While New Jersey produce shipments start in May with items ranging from asparagus to greens, some root vegetables, spring onions and strawberries, volume increases with a longer list of items moving into June, July, August and September, which are the peak shipping months.
Jersey has had a good growing season for fresh produce and now two of its largest volume makers, blueberries and peaches, are coming on.
Nationally, New Jersey is one of the top 10 shippers of blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, spinach, squash and asparagus.
New Jersey peach shipments, which start in late June, occur primarily from July through September. The Garden State has about 80 orchards comprising about 5,000 acres with production values at about $30 million annually. Most commercial orchards are in Southern Jersey.
New Jersey is the 4th largest peach shipping state in the U.S., with about 55 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing 22,000-25,000 tons.
Sunny Valley International has been marketing peaches and blueberries since 1995, representing the Jersey Fruit Cooperative, which produces over l million cases of blueberries, yellow peaches, white peaches and nectarines a year. Peaches used to be the main crop, but\the co-op has shifted mostly to blueberries, while the peach industry is consolidating into fewer growers, but bigger growers.
Sunny Valley’s growers produce about 1.2 million boxes, or 30 million pounds, of peaches — the majority yellow peaches. Volume for peaches is expected to be about 10 percent more this year. Sunny Valley will be shipping peaches from July to mid September.
From June 11 to July 31, New Jersey blueberries shipments have just started from what some refer to as the “blueberry capital of the world,” Hammonton, NJ, with loadings continuing through July.
Sunny Valley’s 11 blueberry growers are reporting great growing conditions. In a normal season, the company ships about 1 million cases, or about 9 million pounds, of blueberries.
Consalo Family Farms of Vineland, NJ has announced an additional 50 acres for growing and packing capabilities from 8 million to 9.5 million pounds during the New Jersey blueberry season.
New Jersey sweet corn and tomato loadings start the third week of June, with volume coming on by the Fourth of July.