In typical fall fashion here are some of the better loading opportunities from four important produce U.S. shipping states.
While apple shipments may not set a record this season, plenty will be available for hauling as another big crop is forecast. Last season harvest was so huge, believe it or not, some shippers are still loading “old” apples from last season. That’s okay, if your receiver is aware of it. Just make sure they know what is being loaded. Nearly 1800 truckload equivalents of apples are being loaded weekly primarily from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys. Around 400 truckload equivalents of Washington pears are being shipped as well, with the best volume yet to come.
Idaho and Oregon
Another big crop of Idaho potatoes will be shipped between now and late next summer. Nearly 1600 truckload equivalents of primarily russet potatoes are being loaded weekly from the four primarily Idaho shipping areas lead by the Idaho Falls area.
Western Idaho and Malhuer County Oregon are shipping over 600 truckloads on storage onions per week. Last winter a number of onion storage sheds and other buildings were heavily damaged in Nyssa and Ontario, Oregon due to two separate winter storms, but adequate facilities appear to be in place for the new shipping season.
South Texas Produce Shipments
Literally dozens of tropical fruits and vegetables are crossing the border from Mexico at Pharr, Texas, but a majority of the are in light volume at this point. Vine ripe tomatoes are perhaps providing the heaviest volume with about 500 truckloads per week. Limes may be among the heavier volume tropical fruits with nearly 350 truckloads weekly.
Many Mexican items are just getting underway and in the coming weeks will provide better hauling opportunities ranging from strawberries to raspberries, honeydew, papayas and pineapples among others.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley grapefruit harvest is barely underway with good volume arriving in November.
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Asparagus imports are rising. Meanwhile, a diet avocado is being introduced.
Imported Peruvian asparagus is now arriving a U.S. ports in normal volume after experiencing tight supplies, at least compared to this time last year. .
Now both Peru and Mexico are hitting stride when it comes to volume. As a rule, Peruvian asparagus imports move into good volume in May, which continues through the middle of January. At this time there will be heavier imports of Mexican asparagus from Caborca and central Mexico in the winter and summer.
This year, imports of Peruvian asparagus have been lower compared with year-ago levels due to adverse weather conditions earlier in the year, which took a toll on yields. Season-to-date volume from Peru is down 800,000 to 1 million boxes compared with a year ago. Through September 30th, the USDA reported total imports of Peruvian asparagus totals 6.01 million 11-pound cartons, off from 7.35 million cartons at the same time a year ago. The U.S. receives about 70 percent of Peru’s fresh asparagus exports.
So far this year, Mexican asparagus shipments to the U.S. were 5.8 million cartons through September 30th, up seven percent from the same time a year ago.
Peruvian Avocado Imports
The United States received a record 145 million pounds of Peruvian avocados this year, helping meet demand in a market short of domestic supplies.
A Spanish fruit company has invented a diet avocado with 30 percent less fat.
Eurobanan has introduced a diet avocado under its Isla Bonita brand. It is describe as having a mild flavor and juicier pulp, and also ripening fast yet oxidizing ie, turning so a shade of gray much more slowly. This means it should outlast a full-fat conventional avocado. It is said to be great for the preparation of smoothies, cold soup, gazpachos, cocktails, and many other dishes.
Its official launch is later this month at a trade show in Madrid. However, but unfortunately for Americans, the diet avocado will only be sold in Spain for the time being.
Spanish heart-health advocates tested the fruit’s nutritional claims, and have since affixed seal certifying it does have almost one-third less fat and can be grown almost year around.
Avocados have the type of fat deemed good by doctors because it is monounsaturated, and helps lower bad cholesterol if eaten in moderation.
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Increased shipments from Mexico with ocean carrier World Direct Shipping is coming to Port Manatee in Central Florida with addition of another weekly stop to the port. At the same time, damage estimates to Florida produce are coming from the state.
World Direct Shipping has announced the increase in service to the port by the company, which was first established in 2014. Ships depart from the north-central part of Veracruz, from Port Tuxpan, in a service starting January 12th.
“We couldn’t be happier with how the initial service has thrived, with our 2 ½-day transit time offering the fastest short-sea connection between Mexico and the U.S. Southeast, Northeast and Midwest for refrigerated produce and other cargos,” said Carlos Diaz, director of Palmetto, Fla.-based World Direct Shipping, in a news release.
The new service complements the other World Direct Shipping arrival at the port, starting from Coatzacoalcos, Diaz said. Tuxpan is the closest commercial port to Mexico City, providing for more opportunities for fruit exports.
The weekly schedules call for Friday departures and Monday arrivals for the new service. Currently, ships leave Coatzacoalcos on Saturday and arrive at Port Manatee on Tuesdays.
Florida vs. Hurricane Irma
While Florida isn’t exactly a mecca for produce loads during the fall and winter, there are going to be less opportunities than ever in the coming months as the state works to recover from the damages resulting from Hurricane Irma.
The early assessment of total damages to agricultural production in the state is $2.5 billion.
Over 420,000 acres of citrus production were hit, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Losses were heaviest in Collier and Hendry counties, which estimated losses at $2,500 an acre for about 94,000 acres. Eleven other counties projected losses of $1,750 per acre for about 254,000 acres, and Polk and Martin counties estimated damages at $1,100 per acre for about 72,000 acres.
Many trees were just a few weeks from harvest when the storm hit.
Along with fruit loss and infrastructure damage, growers are worried over trees dying due to flooding, which is not included in this initial estimate.
Florida citrus sales still hover near $1 billion, despite the downturn in the last decade due to citrus greening disease.
Damage to the other fruit and vegetable crops in Florida, were found on over 163,000 acres.
Because the planting season was just beginning for most vegetables, the crop losses will result in shorter seasons, market distortions and lower yields because of the storm diluting the pesticides that had been applied to fields.
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Californa prune shipments are expected soar by nearly 100 percent this season. Meanwhile, a significant expansion involving two produce companies is taking place in North Carolina.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service believes the 2017 California prune harvest will total 105,000 tons, a 99 percent increase over 2016’s 52,851-ton crop.
This year, the industry is returning to a more normal size harvest. Harvest concluded about a month ago. Weather in recent years has created challenges for prune growers, but growers say the trees are rebounding this year. California is the world’s largest producer of prunes, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s supply and nearly of all the supply in the U.S.
LIPMAN EXPANDS FARMING NETWORK
TABOR CITY, N.C. — As a part of its commitment to sustainability and high-quality farming, Lipman Family Farms, North America’s largest field tomato grower, has partnered with North Carolina-based Table Fare Farms. Lipman will be the exclusive marketer for the farm, which currently grows watermelons in Tabor City, N.C., and is owned by Larry and Tammy O’Ferrel.
Currently affiliated with more than 50 local farmers in more than 20 states, Lipman partners with growers around the country through its Lipman Local program in order to bring its customers local, quality produce year-round.
“We are very excited to partner with Larry and Tammy O’Ferrel,” said Scott Rush, director of Lipman Local. “Table Fare Farms will be a great addition to the Lipman family and will allow us to expand our local produce offerings to our customers.”
Lipman plans to expand this partnership to include other commodities in the future.
“Working with Lipman is the ideal next step for us” said Table Fare Farms owner Larry O’Ferrel. “We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
Based in Immokalee, FL., Lipman is the largest open-field tomato grower in North America, providing year-round fresh produce through an integrated network of research and development, farming, processing, and repacking. Farms in Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, California and Mexico are totaling tens of thousands of acres, allowing Lipman to grow and ship fresh produce 365 days a year. For more information, visit www.LipmanProduce.com.
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While the initial arrival of blueberries from Argentina has arrived by air, regular arrivals by boat at U.S. ports will be more common during the season….Meanwhile a California stone fruit shipper is shipping citrus for the first time.
The initial load of Argentina blueberries, which was over 50 tons, flew out of Tucuman’s renovated airport September 23rd. The Teniente General Benjamín Matienzo International Airport outside of Tucumans was closed over the summer for the runway to be reconstructed and extended from 2,900 meters to 3,500 meters. Member producers of the Argentinean Blueberry Committee, which accounts for 80 percent of the country’s blueberry exports, celebrated the loading of 53 tons of berries on a Boeing 747 bound for Miami, according to a news release.
“We are pleased to be able to carry out the first full-load export of blueberries to the U.S., and we expect to continue in this direction, strengthening the (export) market,” Federico Bayá, the committee’s president, said in the release.
The airport renovations also included infrastructure and equipment improvements making loading commercial shipments smoother and safer. But the big change is the extended runway, which allows for a heavier load than was previously possible.
California Company to Ship Citrus
By Mountain View Fruit Sales
Reedley, CA — Mountain View Fruit Sales, known for shipping tree fruit, has announced they will be shipping California Citrus this season. Partnering with Eastside Packing they will be adding additional commodities to their premium quality and customer service based program.
“We have been working on getting into the citrus deal for many years, but finding the right growers and varieties can’t be rushed, so we are pleased to announce we will be shipping mandarins and lemons for the 2017 season,” said Mike Thurlow owner and CEO of Mountain View Fruit Sales. “It is a natural for us as we are located right in the middle of the prime citrus growing region. We will be utilizing the same aggressive marketing platform we currently use for our premium stone fruit program.”
Kent Huckabay and Joel Gonzalez have joined the Mountain View Sales team, bringing expertise in citrus marketing to the table. “We’ve worked with Mountain View for years on the tree fruit side, and their marketing strategy is well suited to apply to citrus,” said Huckabay. Mountain View Fruit Sales has been a leading marketer of tree fruit in California’s San Joaquin Valley for over 20 years.
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California produce rates have been showing strength with an increased demand for refrigerated trucks in areas ranging from the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys to Santa Maria and down south in Ventura County. The increases have generally been around one to five percent.
With the official arrival of fall occurring September 22d, which is the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. It also means the transition of many produce shipping areas, if not from one hemisphere to another, but at least from one country to another, or in some cases, especially in the Western U.S., shifting locations in the same state or a neighboring state.
California certainly is the best example of the changing season.
As Watsonville strawberry shipments decline the red berry’s volume is now increasing to the south in Ventura County. In California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, nearly 900 truck loads of cantaloupe are being shipped weekly from the Westside District, but this will soon be in a seasonal decline. At the same time, very light loadings of melons have started from Central and Western Arizona and are increasing. California honeydew volume already is in a seasonal decline with the new season barely underway in Central Arizona and will start in Western Arizona in the next week or so.
San Joaquin Valley table grapes is probably the state’s single biggest volume item averaging around 1750 truck loads weekly. The combined volume of head lettuce and romaine from the Salinas Valley has recently had similar volume to grapes, but lettuce volume will start sliding soon, to eventually give away to desert shipping areas in California and Arizona. Salinas also is offering around 600 loads of celery per week. To the south in Kern County, carrots are totaling about 750 loads.
Salinas vegetables – grossing about $5100 to Chicago; San Joaquin Valley fruit – grossing about $6200 to Baltimore.
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By Summer Citrus from South Africa
CITRUSDAL, South Africa — Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) is finishing the season strong with the two final scheduled vessels set to arrive with Navels and Easy Peelers as well as the first shipment of the popular Midknight variety into the United States. The last conventional vessel will arrive to the Port of Philadelphia the week of October 9th.
With sophisticated logistics services and consolidated resources, SCSA has been able to maintain steady movement of fruit throughout the season. SCSA continues to provide the freshest and sweetest citrus varieties with their Midknight crop arriving at its peak of season with the last harvest of Navels and Easy Peelers entering the US with these final two vessels.
“We have established a unique collaboration with incredible logistics partners who are equally committed to meeting USDA requirements. Without dependability and service excellence from Seatrade who provides our dedicated cargo vessels as well as FPT Group who manages our Capetown loading facility, we would not be able to execute such a consistently strong program all season long,” said Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa. “In addition, we are fortunate to work closely with the government bodies involved in the pre-clearance process for our fruit, including USDA/APHIS, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, as well as the Perishable Product Export Control Board. All of these groups play a significant role in maintaining a well-managed and successful program year after year.”
“2017 has been another exciting growth year for the summer citrus category and we’ve been pleased that our group has been able to increase our support of US retail partners,” Conradie added. “I’ve enjoyed the 17th season and hope to replicate for years to come!”
About Summer Citrus from South Africa
Summer Citrus from South Africa represents the group of South African citrus growers who consolidate their logistics, marketing and sales efforts to bring the finest citrus fruit to market during the U.S. summer season. Established in 1999 and re-branded for expanded marketing efforts in 2016, the group provides Navels, Midknights, East Peelers, Star Ruby Grapefruit and Cara-Cara oranges across the globe.
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California prune shipments this season are expected to make a major rebound from recent years of fighting adverse weather….Also, the bad news continues to pile for the Florida citrus industry.
A whopping 99 percent increase in California prune shipments is expected from the 2017 harvest that was completed in mid September. A total of 105,000 tons, should be shipped compared to only 52,851 tons from the 2016 crop, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service believes the prune industry has returned to a normal size harvest. The September harvest completion was a little later than usual to a delayed start due to weather.
At the same time weather conditions in recent years has created challenges for prune growers, but the trees are reported rebounding this year.
California is the world’s largest producer of prunes, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s supply and nearly of all the supply in the U.S.
Florida Orange Juice Supplies Suffering
Some of Florida’s citrus growing regions suffered total losses of some groves as a result Hurricane Irma hitting the heart of the growing region. The possible health of the industry could be threated with some groves completely destroyed, resulting in damage that will not only send prices higher.
The hurricane could not have come at a worst time as the harvest was just starting. Losses of many citrus grove operations in Southwestern Florida range from 70 to 100 percent. While some citrus trees were stripped of folage, the aftermath is grim as the hot sun barring down on exposed tree roots could threaten recovery of trees.
Other major citrus producers are Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico. However, Mexican producers are recovering from Hurricane Katia and the recent earthquake in Mexico. It is estimated up to 90 per cent of the fruit from citrus groves in Southwest and Central Florida are used for juice.
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Peruvian “grass” (asparagus) imports by the U.S. will be peaking soon. At the same time in Wisconsin, a Spudmobile is touring the Midwest as the Badger state potato season gets underway.
During the past five years Peru has accounted for about 40 percent of the world’s supply of asparagus and export of “grass” the year around to the United States, although some months are much heavier than others. The lowest volume occurs during February and March and usually peaks during October, November and December.
The U.S. imported over 10 millions pounds per month of Peruvian asparagus from May through December in 2016. However, it topped 20 million pounds for the final four months of the year. During December nearly 30 million pounds of “grass” was imported from Peru.
By contrast, imported asparagus from Mexico has huge shifts with February and March close to 70 million pounds each month compared to supplies dwindling to 10 million pounds or fewer the last four months of the year.
The United States imported nearly 475 million pounds of fresh asparagus in 2016, which put it in a virtual tie with 2014 for most asparagus imported in the past five years.
By Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association
Antigo, Wisconsin -New crop Wisconsin potatoes are hitting the market and Trig’s stores aren’t missing a beat in letting people know. The popular Wisconsin retail chain kicked off their Wisconsin potatoes promotion 2th by picking spuds at the Rhinelander Agricultural Research Station for the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry. On September 23rd, the Spudmobile begans its tour of all the Trigâ’s stores starting in Rhinelander and then continuing that afternoon at the Eagle River store.
Through hands-on exhibits and eye-catching graphics, Spudmobile visitors will learn how farmers are stewards of the land and how they incorporate the latest technologies into their agricultural practices. When visiting the Spudmobile, guests will learn about various varieties of potatoes grown in Wisconsin, how they are planted and harvested, the nutritional facts about potatoes and some statistics about Americaâ€™s favorite vegetable. Kids will be completely engaged as they play games on the interactive touch table and the Field to Fork exhibits.
The Wisconsin Spudmobile was developed by WPVGA, which is a non-profit organization that represents and promotes the State’s 300 potato and vegetable grower members and affiliates. The Spudmobile makes frequent appearances at locations throughout the Midwest including stops at schools, community events and retailers who provide Wisconsin potatoes to their customers.
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Here’s a shipping outlook for dates and various nuts coming out of California.
A bumper crop of California date shipments is seen by some coming out the Southern California desert region, with yields reported to be 20 percent higher than last season.
Harvest got underway with the beginning of September. Among the major California date shippers are Hadley Date Gardens of Thermal, Atlas Produce and Distribution of Bakersfield, and Sunsweet Growers Inc. of Yuba City.
Walnut and Almond Shipments
California grows and ships nearly all walnuts in the U.S. and has 315,000 bearing acres due to the region’s mild climate and deep fertile soils providing ideal growing conditions.
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