Posts Tagged “asparagus”

Good Volume with Peruvian Asparagas and Chilean Avocados; Washington Organic Apples to Have Big Increase

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DSCN0832Imported Asparagus from Peru and imported avocados from Chile should have good volume this season, while a big increase is seen for Washington state organic apples.

Peru has year-round asparagus production, but peak imports by the U.S. is October through December.

Imports from Peru will be increase as competing countries producing asparagus complete their seasons.  Domestic production  from New Jersey and Michigan will end in another week, resulting in demand for Peruvian asparagus, which will continue to improve and should remain steady through the end of the year.

Peru accounted for about half of all U.S. asparagus imports in 2017, compared with 47 percent from Mexico. Peru exports asparagus to the U.S. year-round, with peak shipments from September through December.

Both Crystal Valley Foods of Miami and Carb Americas of Fort Lauderdale noted last summer most asparagus was being sourced New Jersey, Canada, Michigan, Washington and Mexico.  With the arrival of fall, U.S. importers are turning to Peru for supplies.

Chilean Avocados

While it may be too early to predict how many imported avocados from Chile will occur,  volume is expected to by up slightly from the 66 million pounds a year ago.  The first Chilean avocados arrived a couple of weeks in the U.S.  Consistent, steady imports of Chilean avocados are expected into the early spring of 2019.

Washington Organic Apples

A 40 percent increase in organic apples from Washington states is expected this season.  Volume is predicted to reach nearly 19 million bushels.  Organic apple shipments from Washington have been setting records the las several years.  The previous record was a little over 13 million boxes.

The first estimates last August predicted total Washington apple shipments of around 131 million 40-pound boxes for the 2018 season, a 2 percent decrease in volume from last year.  This should result in the third or fourth largest Washington apple crop on record.

Washington apples shipments – grossing about $4800 to Dallas.

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An Eastern Produce Shipping Round Up

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VidaliaOnion1Photo:  Courtesy Vidalia® Onion Committee

Shipments of  New Jersey-grown peaches should get underway in early July, a little later than last year.  Good quality and quantity are being predicted, with loadings lasting through mid-September.  More volume is seen this season since some trees planted three to five years ago are coming into production. (more…)

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In-Transit Issues – Part V: How Safe are Modified Atmosphere Shipments?

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TF_Chart1_v2While studies have shown transporting strawberries and some other produce items in a modified atmosphere  extends the quality and lifespan of the items, how safe are these food items to eat that have been exposed to carbon dioxide (CO2) for nearly a week?

Rich Macleod, a scientist and basically the manager of the pallet divison for Transfresh Corp. feels this is a reasonable question for people to ask.

“The use of carbon dioxide in the handling of perishables is incredibally common,” Macleod states.  He points to the use of CO2 in soda, which are the bubbles you see.

As for TransFresh, Macleod says  the Organic Material Research Institute has certified the Tectrol application as organic.  “So we are certified for use as an organic product,” he states.  “The impact of CO2 in terms of maintaining the quality of the product….using a gas we breath in the environment, is an excellent trade off for what you get for enjoying more strawberries.”

As previously reported in this series, using the pallet covered system, Tectrol (CO2), results in less decay in strawberries (see chart). 

Macleod, who started out as a lab assistant with a masters degree in post harvest science, sees the next step in research being to define what CO2 does for the nutrient value of strawberries.  Such a study has never been done, he notes.  He is hopeful such research will take place within the next five years.

While Tectrol’s primary use is with strawberries, it also is used with raspberries, blueberries and other items.

However, it also is found in containers on shipments by boat with items such as avocados, asparagus, and stone fruit for both imports and exports that are in transit eight to 10 days.

“Your cut salads are all cousins to the wrapped pallet program (with modified atmospheres).  In fact, the cut salad program preceeded the pallet covered program,” Macleod says.

(This is Part 5 0f 6, featuring an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp., Salinas, CA.  He has been with company since 1976, and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)

 

 

 

 

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Eastern Produce Loadings will Soon Arrive

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While California is the top shipper of peaches, South Carolina and Georgia usually rank second and third, and not necessarily in that order, depending upon the season.

Peach shipments from South Carolina will get started by early June, usually a few days later than nearby Georgia.  However, it won’t be until good shipments come on several weeks later, you’ll have decent loading opporunities.  Peak loadings should come just in time for the Fourth of July.

Florida

An unseasonably cold March and disease could very well slash watermelon shipments from Central and South Florida by 50%.

Michigan

Western Michigan apple shippers apparently dodged the proverbial bullet last week, avoiding significant freeze damage, which would have been a scary repeat of a year ago, when most shipments were wiped out by the cold.  It appears there will be be good apple shipments when movement starts this summer.

Similar to 2012, Michigan growers have 36,500 acres in apple production this season.

Ontario

Asparagus growers in Southern Ontario have taken a hit as freezing temperatures took their toll on the crop recently.  Frozen asparagus has a clear appearance and spears will droop as it warms up and should not be shipped.  However, these plants will grow more spears.

Avocados from Mexic0Produce truckers this season have already picked up a lot of avocado at ports of entry along the Southern border.  Trucks have delivered nearly a million pounds of Mexican avocados to markets across the USA and Canada.  However, this is only the beginning.  Before the season ends later this year, a billion pounds of Mexican avocadoes will have been hauled to markets a cross North America.

 

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Georgia and Michigan Spring Produce Shipments

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Georgia shipments should start from the Fort Valley area in mid-May, about a week or two later than in recent years.  Loadings should be more normal this season, with peak movement occurring in July and continuing until about August 10.   The season then should conclude a week or so later.

Looking at Vidalia onions, too much rain, mostly in March, is resulting in a disease known as seed stems.   This results in bolts, flower stalks and seeds showing up on the plants in the field.   Seed stems cause the core of an onion to become hollow, which results in rapid deterioration of the entire onion.  Most of this is problem is removed at the packing shed with grading, but keep an extra eye out for it when loading.  A significant reduction in loading opportunities is expected because of the problem.

South Carolina peach shipments typically follow Georgia shipments, with only a few days or a week separating when the two areas start and finish.

Michigan

Michigan ranks third in the nation for asparagus shipments, annually producing 25 million pounds.  The harvest is usually underway by May 1st, but cold weather has the crop behind schedule.  Asparagus should finally be getting underway anytime now.

Michigan also is one of the leading shippers of blueberries., with loading opportunities normally from June to September, with the most volume occurring in July and August.

 “Blues” shipments from Michigan totaled only 72 million pounds in 2011 and 87 million pounds in 2012.  This year, it may return to a more normal loading amount at over 100 million pounds of blueberries.

 

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National Produce Loadings

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Easter is Sunday, April 8th and is always big for such items as strawberries and asparagus.  California will be just about the only place shipping such items for Easter as Mexican strawberries will be pretty much finished for the season, while California “grass” from the desert may not have the greatest volume with its season just getting underway.  California strawberries will have the market to itself with Florida and Mexico shipments finished.   California berries will be heaviest out of the Oxnard district, with lighter volume coming out of Santa Maria.

Ready for PieIn Michigan, apple shipments continue from the Western Part of the state, primarily from the Grand Rapids area.  The state should ship about 23 million cartons, down some from its record setting season that had 28 million cartons of apples.

In the Appalachian district of  Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia about 50 truckloads of apples are being shipped each week.   New York state is loading about 200 truckloads of apples weekly from the Hudson Valley, as well as Central and Western areas of the state.

Southern California berries, citrus grossing – about $5600 to New York City.

Western Michigan apples – $3200 to Dallas.

Central New York apples – $3150 to Boston.

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Asparagus Looking Good

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Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables!  Right now there are good supplies green asparagus with ham and...of “grass” arriving in our local supermarkets from Mexico.  Retails should even be offering special prices on it….There also is still some asparagus arriving from Peru, although volume is now seasonally down sigificantly.

Come the middle of March we should see asparagus grown in California starting to arrive in stores.  This should mean even better prices for consumers since there is less expense with transportation than wilth product imported form other countries.  However, there is currently of glut of asparagus which means the folks growing it are not making much.  If this continues, there ars concerns some of the California farmers may disc under their crops if they’re not making enough to even harvest it.

Either way, asparagus should be a good buy in your store right on through Easter, which is April 8th.

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