Excellent shipping seasons are shaping up on both U.S. Coasts with California melons and with South Florida avocados.
California melon shipments from the San Joaquin Valley are on track for a good shipping season as initial loadings have started in recent days.
While melons are still coming out of the Yuma area, they will be winding down the last week of June as California is cranking up. For example, Westside Produce of Firebaugh, CA will start loading melons from Huron in late June and will be soon shipping cantaloupe and honeydew from both Huron and Firebaugh. This season is beginning later due to rain soaked fields delaying plantings. Although no pest or disease problems due to the wet planting season have been detected, caution is recommended when your truck is being loaded. So watch for quality issues.
Five Crowns Marketing of Brawly, CA begins shipping watermelons and mini watermelons in Mendota and Tracy by the end of June.
Cantaloupes are targeted to start July 1 in Firebaugh and mid-July in Mendota and Patterson, followed by varietal melons and honeydews about 10 days after cantaloupes start.
Good supplies and steady shipments are expected throughout the summer.
Yuma melons – grossing about $5900 to Atlanta.
Florida Avocado Shipments
Florida avocado shipments are looking to be the best in two years.
Brooks Tropicals of Homestead, FL is the state’s largest avocado grower and expects volume will be 20 percent above a year ago. Shipments to markets will be particularly directed at receivers on the East Coast. California ships 80 to 90 percent of the nation’s domestic avocados, so there is a big freight advantage for Florida’s green-skinned varieties.
While the South Florida harvest started in May, early loadings were directly primarily to local markets. However, out of state shipments pick up significantly in June. There also is a trend for more Florida avocado shipments being delivered west of the Mississippi and into Canada.
Heaviest volume is expected after the Fourth of July, with shipments continuing through March.
Florida only shipped about 800,000 bushels during last year’s short season, but observers are hoping to ship nearly 900,000 bushels this year.
South Florida tomatoes, vegetables, melons and avocados – grossing about $3600 to Boston.