Posts Tagged “apples”

Fewer Granny Smiths Remain in Storage, but Overall More Apples to be Shipped

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DSCN9474June 1st the amount of fresh granny smiths remaining in storage stood at 2.12 million cartons, down a whopping  54 percent from the same time last year and 45 percent from two years ago.  Meanwhile, other U.S. fresh market apples being held in storage on June 1st were up 12 percent over year-ago levels and 5 percent greater than the five-year average, according to the last monthly report from the U.S. Apple Association this season.

The granny smith volume in the U.S. was short from the start of the crop year, but the gap compared with last year was not as far.  The first storage report of the season from U.S. Apple, issued on November 1st, showed there were 13.78 million cartons of granny smiths to be hauled, off 12 percent from the 2015 November 1 figure.

The apple industry had shipped about 85 percent of the granny crop by early June, compared with 73 percent shipped at the same time last year.

New crop granny smith is expected to get underway around October 1st.

California granny smith loadings will begin by mid- to late August.  In the 2015-16 season, California shipped about 443,000 cartons of granny smith apple, about 25 pecent of the state’s total fresh apple shipments.

Chilean packers are pretty much finishing up granny smith apples now, with sporadic controlled atmosphere rooms expected to open as late as July or early August. Some Chilean granny smith shipments have experienced bruising and bitter pit issues this year.

Yakima Valley, WA apple and pear shipments – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.

More Overall Apples in Storage

Total fresh U.S. apples remaining in storage as of June 1st was 25.4 million cartons, 12 percent above the same time a year ago but 15 percent lower than two years ago.  The U.S. Apple Association plans to release the 2017-18 crop estimate August 25th, and the first storage report for that crop will be issued in early November.
Washington state apples accounted for 24.03 million cartons (95 percent) of total U.S. fresh apple holdings on June 1st.

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Top Health Benefits Of Apples are Listed During National Nutrition Month

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DSCN9030by U.S. Apple Association

Falls Church, VA – Beyond everyday convenience and the wide range of varieties and apple products to choose from, apples also pack a nutritious punch, providing a daily dose of health benefits.

“National Nutrition Month, celebrated in March, is a good time to remind consumers that apples are a super food found in stores across the country,” said Korenna Wilson, Director of Consumer Health and Media Relations for USApple. “We continue to see studies that confirm the link between apple consumption and good health. This is a roundup of our favorites.”

The U.S. Apple Association offers 12 proven ways apples and apple products positively impact health, from head to toe, from the inside out, and through every stage of life:

  1. Lower LDL Cholesterol
    Studies by the Arthritis Foundation found evidence to support claims that eating apples on a daily basis may lower levels of cholesterol as well as C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood. Female participants who ate apples every day for six months saw lower LDL cholesterol levels by 23 percent as well as a 32 percent decrease in CRP (Arthritis Foundation, 2016).
  2. Improve Digestive Health 
    University of Denmark researchers discovered apples and apple products could boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria. The friendly bacteria in the intestines feed on pectin, a fiber found abundantly in apples (BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:13).
  3. Replace Daily Statin Use
    Some cardiologists argue that statins do more harm than good, especially for those who do not already have heart disease. Instead, people would benefit from eating an apple a day to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other vascular diseases (BMC Medicine, 2016 14:4).
  4. Support Respiratory Health 
    A National Institutes of Health study reports that foods rich in fiber and flavonoids, found abundantly in apples, may reduce chronic productive cough and other respiratory symptoms (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med, 2004, 170: 279-287).
  5. Promote Heart Health 
    An Ohio State University study found that eating an apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL, the bad cholesterol, by 40 percent. A University of Florida study found eating two apples a day reduced LDL by 23 percent (Journal of Functional Foods, 2013).
  6. Strengthen Bone Health 
    A study published in the November 2010 online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that older women who eat plenty of fruits, including apples and apple products, along with vegetables and whole grains, may have a lower chance of bone fractures than those not getting their fill.
  7. Deliver a Dose of Vitamin C
    Apples are a great source of vitamin C, which helps repair body tissue and provides antioxidants. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a large apple contains about 10.3mg of vitamin C, nearly 10 percent of the daily recommended dose.
  8. Protect Brain Cells
    Research from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell suggests eating apples and drinking apple juice can be beneficial when it comes to improving brain health and diminishing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. With a balanced diet, apple and apple juice consumption may protect against oxidative brain damage that can lead to memory loss.
  9. Strengthen Muscles
    A natural compound found in the apple’s skin, called ursolic acid, may help prevent muscle wasting that can result from aging and illness (Cell Metabolism, 2011, 13 (6): 627-638).
  10. Reduce Asthma Symptoms
    Research from the United Kingdom reports children of mothers who eat apples during pregnancy are much less likely to exhibit symptoms of asthma at age five. Apples were the only food found to have a positive association with a reduced risk of asthma among a variety of foods consumed and recorded (American Thoracic Society, 2007).
  11. Lowers Risk of Certain Types of Cancer, including Breast, Pancreatic, Colon or Liver, Prostate and Colorectal 
    Apples are rich in antioxidants, especially quercetin, which have been identified to help inhibit cancer onset and cell proliferation. In one study, the more apples per day a person ate, the less likely he/she was to develop colorectal cancer. The anti-cancer effect was seen even when a person had a low total consumption of fruits and vegetables, but consumed at least an apple a day (European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2010, 19(1):42-47).
  12. Help Maintain Optimal Weight 
    State University of Rio de Janeiro researchers studying the impact of fruit intake on weight loss found that overweight women who ate the equivalent of three apples a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t eat the fiber-rich fruit (Nutrition, 2003, 19: 253-256). Furthermore, researchers at Harvard University found a higher intake of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoids, all of which are found in apples, was associated with less weight gain among adults and may contribute to the prevention of obesity.

For more information on the health benefits of apples and apple products vist, USApple.org.

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Fresh Apples Rank No. 1 with Kids

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IMG_6870Fresh apples are the No. 1 fruit consumed by children.
A new study, called  Fruit Consumption by Youth in the United States,  published in the online journal Pediatrics, surveyed more than 3,100 youth from ages two to 19 years, examining fruit consumption and differences by age, gender, race and poverty status.
The study found that nearly 90% of total fruit intake came from whole fruits (53%) and 100% fruit juice (34%), according to the study.  Apples, apple juice, citrus juice and bananas make up about half of total fruit consumption, according to the study.
Fresh apples accounted for 18.9% of total fruit consumption among children, according to the study, and apple juice accounted for about 10%.
“This is fantastic news,” said Wendy Brannen. director of consumer health and education for the U.S. Apple Association, Vienna, Va. “The great thing about this study that has come out in Pediatrics magazine is that it has been repeated everywhere from CNN to U.S. News and World Report to local and regional morning shows from Chattanooga to New York City, and the exposure for us is priceless.”
Brannen said the study, which has been covered by dozens of media outlets since it recently came out, will encourage families to consume more apples.
The study said apple juice accounted for 16.8% of fruit consumption for children ages two to five years, but that fell to 8.8% for children six to 11 years old.  On the other hand, fresh apples represented 22.4% of fruit consumption for children six to 11 years old, but just 8.8% of total fruit consumed for two- to five-year-olds.

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The Delicious Dozen: 12 Healthy Reasons To Eat An Apple A Day

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DSCN2911By The U.S. Apple Association

Vienna, VA – Apples routinely top grocery lists for a variety of tasty reasons. Beyond the plethora of varieties and apple products to be enjoyed, apples pack a nutritious punch, providing a daily dose of health benefits.

“American consumers can be confident when eating or serving apples—whether organic or conventional—that they are enjoying a safe, nutritious, healthy and delicious home-grown food produced with pride by the U.S. apple growers and the apple industry,” said Wendy Brannen, Director of Consumer Health and Public Relations for U.S. Apple Association (USApple). “Apples are a super food found in every supermarket – and it is no wonder numerous health organizations, including the Surgeon General, the American Cancer Society and the American Dietetic Association, encourage greater consumption of fruits and vegetables—like apples and apple products.”
The U.S. Apple Association offers the following Delicious Dozen – 12 proven ways apples and apple products positively impact health, from head to toe and from the inside out:

1. Brain Health
Researchers from Cornell University found that apple nutrients protected brain neurons against oxidative damage. Such damage can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The study highlighted the antioxidant quercetin as a principle compound responsible for the protective effect (Journal of Food Science, 2004, 69: S357-S360).

2. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
A University of Massachusetts-Lowell clinical trial showed that drinking apple juice significantly improved mood and behavior among a group of patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease. Cornell University research also suggests that quercetin may be the compound in apples that protects brain cells against oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s.

3. Heart Health
An Ohio State University study recently found that eating an apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL, the bad cholesterol, by 40 percent. A University of Florida study found eating two apples a day reduced LDL by 23%.

4. Respiratory System
A National Institutes of Health study reports that foods rich in fiber and flavonoids, found abundantly in apples, may reduce chronic productive cough and other respiratory symptoms (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med, 2004, 170: 279-287).

5. Asthma
Research from the United Kingdom reports children of mothers who eat apples during pregnancy are much less likely to exhibit symptoms of asthma at age five. Apples were the only food found to have a positive association with a reduced risk of asthma among a variety of foods consumed and recorded (Thorax, 2007, 62:745-746).

6. Digestive Health
University of Denmark researchers discovered apples and apple products could boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria. The friendly bacteria in the intestines feed on apple pectin, a fiber found abundantly in apples (BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:13).

7. Bone Health
A study published in the November 2010 online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that older women who eat plenty of fruits, including apples and apple products, along with vegetables and whole grains, may have a lower chance of bone fractures than those not getting their fill.

8. Muscle Strength
A natural compound found in the apple’s skin, called ursolic acid, may help prevent muscle wasting that can result from aging and illness (Cell Metabolism, 2011, 13 (6): 627-638).

9. Weight Management or Weight Loss
State University of Rio de Janeiro researchers studying the impact of fruit intake on weight loss found that overweight women who ate the equivalent of three apples a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t eat the fiber-rich fruit (Nutrition, 2003, 19: 253-256).

10. Metabolic Syndrome
Adults who consume apples, apple juice and apple sauce are likely to have lower blood pressure and trimmer waistlines, resulting in a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health problems related to diabetes and heart disease (Experimental Biology 2008 Poster (unpublished)).

11. Immune System
Soluble fiber, like apple pectin, may reduce the inflammation associated with obesity-related diseases and strengthen the immune system, according to a University of Illinois study (Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2010, in press/available online).

12. Certain types of Cancer, like Breast, Pancreatic, Colon or Liver, Prostate, and Colorectal
Apples are rich in antioxidants, especially quercetin, which have been identified to help inhibit cancer onset and cell proliferation. In one study, the more apples per day individuals ate, the less likely they were to develop colorectal cancer. The anti-cancer effect was seen even when an individual had a low total consumption of fruits and vegetables but consumed at least an apple a day (European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2010, 19(1):42-47).
For more information or to read about additional studies on the health benefits of apples and apple products, visit www.USApple.org.

About US Apple

The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. More information on the organization is available at www.USApple.org.

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Apples Move into 3rd Place Among Fresh Fruit Sales

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IMG_6824Consumer purchases have moved apples ahead of bananas into third place in total retail sales, trailing only berries and packaged salad in the 52 weeks ending May 29, according to Steve Lutz, executive vice president of Nielsen Perishables Group.  Lutz said apples showed the biggest retail sales growth of any top major produce category, rising about 16 percent over the previous year.

Among the gains by various apple varieties with higher retail saies in the past year included pink lady, fuji, pinata, Honeycrisp, red delicious, ambrosia, Jazz, granny smith and gala, in addition to niche varieties such as Lady Alice, Envy, Opal and Junami.

The best apple consumers are willing to spend on healthy foods and fresh meals, and convenience and price are not a key purchase driver, Lutz said. With the income to afford choice, consumers are looking for unique flavors are driven to the category in pursuit of health, he said.

Despite challenges in the lackluster economy, Lutz said Nielsen data reveals fresh fruits showed an eight percent increase in retail dollar sales over the past year, accompanied by a 4 percent gain in volume. Produce is an increasingly important food choice for a majority of U.S. households.

 

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First Loads of Washington state Cherries are Shipped

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IMG_6043I was in Chicago early Friday (June 14) when the first two loads of cherries arrived at the Chicago International Produce Market (CIPM) from Washington state. Cherry shipments have gotten off to a slow start, but should really be picking up in the days ahead.

The truckers were paid a gross freight of $4,500 for the run originating out of the Yakima Valley.  The f.o.b. worth of the load of cherries was approximately $125,000!

There have been some concerns relating to weather factors causing cracks in Washington cherries this season. However, these loads of early variety Chelan cherries had decent quality.  The more popular Bing variety of cherries should start shipments the week of June 24th.

If you haul produce and plan on loading Washington cherries, continue to check what’s being put into the truck.  Just because this stone fruit had good quality, there’s not guarantee this cracking will not show up in future loads.

Volume on Washington cherries in increasing and should hit a peak around June 26 -28, just in time for Fourth of July deliveries.

Shipments should continue into August.

Washington also continues to ship late season apples and pears from both the Yakima and Wenachee valleys.  Although not as attractive an item, the state’s Columbia Basin is still loading potatoes.

Columbia Basin potatoes – grossing about $4100 to Chicago.

Yakima valley apples and pears – about $6500 to New York City.

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Huge Northwest Apple Shipments Should Continue in Coming Years

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DSCN0393Only a few weeks ago if someone predicted there would be 21% more USA fresh-market apples in storage than the year before, you’d been considered a little nuts.  The same goes are anyone predicted there would be nearly 130 million boxes of apples shipped this season, especially after year’s damage to apple crops in Michigan and New York.

Washington state is  on pace to ship 129.6 million boxes this season, shattering the previous record by more than 20 million boxes.

Consider this.  Washington could ship 132,245 truckload equivalents of apples this season, which ends this summer.  (divide 129.6 million boxes by 1,980 boxes of apples that make up a truck load.)

Washington grower-shippers and officials knew they’d have a big crop, but not this big.  Following  July hailstorms, the estimate was in the 100 million to 110 million box range.  

Apparently the 2012 crop is no fluke.  It seems every five to seven years, apple shipments have jumped to another level.  In recent years loadings were in the 100- million to 109-million box range.  Prior to this there were years where shipments settled into the 80-million box volume.

For the 2013-13 season, observers are already talking about shipments being in the 120-million box range.  In other words, loadings hitting 120-million boxes is expected to become the new standard.

Michigan and New York apples

Apple shippers in Michigan and New York are expressing optimism about a big comeback from a disastrous freeze killing 2012-13 season that  wiped out about 85% of Michigan’s crop and 52% of New York’s.

Early variety apple shipments are expected to get underway around the third week of August. 

Washington state apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

 

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Northwest Produce Shipments are Significant

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IMG_6909Northwest cherry growers expect a 2013 crop of 18 million boxes to be shipped, well short of last year’s record 23 million boxes.

Shippers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah released their crop estimate last week.  Washington is the largest shipper fresh cherries, with an expected crop of 14 million boxes.  A box of cherries weighs 20 pounds.

Shipment of cherries should get underway in early June around the Columbia River, with peak loadings taking place in the Northwest prior to the Fourth of July.

Northwest cherry shipments are expected to be similar to 2011 when the five states shipped about 18 million boxes.

Apples

Before the 2012-13 Washington state apple shipping season ends in July or August, 132,245,000 truckload equivalents of apples should have been hauled.  Sure, some of that fruit will go by rail, but it is trucks carrying the bulk of the loads.

On average, the Yakima and Wentachee Valleys are currently shipping about 3,000 truckload equivalents of apples each week.

Potatoes continue to be a big mover, especially out of Idaho, which has more russet potatoes this season than it knows what to do with.  Idaho is loading around 1,800 truckload equivlents of spuds each week.

Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umitilla Basin in Oregon are providing loads of potatoes and onions.  However, both spuds and onions combined, do not come even near the volume of potatoes being shipped out of Idaho.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $3500 to Cleveland.

Washington apples – about $6300 to Orlando.

 

 

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Loadings for Apples, Watermelons, Onions and Potatoes

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Apple shipments will remain good through the remainder of the season (late July) as about 36 million bushels of fresh-market apples, mostly in Washington state, remain in storage for shipping.  This is  about  21% more than last year at the same time.

The  21% figure also represents how many more apples remain to be shipped compared to  the 5-year average.  Less than 1 million bushels of apples remain to be hauled from other states besides Washington.

There was more fruit remaining in storages for all major apple varieties to be shipped compared to last year at this time.

Washington state apples – grossing about $6500 to New York City.

Watermelons

While watermelon shipments in Florida got underway in early May, it will be the end of the month before there is decent volume.  Weather and disease factors will reduce Florida melon loading opportunities this season…Both Texas and Arizona are loading watermelons, with good volume not arriving until around the Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).

Sweet Onions

Looking ahead to the Northwest,  Walla Walla, WA growers have planted approximately 600 acres of the Walla Walla sweet onions this year, down  slightly from the 2012 season.   Sweet onion shipments should get going around  mid-June and running through mid-August.  In total, Washington state last year shipped non-storage onions from about 2,500 acres, up slightly from 2011.

Potatoes

Idaho continues trying to shed itself of another mammoth crop of russet potatoes.  The state is averaging nearly 1,700 truckload equivalents of spud shipments weekly, although a significant amount of this is moving by rail….Second heaviest potato shipments are currently coming out of the San Luis Valley of Colorado, where about 575 truckload equivalents are moving each week.

San Luis Valley potatoes – grossing about $1700 to Dallas.

Idaho potatoes – about $5525 to Boston.

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Produce Hauling from the Salinas Valley, San Joaquin Valley

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Between now and August produce truckers will have the upper hand when it comes to freight rates – assuming you don’t have contract rates (but that’s another story).

Not only are we nearing the peak shipping season from California, which accounts for about half of the nation’s fresh produce, but other areas, particularly in the upper mid-west and east are providing competition for trucks.

Caution Hauling Desert Items

Before I get into the Salinas and San Joaquin Valley shipments, use caution loading desert vegetables such as bell peppers and corn as temperatures well above 100 degrees have been occurring.  It’s been really hot in the Coachella and Imperial valleys, as well as Arizona’s Yuma district.  Little or no report of heat damage has yet been reported but keep your eyes peeled for scalding and other heat symptoms in the days ahead.  Even watermelons can suffer if prolonged heat occurs.

Salinas Valley

Dozens of different kinds of vegetables are being shipped from the Salinas area.  But the big volume items are various types of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower.  There also is decent volume with brussel sprouts and celery.  Nearby Castroville is the artichoke capital of the world, while nearby Watsonville is ground zero for strawberry shipments.

San Joaquin Valley

This report will focus primarily on summer from from the SJV.  We’ll soon cover the many vegetables coming into volume.

Stone fruit, led by peaches, plums and nectarines, are just getting underway from the southern part of the valley.

The consensus appear to be that around 40 to 43 million boxes of stone fruit will be shipped this year from the San Joaquin Valley, which would be pretty average when looking at the volume for the past five years.

California cherry shipments are building and hitting good volume just prior to the Memorial weekend (May 25-27).  However, winds damaged 40 to 50% of the early variety Rainier cherries around Bakersfield on May 5th.

There also was some wind damage to almond trees in the Bakersfield area.

Last year, California shipped a record 101.5 milion boxes of grapes.  The Coachella Valley, which is shipping now, accounts for 10 percent or less of this volume.  The rest comes from the San Joaquin Valley, starting with the Arvin District in late June.

Apple shipments, which took at 30 percent hit last year, are expected to return to normal this year.  Beginning in July, California apple shipments get underway, but this is minor (2 million boxes) compared to Washington state  (129 million boxes predicted).

Kern District

Located near Bakersfield, Kern County ships a lot carrots and potatoes, althouigh this time of the year you will get a better freight rate hauling more perishable items ranging from lettuce to stone fruit, grapes and berries.

Kern County potatoes shipments started about a week ago.  Due to so much over production of russet potatoes around the country, this variety has been reduced by up to 75 percent.  Russets have been replaced primarily with red, yellow and white potatoes.

When Kern County growers are not planting carrots or potatoes in their fields, they use bell peppers as a rotation crop.  Bell peppers loadings are just starting and building in volume, continuing until November.

Salinas vegetables – grossing about $5200 to Chicago.

California desert vegetables – about $7300 to New York City.

 

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