Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

California Walnut Loadings are Predicted Up 5% This Season

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California walnut volume is predicted to 790,000 tons, up 5% from 2022, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service .

The forecast is based on 385,000 bearing acres, down 4% from 2022’s estimated bearing acreage of 400,000, according to a news release.

“The California walnut industry has increased its focus on providing handlers and growers the most accurate crop information by accelerating the collection of various data points,” Robert Verloop, CEO and executive director for the California Walnut Commission and Board.

While official final shipment, inventory and closeout figures for the 2022 crop year will be released in couple of weeks, preliminary figures indicate last year’s crop is virtually sold out, the release said.

“Last year, we were facing a completely different scenario with 130,000 tons in inventory brought on by the lingering effects of the COVID-impacted global marketplace and a record heat wave last September that negatively impacted the entire crop, which led to lethargic sales and record-low grower returns,” Verloop said.

“With minimal carryover from the previous crop year and favorable weather throughout the growing season, we’re optimistic about the new crop year,” Tim Sabado, CEO of Prima Noce, based in Linden, CA., said in the release. “The upcoming crop promises a return to the exceptional quality that defines California walnuts globally.”

Harvest begins in September and may extend into November due to the early season cooler temperatures, Sabado said.

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Exports of Peruvian Grapes to Get Early Start in September

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The first table grapes of the 2023-2024 Peruvian season should start in September, when the campaign normally starts in October, according to Agraria. This will be an earlier started compared to a year ago.

Cyclone Yaku in March resulted a lot of rainfall. which generated the proliferation of fungi in the vine plants on the northern Peruvian coast, which would cause a lower production of fruit in that area of the country.

A different situation can be seen in the Ica region, where the heat caused the bud to improve and advances the vegetative development of the fruit, so earlier grapes and higher production are also expected.

As Ica is the main producing region of table grapes in Peru and a higher production is projected, it is expected that the production (and export) of table grapes by Peru in the 2023-2024 campaign will be higher than the previous campaign.

There will be fewer table grapes in the North.

From January to mid-July of this year, table grape exports from Peru grew in volume 16 percent (close to 45,000 more tons) compared to the same period in 2022.

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West Coast Kiwi Berry Loadings are Just Getting Started

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Homegrown Organic Farms and HBF International are set to launch a short but sweet season of U.S.-grown kiwi berries, with first shipments anticipated to go out this week, according to a news release.

The upcoming domestic kiwi berry season will include a new West Coast program in 2023, as part of the merger between the San Joaquin Valley, Calif.-based Homegrown Organic Farms and Oregon-based HBF International.

“Kiwi berries are one of the most exciting new fruits to come into the produce market in years,” Homegrown Organic Farms CEO Scott Mabs said in the release. “We are excited to share this unique berry that merges innovation, taste, and nutrition with our valued partners.”

One of the key attributes of kiwi berries is their hassle-free casing, earning with the tagline “no fuzz, no fuss.”About the size of a plump grape with edible skin, kiwi berries pack a punch of flavor and are ripest when the berry is soft to the touch, according to the release.

“The arrival of kiwi berry season is an event that stirs unparalleled excitement among fruit enthusiasts. Its distinctive taste and remarkable versatility make it a must-try for all,” Stephen Paul, HGO’s category director, said in the release.  

Beyond their juicy flavor, kiwi berries offer many health benefits. Packed with nutrients, they are rich in vitamin C, high in fiber, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium.

“The collaboration from our merger has allowed us to bring this exceptional fruit to a wider audience. We are ready to support continued growth in the category with varietal innovations and development as popularity and demand increase,” Doug Perkins, HBF business development manager for berries, said in the release.   

The berries are freshly packed into 4.4-ounce, 6-ounce and 16-ounce clamshell pack-style options that can be loaded from facilities in Sheridan, Ore., or Kingsburg, Calif., the release said.

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Significant Plunge in Kiwifruit Exports is Expected from New Zealand

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New Zealand kiwifruit production could crash by 35 million-plus trays in 2023 due to weather factors and poor pollination.

New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers reports that despite an estimate of 160 million trays, there may well be under 140 million trays. In 2022 the country had 175 million trays.

Besides poor pollination, New Zealand had been hit with wind, flooding, hail, and cyclones.

In 2020, global production of kiwi was 4 million tons, led by China with slightly more than half of the world total. New Zealand, Italy, Greece, Iran and Chile were other significant producers.

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Peruvian Blueberry Exports Fall 25% Thus Far This Seasons

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Peruvian blueberry exports for 2023-24 have been disappointing thus far this season.

Peru has exported 10,000 tons of blueberries through July, which represents a 25 percent decrease compared to the same period in the previous campaign, according to infoMercado, using figures from Proarandanos.

Proarandanos reported this drop was due to a lower production of blueberries because of the El Niño phenomenon, which causes high temperatures.

It had been projected that during the 2023-2024 campaign, which began in May and ends in April 2024, the amount of exports would show a drop, especially in its key period.

Proarandanos noted in early August it projected volume could fall in this season between 10 percent and 15 percent. But this figure needs to be updated.

In addition, one of the most affected varieties is Ventura, which is planted on 14, 826 acres. This represents about 35 percent of blueberry exports in Peru. The Ventura and the Biloxi variety have 60 percent of the planted area in the country.

Ventura is the most planted variety in Peru. So by coming late in its production, an impact on the export volume is evident.

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U.S. Apple Shipments to be Up Slightly from Last Season

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The USDA has forecast U.S. apple total production for 2023 at 9.91 billion pounds, up 1% from 2022.

In Washington state, better growing conditions are leading to an expected 9% increase in production from the previous year, according to the USDA’s August production report. Washington’s apple output is estimated at 6.7 billion pounds, up from 6.14 billion pounds last season.

In New York state, a mild winter that weakened the cold hardiness of the apple crop followed by a very warm spring has caused the expected production to be the lowest since 2012, according to the USDA. New York apple production is estimated at 1.1 billion pounds, down 19% from 1.355 billion pounds a year ago.

In Michigan, there were no widespread spring frost damage events, and July precipitation enhanced fruit sizing, according to the USDA. Michigan apple production is estimated by the USDA at 1.15 billion pounds, 15% less than 1.36 billion pounds in 2022.

Early-season variety harvesting has begun in southern Michigan, according to the report.

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Update: Estimated 25 Million Boxes of California Grapes Lost to Hurricane Hilary

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Fresno, CA – Hurricane Hilary delivered wind and rain to many of California’s table grape vineyards at peak harvest time for most of the 90 varieties grown in the state. The immediate aftermath of the hurricane brought additional rain and humidity to many growing areas, compounding problems and loss.

“The impact of the hurricane and its aftermath is devastating
and heartbreaking,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission. “To say that the grower and farmworker community is in shock is an understatement.”

With approximately 30 percent of the crop harvested when the hurricane hit, it is projected that 35 percent of the remaining crop – 25 million boxes – has been lost.

“The revised estimatefor the California crop is 71.9 million 19-pound boxes,” said Nave. “The last time the crop was
under 75 million boxes was 1994.”

Noting that it is typical for California to ship over 65 percent of its crop after September 1, Nave said that based on the revised estimate there are still over 45 million boxes of grapes the industry plans to ship.

“Reaching consumers at retail stores is a major focus of the work done
by the commission,” Nave said. “Partnering with retailers to get grapes on store shelves and to promote them to consumers is work that will continue throughout the season.”

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Good Volume Fig Shipments are Coming out of California

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The California fig harvest started several weeks ago and observers are reporting strong volume and high quality. Harvest will continue through November, according to the California Fresh Fig Growers Association.

Commercially grown fresh and dried figs in the U.S. are produced in California, where over 100 producers, marketers, farm managers and processors cultivate 9,300 acres of California figs around Madera, Fresno and Merced.

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Shipments of Cranberries from Wisconsin, Massachusetts to be Down This Season

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The USDA has estimated the U.S. national cranberry crop for 2023 at 7.62 million barrels, down 5% from the 2022 crop year. In Wisconsin, the largest growing state, the USDA forecast production at 4.6 million barrels, down 5% from last year.

Production in Massachusetts, forecast at 2 million barrels, is down 12% from last year, the USDA said.

Cranberry growers experienced cold temperatures, with below-normal precipitation and above-normal snowfall during the winter months.

In Wisconsin and Massachusetts, the winter freeze and early snow affected plant dormancy and froze out buds, the release said.

In the spring and early summer months, numerous frosts and hailstorms occurred during the growing season.

Growers in some areas reported severe frost damage, resulting in reduced crop growth and yield loss, according to the USDA.

In Oregon, the crop faced threats from the intensive heat and extreme weather in late June and mid to late July, and growers are concerned about fruit size. With good management practices, cranberry growers expect a good to average season despite the challenging weather during the bloom period, the USDA said.

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NY Apple Shipments Just Starting; Good Volume Expected

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The New York Apple Association expects nearly 28 million bushels for the upcoming fall harvest, about 4 million bushels less than a year ago. However, this year’s shipments should represent about the five-year average of volume.

Apple harvesting started in the Hudson Valley and immediate surrounding areas in mid-August, followed by central and western New York about a week or two later. Then comes northeastern New York.

Here is a round up on when to expect each variety:

  • Early season varieties start in August with ginger gold and paula red, followed by jonamac and Zestar.
  • Other varieties, such as mcintosh, gala, Honeycrisp, cortland, macoun, jonagold, empire, New York-grown SweeTango, SnapDragon and New York-grown EverCrisp, are typically ready in early September through October, depending on the geographical location.
  • Other varieties, such as red delicious, Crispin, golden delicious, fuji, Cameo, rome and braeburn, follow soon afterward.

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