Looking at late summer produce shipments in the western half of the country, volume is lighter, especially with potatoes as the shift is gradually underway from the old crop to the new. California continues to be your best bet for produce loads in general, although we’ll touch on several other states.
The best loading opportunities are in the Salinas Valley. Heaviest volume is with Iceberg and romaine lettuce combing for about 1,875 truckloads weekly. Strawberries account for about 785 truckloads per week.
Next best bet is in the San Joaquin Valley. Westside district is shipping about 750 truckloads of cantaloupe.
Grapes also are being loaded in the Valley, with most of the volume in the southern part from the Kern District, averaging over 1,900 truckloads weekly.
Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA is among the nation’s largest garlic growers, and ships mostly garlic. This season it looks to load over 100 million pounds of conventional and organic garlic, and ships coast-to-coast. The company has fresh, peeled, organic, roasted, crushed and pickled garlic.
San Joaquin Valley vegetables and strawberries – grossing about $8700 to Chicago.
Colorado Potato Shipments
No much is happening yet in the San Luis Valley of Colorado as shippers work to get rid of the old potato crop, with new ones still in very light volume. Shipments for 2021-22 are expected to be average, if not down a little.
Distributor Epic Produce Sales of Phoenix, AZ reports the new crop is shaping up well, and works with several San Luis Valley potato growers. While a significant portion of its volume is exported to Mexico, the company also sells heavy to retailers.
On the back end of cherry shipments in Washington, and the Vancouver area clobbered by bad weather this season, cherries aren’t doing much now. Otherwise, Yakima Valley apples are moving into its new season and are now averaging about 1,775 truckload equivalents per week.
Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $9,000 to New York City.
Currently volume is split pretty even between the old and new potato crops heading towards fall. Only about 1,250 truckload equivalents are currently being shipped by truck and rail.
The new crop of potatoes from the Big Lake area and Central Minnesota is underway. About 400 truckloads of spuds are being shipped weekly, with volume on the rise. A lot of the volume is shipped by Red River Valley potato grower/shippers such Nokota Packers in Buxton, ND and Associated Potato Growers in Grand Forks.