Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

South African Summer Citrus to Arrive in June

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By Summer Citrus from South Africa

CITRUSDAL, South Africa – Now in its 20th year serving the U.S. with fresh citrus during the summer months, Summer Citrus from South Africa is looking for an improved export season to the America with removal of water restrictions.

South Africa exports citrus to the U.S. from June to October.

The group is looking to increase exports to the U.S. of easy peelers and mandarins. South Africa is the second largest exporter of citrus globally and the ultimate goal for the overall program in 2019 is to increase market share for the country’s fruit in the U.S.

After emerging from a three year drought, the growers of SCSA are looking for the “first proper citrus crop without any water restrictions,” underlining the association’s excitement around the potential of the upcoming season.

About Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA)

Summer Citrus from South Africa represents a 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 for the U.S. market.

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South Carolina Produce Shipments are on Track

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South Carolina shippers are gearing up for a promising season starting in June with most loads destined for markets in the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states.

South Carolina ranks 5th nationally in watermelon shipments. It has 10,000 acres of watermelon planted this season. Melon shipments are expected from mid-June thru late July. Approximately 80 percent of South Carolina watermelons shipments are seedless.

Following an early March freeze, the state’s peach estimate plunged to about 70 percent of a normal crop. Still, excellent quality fruit is expected. South Carolina ranks second to California in domestic peach shipments. Loadings started in early May and will continue through early August. 

The state is also known for it vegetable shipments of collards, summer squash and sweet corn, although there are shipments of beans, peas and Sea Island tomatoes. Berries ranging from strawberries to blueberries will come on in June.

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Chilean Citrus is Arriving at U.S. Ports in Good Volume

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By Chilean Fresh Fruit Association

Southern Hemisphere citrus suppliers to North America, Chile commenced shipping the week of April 13th with 71,771 boxes of clementines by boat. 

As of May 2nd, 55,268 boxes of clementines were headed for the East Coast and 16,503 boxes to the West Coast. Chilean Clementines will be followed by lemons, navels and mandarins. It takes about 21 days to arrive at U.S. ports.

The Chilean citrus industry anticipates similar overall volumes of citrus in comparison to last year, with the total volume reaching 350,000 tons vs. 358,000 in 2018.  Clementine volume is expected to have the greatest variation, falling by 8 percent to 58,000 tons.

Juan Enrique Ortuzar, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, explains this was not unexpected.

“In 2018, Chilean clementine production jumped 53 three percent.  After a year of high production, blooms tend to be less intense, so this reduction in volume is not a surprise.  The overall trend for Chilean Clementine volume is incredibly positive.  In 2017, we shipped 40,687 tons of clementines to North America, and this year, the estimate is 58,000 tons.  That’s an increase of 43 three percent in just two years!”

Expectations are high for a strong clementine season. Weather and growing conditions have provided the ideal scenario for good brix and sizing, and cool fall nights have turned the fruit to a brilliant orange color. Chile is facing higher than usual stock levels in the U.S. market, but the Committee is confident that consistently high quality fruit and strong marketing support will be the right combination to generate demand and drive sales.

“In 2018, we ran citrus promotions in more than 50 retail chains, with a strong focus on creative, high-impact promotions that generated double digit sales increases,” says Karen Brux, Managing Director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association .  “We hope to extend our reach even further this season.  We’ll also engage our social media followers with videos direct from Chilean citrus orchards, new recipes and interactive promotions.  We just reached a Facebook following of 350,000, so we have a large, captive audience!”

Weekly crop updates are now available, and the Committee will be sending more detailed information on lemons, navels and mandarins as shipments of these fruits begin.

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Oregon Blueberries to be Marketed by Superfresh Growers

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Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash., is marketing blueberries with an exclusive supply agreement with Norris Farms, Roseburg, Ore.

The blueberry grower has acreage in southern Oregon’s Umpqua River Valley, according to a news release, where harvest starts in early- to mid-June, and lasts to late September.

“Our collective farming, sales, and logistical expertise, combined with mutual multi-generational farming knowledge, make our families a great match,” Robert Kershaw, CEO of Superfresh Growers, said in the release.

Norris Farms owner Paul Norris said his family farming operation is excited to work with Superfresh Growers.

“It has been apparent from the day we met that our companies share cultures that are centered around quality, service and strong customer relationships,” Norris said in the release.

Superfresh also markets apples, pears, apricots and cherries.

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Apple Shipments are down 13 Percent from Last Season

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As of May 1st fresh apple shipments have plunged 13 percent compared to a year ago.

This means U.S. fresh-market apples remaining to be shipped total 38.6 million bushel cartons on May 1st compared to 44.2 million cartons at the same time last year and 2 percent less than the 5-year average of 39.2 million cartons.
By variety, the May 1st apples remaining to be shipped compared with a year ago, were:

  • Fuji: 4.71 million cartons, down 17 percent;
  • Gala: 7.51 million cartons, down 4 percent;
  • Golden delicious: 1.67 million cartons, down 43 percent;
  • Granny smith: 4.85 million cartons, down 42 percent;
  •  Honeycrisp: 2.67 million cartons, up 9 percent;
  • Cripps pink/Pink Lady: 2.23 million cartons, up 17 percent; and 
  • Red delicious: 11.9 million cartons, down 1 percent.

Washington state accounts for approximately 92 percent of the remaining 2018 apple crop.

Oneonta Starr Ranch of Wenatchee, WA reports Washington apple shipments have been pretty steady in May. Washington apple loading will continue until the start of the 2019 season.

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Red and Yellow Potato Loadings Underway in Texas

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By Black Gold Farms

Pearsall, TX – Black Gold Farms began colored potato shipments of the 2019 fresh crop from Texas last week.

Texas grown red and yellow potatoes will ship from Pearsall, TX as well Black Gold Farms’ Arbyrd, MO packing facility until early June. After that, Black Gold Farms will transition to their Missouri fresh colored potato crop that will pack and ship out of the Arbyrd location for the summer.

The first run fields have indicated that the quality will be better than ever. Steve Wright, Farm Manager of the Pearsall farm says, “I’m really excited to be digging our fresh red and yellow spuds. I’ve seen a lot of really good-looking potatoes come out of this area year after year – and this particular season, I’m especially excited.” Wright recognizes that optimal weather, timing, variety and land selection as triggers that set up the season for success.

Keith Groven, Sales Manager at Black Gold Farms explains, “Getting into fresh crop for the year is always exciting – for us at the farm and for our customers. Retailers are thrilled to get their hands on fresh, red and yellow potatoes.” Black Gold Farms recently finished up a strong storage season out of their North Dakota location.

Texas is a prime example of where local makes a difference. Black Gold Farms has truly leveraged that consumer demand for local potatoes. “Texas retailers particularly, have witnessed the demand that Texas-grown colored potatoes can create. A lot of product can move when consumers know it’s local” Groven remarks.


Black Gold Farms is a fourth-generation family farm and grower, shipper, marketer of all types of Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other commodities. They have an extensive network of farm locations throughout the United States, and are headquartered in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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Santa Maria Strawberry Shipments Could be Exceptional This Season

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Santa Maria is California’s second leading produce and shipper of strawberries and this season could be a banner one. As with other Golden State berry production areas, Santa Mara has been producing greater volumes with higher yield under new varieties.

Positioned on the Central Coast with Ventura to its south and Watsonville to the north, in 2018, Santa Maria strawberry shipments totaled over 33 percent of California’s total volume — about 70.4 million crates.

In the fall of 2018, growers planted 8,583 acres for the upcoming winter, spring and summer season, off from 11,744 acres from the previous season.

Providence Farms in Santa Maria has mostly organic strawberries on 260 acres, which grows and ships its product through California Giant Berry Farms. The company reports increasing yields as a result of research by the University of California, Davis program. Providence Farms 35 years ago was producing around 6,000 trays an acre, but now yields are up to 8,500 to 9,000 trays an acre with newer, improved varieties.

If the weather is normal this season, weekly shipment volume is expected to equal or exceed average shipment totals the past three years from April 15th to October 31st.

Total California strawberry shipments have set records the past three years in total, increasing 6 percent. It is a trend where growers are producing higher yields with less planted acreage. During the past three years strawberry acreage has declined 12 percent.

Two of the three top-yielding varieties in production yield studies conducted in Watsonville by UC Davis, include the monterey variety, producing 10,554 cartons per acre, and the san andreas variety, which yielded 10,414 cartons per acre.

However, problems can arise with the higher-producing varieties. Weather factors delayed fruit harvests until California’s three strawberry districts came online with fruit, including those high-yield varieties, close in time with each other. That was around May 11th, when production hit nearly 10 million trays and exceeded the three-year average of just over 8 million trays.

Annual shipments increased 9 percent to nearly 225 million trays.

Weather has resulted in statewide shipments this year trailing behind last year at this time. As of March 23rd, shipments were at about 7.2 million trays — significantly behind the nearly 11.9 million trays harvested at the same time last year.

In Santa Maria, about 637,000 crates of berries have been shipped compared to over 2.4 million crates a year ago. Timing, however, is on track with normal years.

Santa Maria strawberry and vegetable shipments – grossing about $4700 to Chicago.



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California Potato Shipments are Underway by Cal-Organic

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A new crop of potato shipments are now underway with both red and gold varieties from Cal-Organic Farms of Bakersfield, CA.

The organic potatoes will be followed by russet and rainbow fingerling varieties, also organic, in June.

The company is harvesting the red and gold potatoes in California’s desert region and will move to Kern County in late May, when harvest of the company’s complete portfolio of potatoes will begin, according to a news release.

Cal-Organic, a division of Grimmway Farms, will ship potatoes through October.

“We are anticipating outstanding quality and consistent supply to launch our fresh crop potato program,” Bob Borda, vice president of organic sales at Grimmway Farms, said in the release.

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Watermelon Shipments Increase as Summer Approaches

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Cooler growing conditions and other factors resulted in watermelon shipments, both domestic and imports, being 13 percent lower in late March than a year ago, but volume now is on the rise.

Peak shipments for seedless watermelons typically occur during June. The latest USDA statistics are for 2017, when in June of that year 28 percent of the US. domestic seedless watermelon loadings took place, followed closely by July with 25 percent and August with 22 percent. May accounted for 16 percent of the volume.

Georgia was the nation’s leading domestic shipper of seedless watermelons in 2017, accounting for 22 percent of the total volume.

Other leading shippers by state for 2017 were:

  • Florida, 18 percent;
  • California, Indiana and Texas, all 12 percent each;
  • Missouri, 5 percent;
  • North Carolina, 4 percent;
  • Delaware and South Carolina, both at 3 percent.

Imported watermelon supplies are shipped to the U.S. the year around, but are mainly concentrated in a few months. Representing about one third the total of annual domestic shipments, import volume of watermelons peaks in April (36 percent of annual imported volume), followed by May (21 percent), March (12 percent), October (11 percent) and February (7 percent).

Mexico accounts for the vast majority of imported seedless watermelons, representing 79 percent of total annual imports in 2017. Other important suppliers to the U.S. market are Guatemala (12 percent) and Honduras (7 percent).

Mexican crossings through south Texas are just wrapping up, and are followed by shipments from south Florida near Immokalee and then moving north through other growing districts.

Pacific Trellis Fruit/Dulcinea, of Reedley, CA reports its mini seedless watermelons transitioned from Mexico into Arizona in late April and early May, to be followed by shipments from California’s Central San Joaquin Valley.

While the company’s primary shipments originate from the West Coast, it also grows melons in Texas, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina.

Southern and central Florida vegetable and watermelon shipments – grossing about $3800 to New York City.

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Salinas Valley Shipments May be Down Some this Year

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Following a cold and rainy winter playing havoc with crop plantings and growth, spring vegetables and berries are taking off from California’s Salinas Valley with big volume in the weeks ahead.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA has wrapped up desert vegetable shipments such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces and herbs from Brawley, CA. Now the company is focusing on spring loadings from the Central Coast.

Salinas broccoli and cauliflower shipments are underway and moving into good volume.

Salad Savoy Corp., of Salinas, had nearly a week of planting delays in December. The company grows kale, chard and cauliflower in Yuma, AZ during the winter and in Soledad, CA in the spring.

Berry Shipments

Naturipe Berry Growers of Salinas grows mostly strawberries on 1,300 around Salinas, plus other places in California and Mexico.

Rains in California resulted in virtually nothing being harvested early in the season for strawberries, but more favorable weather has harvest and shipments back on track. Volume has been good leading up to Mother’s Day set for May 12th.

Recent seasons has seen record setting California strawberry shipments, but this year volume is expected to be down a little.

Naturipe is expecting more normal shipments this season averaging around 8,000 to 10,000 trays an acre.

Salina Valley vegetables and Watsonville berries – grossing about $4800 to Chicago.

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