Updates: Fewer Apples for Shipping; RRV Potatoes; Star Group Tomatoes

Updates: Fewer Apples for Shipping; RRV Potatoes; Star Group Tomatoes

There were 16 percent fewer U.S. fresh apples remaining to be shipped as of December 1st compared to a year ago, according to a new report from the U.S. Apple Association.

Total fresh apples in storage totalled 103.3 million 42-pound cartons,  down from 122.9 million cartons last year and 11 percent less than the five-year average holdings of 116.7 million cartons.

Apples in storage for processing were off even more sharply, with 25.5 million cartons down 44 percent from a year ago and off 42 percent from the five-year average.

Red River Valley Potatoes

By Ted Kreis, NPPGA Communications

As we near the halfway point of the Red River Valley fresh potato crop shipping season, marketers are pleased, especially when comparing this year to last year.

The good fortune started early in the season when a heavy snow cover protected about 4,000 acres of unharvested potatoes from the very cold temperatures that settled in for a few days after the snowstorm.

The color and quality of this year’s crop is excellent and supplies are much more manageable after a nearly 10 percent cut in fresh acres in the Red River Valley.

Demand is strong. Big potato crop losses in Wisconsin and Canada has pushed more business to the Red River Valley.

Last year’s biggest problem, without the doubt, was the truck shortage. It was responsible for lost sales, higher freight rates, backed-up inventory which in turned caused falling prices and higher shrink later in the season. This year trucks have been much more available and nobody knows exactly why, but we are all hoping it continues through the second half of the season.

The Star Group Tomatoes

The Star Group of  Voorhees Township, is producing tomatoes in a new greenhouse facility in Culiacan, Mexico.

The Big Taste brand roma tomatoes are entering the market the U.S. market through McAllen, Texas, and Nogales, Ariz., according to a news release.

The company will be shipping the romas, beefsteaks, grape tomatoes and slicer cucumbers through the winter from the new Culiacan facility.

Other Big Taste branded products from The Star Group in Mexico are tomatoes on-the-vine, grape tomatoes and Big Taste berries.