Posts Tagged “Arizona”
Overweight trucks legally transporting produce into the USA from Mexico might be possible, if the state of Texas eases some rules and regulations. The state and some others see a benefit of easing border congestion.
The Texas House of Representatives recently passed legislation to create an “overweight corridor” at the USA -Mexico border, and the Texas Senate is expected to vote on it soon.
The proposed corridor, from the Anzalduas Bridge to the Pharr/Reynosa Bridge, would be an area where Mexican trucks carrying fresh produce would be able to enter the U.S. even if they were overweight. Trucks would then offload their extra weight at a U.S. cold storage facility.
A Mexican truck, under current law, carrying produce that weighs too much, faces a stiff fine if it crosses into the USA.
Currently, trucks are weighed on the Mexican side of the border, and extra product is typically offloaded there if the truck is overweight. This procedure delays truck movement at the border and exposes perishable fruits and vegetables to the elements as it waits for another truck to pick it up.
Trucks that are overweight would be charged a fee, under the proposed law, which is much smaller than the current fine. The big rig would then be allowed to proceed to a cold storage facility in the overweight zone’s boundaries.
Arizona already has a similar law.
Funds from the overweight fees would be used to maintain the roads that will be carrying the heavier loads.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Talking with a hauler of oversized loads and he was lamenting how rates on the moving the big stuff has dropped in recent weeks. Well, the same holds true for loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, although this is fairly predictable this time of the year when total praoduce volume across the country is much lower than during it’s summer peak.
Still, if you haul perishables, the western states are the place to be doing it — especially with this being the last full week before Christmas.
Washington state apples continue to be shipped in record amounts with about 3,200 truckload equivalents being loaded per week from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys…..A little further south in Washington’s Columbia Basin and the nearby Umatilla Basin in Oregon, both potatoes and onions are being shipped, although in much lesser volume than with Washington’s apples.
The Columbia and Umatilla basins are loading about 400 truckloads of potatoes and around 750 truckloads of onions per week.
The Yuma district in Arizona is likely your best bet when it comes to winter vegetables. This desert area is shipping Iceberg lettuce, romaine, broccoli and cauliflower, among other items. Between these four veggies, the total truck loads are around 2,500 of per week.
Idaho potatoes are another big mover from the Western states. There are about 1,750 truckload equivalents of spuds being shipped on a weekly basis. The state needs to sell a lot of potatoes to pay for their sponsorship and ads related to the recent Famous Idaho Potato Bowl!
Early California navel orange shipments have gotten off to a good start this season and expect to load around 93 million boxes before the season concludes. This would be up from 83 millon cartons from the previous season. Loadings have been steady and are expected to remain this way in the weeks ahead.
Something to keep an eye on is the restrictions California is putting ictions on citrus fruit and plants in Tulare County after two recent detections of Asian citrus psyllid. It is not a full quarantine, but if another psyllid is found — it would be the fourth detection. This would trigger a two-year quarantine. Current restrictions are in place for six months.
The psyllids, which can carry citrus greening disease, feed on citrus trees, sucking the sap and weakening them, but they can carry citrus greening, a bacterial disease. The disease is no threat to humans or animals, but it can stunt and even kill citrus trees. The problem also has been detected in Florida and Texas.
In The California desert, as well as Yuma, AZ, recent warm cauliflower and broccoli shipments well above normal. Loadings are usually brisk this time of year anyway as supplies to buyers for the Christmas holidays are ramping up. A similar situation exist for various types of lettuce in the desert.
California is in between seasons now and strawberry shipments are light. While the Watsonville area has pretty much finished, loadings are now coming out of Ventura and Orange counties. Volume will remain light until after the first of the year.
The last of fresh cranberry loads are now moving to USA markets, but primarily from Central Wisconsin. While Massachusetts often promises Christmas shipments, it has a checkered history of actually delivering, primarily due to quality issues and the demand from the processing marketing.
Probably the most reliable is The Cranberry Network LLC, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., which markets fruit grown by Tomah, WI-based Habelman Bros. Co., the nation’s largest fresh cranberry grower. It plans on packing and shipping fresh-market cranberries through mid-December.
In Texas, the Winter Garden District located just south of San Antonio is gearing up with cabbage, broccoli and onion shipments. Further south in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, there are grapefruit and orange loads available, as well as a variety of vegetables, not only from the valley, but crossing the border from Mexico.
California has a big clementine crop this season coming out of the San Joaquin Valley. The valley continues to ship a record setting table grape crop, which will be winding down in coming weeks.
In the desert areas of California (Imperial Valley) and Arizona (Yuma), volume is increasing on vegetables. Last winter was very mild and unlike many past winters, picks and loads were not significantly disrupted by weather factors. Odds are this won’t happen in two consecutive years, but we’ll find out in the weeks and months ahead.
Imported Spanish clementines arriving on the East Coast are expected to be 25-30 percent lower than last season.
Importers of Peruvian and Chilean onions expect good movement and good quality with winter approaching. Arrivals are taking place now with onions from Peru, while onions from Chile will start arriving anytime, a 20 percent drop is seen.
Imperial Valley vegetables – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
Over the past two decades imported fresh fruits and vegetables have increased substantially. Not only does this mean year around availability of many items for consumers, but increased loading opportunities – especially during the off season when these items are not available in the USA. Here’s a look at some produce coming from other countries.
Blueberries from Chile are arriving in the USA and will continue through April. With the arrival of the New Year will be the appearance at USA ports with Chilean table grapes and stone fruit.
There is good movement of Central American cantaloupes, honeydews and Mexican honeydews. Loadings of product from Guatemala should continue into about the second week of January. Many of the Central American imports arrive a Florida ports. Imported cantaloupe are crossing the border into Texas from Mexico. Asparagus is being imported from Mexico and Peru and should increase in volume in December.
Typically in January, volume from Mexico through Nogales, AZ really picks up, led by table grapes, but including a number of other items.
Biggest Change with Imports Coming Soon
The biggest change in decades with imported produce will start occuring a matter of weeks. Historically, south Texas has been a major produce shipping area with its fruits and veggies from the Lower Rio Grande Valley and to a much lesser degree from the Winter Garden District, just south of San Antonio.
However, over the past 20 years a lot has changed in Texas. Today, about 65 percent of the fresh produce moved by Lone Star State shippers is grown in Mexico, with the balance grown in Texas. The state now ranks third in USA produce shipments, having surpassed Arizona. California and Florida rank first and second respectively in fresh produce loads.
While much of the imports from Mexico over the years have crossed the border into the USA from Nogales and Tijuana, a significant amount of this tonnage will be shifting to the McAllen, TX border area. This is due to the 143-mile-long Durango-Mazatlan highway expected to open before the end of the year.
Produce shippers are excited because the new route will mean produce shipments that used to arrive at Nogales and Tijuana and destined from Midwestern and Eastern markets, will no longer have to travel two mountain ranges. It also is expected to reduce freight costs up to a $1,000.
While shipments for California Navels should be heavy, it will probably be short of a record. The record was hit in the 2010-11 season, when the Central Valley alone produced 93 million cartons, and up 6 percent from the 2011-12 loads.
The first shipments took place in early November.
Red potato shipments out of North Dakota and Minnesota are nearly 35 percent head of loadings through October than they were during he same fall period a year ago. Red River Valley fresh potato shipments are expected to be the largest since 2008.
The total USA potato volume is estimated to be at least 12 million hundredweight larger than a year ago.
The North American Potato Market news is reporting that average daily shipments of russets has dropped 0.6 percent compared to last year while daily red shipments increased 18 percent.
Texas citrus season is in full swing, and shipping has begun for grapefruit and oranges. The USDA forecast for the 2012 – 2013 Texas citrus season is 2.8 million cartons of oranges and 10.6 million cartons of grapefruit.
Moderate shipments of watermelons from Mexico will continue crossing the border into Nogales, AZ through the end of the year. Overall Mexican fruit and vegetable crossing at Nogales are seasonally light, but the will change in Janaury as a host of produce items will be increasing in volume.
While head lettuce shipments continue from the Salinas Valley and the Huron District in the San Joaquin Valley, volume is rapidly decreasing as the seasonal shift if well underway and volume increases from the desert areas of the Imperial Valley in Southern California and in the nearby Yuma district of Arizona.
Normal shipments are expected from the desert areas through the end of the year. Loadings for romaine from the Imperial Valley should start the week after Thanksgiving.
Lettuce loads from the Salinas Vallely are expected to overlap the Imperial Valley season by a week or two.
Record shipments of tables grapes continues from the San Joaquin Valley spanning the Kern District to the northern part of the valley is averaging over 1,600 truckloads per week…..Also from the Kern District is shipments of carrots, averaging about 350 truckload equivalents per week.
Strawberry shipments from the Watsonville District are in a seasonal decline, while volume is picking up from Ventura County. Moderate volume continues from the Santa Maria District. As with many vegetables in California, berry volume is much lower than only a few weeks ago.
There’s a number of produce items in California providing light volume, but at this point may be helping to fill out the truck. Those items may range from oranges to lemons, kiwi, various veggies and even holiday product such as pomegrantes.
San Joaquin Valley produce – grossing about $4400 to Chicago.
A record crop of around 550 million pounds of pistachios is projected as the 2012 harvest nearing completion. Pistachio growers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada are expecting huge demand from consumers.
There are currently about 250,000 acres of pistachios planted in the four states (98 percent of that is in California), and currently only 145,000 acres are producing crops. Based on industry data, the current plantings are expected to boost the crop size to 800 million pounds by 2016, double what it was in 2009.
About 60 percent of the total USA pistachio volume is exported mostly to China and to the European Union.
In the USA there are sponsorships of the American men’s and women’s water polo teams. The women’s team won the gold medal at the recent London Olympics.
There also continues to be sponsorship of the Miss California Pageant, with the idea of tying in with Miss California on the beauty and fitness side of eating pistachios.
The pistachio industry also is involved in sponsoring various nutrition and health studies. Previous studies have focused on benefits to cardiovascular health and on lowering of cholesterol by eating pistachios.
Pistachios are not alone in the nut category in terms of experiencing growing global demand. All tree nuts, whether it be almonds or walnuts or pistachios, seem to be doing well.