Posts Tagged “California strawberry shipments”

Santa Maria Strawberry Shipments Play Significant Role in Total California Volume

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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.

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California Strawberry Shipments this Year Have Set a New Record

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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.

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

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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.


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

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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.

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Shipping Updates on Imported Mangoes and California Strawberries for Easter

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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

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

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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.



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Fall Shipments: CA Grapes, Berries; GA Veggies

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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.





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Fruit Shipping Round Up from CA, NW and MI

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strawberriesNow that we are well into summer, here’s a look at California strawberry shipments, blueberries from the Northwest and New Jersey, as well as from Michigan, plus more.

For the 2016 season, California will ship nearly 80 percent of the  strawberry volume in the United States.

The 2016 California Strawberry Acreage Survey from the California Strawberry Commission notes 32,515 acres of strawberries were planted in California for the 2016 season.  This breaks down to 27,783 acres planted in the fall of last year for production in the winter, spring and summer and then 4,732 acres planted this summer for production in the fall.

California strawberries are shipped year-round in California, with the ‘late-season strawberries’ second planting often referred to as the “summer plant.”

The majority of this acreage is shipped into the fall/early winter, and primarily originates from the Oxnard and Santa Maria areas.

Watsonville strawberries and Salinas vegetables – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.

Blueberry Shipments

Oregon blueberry shipments are now coming out of the Willamette Valley region with mid- to late-season varieties.  Fresh shipments have ended a week or so early this year and now loadings are coming with “blues” out of storage.  Shipments should continue through September.

Meanwhile, peak blueberry shipments are expected through August from British Columbia and New Jersey, with both areas continuing with lighter volume through September.

Michigan Produce Shipments

Michigan could set record blueberry shipments as loadings continue this season.  However, growers are fighting a pest known as the Spotted Wing Drosophila, a nasty invasive fruit fly.  It’s requiring close attention with insecticides, are abundant, requiring stringent controls, DeGrandchamp said.

Meanwhile Southwestern Michigan also is shipping peaches and plums (Berrien County), but in much lighter volume.  The apricot season has ended.

Berian County apple shipments get underway in September, followed closely by loadings from Allegan County.

Michigan blueberry shipments – grossing about $3500 to Dallas; Michigan vegetable shipments grossing 25 to 30 percent less, depending upon destination.



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Produce Shipping Round Up from CA to GA

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DSCN7463Here’s a produce shipping outlook from around the nation.  We’ll cover everything from California tomatoes, strawberries and melons, to watermelon shipments in the Eastern half of the U.S.

California tomato shipments are gaining steam from the San Joaquin Valley to the southern coastal area.

For example, tomato loadings from Firebaugh, CA got underway June 1st and within two weeks all the tomato shippers in the San Joaquin Valley were moving product.

If the weather cooperates, the valley could be shipping tomatoes through Halloween.

On the Southern California coastline, pole tomato shipments got underway around June e13th from the Oceanside area.  Shipments of roma tomatoes will start July 1.  Round tomato volumes will likely peak from mid-August through October, with roma peak shipments taking place from July through September.

Good volume with cherry tomatoes should be shipped this summer from Baja, California.  However it will be the middle of October before there are rounds and vine-ripes from the region.

California Strawberry Shipments

Heavy shipments of strawberries from the Salinas-Watsonville area are taking place.  On average, about 950 truck loads of strawberries are being shipped weekly.  The Santa Maria district is shipping roughly one-half the volume of Salinas-Watsonville.

Watsonville strawberries and Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $7200 to New York City.

Cantaloupe Shipments

It’s getting awfully hot in the desert region, but cantaloupe shipments are still on track.  About 825 truck loads of cantaloupe are being loaded weekly from the Imperial Valley, as well as the Yuma area and central Arizona.

Watermelon Shipments

Georgia is easily leading the pack of states currently shipping watermelons.  Heavy volume should continue through the Fourth of July before a seasonal decline begins.  Meanwhile, very light volume has started with South Carolina watermelon shipments.  North Carolina gets underway the first week of July.  Another big state for watermelons is Missouri.  Watermelon shipments from the boot heel of Missouri get start in mid July.

Southern Georgian watermelons and vegetables – grossing about $2600 to New York City.

Mexican Mangoes

Imported Mexico mango volumes have been trailing last year, but that is changing.  Record shipments from Mexico are now occurring.  For example, during the week of June 6th, 3.6 million cartons of mangoes were shipped.  This was 6 percent more than projected.


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California Produce Shipments are on the Rise

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DSCN7303California produce shipments have been disappointing so far this spring when it comes to total volume and freight rates, loadings are on the rise.  Here’s a look at several different areas from the Golden State.

Kern Co. Produce Shipments

Currently there is light to moderate volume coming out of the Bakersfield area (Kern County) on items ranging from carrots to turnips, beets, rutabagas and navel oranges….(Carrots, along with sweet corn are available in the Imperial Valley).  Carrot volume is light in Kern County, but will have a significant increase in May…..Around May 1st, Kern County green bell peppers get started.

There should be more info on Coachella Valley grape shipments soon when the first domestic grapes get underway in early May.  This will occur within a few days after the start of Mexican grape shipments.  (Look for a more detailed shipping outlook on Mexican grapes, Friday, April 22nd.)  Coachella table grapes, similar to Mexico, are expected to finish shipments a little early this year – late June.  About this time table grapes from the Bakersfield area will get underway with both red and green varieties, followed by black seedless grapes in mid July.

Kern Co. vegetable shipments – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.

Strawberry Shipments

California strawberry shipments have been a big disappointment this year.  As of April 9th about 27.3 million trays had been shipped, far less than the 43.3 million trays at the same time a year ago.  Lack of labor and weather have been cited as primary factors.  California has 32,515 acres planted this year, a drop of 5,585 acres from 2015.

Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $5100 to Atlanta.

Salinas Valley Vegetable Shipments

About 500 truck loads of head lettuce are being shipped weekly from Salinas, with volume expected to increase on it  and other types of lettuce.  Overall, Salinas is still leaving a lot to be desired in total vegetable shipments, but the month of May should be much better.  Lettuce shipments from the Huron area in the San Joaquin Valley are in a seasonal decline.  There’s several other veggies in very light volume also coming out of the Central San Joaquin Valley.

(Another California shipping update will be coming next week.)

Salinas Valley vegetable shipments – grossing about $6800 to Boston.



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