Posts Tagged “blueberry shipments”

Georgia Produce Shipping Update; Port Manatee is Looking to Expand Business

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DSCN1324+1There’s been some adjustments in the shipping forecast for some Georgia produce shipments since a March freeze.  Also, Port Manatee in Florida is looking to expand business with South America.

An update on Georgia produce shipments has been made after the USDA declare nearly two dozen counties a disaster as a result of a March freeze.

Georgia blueberry shipments will be 75 percent less this season.  Loading are taking place and will continue through June.  Georgia had originally estimated a total of 80 million pounds for the fresh and processed markets.   2016 blueberry shipments totaled a little over 70 million pounds, with about 45 million pounds going to the fresh market.  Georgia’s record year of blueberry production was 96 million pounds total volume in 2014, 58 million pounds of which went to the fresh market.


Georgia peach shipments are starting any day now.  While the original estimate for losses from the freeze were in the 40 to 50 percent range, the losses have now improved.  Recently some growers was talking peach shipments should be down about 25 to 35 percent.  Last year, Georgia shipped 43,000 tons of peaches.

Vidalia Onions

There is good supply, quality and steady shipments of Vidalia onions occurring, averaging about 500 truck loads per week. Vidalia onions were the only Georgia produce crop not affected by that March freeze.

Vidalia onions – grossing about $2000 to Chicago.

Vegetable shipments

Georgia green bean shipments have been underway since the first week of May and should continue through mid-July.  Sweet corn is just getting underway, but good volume won’t occur until  June and continuing through July Fourth.  Georgia squash and zucchini loadings started a couple weeks early this season and will run through June.

Port Manatee

Port Manatee, Palmetto, Fla., is planning to expand commercial ties with Colombia and Chile.

“We see significant opportunity for growing trade between our nation and Port Manatee,” Juan C. Barrera, general deputy director for the United States of ProColombia USA, said in a news release. “Both import and export opportunities exist for businesses in Manatee County and beyond, and we look forward to exploring these mutually beneficial possibilities,”

“We are enthused about fortifying the business relationship between Manatee County interests, including our port, and our counterparts in Colombia and are committed to growing such ties,” Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee, said in the release.

“We have the largest dock side refrigerated facility in Florida,” Buqueras said. “We have such capacity, it’s a shame not to utilize it.”

A deal with Chile is still in negotiations, Buqueras said.

“It’ll start with test shipments,” he said. “That will give us the opportunity to make corrections or enhance speed to market,”

Produce currently represents 30% of Port Manatee’s import business, according to Buqueras. He said it is too early in negotiations to say how much produce imports would increase because of expanded ties.

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Volume Florida Spring Produce Shipments are Just Around the Corner

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SweetCorn+1If great spring weather for growing vegetables, combined with optimism by Florida shippers mean anything, this should be one of the better years in a while for hauling produce from the Sunshine state.

Dozens of mixed vegetables are now being shipped, or will soon get underway.  Similar to the strawberry crop that got an early start this season from the Plant City area (and is now finished), one would think Florida vegetable shipments would follow a similar path of earlier than usual volume.

April and May are typically the heaviest volume months, so we’ll see.  The biggest movers currently are mature green, plum and grape tomatoes averaging over 350 truck loads a week.  Other leading items are cabbage, sweet corn, potatoes (red, white and yellow), bell peppers  and green beans.  Very light volume is with numerous veggies ranging from cucumbers to lettuce, radish, and celery to eggplant.

Keep in mind, Florida isn’t Mexico or California when it comes to volume.  There’s a reason so many multiple pick ups and drops are associated with hauling produce out of Florida.

Spring watermelons are heavy volume in season, but the first melons from Florida will not start until around the middle of April from the Immokalee area.  In fact, most loadings of Florida produce for the next several weeks will occur in Southern and Central areas of the state.

Another significant item is Florida blueberry shipments, which have been increasing in volume in recent years.  “Blues” will be starting in April.

Although Florida doesn’t compare to South Carolina, Georgia, or certainly not California, it does ship peaches as far north as Canada and across the Mississippi River.  Operations such as Florida Sweet Peaches in Arcadia and Florida Classic Growers in Dundee have been expanding.  Peach shipments should get underway in late March and continue through April and possibly early May.

Florida vegetable shipments – grossing about $2400 to Philadelphia.

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A Look at U.S. domestic and Imported Berries

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112_12851Blueberry shipments have definitely hit the big time with increases in plantings on both a domestic and imported basis.  Shipments also remain strong for strawberries and raspberries. Here’s a closer look at shipments for domestic and imported berries.

Fresh blueberry loadings are now occurring virtually the year around whether it is from domestic production or from imports involving other countries.

Native to North America, blueberries are in good volume here from April through October.   Likewise, with farmers in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasonal swap brings blueberries from South America from November through March.

The U.S. is the world’s largest grower and shipper of berries. In 2014, 667.6 million pounds of blueberries were shipped.

However, the U.S. is also a net importer of fresh and frozen blueberries.  Canada supplies nearly 20 percent of fresh product into the U.S., but South America has a very strong U.S. import program.

In 2014, the U.S. imported 234.7 million pounds of fresh blueberries valued at nearly $530.5 million.  Over 60 percent of this product came from Chile, which supplies the U.S. market from mid-November through January.

In 2014 the U.S. imported 124.7 million pounds of fresh blackberries.

Mexico supplied nearly all U.S. imported fresh blackberry volumes, representing a four-year annual average market share of 96 percent from 2011 to 2014.

Strawberry Shipments

While the U.S. is the world’s largest strawberry grower and shipper, it is also a big importer.  In 2014, the nation imported 355.9 million pounds of fresh strawberries.  The majority of all U.S. strawberry imports come from Mexico, with Canada supplying less than one percent.

Mexican strawberries have overlapping shipping seasons with Florida, but typically fresh strawberries from Mexico are only a supplement to the U.S. domestic supply. Most Mexican strawberries being produced and imported to the U.S. are shipped during the winter.

Raspberry Shipments

The U.S. also imports raspberries from October through May, with most imports originating from Mexico, which ships about 96 percent of the total imports.

In 2014, the U.S. imported a total of almost 96.8 million pounds of fresh raspberries from Mexico, Canada and Chile.


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North American Blueberry Shipments, and More

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DSCN7611Here’s a round up of North American blueberry shipments that are shifting areas in the coming weeks, plus we take a glimpse at upcoming Quebec apple shipments and western U.S. onions.

Blueberry shipments are making the seasonal shift to new areas and are hitting peak volume from British Columbia, New Jersey and Michigan.

While Georgia  an California blueberries, as well as North Carolina blueberry shipments are nearly finished, Michigan got underway the week of June 27th and is now entering peak shipments.

British Columbia blueberry shipments started a little early this year and loadings are currently heavy.

Typically there’s a gap between Pacific Northwest and British Columbia blueberry shipments, but this year is an exception.  However, Washington state, Oregon and British Columbia are all hitting good volumes at the same time, with peak shipments to hit in mid-July.

British Columbia was in full volume by about June 29 and New Jersey by the week of July 4th, while Michigan is expected to peak by the week of July 11.

New Jersey and Pacific Northwest blueberry shipments will likely start to taper off in the second half of July, when Michigan is expected to take over the lion’s share of blueberry loadings.

Washington state blueberries, and apples – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.

Southern New Jersey blueberries, – grossing about $1900 to Boston.

Quebec Apple Shipments

Quebec apple shipments are expected to get underway the week of September 12th.  Apple loadings for the province’s 2015-16 crop are expected to wind down during the last half of July.

Onion Shipments

Onion shipments from the new crop are expected to get underway during the middle of August from Western Idaho and Mulheur County, OR.  Volume should be up this season as a slight increase in acreage is reported.  Onion shipments typically last through April.  The area is known for its sweet Spanish onions, as well as whites, reds and yellows.

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Shipping Outlook for Cherries, Blueberries, Corn

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DSCN7672Here’s a glimpse of cherry shipments from around the U.S., as well as blueberry loadings from the Northwest.  There also is a final outlook at late season sweet corn shipments from Georgia, and some states that will follow.

Cherry Shipments

U.S. sweet cherry production is projected to be down 6 percent this year.

About 318,000 tons are likely to ship in 2016, down from 338,000 tons in 2015, according to the June 22 Cherry Production report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Production is down this year in both industry leader Washington and in California, which produces the second most sweet cherries, according to the report.  Washington cherry shipments are now hitting a peak, while California cherry shipments are virtually finished for the year.

Washington production is expected to fall from 210,000 tons to 195,000 tons.  Shipments from California, which was hit hard by spring rains, decreased from 68,000 to 60,000 tons.

Production in industry No. 3 Oregon is expected to increase from 41,000 to 42,000 tons. Michigan production also should be up, from 15,900 to 21,000 tons.

Washington cherries – grossing about $5500 to Atlanta.

Blueberry Shipments

Oregon’s 350 growers grow and ship blueberries from 11,000 acres.

Looking at 2016 production, the Beaver State is expecting to break 100 million pounds for the first time.

Washington’s 275 growers in the Evergreen State farm blueberries on 15,000 acres.  The Washington blues harvest ramped up on May 30 in eastern Washington, and production started from Skagit around June 20 with shipments picking up in Whatcom a few days later.

The state’s producers are looking at production of 118 million pounds of blueberries, up from 103 million a year ago.


Sweet Corn Shipments

This is the last week of peak shipments of sweet corn out of Georgia.  However, declining volume will be available until mid July.

Corn loadings then switch to Delaware in mid-July, in Ohio about July 20th and in New York about July 25th .  Once Georgia finishes shipping, most of these other area are typically shipped regionally.

Southern Georgia corn, blueberries and vegetables – grossing about $3200 to Boston.





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Michigan Produce Shipments are Looking Good

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IMG_6040+1Shipments of Michigan vegetables were steady this spring and it appears the heavier volume fruit and vegetable crops coming on in summer should also do well.

Not known for a particularly long growing season anyway, there’s a mindset that if you have a good crop of something, normally the rest of the crops will follow. Heaviest vegetable volume should occur during July and August.

Michigan Vegetable Shipments

Rhubarb got underway in early May, with the radish harvest starting in late May.

Buurma Farms of Willard, OH, grows and ships a full line of vegetables on about 1,000 acres in Gregory, MI.  Turnip and mustard greens, cilantro and dill got going the first week of June, and were followed a couple of weeks later by collards, kale and parsley.

In a few days, if not weeks, there will be cucumbers, pumpkins, green peppers, organic kale and ornamentals, as well as acorn squash, sweet corn, carrots and chili peppers.  Cabbage and zucchini have just started being shipped, with zucchini finishing in mid September.  This is when hard squash takes over, and along with cabbage, which will continue through Thanksgiving.,  Cucumber loadings will start in early July.

Grape tomatoes should begin around mid-July.  Romas and cantaloupes will follow, about July 20, with round tomatoes coming around August 1.

Celery was to start around the end of July, with shipments ending during the first half of October.

Sweet corn loadings begin in late July and continue through September.

Michigan Fruit Shipments

Peach shipments kick off Michigan’s fruit season, starting around the third or fourth week of July.

At Greg Orchards and Produce Inc., of Benton Harbor, MI, a good crop of pie cherries was seen as  a sign of positive for blueberry, grape, apple and peach crops to come.  Michigan blueberry shipments get underway in late June and run through late September.






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A National Spring Produce Shipping Update

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DSCN7313Here’s a look at spring produce shipments from across the United States.

Northwest Cherry growers released their second crop estimate of the season on Friday 13.  In May —  19.8 million 20-pound boxes were forecast, and this should not have been affected by rains which hit Washington nearly a week ago.

Washington cherry shipments are still expected to occur ahead of normal schedule.  Initial cherry shipments are expected about May 20 – 23 for the earliest varieties.   Approximately 600,000 boxes of cherries are expected to be shipped by the end of May.  In total, shipments are forecast to be in the 18.5 to 20.5 million box range, a slight increase from a year ago.
Blueberry Shipments
The eastern U.S. is currently providing the vast majority of blueberry shipments, with loadings taking place out of northern Florida, southern Georgia and North Carolina.  Florida “blues” should quickly wind down next week….In Georgia, expected a shipping gap of just a few days as the season shifts from the highbush to the Rabbit Eye variety.  Fair to good volume is continuing from Eastern North Carolina.  Mexican blueberry shipments are light and erratic.
Georgia blueberries, sweet onions, and mixed vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.
Cantaloupe Shipments
Melon loadings led by cantaloupe and honeydew are coming out the desert regions of California and Arizona.   California produce shipments are coming out of the Imperial Valley and the nearby Palo Verde Valley.  Just to the east, Arizona loadings are taking place from the Yuma area, as well as in the central part of the state closer to Phoenix.
Nogales Produce Shipments
Imported Mexican produce, led by watermelons and table grapes are crossing the border at Nogales, AZ.  Most other imported Mexican produce commodities that crossed here are not available now.  Watermelon crossing are averaging about 2700 truck loads per week.  Table grape volume is around 750 truck loads weekly.
Mexican produce through Nogales – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.
Idaho Potato Shipments
Although we are entering the latter months of the 2015-16 shipping season, there are still over 1600 truck load equivalents be shipped each week.
Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5100 to New York City.

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U.S. Blueberry Shipments Have Increased Dramatically in Two Decades

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DSCN7092Over the past 20 years blueberry shipments have soared.
Total blueberry shipments nationally in 1996 was 164 million pounds, with the largest producer being the Great Lakes at 45 million pounds, versus 25 million pounds from Oregon and Washington.
In 2015, total production was 711 million pounds, with 75 million pounds from the Great Lakes versus 196 million pounds from Oregon and Washington.  That 2015 total production is equivalent to 17,775 truck loads.
If you count British Columbia and California, the shift from the East to the West is even more dramatic during that period, from 38 percent to 59 percent of total production.
Blueberry plantings continue at a brisk pace.  Between 2007 and 2014, worldwide plantings grew at a compounded annual rate of 10 percent.
In North America, the figure for that period was 8 percent. By the end of 2014, blueberry acreage in North America totaled 143,636 acres. Worldwide, the total was 273,929 acres.
No slowdown in plantings is seen thus far, although like many other produce commodities over the years over production is bound to hit the blueberry industry.
One major change is that wild blueberries are becoming a direct competitor with highbush blueberries.
Wild blueberry growers now differentiate their product as “the better blueberry,” claiming wild blueberries taste better and provide twice the amount of antioxidants of planted blueberries.
The first domestic blueberry shipments each year usually start in late March from Florida.

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North American Blueberry Shipments Decline for the 2015 Season

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DSCN3725+1For the first time in about a decade,  total North American blueberry shipments in 2015 were lower, according to preliminary estimates.

The crop was down 22 million pounds from last year’s 744.8 million pounds.  The final numbers would be released in March.

The only regions that grew in volume were the western U.S. and Mexico.  The rest of the United States and Canada saw comparable or smaller blueberry shipments.

The biggest drop in volume for any region was in Michigan, which had a rough year due to weather, and the states of Georgia and New Jersey were moderately down.  British Columbia remained the largest producing region on the continent and experienced flat figures this year.  Meanwhile, Washington State saw the largest increase as the U.S.’s leading blueberry state.

Elsewhere, California and Oregon saw  only minimal  increases and Mexico registered a gradual increase.  However, Mexican production was still relatively small, and will have less than 30 million pounds of blueberries.  Weather was a major factor for the decline, while labor was also an issue in many areas.  North American blueberry shippers have been growing at 80-100 million pounds a year for a number of years, so perhaps a decline was over due.


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Michigan, New York Produce Shipments are Gearing Up

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DSCN5896Good volume is shaping for summer produce shipments out of both Michigan and New York state.

Michigan Produce Shipments

Blueberry shipments out of Michigan get underway around the 4th of July, with celery loadings coming the following week.  Cucumbers get started around July 10th, with peppers getting underway the third week of July.  Look for Michigan sweet corn shipmetns about July 20.

Yellow squash and zucchini  have just started.

Michigan’s asparagus movement ended about 10 days ago.  The state harvested an average crop of 9,500 acres of asparagus, of which about half this volume went to the fresh market.

As much as two-thirds of Michigan’s carrot shipments goes to the processing market. The fresh market harvest is set to begin in September, with shipments running into January. Michigan carrots are planted by seed and the 2015 crop was in the ground by mid-June.

Michigan onion shipments will start in mid-September.

New York Produce Shipments

Coming soon will be dozens of different vegetables.  Summer squash loadings have started and many others  such as potatoes get underway with the arrival of July.

Apples are perhaps New York state’s biggest crops.  A good shipping season that starts the last half of August is expected.

Light to moderate volume of old crop apples still shipping – Hudson Valley apples grossing about $2000 to Atlanta.


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