Posts Tagged “British Columbia blueberry shipments”

B.C Blueberry Shipments Struggle; Quality is a Concern

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British Columbia blueberry shipments are taking a hit this summer due to weather factors adversely affecting quality, as well as a labor shortage.

Caution is urged when loading the fruit due to possible rain related quality issues. Shipments normally last through September.

Westberry Farms of Abbotsford, B.C. reports blueberry growers in Canada’s British Columbia are facing serious challenges as poor weather and labor shortages have created difficult conditions for harvesting.

The harvest started in mid-July and producers have struggled to salvage their fruit and maintain normal production levels. B.C. blueberry shipments are forecast down significantly from 200 million pounds in 2019. While it may be hard to predict how low volumes may end up, weather-related issues from cool and wet weather along with serious flooding in some fields along the Fraser River have made it difficult for picking machines to get out and harvest.

Fraser Berry Farms has expressed concerns about the quality of fruit from excessive rainfall.

British Columbia’s blueberry industry has more than 25,000 acres in production and demands large amounts of labor. The Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Grower’s organization, has made labor availability few and far between. A dip in the workforce of more than 50 percent – especially for handpicking – has created real problems.

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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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Western Shipments: When Loading Potatoes You Should Question the Quality

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DSCN0466The last potatoes of the shipping season, which have been held in storages for months, may have quality problems which could result in rejected loads or claims.  The good news is there are very few russetts left in major shipping states such as Idaho.

What started out as a huge crop last fall, has faded quickly since spring.  Packouts have been off due to quality problems and some spuds have even been used a cattle feed.

There is light volume with the new crop of red and yellow potatoes out of  Washington and Oregon with shipments picking up the week of July 22. Russet loadings should get going between July 22 and Aug. 1.

Overall potato shipments are going to be very light around the country until about the second week of August, as the new crop starts gaining steam.


Big volumes of blueberries are seen  from Oregon and British Columbia in July and August — and likely even into September.  There have been few complaints regarding size, or taste, which means fewer problems for drivers at unloading docks.


In California, record shipments of table grapes are still being seen for this season.  Another forecast will be issued in late July.

Last year California topped 100 million boxes of grapes shipped for the first time.  This season observers are looking at shipments hitting nearly 107 million, 19-pound cartons.  Hang on sloopy, that’s a lot of fruit!  Grape loadings are taking place from the Arvin district.

Over half of California’s grapes will be shipped after Labor Day and extending into December, a trend that has come as newer, late variety grapes have been developed.

San Joaquin Valley grapes and stone fruit – grossing about $8,000 to New York City.

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