Posts Tagged “citrus shipments”

Florida Citrus Loads are Expected to Have Further Decline

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DSCN8844Citrus shipments from the Florida industry continues to decline, with the loading of oranges dropping another million boxes in the past month.

The USDA reports February 9th  that orange growers will ship 70 million 90-pound boxes to market.  The season, which peaks during the winter months, had shown some promise in November.  At that time industry analysts predicted 72 million boxes.

However, in January, the forecast dipped to 71 million.  That is a 14 percent decline from last season’s final Florida orange shipping report.

Valencia production estimates from January to February held even at 35 million boxes, but the prediction for early, mid-season and navel oranges dropped from 36 million to 35 million boxes.

“Today’s forecast reflects a true utilization of early, mid-season, and navel varieties. We hope for higher numbers of valencia production as we continue through the second half of the season,” executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus Shannon Shepp said in a news release.

Oranges make up about 65 percent of Florida citrus trees and fresh loadings account for about 4percent of orange shipments.

Overall production estimates of all oranges, which also includes California and Texas, dropped 1 percent, to 5.35 million tons, from January’s estimate. That is a 10 percent slump from overall shipments a year ago.

Citrus greening, weather and other issues have created challenges for Florida’s citrus production, which accounts for almost half of the total U.S. harvest.

In its February report, the USDA kept California’s orange crop estimates the same at 53 million 80-pound boxes to be shipped, with 44 million boxes of navel, early and mid-season oranges and 9 million boxes of valencias for shipping.

Florida grapefruit estimates remained steady at 9 million 85-pound boxes. California grapefruit production estimates were also the same from January, with 4.1 million 80-pound boxes.

Florida produce shipments, ranging from vegetables to melons, berries and citrus – grossing about $2500 to New York City.

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California Citrus Shipments Looking Good; Pomagranates Nearly Done

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dscn8640The outlook for California citrus shipments continues to be good despite recent freezes.  Meanwhile, pomegranate shipments have ended with limited exceptions.

California’s Central San Joaquin Valley had temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s a couple of weeks ago, but this is ideal for most citrus varieties for this point in the season.  Navel oranges and lemons are generally more cold tolerant than mandarin, or easy-peel, varieties such as Clementines, Murcotts, and Tangos, but with frost protection by wind machines the weekend temperatures proved favorable for all varieties. The cold weather will actually cause the maturation process of the fruit to slow, allowing for the fruit to store longer on the tree and maintain its flavor, external quality and color.

Much of the Central Valley’s mandarin crop is concentrated in Kern County, where temperatures hovered around 31 degrees the night of Dec. 18, which with the aid of wind machines is an ideal temperature point.   Similarly, in Tulare and Fresno Counties temperatures were well within preferable ranges.

Navel oranges, by contrast, can withstand cooler temperatures for longer durations. Wind machines were used on roughly one-third of the Central Valley navel crop — covering 44,000 acres — for an average of five hours on Saturday and Sunday nights.

California citrus – grossing about $5800 to New York City.


California pomegranate shipments this season are nearly over and, sooner than most had initially expected.  Simonian Fruit of Fowler, CA had just a few hundred boxes left Dec. 19th and were expected to be finished shipping by Christmas.

Heavy rains in late October took a toll on unharvested pomegranates significantly reducing volume. Pom Wonderful of Los Angeles experienced a decrease in volume of about 40 percent  due to the weather.  The company, which started shipping in mid-October completed its season earlier in December, with the exception of its arils variety, that will continue through January.  Another exception is Trinity of Fresno, CA, which is shipping the arils variety through February.  Trinity, as well as King Fresh of Dinuba, CA  and are both  down about 35 percent.

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Fewer National Citrus Shipments Seen This Season

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dscn4665Fewer total U.S. citrus shipments are seen this season from the leading states of Florida, California and Texas.

Florida’s first forecast for citrus shipments reveals a continued decline across all varieties with grapefruit and navel oranges expected to be among the lowest levels in history.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture on October 12th forecast Florida to ship 81 million equivalent cartons of oranges, grapefruit and specialty fruit or tangerines, down from 94.1 million boxes last season.

The Sunshine state is expected to move 70 million 90-pound cartons of oranges with navel oranges amounting 1 million cartons.  Navels are predicted to be three percent lower than last season and the lowest since the 1979-80 season when the USDA began separate navel forecasts.

Regarding grapefruit, Florida should ship 9.6 million 85-pound cartons, down 11 percent from the 2015-16 season and the lowest level in 50 years.  As for tangerines, early season fallglos, midseason sunbursts and later season honeys are forecast to decline as well.

The USDA report forecast 7.5 million boxes of red grapefruit and 2.1 million boxes of white grapefruit.

California Citrus Shipments

California orange loadings are forecast to be down from 54.2 million 80-pound cartons last season to 50.5 million cartons this season.  The state’s grapefruit shipments are forecast to increase from 3.8 million 80-pound cartons last season to 4 million cartons for 2016-17.

Texas Citrus Shipments

Texas orange shipments are seen falling from 1.7 million 85-pound cartons in 2015-16 to 1.4 million cartons this year.  With grapefruit, Texas shipments are forecast to decline from last season’s 4.8 million 80-pound cartons to 4.7 million cartons this season.

25 years ago or so , there were 30 shippers and packers of Texas grapefruit and oranges operating the Rio Grande Valley and shipment citrus across the U.S. as well as exporting.  Today, there are only three shippers.

Worldwide citrus grower are concerned about citrus greening,  the primary reason for the decline in Florida citrus volume.   In Texas,, the crops have not been affected by the disease.  However, observers point out Florida didn’t feel the decline [in volume and tree health] until the sixth year after greening was discovered.   Texas is now entering its sixth since green was discovered in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  A lot of folks are holding their breath and taking a wait and see attitude.



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Citrus Shipments to be Down; Maine Broccoli Starts

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DSCN3786+1American citrus shipments are expected to be down this season.  Meanwhile, off the radar a bit, might be loading opportunities in Maine for – of all things – broccoli.

U.S. growers are expected to produce about 138 million boxes of oranges this season, down from 147 million boxes in 2014-15.

The drop continues a years-long trend in U.S. orange production, according to the July citrus forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

About 156 million boxes of oranges were produced in the U.S. in 2013-14, 190 million boxes in 2012-13.

By state, Florida orange shipments should hit about 81.5 million boxes this season, up from the June estimate of 81.4 million boxes but down from 97 million boxes last season, 105 million boxes in 2013-14 and 134 million boxes in 2012-13.

California’s orange shipments are projected to be 55 million boxes and Texas orange shipments are estimated at 1.7 million boxes in 2015-16.

About 19.6 million boxes of U.S. grapefruit are expected this season, down from the June estimate of 20 million boxes. It’s also fewer boxes than the 2014-15 total of 21.5 million boxes, the 2013-14 total of 25.2 million boxes and the 2012-13 total of 29 million boxes.

U.S. growers should ship about 23.4 million boxes of lemons this season, up from the June estimate of 22.5 million boxes, 22.6 million boxes in 2014-15, 20.6 million boxes in 2013-14 and 22.8 million boxes in 2012-13.

U.S. tangerine production also continues its upward trend. About 23.4 million boxes are expected in 2015-16, comparable to the June estimate and up from 20.9 million boxes last season, 17.8 million boxes in 2013-14 and 16.4 million boxes in 2012-13.

Southern California citrus and avocados – grossing about $5600 to Atlanta.

Maine Broccoli Shipments

Shipper Fresh from the Start expects to start shipping Maine broccoli anytime and continue through October out of Fort Kent Mills, Me.

Once the Maine broccoli is harvested, it is boxed and packed in the field.  The product is then pre-cooled with a Slush Ice Injection System and the vast majority is shipped the same day. The company ships broccoli year-round between its broccoli crop in California and Maine program.  The company is part of Hapco Farms LLC, headquartered in Riverhead, NY.

Hapco also ships potatoes year-round, as well as watermelons, vegetables and fruit year-round from all production areas, including California, Florida, Canada and offshore imported produce.

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California: Good, But not Great Produce Shipments Seen

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DSCN7302California produce shippers are looking to a spring and summer of good produce shipments, while mostly avoiding talk of bumper crops.

It should be a decent year for produce haulers looking to transport items ranging from stone fruit, to table grapes, cherries, melons, apples, citrus or berries.  While El Nino didn’t happen, at least to the extent many thought it would, there has been average rains in much of the state that have helped to fight, but not eliminate the California drought.  Adequate labor also continues to be a concern.

Here’s a look at California produce shipments in the coming months.

Apple Shipments

California apple shipment should get underway the week of July 20th with galas and continue through September.  Fujis loadings should be available from mid-August through October.  Granny Smith apple movement should be from late August through December; Pink Lady apple loadings will occur from mid-October through December.

About 1.8 million boxes of apples will be shipped, with around two-thirds of the volume marketed by Primavera Marketing of Linden, CA.

Berry Shipments

Strawberry shippers from Ventura County are in a seasonal decline.  However, good volume is predicted for Watsonville starting in May and will continue into August.  Strawberries out of Santa Maria have started and will continue through July.  Raspberries have a similar season, although there is much less volume with shipping gaps.  California will ship blueberries through May, before loadings shift to the Pacific Northwest.

Melon Shipments

California cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon shipments should be in good supply this summer.  Prior to California, there will be cantaloupe loadings starting out of Yuma, AZ.  This is followed by the melon harvest shifting to Huron, CA around June 20th.

Stone Fruit Shipments

Loadings for stone fruit shippers from the Southern San Joaquin Valley are just starting and will continue for the next four months.  Leading items are peaches, plums and nectarines.

Citrus Shipments

Late-season navel oranges and mandarins continue to be shipped for a few more weeks.  Valencias get underway in July.  Lemon loadings are virtually over in the Central San Joaquin Valley.  Loadings are now shifting to production areas on the coast.

Orange and mandarin shipments – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.

Grape Shipments

Coachella Valley grape shippers should start the first week of May and continue through most of June.  Shipments will then shift to the Arvin district (Bakersfield) around July 1.

Vegetable Shipments

There is light but increasing volume with vegetable shipments from both Santa Maria and Salinas.  Items range from head lettuce, to leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, celery, kale, parsley and cilantro, among others.  There should be good volume by early May.

Santa Maria vegetable shipments – grossing about $6500 to New York City.




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El Niño Arrival in California Is Not Good for Produce Shipments

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DSCN6950Wintertime any year can pose it own set of problems relating to shipping volume, gaps, and quality for California produce shipments.  But this year is becoming even more unpredictable with the California El Niño storm season underway, which can translate into weeks of frequent rain, resulting in harvest delays or damage to strawberries, citrus and vegetables.

Rain is predicted through the end of January, which can affect late March and early April produce shipments after the seasonal transition from the California and Arizona deserts.

The Yuma, AZ shipping area has already been experiencing much lighter shipments of cauliflower, broccoli and celery.

Central California plantings (San Joaquin Valley), including the Huron district, is already a concern to many produce growers who hope to plant on the schedule.  Huron often prevents or lessens a shipping gap between the desert and Salinas for items such as lettuce.

Concerning citrus shipments, California packinghouses have been stepping up harvest in anticipation of coming rains.  Thus far, shipping gaps have pretty much been avoided.

Citrus is more resistant than vegetables to rain damage, so growers work to increase picking and packing during storm breaks.

Luckily for strawberry shipments in the months ahead, the Watsonville and Salinas districts completed planting before any storms.  However, drops in strawberry shipping volume is expected from Ventura and Orange counties.

Over 2016 California strawberry shipments are expected to have decreased volumes.

Above average rainfall is forecast through March in California, Texas and Florida by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on NASA satellite imagery, climatologists say the warming trend in the Pacific Ocean equals that of the same months in 1998, when heavy rains and flooding rolled through the regions. It was one of the two strongest El Niño’s on record.

The Salinas Valley had extensive flooding in 1998.

BOTTOM LINE….There’s a pretty good chance lighter than normal western vegetable shipments will be with us for a while.

California and Arizona desert vegetable shipments, grossing about $3800 to Chicago.


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Florida Fall Produce Shipments: Citrus and Veggies

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While Florida leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to produce trucking in the fall, there are citrus loadings and limited amounts of vegetables.

Navel and fallglo tangerine harvets started the third week of September, with decent loading opportunties coming on in late September.  This week, the harvest of navels are underway.

This season, the industry should pack about 12 million cartons of red and white grapefruit, down from the 13 million it produced last season.

Citrus shipments Wrap Up

U.S. citrus  shipments fell four percent in 2014-15 season.

About 9.02 million tons of citrus were produced this season.  The 2014-15 total is also 49 percent lower than the record 17.8 million tons produced in 1997-98.

Florida accounted for 56 percent of all 2014-15 loadings, California 41 percent, while Texas and Arizona amounted to three percent combined.

With about 97 million boxes, Florida’s orange shipments are eight percent lower than in 2013-14.  Florida grapefruit shipments amounted to 13 million boxes, down 18percent.

California’s orange volume fell one percent to 49 million boxes.  Grapefruit shipments in the state also fell one percent, but lemon loadings rose nine percent, while tangerine and mandarin volume rose nine percent.

Florida Fall Vegetable Shipments

Light Fall Florida Veggie Shipments will be staring in a few weeks, despite rains occurring nearly on a daily basis.  Squash and cucumbers get underway from the Immokalee area the second week of November with bell peppers and eggplants starting only a few days later.  One major shipper is Oakes Farms Inc.

Eggplant and other veggies get started in late October from the Loxahatchee area.  A primary shipper this is J&J Family of Farms Inc.


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Citrus Shipments Plunge 13% in 5 Years

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DSCN4685Citrus  shipments have declined 13 percent between 2007 and 2012, mostly from Florida.
The USDA’s Census of Agriculture shows that citrus acreage declined to 877,701 acres in 2012 due to primarily citrus greening in Florida.  The disease affected nearly all citrus crops except tangerines.
What’s more, at just over 13,000 farms in 2012, the number of U.S. citrus orchards dropped a whopping 17% from 2007. As a percent of total fruit and tree nut acreage, citrus in 2012 accounted for 17 percent of total U.S. orchard acreage, down from 20 percent in 2007 and 24 percent in 2002.
U.S. grapefruit production tumbled from 156,869 acres in 2002 to 88,393 acres in 2012, while orange acreage slid from 987,743 in 2012 to 670,386 acres in 2012.
Headed the other way, U.S. citrus imports have increased over the last decade, rising from 419,053 metric tons in 2002 to 840,103 metric tons in 2014.
An exception in U.S. citrus acreage shows tangerines have experienced remarkable strength.  The USDA reports tangerine acreage in the U.S. rose from 31,419 acres in 2002 to 36,965 acres in 2007 and 42,289 acres in 2012. In a 10-year period where total citrus acreage sank by 32 percent, tangerine acreage shot up 34 percent.
Most tangerine acreage increases have come from California, with a fourfold increase in acreage (8,058 acres in 2002 to 33,465 acres in 2012).  The state now accounts for 80 percent of all mandarin acreage in the U.S.   Slumping like other varieties, Florida’s tangerine acreage dropped 60 percent from 2002 and 2012.
Like Florida, will California eventually have to deal with the ravages of HLB?  California continues to expand the quarantine for the citrus greening (Huanglongbing or HLB) carrying vector, the Asian Citrus Pysllid (ACP). The California Department of Food and Agriculture says ACP county-wide quarantines are now in place in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties, with portions of Fresno, Kern Madera, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Clara counties are also under quarantine.
Despite much research money devoted to the quest, there is no cure for citrus greening yet.  Thankfully, the CDFA notes that “HLB has been detected just once in California – in 2012 on a single residential property in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles County.”
Southern California citrus – grossing about $4500 to Dallas.

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California Fall Shipping Update; Plus Oregon Potatoes

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IMG_6143+1Here’s an update on California fall produce shipments, plus a glimpse at the outlook for Oregon potato shipments.

Among the leading items for fall produce loadings out of California are grapes, apples and citrus.

Grape Shipments

California ships over 60 percent of its table grapes after September 1st.  Total California grape shipments this season are estimated at 113.3 million 19-pound boxes.  So far grape quality has generally been good.  However, we need to keep an eye on hot, humid and occasional rainy weather that could adversely affect quality.

San Joaquin Valley grapes and other items – grossing about $6700 to New York City.

Apple Shipments

California gala apple shipments got off to a slow start in mid July mainly because of Washington state’s old crop still being shipped.  Loadings have now picked up.  Fujis and granny smith apples shipments get underway in September, followed by pink lady in mid October.  Primavera Marketing Inc., of Stockton, CA is the state’s largest apple shipper, with about 1.1 million boxes.  The state’s apple shipments have taken a hit, however, with Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, CA, pulling out of the apple business following a listeria outbreak at its packing facility.  The company, which packed about 400,000 boxes of apples, is now focusing on other crops.

Citrus Shipments

California navel shipments should start in mid-October, although volume will be down this season due to 20,000 to 25,000 acres of trees being dozed because of the drought.  For easy-peel fruit, satsumas will starte ahead of navels, in late September or early October.v Clementine loadings start soon after navels.  Volumes should be up as younger trees come into production.

Oregon Potato Shipments

Oregon fresh potato shipments are expected to be similar to the 2014-15 season.

However, excessive heat could change spuds as the harvest progresses, especially if vines start dying early.

The table stock harvest started in early August from the Columbia Basin, with harvest in the Klamath Basin following shortly thereafter.

Oregon fresh potato shipments are 17 percent of total state production, with fresh acreage being approximately 7,000 acres.

Oregon potatoes – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

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Florida Spring Produce Shipments are Increasing

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DSCN4430We’re rapidly approaching the prime shipping season for Florida spring vegetables.

Growing conditions have mostly been favorable and if anything crops tend to be maturing a little earlier than normal.  Peak shipments will occur during April and May.

Overall, Florida should have normal volume this spring.   Shipments are increasing on items from Southern Florida ranging from bell peppers to cucumbers, squash, sweet corn, beans, cabbage and eggplant.  Shipments of red potatoes continue.

Brisk movement entering April will be pushed even more since Easter is early this year – April 5th….Cabbage shipments had been heavy leading up to St. Patrick’s Day (yesterday), but good volumes will continue.

An exception to normal supplies are Florida tomatoes.  Cold February weather has reduced supplies and shipments of tomatoes, but are now starting to rebound and will be back to normal by late March.

Citrus shipments continue to be good and volume is steady from week to week from Central and Southern areas.

Florida blueberry shipments are just getting underway from Central Florida, with good volume by early April.   South Florida watermelon loads should become available by the end of March.

Strawberry shipments from the Plant City area continue in good volume, but shipments will soon decline with the season ending in early April.

South Florida produce shipments – grossing about $3200 to New York City.

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