Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

California Fig Shipments are Increasing from Central San Joaquin Valley

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DSCN0816California fresh fig shipments are increasing from the San Joaquin Valley with normal quality and volume expected.

During the past five years fig shipments have actually got underway around the middle of July, so the timing of the 2018 fresh fig season in California is about two weeks later than recent years.  Some observers compare season to be more similar to those of 10 or 20 years ago.

Stellar Distributing Inc. of Madera is one fig shipper noting the first of two fig crops this year was very light, but the second crop looks more normal.  Shipments of central San Joaquin Valley figs will continue until around Thanksgiving.

California ranks first in the nation in fig shipments, accounting for nearly 98 percent of all U.S. figs produced.

The USDA reports there were 6,100 bearing acres of figs in the U.S. in 2016, and growers shipped 31,600 tons of figs.  Of that total, 26,700 tons (84 percent) were processed.

Total fresh output has remained steady in recent years, though bearing acreage has declined slightly with improving yields.   Fresh fig production in 2016 was 4,900 tons,  or about 10 million pounds.

Western Fresh Marketing of Madera, CA has been packing brown turkey figs out of the California desert region since late May.

Desert region fig shipments are coming to a seasonal close, although harvest in the desert will resume later in the year with the return of cooler weather.

Although growing conditions have been favorable, observers say it is still impossible to tell whether the fig crop will be up or down compared with a year ago.

California fig shipments are often shipped to markets on both coasts because of the stronger demand, particularly from Florida up the East Coast and Los Angeles to Seattle on the West Coast.

In the U.S., imports of fresh figs in 2017 totaled 920,000 pounds from Mexico, 150,000 pounds from Chile and 150,000 pounds from Peru.

That is much higher than 2010, when Mexico shipped only 50,000 pounds and Chile 10,000 pounds to the U.S.

The primary fig varieties include black mission, sierras, brown turkey and kadota, with the tiger variety also significant.

San Joaquin Valley grapes and stone fruit – grossing about $9000 to Boston.

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Wild Blueberry Loadings from Maine are Starting

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A99Wild Maine blueberry shipments are underway with limited fresh berry loadings from a crop grown mostly for the processors.  If you your in the area, you might get at least a partial load, but this certainly a leading volume state.

Distribution ranges primarily from Maine to New York City and Wild Blueberry Commission of Orono, ME thinks they might get a little more fresh directed fruit out of the crop because of some new consumer research.

The commission is hoping consumer trends for natural/healthful eating might lead to more wild blueberries being consumed.

The commission sanctioned research showed, “wild has a place in today’s evolving real food movement….(and) people are looking for foods that are closer to nature…..and that it would taste better…and they probably would buy more of it and pay more for it.”

Wild blueberries are grown only in Maine and Eastern Canada for a few weeks from late July until early September.  About 98 percent of the crop is frozen within 24 hours of harvest to ensure year-round availability.

The processed fruit is shipped all over the country and all over the world, often incorporated into granolas, cereal bars, muffins, purees, yogurt and ice cream.  However, the fresh berries are only distributed in New England and as far south as New York.

A primary reason for hoping to boost sales of fresh-market blueberries, based upon the research, is fresh fruit is more profitable to growers than frozen ones.

The commission plans to increase its “Fresh from the Wild” sampling programs in supermarkets, will invite the media to visit the barrens where they’re grown for a firsthand look at the low-bush berries, and will feature growers in promotional materials.

The wild blueberries are being promoted as being really special because of its “amazing flavor.”

They’re grown on 10,000-year-old barrens of sandy, acidic soil.

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Northwest Fresh Pear Crop Estimate is 18% Above Last Season

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DSCN4296by Pear Bureau Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore. – Pear growers and producers from Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima districts and Oregon’s Mid-Columbia and Medford districts estimated this year’s fresh pear harvest at 18.9 million standard box equivalents, or approximately 415,000 tons of fresh pear shipments.

The estimate will mark an 18 percent increase from the 2017 harvest – an unusually small crop – and will be equal to the five-year average.

Pick dates for the coming harvest are projected to be roughly a week earlier than last season, staying close to the historical average. Starkrimson are expected to be picked in early August, with the Bartlett harvest expected in mid-August. Anjou is expected to happen in late August in all districts while Bosc and Comice varieties will be harvested beginning in September and span through early October. Finally, Concorde, Forelle and Seckel will be picked in September and October across the four growing districts.

Out of the leading varieties, the estimates for this season are 9.3 million standard boxes for Green Anjou (about 49.6 percent of total Northwest fresh pear crop), 4.6 million standard boxes of Bartlett (24 percent of the total crop), and 3.2 million Bosc (16 percent of the total crop). Red Anjou will represent 5.6 percent of the crop with a potential 1.1 million standard boxes.

The Green Anjou crop is showing a projected increase of 10 percent compared to the smaller crop in 2017, but down 5 percent from a five-year average. Growers estimate that the Bartlett pear crop will be up 24 percent compared to last season, marking a 5 percent increase over a five-year average. The Bosc crop is estimated to be 42 percent higher than last season’s small crop and 8 percent above the five-year average, while Red Anjou production is expected to be 7 percent higher than last year and 5 percent above the five-year average.

The organic pear estimate is expected to come in at 1.64 million standard boxes (36,000 metric tons), which is 8.7 percent of the total Northwest crop. Newly transitioned orchards and a strong pear crop overall have contributed to the growth in organic pears. Out of the entire organic crop, growers project 583,500 standard boxes of Green Anjou, with the Bartlett and Bosc crops sizes projected at 564,700 and 321,050 standard boxes, respectively.

Washington apples and stone fruit – grossing about $7700 to New York City.


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Lemon Shipments to Remain Much Lighter than Normal for Weeks

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A375A California heat wave that started two weeks ago in the coastal region has brought on lemon ripening much more quickly than usual and product is dropping from trees.  Long story short, California lemon shipments will be much lighter than normal for the next two months.

Wonderful Citrus of Delano, CA has less than 20 percent of its lemons remaining on trees.  Lemoneira of Santa Paula, CA  reports the heat wave hit July 7th and has continued.

Overall, imported lemon volume has been down this summer and the situation will not improve anytime soon.

Imported Mexican lemons are expected to be off 15 to 20 percent due to a December cold front affecting trees in the colder regions of Mexico’s lemon growing regions in the north.  At the same time Chile is projecting a lemon crop very similar to last season, but their shipments to the U.S. are down by 30 percent compared to the same time last season.  Chilean adverse weather condition has slowed harvests and move back shipping dates.  Additionally, Argentina lemon imports have been less this season than anticipated.

Domestic lemon shipments from the California-Arizona desert region by the end of August, but only in very light volume.  Full volume from that area will not be available until the end of September.

Orange Shipments

The recently completed California orange shipping season has the last tabulation at 44 million boxes, down 1 percent from the USDA’s June projection. The estimate for valencias has been lowered 5 percent to 9 million boxes, on par with last season. The forecast for navels is steady at 35 million boxes, which is down 11 percent from the 2016-17 season.

The smaller navel crop — with that season normally running from October into June — was expected by the industry because of a couple of weather events.

The USDA forecast for the new season of California orange shipments will come out in September.





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Mid-Atlantic Watermelon Shipments Take a Hit; Michigan Blueberry Update

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IMG_5617Mid-Atlantic watermelon shipments are expected to take a hit this summer resulting in reduced volume and possible shipping gaps….Meanwhile, Michigan blueberry shipments look promising this season and one operation is looking to significantly increase volume.

The mid-Atlantic watermelon shipping region includes Delaware, Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Some watermelon fields were hit with saw 16 inches of rain during a 50-day period, reports Evans Farms LLC of Bridgeville, DEL. While there has been an increase in watermelon acreage, that may not mean much due to the excessive rains.  This resulted in delayed plantings and probably has reduced watermelon acreage by 20 percent. Yields Might be off  by double-digit percentage as well.  Some say conditions are the worst they have in the past quarter of a century.

There are an estimated  20 to 25 watermelon growers in region.  The harvest is just getting underway, which is about a week later than normal.

Shipments should continue into the last half of  September.

2017  Watermelon Shipments

In 2017, total seedless watermelon shipments from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia totaled 18.42 million cwt., with 24 percent shipped in July, 62 percent shipped in August, 14 percent shipped in September, and less than 1 percent in October.

Delaware accounted for 10.6 million cwt. in seedless shipments, with 26 percent shipped in July, 63 pecent shipped in August and 11 pecent in September.

Maryland accounted for 6.65 million cwt. in seedless watermelon shipments.

Virgina’s watermelon shipments in 2017 totaled 1.2 million cwt., with 63 percent shipped in August and 37 percent in September.

Michigan Blueberry Shipments

Wish Farms of Plant City, FL is expected to market about 30 percent more blueberries this season due to an expanded relationship with Michigan grower Leduc Blueberries.  The Michigan season started earlier this month and blueberry shipments will continue through mid-September.

Volume is projected to hit 2 million pounds, and over the next five years could increase to 3 million pounds.

The Leduc family has been growing blueberries in Paw Paw, MI, since 1955.  Roger and Jackie Leduc started with a 20-acre farm, and it has now grown to a 400-acre operation.



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Wawona Packing’s Freestone Organic Peach Shipments are Underway

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A2by Wawona Packing Company

Cutler, CA — Wawona Packing Company, the largest grower of organic tree fruit in the United States, has announced that its crop of organic yellow peaches is on track for the seasonal transition from clingstone to freestone peaches beginning July 1st. The stone (or pit) clings to the flesh of the peach in clingstone peaches; in freestone peaches, the stone separates effortlessly. This popular fruit will be featured in the company’s “Summer Sizzle” promotion.

“Peach enthusiasts get really excited at this time of the year,” said Wawona CEO Will Feliz. “Consumers just love freestone Sweet-2-Eat organic peaches. They’re perfect for baking, slicing, grilling and of course eating right out of your hand. And we have a terrific looking crop. Growing conditions have been ideal for the past few months, with warm days and cool evenings which has helped with color and sizing.”

Wawona estimates by the start of July its organic yellow peach crop will have large, promotable volume for its retail partners. The company will have a plentiful supply until the end of stone fruit season in late October.

Wawona Packing Company’s Sweet-2-Eat organic yellow peaches are grown with stringent farming protocols similar to those of its conventional fruit. As always, the focus is on flavor, eating quality, size, color and appearance, which ensures that the highest quality fruit ultimately makes its way to consumers.

“As good as this tree fruit season looks like it’s going to be, our organic freestone yellow peaches are going to be especially abundant,” Feliz said. “The fruit is on target to have an incredible flavor profile. And we’ll be packing freestone Sweet-2-Eat organic yellow peaches with full red blush.”

With thousands of acres of farmland in California’s central San Joaquin Valley dedicated to organics, Wawona has the largest organic tree fruit program in the United States. Offering organic yellow peaches and nectarines, white peaches and nectarines, black and red plums, and pluots, the program is the most diverse of its kind. All fruits in Wawona’s organic program are also offered conventionally, along with conventional apricots.


About Wawona Packing Company:

Founded in 1945, Wawona Packing Company currently farms more than 10,000 acres in California’s central San Joaquin Valley. Wawona offers organic and conventional tree fruit and citrus and is the largest grower of organic tree fruit in the United States. The company’s brands include Sweet-2-Eat, Sweet-2-Eat organic, Harvest Sweet and Wawona. (400) (A2)

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Heavy NW Cherry Shipments Are Expected into Early August

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A345By The Northwest Cherry Growers

As the last of our mid-season shippers wind down their business for the year, the bulk of cherry shipments are shifting to the later producing regions.  Packing lines are running around the clock as our industry gears up to finish the season in August with strong promotable volume for the next several weeks.

The 2018 shipped crop to date (in 20-pound box equivalents) stands at  19,473,061 million boxes.

Strong cherry shipments from the Northwest are expected, lead by Washington state, through July and into at least early August.

Since July 1st, the Northwest cherry industry has maintained an average of 529,491 boxes (20-pound) shipped per day, which has increased by a daily average of 9,000 boxes since this time last week.  Two days ago on July 17th, was the 30th day in a row of shipments since we first shipped more than a half-million boxes of cherries in a day this season.  The daily average for that 30-day period is 561,422 boxes daily.

In the past, we’ve reported on the number of days in row that our collective industry shipments exceeded 500,000 boxes on average.  Sundays typically see lower shipment volumes than the other 6 days, so an average is a fair calculation of the overall pace of the industry.  Our several days of exceptionally high volumes in June, however, make the count for this year a bit misleading.  By the traditional math,  June 17th was the 39th day in a row feeding into that cumulative daily (500K) average.  But working backwards, that string of daily averages takes us all the way back to the 8th day of shipping this season, when shipments for the day totaled 216,000 boxes.  No matter the math though, I think we can agree that it’s a lot of fruit.  Likewise, many shippers continue to run double shifts just to keep up with the demand for the especially dark, extra sweet late-season cherries our industry is shipping right now.

Washington cherries – grossing about $4700 to Chicago.


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Shipping Updates: Imported NZ Apples, Mexican Raspberries, Florida Dragon Fruit

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A21pngFrom New Zealand apples, to Mexican raspberries and Dragon Fruit in Florida, here are some loading opportunities.

The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, B.C. is importing New Zealand fruit and for the first time it will have no gaps between domestic, US grown product and New Zealand fruit.

The first arrivals came in early June.  Zealand-grown Jazz apples are experiencing bigger demand from some retailers on the East Coast.  They have switched to the new crop Jazz apple already because of the higher truck rates to haul fruit from Washington, Oppenheimer reports.

New Zealand fruit should have bigger volumes this year, which is expected to be 15 percent above the 2016 imports.

Mexican Raspberry Imports

California Giant of Watsonville, CA will be shipping raspberries from Central Mexico starting in mid-September and continuing into June.  The company has been handling California raspberries for years during the spring and summer.

“We are so excited to be planting this new crop in Mexico, providing our California Giant customers with promotable raspberry volume that consumers will enjoy

beginning this fall and continuing through the winter months, coming from our regions here in central Mexico,” Rodrigo Aceves, director of operations for California Giant Berry Farms de Mexico, said in a news release.

Over the years, California Giant has also been increasing its acreage of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries to create year-round shipments of fruit.

Dragon Fruit

By J&C Tropicals

Miami, Fl. – J&C Tropicals has announced the release of its new Dragon Fruit brand ‘Dragon Fuel.’

In the last five years, Dragon Fruit has become a top selling item and a staple of J&C’s Florida Grown Tropicals product line! Available in both White & Red Varieties, Dragon Fruit is sweet and crunchy with a flavor that is a cross between kiwi and pear. Most importantly research has shown that South Florida grown Dragon Fruit yields 30 percent more oil containing Omega-6 fatty acids and is higher in antioxidants.

“Last year we saw exponential growth in Dragon Fruit. Dragon Fuel will be key to taking sales to the next level” said Adrian Capote, Vice President of Sales.

J&C Tropicals is a third-generation, family-owned grower, packer and distributor of tropical fruits, roots and vegetables based in Miami, FL.




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Mid-Atlantic Vegetables May Face Gaps in Shipments

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DSCN0811Heavy rains last spring set back vegetable crops and shipments from the mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, which in some cases will result in shipping gaps.  Still, growers are expressing optimism for a strong year.

Some farmers reported actually pumping off more water in May from the field than they pumped in for irrigation.  The result could be shipping gaps in July.

Fifer Orchards of Wyoming, DE is an exception claiming the rains did not prevent normal planting of crops and the season’s shipments should be on schedule for vegetables, although a little later than usual.

Fifer Orchards also is expecting a full crop of peaches, with no injury from cold weather. Peach shipments start in mid-July and continue through mid-September.

Papen Farms of Dover, DE report cool and wet weather during March, April and May set crop progress back, but weather in June was favorable.  However, yields could be off because of growing conditions.

Papen Farms cabbage shipments started in mid-June, about two weeks later than normal.  Sweet corn shipments were about a week late and got underway in early July and will continue into September. Green bean loadings will get started started the last week of July.

Papen Farms will be shipping vegetables to markets ranging from Maine to Florida.  The company’s early shipments tending to go north because the Delaware harvest is running ahead of those northern regions. Later in the season, the pattern is reversed, with more shipments to Southern states.

Potato Shipments

As for the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the spring was cold and wet at Dublin Farms of Horntown, VA.  The operation ships red potatoes, white potatoes, and yellow fleshed potatoes. Some shippers also have russet potatoes. Shipments will continue until mid-August from acreage similar to a year ago.  Potato acreage in the area is normally between 3,000 and 4,000 acres.

Most Eastern Shore of Virginia vegetable shipments consist of potatoes, green beans and tomatoes.

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Shipping Updates: California Strawberries, New Mexico Onions, and U.S. Potatoes

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A2California strawberry shipments are on track to break another record this season….New Mexico onion shipments are going strong….There’s a lot more potatoes remaining in U.S. storages for shipping compared to last year.

While it may be too early to tell whether California will have its third record year of strawberry shipments, if volume shipped mostly by truck in early June is any indication, it could be another one for the books.

There were plenty of supplies for shipments leading up to the Fourth of July.  Loadings for Labor Day and beyond are looking to be just as good as shipments are way ahead of a year ago.

As of the week ending June 2, the state’s growers had harvested 82.3 million trays of strawberries.

A year ago, that figure was about 79 million trays, and two years ago the number also was in that range.  Naturipe Farms LLC of Salinas, CA is experiencing record volume and record production.

Salinas Valley strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $8900 to New York City.

New Mexico Onion Shipments

While the New Mexico onion volume estimate will not come out until August, strong volume is expected again this year.  Shipments have been occurring since May and are now averaging about 875 truck loads per week.  Loadings will continue through August and this time of the year has typically provided the most onion shipments in the U.S.  Carzalia Valley Produce Inc. of Columbus, N.M. and Billy the Kid Produce LLC of Deming, N.M are both experiencing a normal shipping season.

New Mexico onions – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.

U.S. Potato Shipments

There are 9 percent more potatoes remaining to be shipped in U.S. storages than at this same time a year ago.

The top producing potato states had 59 million cwt. of potatoes in storage June 1.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports 15 percent of the fall 2017 crop was still in storage at the beginning of the month, which is 2 percentage points more than last season.

The top three potato shipping states, and the percent of their 2017 fall crop production left in storage, are:

  • Idaho — 23 million cwt. (18 percent)
  • Washington — 13 million cwt. (13 percent)
  • Wisconsin — 5.3 million cwt. (18 percent)




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