Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

California Summer Strawberry Shipments Looking Strong

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California strawberry shippers had shipped 121.8 million trays of the fruit by mid July, up from 112.2 million trays last year at the same time, but down from the 128 million trays shipped in 2018, according to the California Strawberry Commission.

Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville, CA reports the season peaked around July 1, although plenty of berries remain.

Strawberry shipments were strong in part due to a shorter-than-usual early-season crops of some other summer fruits such as watermelons and cherries. Since then increased volume from watermelons and cherries as well as other summer fruits like peaches, plums, nectarines and grapes, strawberry are providing more competition. 

Watsonville-Salinas strawberry loadings are seasonally declining and Well-Pict will pick up its new fall strawberry crop out of Oxnard from mid-September through mid-November.

Bobalu Berries of Oxnard is gearing up to kick off its fall crop from Santa Maria. The grower-shipper loads out of an area that is actually north of the main Santa Maria growing region in a coastal location similar to Salinas.

Picking should start this week and continue until early November.

Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing about $5700 to Chicago.

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New York Vegetable Shipments are Gearing Up

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New York growers have been conservative planning for the 2020 summer shipping season in most part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Turek Farms of King Ferry, N.Y. converted some of its vegetable acres into grain crops this year, because of all the uncertainty. 

Sweet corn is Turek’s biggest crop, but also grows and ships cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, summer and winter squash, pumpkins and cauliflower.

Cabbage and summer squash loadings started in mid-July. Sweet corn shipments got underway the first few days in August, which is about 10-14 days later than usual.

Winter squash, broccoli and pumpkins are on schedule, with all pumpkins planted by the end of June.

A look westward at Torrey Farms in Elba, N.Y., reveals zucchini and yellow squash started about July 6 and cabbage and green beans July 12.  Cucumbers and early transplant onions were ready about July 23.

Williams Farms of Marion, N.Y., has about 1,000 acres, and grows potatoes, onions and cabbage for the fresh market, field corn, and apples, carrots and beets for processing.

New York growers produced 14.7 percent of all the U.S. cabbage, 11.4 percent of the nation’s apples, 11.3 percent of the nation’s snap beans and 10.6 percent of the nation’s squash, according to the USDA’s annual statistical bulletin for 2017-18.

The state ranked second in highest production of cabbage, apples and snap beans.

A year later, New York growers produced 20.7 percent of all the U.S. cabbage, 13.6 percent of the nation’s apples, 12 percent of the nation’s snap beans and 10.9 percent of the nation’s squash, according to the USDA bulletin for 2018-19.

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South American Citrus Imports are Arriving in Good Volme

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U.S. citrus imports from South America continue to account for significant volume this time of the year.

Chile has become a key supply source for lemons over the summer months, shipping 55,000 tons to the U.S. market in 2019. The Chilean Citrus Committee projects similar volumes for 2020, with 23,148 tons already shipped to the U.S. through mid July.  Steady, promotable volumes will be available through September, with shipments winding down in late September.

Last summer Chile saw record exports, shipping 55,000MT to the U.S.. The Citrus Committee expects similar volumes in 2020 as the season pushes forward.

There has been particularly strong movement from the beginning of April through the first week of July. Those increases totaled from anywhere between 19 to 49 percent higher than last year.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods of Oviedo, FL launched its 18th consecutive import citrus program. Now through October, Duda Farm Fresh Foods will import citrus to the U.S. from the southern hemisphere in good volume.

Duda Farm Fresh Food’s line of imported citrus, sold under the Dandy® label, includes clementines, lemons, navels, and Cara Cara oranges.

“At Duda Farm Fresh Foods, we are constantly improving our available citrus varieties to provide quality fruit from our growers in Chile, Peru and Uruguay,” said Mark Bassetti, senior vice president of Duda Farm Fresh Foods.

About Dandy® Celery

For nearly 100 years, Duda Farm Fresh Foods has been a leading grower, shipper, processor and marketer of fresh vegetables and citrus. Known for their superior celery, over the years the company has expanded their facilities to accommodate recent developments such as celery juicing and other health and wellness trends in order to provide consumers with the freshest celery possible. With primary locations in Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, Duda Farm Fresh Foods carries a commitment to innovation and sustainability and believes in growing a healthy future for generations to come. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of A. Duda & Sons, Inc., a family-owned, diversified land company headquartered in Oviedo, Fla. 

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Eagle Eye Produce Now Shipping New-Crop of Idaho Potatoes

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A new crop of russets is now being shipped by Eagle Eye Produce of Idaho Falls, ID. These will be followed shortly by the harvesting of red and yellow potatoes.

Eagle Eye is introducing new pack styles with the new season, according to a news release, including Harvest Select half-and-half bags for russet, red and yellow potatoes. The company has a range of retail and foodservice packs under several brand names, with the option of private-label packs.

“Growing conditions for this upcoming crop have been excellent,” Coleman Oswald, director of sales, said in the release. “We are enthusiastic about what we are seeing in the fields at this point, and we are eager to get this new season underway.”

Eagle Eye Produce owns and operates warehouses and packing facilities in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and California, according to the release.

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California Fig Shipments Expected Similar to Last Season

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Steady California fig shipments started in July following relative light movement in May and June.

Last year, the state shipped between 10 million to 12 million pounds of fresh figs. Overall, about 27 million pounds of fresh and dried figs were shipped. Volume for the 2020 season should be similar to last year.

All of the U.S. dried figs and 98 percent of the fresh figs are grown commercially in California.

The state has over 100 fig producers who grow on 9,300 acres, mostly in and around Madera, Fresno and Merced in Central California.

Several varieties of figs are grown in the state.

The most common are black mission, available from mid-May to November; kadota, late June to October; brown turkey, early June to November; and calimyrna, July to September.

Sierra, a newer variety with a light-colored skin and a sweet Riesling flavor, almost has replaced the calimyrna.

About 60 percent of the state’s figs are dried, with the remainder being fresh.

The Specialty Crop Co. of Madera, CA farms half of the state’s fresh and dried figs and grows just about every variety.

The company started its main crop with the brown turkey variety in mid July.

Black mission will follow, then the sierra will come on. The last variety will be a relatively new one called the tiger fig, available from mid-August until Oct. 1.

About one-third of the company’s figs are sold as fresh, the rest are dried.

Western Fresh Marketing Services Inc. of Madera grows only fresh-market figs.

The company has the southernmost field in California in the Coachella Valley, where it shipped the brown turkey variety until mid-July. 

The firm returns to the Coachella Valley in September and picks until Christmas — the latest season for fresh figs. 

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California Lettuce Shipments are Moving in Good Volume

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Lettuce shipments to retailers have been relatively strong since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while foodservice business has been down, but generally seems to be improving.

Over 1,800 truck loads of Iceberg and Romaine lettuce are being shipped weekly from the Salinas Vally.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA reports loadings destined to retailers has been booming, while restaurants and other foodservice has been hit hard. The company’s primary items are Iceberg lettuce, romaine, romaine hearts, green leaf and red leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and green onions.

Misionero Vegetables of Gonzalez, CA ships Earth Greens Organics and Garden Life lines, which include leafy greens and lettuce items.

The Nunes Co. Inc. of Salinas reports good crops with
iceberg lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, romaine hearts and celery.

Church Brothers of Salinas says INSV continues to be a problem in the Salinas Valley. INSV is Impatiens Necrotic Spot. The virus causes a wide variety of symptoms including wilting, stem death, stunting, yellowing, poor flowering, ‘chicken pox-like’ sunken spots on leaves, etches or ring spots on leaves, and many others. When loading, you should look for such symptoms.

The grower shipper has its Tender Leaf program which includes specialty items such as the new Tuscan Tender Leaves mix, Ready Leaf, Tuscan Baby Romaine — a hybrid leaf that makes for a creative, healthy serving vehicle — and romaine wraps.

Church Brothers’ major leafy green/lettuce items are iceberg, romaine, green leaf, and butter lettuce.

Dole Food Co. of Charlotte, N.C. markets 11 Dole-branded leafy green/lettuce products, including arugula, butter lettuce, chard, endive, green leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, kale, radicchio, romaine and spinach.

The company also offers 66 packaged salad varieties including its popular Chopped!, Slawesome! and Premium salad kit lines, salad mixes and slaws. 

The company’s growers experienced hardly any pest or disease problems this season.

Salinas lettuce is grossing – about $6500 to Atlanta.

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Big Jump in California Almond Shipments Forecast

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California almond shipments for the 2020 crop are predicted to increase 18 percent this year, totalling 3 billion pounds.

The USDA reports last year’s shipments was 2.55 billion pounds.

The Almond Board of California notes Domestic and export shipments are up so far this year and global demand stronger than ever. The average nut set per tree is 5,645, up 21 percent from the 2019 almond crop.

The Nonpareil average nut set is 5,621, up 27 percent from last year’s set. The average kernel weight for all varieties sampled was 1.51 grams, down 2 percent from the 2019 average weight.

Almond production and shipments original throughout California’s Central San Joaquin Valley.

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Heavier Late Season Apple Shipments are Expected in U.S.

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The nation’s leading apple shipper, Washington state, is experiencing lower than normal exports of apples, which is resulting in more product being shipped to domestic markets.

Strong Washington State summer apple shipments indicate potentially record demand for apples that will be harvested in the coming weeks. Since June 1, Washington State apple shipments have eclipsed 2018 by a whopping 29 percent, and 2017 by 30 percent.  There have been more than 10 straight weeks of +2 million-box shipments

In a typical year, roughly a third of the state’s apple crop is exported. At the end of the current shipping season, which concludes in early September, that share could be as low as 26 percent. The primary reason is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to predict domestic volume and exports.

Mexico and India currently are the top importers of Washington apples. But stay-at-home orders, particularly in India, where the virus has seen a surge, has kept consumers out of markets and stores and has contributed to a reduction in demand.

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Razzberry, Blueberry Shipments Shaping up for Good Season

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Based on average annual per captia consumption, raspberries and blackberries were the fastest-growing fruit categories in the produce department during the period from 2006-08 to 2016-18.

This is according to Roland Fumasi, vice president and senior analyst for RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, Fresno, CA. This was part of a presentation he gave to the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association of Pittsboro, NC recently.

Conventional raspberry shipments rose from 216.5 million pounds in 2018 to 236.4 million pounds in 2019, according to the USDA.

Blackberry volume was down slightly year over year from 174.4 million pounds in 2018 to 168.3 million pounds in 2019.

Most fresh-market raspberries come out of California. Fresh-market blackberries are grown primarily in California and from such states as
Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio.

Volume of berries for Naturipe Farms LLC of Estero, FL is about the same as last year and currently has good volumes of blackberries and raspberries along with blueberries and strawberries.

Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville, CA now is shipping raspberries from the Salinas/Watsonville area. Heaviest volume is expected to continue through October and possibly November.

For Main Street Produce Inc of Santa Maria, CA, this is the third year to be shipping raspberries. Volume is increasing 30 percent a year and will continue until November.

HBF International LLC of McMinnville, OR started shipping blackberries in mid-June and will continue into September.

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Summer Berry Shipments Shaping Up to be Solid

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Ample volume for the summer berries is seen by growers and shippers, despite some weather issues, for a few growing areas, but on the whole, shipments of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries look promising for the next few months.


California’s fall-planted strawberry acreage for winter, spring and summer production was 26,982 acres, up 4.3 percent from 2019’s 25,868 acres

As of May 30, the state’s growers had shipped about 81.3 million trays. A year ago, the figure was about 73.5 million trays.

Fresh-market volume for the season is expected to reach about 218.5 million trays compared to about 202 million trays in 2019.

Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville finished up its Santa Maria season in mid-June and is now shipping primarily out of the Watsonville-Salinas area.


Last year, U.S. blueberry growers shipped 1.2 billion pounds of wild and highbush blueberries.

Gourmet Trading Co. of Los Angeles report blueberries will be shipping out of several areas, including Georgia, North Carolina, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Michigan and New Jersey, between now and fall.

Peruvian blueberry exports have started earlier than in other years, as the harvest got undereway in June with volume slowly increasing.

Larger volumes of blueberries from Peru should be available in the U.S. starting in late July and going into August and September.

Raspberries Blackberries

The North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association of Pittsboro, N.C. reports most fresh-market summer raspberries are shipped from California.

Fresh-market blackberries are grown primarily in California and a few other states, including Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio.

Raspberries had a 15.4 percent compounded annual growth rate in U.S. per capita consumption from 2006-08 to 2016-18. Blackberries had a growth rate of 11.6 percent.

Demand for conventional raspberries rose from 216.5 million pounds in 2018 to about 236.4 million pounds in 2019.

Blackberry movement was down slightly, from 174.4 million pounds in 2018 to 168.3 million pounds in 2019. 

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