California cherry shipments are just getting underway in light volume with early season varieties, with the total volume expected to be less this season.
Peak loadings for the early varieties should occur from May 8th to May 20th and good volume coming from the later districts in late May and early June.
While most observers agree total California cherry shipments will be down from last season’s record 9.6 million cartons, just how much of a decline seems open to debate.
Most observers are pegging shipments will fall between 4.5 million and 7 million cartons this season. Cherry shipper King Fresh Produce of Dinuba, CA has been quoted as expecting total loads to be around 6 and 7 million cartons. Some others see it being more like 4.5 million to 5 million cartons.
Average to above average cherry shipments are expected from the later producing cherry districts, but this won’t make up for lighter volume starting the season, according to Chinchiolo Stemilt Growers in Stockton, CA.
The five-year average for California cherry shipments is 6.7 million cartons.
Morada Produce of Linden, CA believes the lighter early season loadings may reduce shipments to about 6.5 million cartons this year. Bing cherry shipments should start about May 22nd, with the peak bing volume coming the last week of May and the first eight days of June.
Cherry shipments should be a little lighter from Frenso south although this isn’t quite set in stone yet.
The Patterson district, which is just a little southwest of Stockton, seems to have a strong crop. Cherry shipments in the coastal district of Hollister and Gilroy should finish about June 15.
Northwest cherry volume could start around June 8th.
Huron head lettuce in the San Joaquin Valley is in final weeks of season – grossing abut $8000 to New York City, $5800 to Chicago.