers are shipped from mid November though April
Mexican veggies crossing at Nogales – grossing about $3600 to Chicago; $6500 to New York City.