The face of Florida spring produce shipments long have been centered around citrus, mixed vegetables and tomatoes. This will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, but there are some other products that have entered the picture and could provide substantially larger volume in the future.
Florida peach shipments have started in recent years, and the state is heavily promoting the stone fruit, particularly in April, when it has a shipping window pretty much to itself. Florida peaches are shipped as imported Chilean peaches are winding down, and before the product is ready in California, Georgia and South Carolina.
Asian vegetables are relatively new to Florida produce production, which are grown across the state and have a growing concentration in the St. Augustine/Hastings area of North Florida.
These items range from Chinese cabbage, to bok choy, beans, bitter melon, Chinese broccoli and many other Asian herbs and vegetables. As these items become more mainstream, there will be more loading opportunities for produce haulers.
There also has been increasing acreage with sweet potatoes in recent years. Florida has the first domestic sweet potatoes of the growing season prior to the traditional Louisiana, Mississippi, California and North Carolina sweet potato seasons that start in late summer.
Brussels sprouts are another up-and-coming crop in Florida, particularly in the Hastings area. Cabbage traditionally has been a staple crop in this area, but growers in the area have recently branched out to other crops, such as broccoli and cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
Florida Tomato Shipments
Grower, shippers such as Oakes Farms Inc. of Immokalee and DiMare Co. of Homestead launched tomato shipments in October and continue into June. Tomato volume typically has a substainal volume increase starting in the middle of March.
Between March and May, Florida accounts for 55 percent of grape and cherry tomato shipments in the U.S. and 41 percent of the round tomatoes.
On average, Florida supplied 100 percent of temple oranges, 70 percent of sweet corn, and 55 percent of snap beans shipped the U.S. from 2014-17.
Florida produce shipments – grossing about $3200 to New York City.