Good hauling opportunities should happen this spring with fruit and vegetable shipments from California’s thanks primarily to near ideal weather conditions.
Monterey County, which encompasses the valley, produced about $2.8 billion worth of vegetables in 2018, the latest year for which statistics are available from the county agricultural commissioner’s office, and just over $1 billion worth of fruit.
Coastline Family Farms of Salinas will ship about 25 kinds of mixed vegetables, including iceberg lettuce, romaine, romaine hearts, leaf lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green onions, kale and spinach.
Coastline expects to be down overall with vegetable shipments, although its early season volume should be about the same as last year. Later season loadings look to be down because of fewer plantings due to competition from other growing areas during the peak growing season and because of the impact of COVID-19.
Misionero Vegetables LLC of Gonzalez, CA. has year-round programs for salads, value-added lettuces and mostly organic vegetables. The grower-shipper grows in the desert during the fall and winter and transitions back to the Salinas Valley for spring and summer.
Bengard Ranch Inc. Salinas is shipping Iceberg lettuce, romaine, romaine hearts, broccoli, cauliflower, green leaf and red leaf. Additionally, the company is shipping celery from Oxnard that will switch to Salinas in June.
Lucky Strike Farms of Burlingame, CA notes while shipments are rolling along, distribution avenues are going to change drastically until restaurants open again. Although restaurants in California were closed because of the outbreak, more than half were open for takeout orders. The company handles a full line of vegetables, citrus, some melons and fruit.
California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville, CA reports Salinas berries are showing good quality. It’s blackberry loadings got underway in May and continue. Raspberries started in mid May and blackberries should be ready for harvest by the middle of June.