A shipping gap appears likely in the West as vegetables from the desert shipping areas of California and Arizona are seasonally winding down. At the same time the seasonal transition of the products from the desert to Huron in the San Joaquin Valley and to the Salinas Valley probably won’t be that smooth. Light vegetable shipments at best are seen in the coming weeks.
There seems to be more years than not, when a smooth transition from the desert areas to those to the north in California fail to materialize.
Refrigerated truck loadings out of the desert are wrapping up one to two weeks early this season, aided primarily by warmer weather, at least by winter standards there, even though there has been enough winter weather to cause quality problems with lettuce. This is has been primarily with California desert head lettuce showing blistering and having problems with peel.
Vegetables out Salinas and Huron were scheduled to start shipping a week or two earlier, but cooler weather pushed back the growing schedule. As a result of the desert ending early combined with delays in Salinas and Huron, vegetable shipments will be lighter well into March. Unless the weather cooperates, the situation could extend into the middle of April.
Truck loadings in Salinas and Santa Maria with cauliflower and broccoli are just starting in very light volume.
Vegetable shipments in the desert typically extends through March, but the season is expected to finish as much as two weeks earlier than that.
Head lettuce shipments from the Huron district in the San Joaquin Valley should get underway in light fashion during the last half of March. Volume loadings of Salinas Valley lettuce should occur during the first half of April, about one to two weeks later than normal.
Vegetable shipments from El Centro, CA and Yuma, AZ are grossing about $6700 to New York City.