Posts Tagged “California strawberry shipments”

Despite Less Acreage, California Strawberry Shipments May Increase

By |

Over production and poor markets has the California strawberry industry in a quandary following the 2018 season when profits took a big hit. That’s not so bad for truckers hauling the fruit simply because more loads are available.

However, the strawberry growers and shippers were expecting a major reduction in acreage this year, but that apparently hasn’t happened.

During late January strawberry shipments from Ventura County were very light with some quality issues. However, volume is building weekly and quality is expected to improve at the same time. Decent volume is occurring just in time for Valentine’s Day (February 14) shipments.

However, the bigger issue remains over production. California’s acreage report estimates 25,704 acres for 2019, but that is only a 1,722-acre drop, which would be about a 6 percent decrease. California’s acreage dropped by almost 8 percent from 2017 to 2018, but as is the case this year, strawberry production is expected to increase because newer varieties are having greater yields. In 2018, California shipped over 222 million trays of fresh strawberries to the market, which was a 10 percent increase over 2017 despite the 8 percent drop in acreage.

California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville reports acreage has decreased, but the newer varieties have greater yields, so there is not the same drop in volume.

GEM-Pack Berries of Irvine, CA, likewise doesn’t see a drop in acreage during 2019 resulting in fewer berries to ship. The company points out around of 9 million trays were shipped during some weeks in 2018, which is simply too many berries for the market to absorb.

Colleen Strawberries Inc. of Watsonville, CA, also calls for a further reduction in the California acreage for the strawberries to be profitable. While weather problems could reduce shipments this season, the acreage total is not sustainable without some issue reducing overall volume.

On a positive note, huge volume is typical for Easter and this year Easter is late — April 21st. This should give the season extra time to be producing good volume and quality. California strawberry shipments tend to peak during April and May. Easter is followed by Mother’s Day three weeks later (May 12th), when shipments surge for both occasions.

The berry category in general remains strong for blueberries, blackberries and raspberries — as well as strawberries and continues to rise. Strawberries still remain the favorite with more than 50 percent of the total berry volume, but that number is decreasing.

Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7400 to New York City.

Read more »

Shipping Updates: California Strawberries, New Mexico Onions, and U.S. Potatoes

By |

A2California strawberry shipments are on track to break another record this season….New Mexico onion shipments are going strong….There’s a lot more potatoes remaining in U.S. storages for shipping compared to last year.

While it may be too early to tell whether California will have its third record year of strawberry shipments, if volume shipped mostly by truck in early June is any indication, it could be another one for the books.

There were plenty of supplies for shipments leading up to the Fourth of July.  Loadings for Labor Day and beyond are looking to be just as good as shipments are way ahead of a year ago.

As of the week ending June 2, the state’s growers had harvested 82.3 million trays of strawberries.

A year ago, that figure was about 79 million trays, and two years ago the number also was in that range.  Naturipe Farms LLC of Salinas, CA is experiencing record volume and record production.

Salinas Valley strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $8900 to New York City.

New Mexico Onion Shipments

While the New Mexico onion volume estimate will not come out until August, strong volume is expected again this year.  Shipments have been occurring since May and are now averaging about 875 truck loads per week.  Loadings will continue through August and this time of the year has typically provided the most onion shipments in the U.S.  Carzalia Valley Produce Inc. of Columbus, N.M. and Billy the Kid Produce LLC of Deming, N.M are both experiencing a normal shipping season.

New Mexico onions – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.

U.S. Potato Shipments

There are 9 percent more potatoes remaining to be shipped in U.S. storages than at this same time a year ago.

The top producing potato states had 59 million cwt. of potatoes in storage June 1.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports 15 percent of the fall 2017 crop was still in storage at the beginning of the month, which is 2 percentage points more than last season.

The top three potato shipping states, and the percent of their 2017 fall crop production left in storage, are:

  • Idaho — 23 million cwt. (18 percent)
  • Washington — 13 million cwt. (13 percent)
  • Wisconsin — 5.3 million cwt. (18 percent)




Read more »

California is Experiencing Strong Strawberry Shipments; South African Citrus to Arrive Soon

By |

DSCN0607The past few weeks have seen California strawberry shipments ramping up for Mother’s Day and good volume will continue beyond…Meanwhile the first shipment of South African citrus will be arriving in the U.S. within a couple of weeks.

For example, California Giant Berry Farms and Well-Pict Inc., both based in Watsonville, have seen volume recently doubling on a weekly basis.

While most of the California strawberry shipment for Mother’s Day is coming out of the Santa Maria district, Salinas volume also is building.

The California Strawberry Commission reports the Salinas/Watsonville district has 13,233 acres of strawberries this season, which will account for 39 percent of the state’s strawberry acreage.

Last year, the district had 13,570 acres and accounted for 37 percent of the state’s strawberry acreage.  The area shipped more than 102 million trays of strawberries in 2017, up from 100,820,365 trays in 2016.

Most shippers are expecting volume in 2018 to be similar to last year’s.

Rain in mid-March really had an adverse affect on strawberry shipments for Easter this year.  In addition to Santa Maria, Salinas and Watsonville, strawberry shipments also have been coming out of Ventura County.

Summer Citrus From South Africa’s Planning Session Leads To Positive 2018 Season

by Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA)

CITRUSDAL, South Africa – Easy Peelers, followed by Navels and Star Rubies from South Africa, will start to arrive in containers in the United States towards the end of May, with the first conventional vessel arriving the third week of June at the port of Philadelphia. To support a successful 2018 season, members from across the U.S. and Western & Northern Cape came together in March for the Annual Planning Meeting, hosted by SCSA, to review sales and marketing plans, production volumes, shipping schedules, and category trends.

It is expected be a good season despite the challenges associated with the droughts occurring in the Western Cape.  With international best practices, innovation and the latest technology, growers are able to maximize their resources in these difficult times to produce an increased volume of good looking crop.



Read more »

Santa Maria Strawberry Shipments Play Significant Role in Total California Volume

By |

DSCN9805Sandwiched in between Ventura County to the south and the Watsonville area of the Salinas Valley to the north is Santa Mara.  It’s strawberry season typically overlaps with the other two neighboring growing districts and plays a significant role in the state’s total volume.

While weather delays cut volume for Easter, Santa Maria strawberry shipments are expected to play a key role.

Through March 24th, total volume for the year-from Santa Maria stood at 2.43 million trays, up from 1.89 million trays last year at the same time.  However, it was down from 4.04 million crates in 2016.

Total California strawberry shipments the week of March 24 were 907,000 crates, down about 70 percent from 3.31 million trays the same week last year and 80 percent less than the 4.27 million two years ago.  In fact, total California strawberry shipments the week of March 24 were 907,000 crates, down about 70% from 3.31 million trays the same week last year and 80 pecent lower than the 4.27 million two years ago.

A freeze a few weeks ago damaged blooms in Santa Maria, followed by rain during much of March, which cut volume for shippers such as  Gold Coast Packing Inc.,  of Santa Maria.

Total California strawberry shipments last year hit a record 206 million trays, up from the 2016 record of 197 million trays. The Santa Maria district shipped 66.7 million trays in 2017, up from 60.8 million trays in 2016.

Projected acreage for the Santa Maria district this season is 11,292 acres, down from 12,209 acres in 2017 and 11,817 acres in 2016.

Santa Maria’s fall planted acreage of 8,506 for winter, spring and summer production was off 3.4 pecent compared with 2017.  As a whole, Santa Maria accounted for 30.6 percent of California’s fall planted acreage for winter, spring and summer production, compared with 29.6 pecent last year.

Total fall planted acreage for winter, spring and summer production was estimated at 27,804 acres, down 6.5 percent from 2017.

Meanwhile, Santa Maria accounted for 2,786 acres for projected summer planted acreage for fall production, down 18 percent from 2017.  Santa Maria accounts for 46.5 pecent of California’s projected summer planted acreage for fall production, down from a 51.1 percent share a year ago.

The estimate for California’s total summer planted strawberry for fall production in 2018 is 5,998 acres, down 10.1 pecent compared with a year ago.

Read more »

California Strawberry Shipments this Year Have Set a New Record

By |

DSCN0189California strawberry shipments in 2017 have already exceeded its 2016 record setter with a full month to go in the year.

By the middle of November California growers had packed 197.3 million crates statewide, exceeding the 196.8 million crates produced during all 12 months of 2016.

What is ironic about the shipping season is California experienced one of its rainiest winters on record in 2016-17, plus the heavy strawberry production area of the Salinas Valley, among others, had an exceptionally hot summer.

However, the rains helped to rinse away some of the salts that had built up in the top layer of soil during the drought.

Higher yields from newer strawberry varieties also contributed to the record crop.  Growers planned to plant 36,141 acres of strawberries in 2017, off from 40,816 acres four years earlier.

California strawberry shipments take place the year around and basically follow the sun.  During the peak shipping season, all of the state’s major growing regions  — Oxnard, Orange County, Santa Maria and Watsonville are loading berries.  Peak shipments are  typically in the spring and early summer, but it came later this year due to spring rains.

Strawberry shipments in the early part of 2017 were adversely affected by big storms.  The result was amazing with seasonal rainfall totals in many coastal areas being around 150 percent of normal. Luckily, growers for the most part avoided major damage from the storms.

A recent consumer survey revealed strawberries as America’s favorite fresh fruit.   32 percent of respondents identified strawberries as their favorite fruit, in the survey that did not provide a list of fruits from which to choose.  Bananas (9 percent) placed second, while watermelons (8 percent) were the third favorite fruit in the U.S.

California is the leading strawberry shipping region in the world.  The state also provides nearly 80 percent of the strawberries grown, packed, shipped and consumed in the U.S.

While California strawberries are currently coming mostly out of Santa Maria and Oxnard, this is a light volume time of the year.  Mexican strawberry shipments are currently light as well, but is increasing in volume with the new shipping season.

Santa Maria strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $8000 to New York City.

Read more »

California Strawberry Shipments are Strong; Michigan Freeze Has Asparagus Down, but Not Out

By |

Asparagus freezeHeavy California strawberry shipments should continue for the foreseeable future.  Meanwhile, Michigan asparagus was clobbered by a hard freeze, but good volume is returning soon.

While fresh strawberry shipments from Oxnard are over with only berries for processing being picked, fresh loadings have moved northward to  Santa Maria and Watsonville. A significant increase in volume took place last week and will the trend will continue.  Watsonville will experience its heaviest strawberry shipments the last week of May through the first week of June.  Santa Maria strawberry shipments are currently peaking.

Additionally, raspberry loadings are now coming out of Watsonville and are expected to have significant volume increases during the next weeks, which will continue through Summer and into the Fall.

Grower report that the four year drought in California resulted in a build up of salt in the soil, but this season’s heavy rains leeched most of that salt out of the ground.  This is making for prime growing conditions, and crop quality.

California strawberry shipments have been heavy since right after Easter with good loading opportunities expected for upcoming holidays in the weeks ahead from the Northern districts.

Santa Maria strawberriy and vegetable shipments – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

Salinas Valley strawberry and vegetable shipments – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

Michigan Asparagus Shipments

Asparagus is one of the most unusual produce crops I am familiar with.  I was once visiting an asparagus farm in California and the owner told me that under excellent conditions the vegetable grew so fast at night you could literally hear it growing.  It can grow as much as four to six inches a day!

I was reminded of this with the May 8th hard freeze in Michigan that severely hit the asparagus crop (see photo).  Despite temperatures plunging to 23 degrees F. for two to three hours, resulting in  a loss of an estimated 5 to 8 percent of the total crop, the season is far from lost.  Decent volume will be returning this week, with peak volume shipments out of Michigan coming next week.

Typically, the heaviest asparagus shipments occur early in the season.  That won’t happen in Michigan this year.  Even though  all the asparagus that was above ground froze, it will quickly rebound.

Michigan apple shipments – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta.


Read more »

California Stone Fruit Shipments Increasing; Strawberries Shifting from Ventura Co.

By |

DSCN9036Focusing on California, stone fruit volume is building, while strawberry shipments are shifting from Ventura County to Santa Maria.

While there has been light volume of California stone fruits in recent weeks, decent volume is expected to occur with the next 10 days to two weeks.

The state does not  have a big crop of stone fruits this year, but shipments should be strong, in large part due to production problems in the SoutheastA.

About 90 percent of the South Carolina peach crop was wiped out by a devastating freeze, while Georgia  lost about 40 percent of its peaches.

California stone fruit shipments should be fairly steady by the middle of May.

While heavier shipments have occurred the past couple of season during late April with nectarines and some other stone fruit items, that is about a week earlier than what’s considered normal.  More normal is returning this season with the crop a little later.

Strong volume is seen by the third week in May, just in time for deliveries for the Memorial Day weekend May 27 – 29.

West Coast stone fruit shipments used to be much larger, but that has change over the past decade or more with a decline in acreage.   Also, a marketing order was eliminated several years ago, resulting in it now being difficult to get a firm handle on acreage totals.  However, appears acreage declines have bottomed out.  Many stone fruit growers also had shifted to growing other items such as almonds and Mandarins.

California white peaches started in late April, while yellow nectarines and white nectarines, plus apricots got underway in early May.  Black and red plums will be starting in the middle of May.

California Strawberry Shipments

As of April 15th, California strawberry volume was over 5.5 million trays, more than half a million over the projected 4.9 million.   Currently, Ventura County strawberry shipments are in a seasonal decline with volume still a little more than a little northward at Santa Mara, where volume is approaching peak loadings.  Last week, Santa Maria shipped about 450 loads of strawberries.  The Watsonville area near Salinas is shipping strawberries in very light volume, which will be increasing.

Santa Maria strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $6400 to New York City.

Read more »

Shipping Updates on Imported Mangoes and California Strawberries for Easter

By |

DSCN9019Here’s an overview on the soaring volume of imported mangoes, plus a shipping update on California strawberries leading up to Easter.

Since 2005, imported mango shipments  have increased over 75 percent, from 62 million boxes in 2005 to 109 million boxes in 2016.  Once considered an exotic fruit, mangoes are becoming more mainstream now than ever, and visibility continues to increase yearly as more consumers demand them.

Imports of the tommy atkins mango variety and now crossing the border into South Texas (about 250 truck loads a week)  through Nogales, AZ.  Crossings at both areas are increasing as the Mexican mango season ramps up.

Peruvian mango imports have been in a surplus this year, with 50 percent  more of the tropical fruit than the previous season, which is coming to a close.  Besides Mexico, imported fruit has recently started from Guatemala and will get underway from Haiti in April.

Mexican tropical fruit and vegetables crossing the border in South Texas – grossing about $4800 to Boston.

California Strawberry Shipments

If California’s “monsoon” season is finally behind it there is a lot of hope there will be heavy strawberry shipments in the weeks and months ahead.   California strawberry loadings are behind in shipments compared to two years ago, when the season kicked off extremely early for lack of rain.

California strawberry shipments had totaled 5.2 million trays at the by the end of the week of March 11th, down a little from the 6.7 million shipped the same time a year earlier.  However, this was far less than the 12.9 million trays shipped by that time in 2015.

Strawberry shipments set records in 2016, harvesting 196.4 million trays.  Volume for the previous year, despite the early start, was 189.9 million trays.  Total California strawberry shipments this should be similar to 2016.   The state has 36,141 acres this year compared to 36,039 acres last year, while yields continue to increase significantly.

California ships over 87  percent of the strawberries in the U.S.

Ventura County now is gearing up for peak season strawberry shipments.  The Santa Maria got underway in late February and volume has been increasing during March.  The Salinas/Watsonville area is just now getting underway. Peak shipments are expected in time for deliveries leading up to Easter — April 16.

Light volume with Santa Maria strawberries, cauliflower and broccoli shipments – grossing about $5800 to New York City

Read more »

Shipping Updates: RRV Potatoes Down; CA Strawberries; Texas Citrus

By |

dscn8448Updated estimates continue to show fewer Red River Valley potatoes for hauling this season, plus here’s a look at California strawberry loads and Texas citrus.
Fall Potato production in North Dakota is 20.8 million hundredweight, down 25 percent from 2015, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Yield, at 325 hundredweight per acre, is down 20 hundredweight from a year earlier. Area harvested, at 64 thousand acres, is down 16 thousand acres from 2015.
 Potato production in Minnesota was 16.7 million hundredweight, up slightly from 16.2 million last year. Average yield jumped from 400 hundredweight per acre in 2015 to 430 in 2016.  40,000 acres were planted, only 1,000 acres were not harvested according to NASS. 
Red River Valley potatoes – grossing about $1700 to Chicago.
California Strawberry Shipments
January rains in California may have disrupted the harvest and shipments of strawberries, but the welcome moisture should bode well in the weeks and months ahead.  Volume is building out of Ventura County leading up the popular St. Valentine’s Day, February 14th.  Oxnard shipment should continue through April.  In the meantime, light volume from the Watsonville area as well as Santa Maria will start in March.
Strawberries and vegetables from Ventura County – grossing about $6200 to New York City.
Texas Citrus Shipments
Citrus acreage in Texas is expected to increase from 27,000 acres this year to as much as 30,000 acres by next year, despite challenges like citrus greening and the Mexican fruit fly.

Most of the state’s citrus are Texas red grapefruit varieties, but there also are early and mid-season oranges, navels and valencias.

The season has been progressing smoothly and orange shipments should continue through March and possibly into April.

The firm started grapefruit in early November and expects to continue through April.

Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas grapefruit, oranges and imported Mexican vegetables  and tropical fruits- grossing about $2500 to Atlanta; $2800 to Chicago and $4200 to New York City.



Read more »

Fall Shipments: CA Grapes, Berries; GA Veggies

By |

dscn7930Excellent loading opportunities for California grapes are continuing into the fall shipping season, while strawberries also are moving in good volume.  Meanwhile, here’s an update on Georgia fall vegetable shipments.

California Grape Shipments

California grape shipments are above of those of a year ago.  About 82.9 million million of grapes were loaded in the San Joaquin Valley in the week ending September 26, up from 70.7 million pounds in the same week last year.  However, this was down from 88.1 million pounds the previous week.

Season-to-date, about 2.1 billion pounds of grapes had shipped in the U.S., down from 2.2 billion pounds last year at the same time.

San Joaquin Valley grapes and melons – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.

California Strawberry Shipments

California strawberry volumes should continue heavy as fall loadings increase.  Weekly volumes shipping in September were at record levels for that time of year, with the trade shipping  over 5.5 million trays a week during the month.

During the second half of September, there were volumes from both the Salinas/Watsonville area and the Santa Maria growing district.  Higher-yielding varieties were coming into production in from both areas, with being  a factor behind the shipping surge.  The week of September 19 some Oxnard growers were already shipping some fall strawberries.

By the first or second week of October, loadings from Oxnard should be going good, although fall acreage is down slightly from last year.

Salinas Valley vegetables and Watsonville strawberries – grossing about $6600 to New York City,

Georgia Vegetable Shipments

Late-summer growing conditions have been good  for production of southern Georgia cabbage, cucumbers and greens.  There will be very light loadings of cabbage in late October.  However, volume will pick up significantly in early to mid-November.  Good loading opportunities are seen for the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Cucumber shipments started in south Georgia a couple of weeks ago, with loadings expected to continue into the first half of November.

In mid-September, Georgia growers typically begin harvesting leafy greens, including kale, collard greens, turnip roots and mustard greens. and ramp up larger volume in mid-October.





Read more »