California is expected one of its larger grape season shipping season on record. Meanwhile, Washington state stone fruit shipments are gearing up.
San Joaquin Valley grape shipments get underway in the southern district of Arvin next week and will have a significant growth in several newer table grape varieties and an overall increase in volume compared to a year ago. It also is expected to be the second-largest California table grape shipping season in history.
The 2018 crop estimate statewide that also includes the Coachella Valley is estimated at 115 million boxes [19-pound equivalent], up from last year’s 109 million boxes. This increase will be coming from the San Joaquin Valley. The record is 117.5 million boxes for the 2013 crop.
Although most of the volume increase in 2018 will be in Kern and Tulare counties, there are also more plantings in the Arvin district , which is traditionally the earliest district in the valley.
Sonora grape growers are estimating a harvest this year of 16 million boxes, down from 21 million last year. A smooth transition from the Sonora and Coachella seasons into the early San Joaquin deal is expected. Coachella and Sonora are roughly about 20 percent less than what they were last year.
Washington Stone Fruit Shipments
Early season stone fruit shipments start in July and will peak in volume from mid-August to late September. About one-half Washington state stone fruit acreage in now planted organic and by the end of 2018 it will be over two-thirds organic.
Washington peaches, nectarines, apricots and Italian prunes are expected to be similar in volume to 2017.
In 2017, Washington’s 400 stone fruit growers harvested 8,400 tons of peaches, which is an average size crop. Nectarines had 7,000 tons, while apricots came in with 6,600 tons, trending upward from previous years.
Peach and nectarine shipments start in July and peaking in August and September. Apricots started in June and go through July, with some extending into August. Prune shipments occur during July and August.