Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

California Pear Shipments to Get Normal Start in Early July

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California pear shipments will be getting off to a normal start in early July, after two years of late harvest starts,

Greene and Hemly of Courland, CA report Bartletts in California’s River District will start the season.

Growers are preparing for the season with an uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and safety of employees is factoring into preparation decisions.

“We employ 450 people in our farms and packinghouse,” Chiles Wilson, owner of Rivermaid Trading Co., Lodi, CA., said in a press release by the California Pear Bureau. “We want to make sure we can give them their jobs back this year. It’s not just about us as farmers but all the people we employ and their families.”

The California Pear Advisory Board is focusing on flavor, particularly on the effects of ethylene blocker 1-MCP, commonly used in storing different fruit to halt the ripening process.

California pear growers ship only new-crop pears. 

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Mexican Citrus Exports to U.S. to be Mostly Unaffected Despite Less Volume

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Despite a drought in Mexico, and a forecast of a 45 percent drop in citrus production, total exports to the U.S. are expected to see a minimum drop in 2020.

While an ongoing and significant drought continue, navel orange exports to the U.S. should be down only 3 percent. Most of the decline affects valencia oranges destined for the juice market.

Mexican orange production is on 847,000 acres, but the USDA reports high tree mortality is expected due to prolonged high temperatures and lack of rain. Producers in Veracruz report widespread replanting of orange trees is underway. 

Orange yields are down by about 30 percent, while the 2019-20 harvest of 2.53 million metric tons is 45 percent lower than a previous estimate and one of the lowest projected harvests since the early 1990s.

There are also concerns without increased government support, citrus greening disease could become a more serious problem throughout the country.
Most Mexican fresh oranges shipped to the U.S. are navel oranges from Sonora, and the USDA projects 2019-20 fresh exports to the U.S. will reach 60,000 metric tons, down 3 percent from 2018-19.

Lime Exports

Mexico is the world’s second-largest producer of limes, with production in the states of Michoacán, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Tamaulipas.

While drought has hurt lemon and lime production, the damage has not been as severe as suffered by oranges.

Nearly all lime exports go to the U.S. Mexican exports of lemons and limes to the U.S. are forecast at 755,000 metric tons for 2019-20, unchanged from 2018-19.

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New Jersey Produce Shipments Rolling Right Along

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A mostly good growing season has New Jersey vegetable shipments pretty much on track.

Among the items being transported to market are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and all coming along and a large variety of greens.

As May came to a close and June got underway, growers were finishing up asparagus and strawberries while still harvesting leafy greens, spinach and herbs. Squash, beans and cucumbers start in June and continue into July, when growers start with volumes of sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, eggplant and peppers, among other specialty crops.

Among New Jersey’s biggest specialty crops are blueberries, peppers, peaches, asparagus, cranberries, squash and spinach.

In 2019, the state harvested:

  • 9,300 acres of (not wild) blueberries, yielding 5,090 pounds per acre for a total of 47.3 million pounds and $85.3 million value;
  • 3,500 acres of bell peppers, yielding 33,600 pounds per acre to produce 117.6 million pounds, worth $45.9 million; 
  • 3,900 acres of peaches year, yielding 10,000 pounds an acre to produce 39 million pounds and a $25.7 million value;
  • 2,000 acres of asparagus, yielding 3,584 pounds per acre, for a production of 7.2 million pounds, valued at $16.3 million;
  • 2,700 acres of cranberries, yielding 196 barrels per acre for a production of 529,000 barrels and $14.5 million value;
  • 3,200 acres of squash, yielding 10,080 pounds per acre for a total of 32.3 million pounds and a $13.7 million value; and
  • 1,900 acres of spinach, yielding 13,440 per acre for a total of 25.5 million pounds and a $6.7 million value.

In June 2019 alone, New Jersey shipped 17.8 million pounds of blueberries, compared to 16.4 million pounds in June 2018, according to USDA.

Peaches came next by weight, followed by nectarines and cranberries.

Peach loadings should start about July 1, with an excellent crop expected.

Consalo Family Farms of Egg Harbor City, N.J., which also has a farm in Hammonton, a sales company, also has farm partnerships nationwide.

The company will be shipping blueberries are through July. The company also sales company, Freshwave Fruit and Produce in Vineland, N.J.

Meanwhile, Consalo Family Farms began harvesting cooking greens and herbs May 1 and romaine and leaf lettuce May 8.

The fifth generation company, founded in 1898, also has partnerships elsewhere. It has cooling and packing facilities in Cedarville, a distribution center in Vineland, N.J., and a fleet of trucks to deliver the products to retail stores.

The Nardellis’ New Jersey season starts with asparagus in mid-April, continuing all the way through to summer dry items, such as peppers, cucumbers and squash, and then back to wet items such as lettuces and greens until Thanksgiving.

In June, the company will have a lot of wet greens, as well as romaine, red leaf, green leaf, Boston, endive, escarole, many cooking greens, parsley and cilantro.

Cabbages — green, red, savoy, napa, bok choy — have just started. In mid-June, there will be green and yellow squash, then cucumbers. By the end of June and early July, Nardelli Bros. will be shipping peppers and three flavors of corn.

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California Onion Shipments Coming Out of Desert before Moving North

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Following a start of loadings in mid-April, California’s onion shipments, which started in the Brawley area, will begin a gradual shift to more northern areas in June.

Gills Onions of Oxnard, CA launched it harvest April 15 in Brawley. The company’s largest growing region at Bakersfield has just started and will run into early September.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA has completed its Oregon onion season and has been shipping out of Brawley since early May. The company has controlled temperature storage, which can be important if the Imperial Valley heats sets in. Coastline ships primarily red and yellow onions.

JBJ Distributing Inc. of Fullerton, CA grows and ships onions from the Imperial Valley until mid-June before moving to Firebaugh for a month or two.

Supplies should be plentiful for retailers since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the foodservice business.

Onions Etc. of Stockton, CA starts onion shipments start later than most, June 15 – 25, since it is mainly in Northern California.

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Domestic Citrus Shipments Kick off Summer with Good Volume

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Citrus shipments have been strong throughout the coronavirus crisis, and continue to show excellent weekly increases over the same week last year.

IRI, a Chicago market research firm reports data for the week ending May 3, shows sales of oranges were up 68 percent, lemon sales grew by 42.4 percent and tangerine shipments increased 7.7 percent.

At least part of the sales surge likely was due to the positive reputation vitamin C has earned when it comes to building a strong immune system, according to some shippers and nutritionists.

Sunkist Growers Inc. of Valencia, CA ships California-grown citrus the year-round. During the summer it ships lemons, grapefruit, valencia oranges and limes. It also shipped California and Arizona grown cara cara oranges through May.

Sunkist’s summer citrus varieties will take over volume in June, while other varieties wind down.

Valencia oranges are the only U.S.-grown oranges available in the summer. Shipments of lemons, grapefruit and valencias should be up this summer compared to last year.

Bee Sweet Citrus of Fowler, CA will be shipping valencia oranges, cara cara navels, mandarins, lemons and grapefruit this summer. Blood oranges also will be available through the end of July. The company’s grapefruit, valencia oranges and blood oranges are grown in California, while its mandarins, navel oranges and cara cara navels are imported from Chile. Lemons are grown domestically and imported. Volume on all items should be similar to last year.

Seven Seas of Visalia, CA is a division of Tom Lange Co. Inc., Springfield, IL and is shipping California-grown valencia oranges, grapefruit and lemons this summer.

Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, CA is shipping product from its California coastal growing area. If needed, fruit will be imported to the U.S. from ranches in Chile and Argentina.

The company ships lemons year-round and volume is similar to last year,

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Imported Peruvian Avocados off to Good Start in U.S.

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Imported Peruvian avocados should hit 200 million pounds to the U.S. this year, according to the Peruvian Avocado Commission.

Significant volume is expected by mid-June, with the season continuing until late September.

Index Fresh Inc. of Riverside, CA received its first Peruvian avocados only a few days ago. The company’s foodservice demand dropped about 90 percent around Easter, but the situation seemed to be improving by early May. Foodservice sales at Index Fresh had risen to 50 to 60 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels.

Robinson Fresh of Prairie, MN received its first U.S. arrivals of Peruvian avocados on May 3, about the same time as last year The company expects volume to be higher this year than last.

Calavo Growers Inc. of Santa Paula, CA should see its first arrivals June 15-21.

Mission Produce Inc. of Oxnard, CA should be up slightly compared to last year,

First arrivals were expected in the U.S. the first half of June, just in time as Mexico’s crop winds down for the summer.

McDaniel Fruit Co., McDaniel Fruit Co. of Fallbrook, CA received its first fruit of the season the week of May 11.

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Peak Shipments of NW Cherries Leading Up to 4th of July

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While there will be fewer Northwest cherry shipments than a year ago, which was 23 million 20-pound boxes, in 2020 there will be plenty of loading opportunities.

The original estimate for this year’s crop was about 19 million to 20 million boxes. It was issued in early May by the Northwest Cherry Growers, an organization with about 2,500 cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest. The group released an official estimate of 20.5 million 15-pound boxes.

Initial shipments have just started and volume will be ramping up in the coming days.

Sage Fruit Co. of Yakima, WA, reports the season is looking excellent and there will be good supplies heading towards the Fourth of July.

The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, British Columbia recalls last year was one of the best in recent history for cherry shipments.

Oneonta Trading Corp. Wenatchee, WA is expecting to have 25 percent fewer loadings this season due to frost damage.

Despite being down in volume as a state, the addition of Stadelman Fruit to to company family has positioned Oneonta Trading to have a great season.

Chelan Fresh Marketing of Chelan, WA believes there will be improved shipments in the in northern growing areas of the Northwest than a year ago. The company expects shipments to run through mid-August.

BC Tree Fruits of Kelowna, British Columbia will start with light volume about June 12 and sees peak shipments hitting in mid July and continuing until the first half of August.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6300 to New York City.

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Georgia Vegetable Shipments to be Cut by Weather Issues

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A combination of a warm winter, rainy spring and throwing in a few hail storms and tornadoes to boot, will mean fewer Georgia vegetable shipments this season. Although Georgia is shipping some type of veggie the year around, mid-May to mid-June is when heaviest volume occurs.

The weather factors will probably reduce Vidalia onion volume as much as 20 percent, although a better handle on losses will come when harvest is complete.

Baker Farms of Norman Park in southwestern Georgia has kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, collards, turnip roots, beet roots, chard, cilantro, cabbage and broccoli. Although Baker Farms grows veggies year-round, it spring shipments will be less, primarily due to excessive rains.

A&M Farms of Lyons, GA will have a 15 to 20 less volume with its Vidalia onions.

Generations Farms of Vidalia, Ga., was hit by hail in April which damaged a few fields, causing a loss of about 85 acres, or 10 percent of its Vidalia onion crop.

Shuman Farms of Reidsville, GA reports the Vidalia onion industry will see lower yields per acre compared to the past three to four years, as well as a smaller size profile.

Corbett Bros. Farms of Lake Park, GA, which is part of the Grower Network, had some tornado damage in mid- to late April. The farm, located in the southern-central part of Georgia close to the Florida border, produces cabbage, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplants, hot peppers and citrus.

Georgia watermelon shipments, which rank fourth nationally in volume, get underway in early June, with peak loadings coming by June 20th. The state averages over 18,000 acres of harvested watermelon each year. Other top watermelon-shipping states are Texas, Florida and California.

Vidalia onions – grossing about $2600 to Chicago and New York City.


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Asparagus Loadings Coming out of Mexico and Michigan

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Eric Pennucci of Horizon Air Services, a Boston trucking firm, does not like the idea of 18-year-olds behind the wheel of tractor-trailers.

SALINAS, CA – Baja Son Growers began harvesting their asparagus crops on May 1st out of Central Mexico. While supplies are picking up they’re encouraging customers to take advantage of various ad opportunities through the month of June. 

“With increased acreage out of Central Mexico, we will be able to handle more ad opportunities than we have in previous seasons,” says Robert Leonard, Director or Sales, Baja Son Growers.

Their current volume, along with new plantings in Baja and Caborca, will now give the Salinas-based grower-shipper approximately 2 million boxes of fresh asparagus each year. Baja Son Growers also grows and packs 2 million cases of conventional green onions and now 250,000 cases of organic green onions each year. They continue to grow and invest in new equipment and technology to give their customers fresh, healthy produce.  

“We are expanding our production volume in both green onions and asparagus. We plan on increasing our green onion volume by 5-8% per year for the next 5 years. Additionally, we plan on expanding our asparagus volume by 10-15% annually for the next 5 years,” says Robert Leonard, Director of Sales, Baja Son Growers. 

About Baja Son Growers

Baja Son Growers is a vertically integrated grower-shipper for the acreage they sell. With full control over the supply chain,

Michigan Asparagus Shipments

Michigan asparagus shipments got under way the week of May 19th with some companies, while others are getting started this week. Quality and volumes will be similar to last season with peak shipments in late May and early June.
About the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) promotes the production and consumption of Michigan Asparagus nationwide.

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Fresh Apples Remaining to be Shipped Remain Above Last Year

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There are 21 percent more fresh apples remaining in storages to be shipped this season compared to a year ago

As of May 1 the total stood at 46.8 million 42-pound bushels, which is 21 percent greater than a year ago, and 18 percent more than the five-year average.

The U.S. Apple Association reports apples in storage for the processing market on May 1 totaled 18.4 million bushels, 18 percent more than year-ago levels, and 12 percent more than the five-year average.

While fewer fresh-market apples were moved out of storage in April, the COVID-19 pandemic did not lead to a significant drop in fresh sales from year-to-year, according to statistics in the apple association’s monthly MarketNews report.

U.S. fresh-apple movement in April was 11.99 million bushels, compared with  12.3 million in April 2019. In April 2018, 13.78 million bushels were shipped, leaving 43.95 million bushels of fresh apples in storage.

The states with the most fresh-market apples on May 1, in bushels, were:

Washington: 43.48 million; New York: 1.46 million; Michigan: 700,00; and Pennsylvania: 458,000.

The leading fresh-market varieties in storage on May 1, in bushels, were:

  • Red delicious: 11.16 million
  • Gala: 9.56 million
  • Granny smith: 6.7 million
  • Fujis: 6.13 million
  • Golden: 3.72 million
  • Honeycrisp: 3.19 million
  • Cripps pink/Pink Lady: 2.38 million

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