Washington potato shipments for the new season are underway, while Vidalia onion loadings continue. In British Columbia (BC), blueberry shipments are in peak volume.
Washington state’s potato season got underway in July with some early variety chipping varieties, followed by some colored varieties out of the Yakima Valley. Then came some early processing spuds, followed by fresh market russets.
Fresh potato acerage in Washington has been stable at about 25,000 acres for several years now. Around 70 percent of the state’s potatoes are destined for export markets, comprised mostly of processed products. Most of Washington tablestock potatoes are shipped to Canada, Mexico and Taiwan. The state also has red potatoes coming out of the Skagit Valley.
While Washington potato sheds ship russets the year-round, its red, yellow and white potatoes usually are finished by March or April.
Vidalia Onion Shipments
Steady volume with Vidalia onions is expected to continue through Labor Day. Truck shipments are expected to be very similar to last year’s total volume of 6.2 million 40-pound boxes, coming off of Southeastern Georgia’s nearly 12,000 acres, As of July 26, there were still about 750,000 40-pound cartons of onions remaining in storage.
Bland Farms of Glennville, GA, expects to be shipping Vidalia onions out of storage through late August or early September, with a smooth transition expected to Peruvian imports in September. Imported Peruvian onions will continue for the U.S. into early next year.
A little over 200 truck loads per week are being shipped out of the Vidalia district
Vidalia onions – grossing about $3000 to New York City.
BC Blueberry Shipments
British Columbia’s blueberry shipments should peak through August and could last into early September. In a more normal year, most British Columbia “blues” would be shipped to markets in the Western U.S. However, with East Coast blueberry volume slashed this year due to weather factors, more BC blueberries will be trucked into the Eastern Time Zone. However, BC shipments could be off 30 to 50 percent this season due to poor pollination. As the BC season closes around Labor Day, imports of blueberries from Peru and Argentina will start arriving at U.S. ports.