Posts Tagged “citrus shipments”

South Texas Vegetable, Citrus Shippers are Expecting Good Volume for Holidays

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DSCN0451Good supplies of fresh vegetables and citrus is being predicted by observers from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas as they gear up for the holiday season.

Among the dozens of different vegetables are kale, cilantro and cabbage as well as mustard, collard and turnip greens.  As far as citrus is concerned, grapefruit shipments got underway in early November, and several varieties of oranges should be ready by early December.

Vegetable shipper Frontera Produce Ltd., of Edinburg, Texas, began loading cabbage, its biggest vegetable item of the winter, last week.  The company started its jalapeno pepper shipments in late October and the product should be available through mid-December, depending upon the weather.

Frontera volume should increase slightly on jalapenos, with shipments on other commodities remaining similar to a year ago.  The firm began cilantro shipments the first week of November and will continue until mid-April.

Crescent Fruit & Vegetable LLC is a sister company of Frontera, which will load about the same volume of onions and watermelons as last year.

Another South Texas shipper, Grow Farms Texas LLC, located in Donna, will ship green, red and napa cabbage this winter, along with squash, eggplant, cucumbers and jalapenos and Anaheim chili peppers.  Grow Farms will be loading green bell peppers until the first frost.

Rio Fresh Inc., of San Juan, Texas, was shipping about 20 wet vegetables by late October and early November that included herbs, parsley and beets.  In early December the company should be shipping specialty vegetables such as bok choy, napa cabbage, leeks and spinach.

Citrus Shipments

Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus acreage for the 2017-18 shipping season should be similar to a year ago when it totaled 27,000 acres, with about 70 percent of this acreage being rio red grapefruit.

Grapefruit acreage in South Texas is expected to increase by 4,000 acres within 12 to 18 months.

South Texas and imported Mexican produce – grossing about $3100 to Chicago.

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CA Valencia Shipments Have Started; P.E.I Potato Shipping Update

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DSCN9477Summer valencia and other California citrus shipments are underway….Meanwhile, there is less acreage and growers of potatoes in Canada, but volume is maintained.

Navel orange shipments from California are finishing early as valencia orange loadings  as will as lemons and other citrus are gearing up.

California primarily ships valencia oranges during the summer months with this season’s crop being moderate size, coming off of about 70,000 acres.

California navel orange shipments will end this month instead of their normal conclusion around the Fourth of July.  In fact, navel loadings destined for the East Coast concluded with the beginning of June.  California growers shipped 82 million cartons of navels this season, as compared to 94 million cartons in 2016.

Valencias are often referred to as the ‘summer orange’ since peak supplies are available June through September.  Higher than usual valencia shipments are seen since navels are ending early.

Fewer California lemon shipments are seen this season.  However, more imported lemons are seen coming from Chile, Argentina and South Africa for deliveries throughout North America.

Canadian Potato Shipments

Prince Edward Island continues to reduce its potato acreage, but remains the largest shipper of spuds in the country, according to Statistics Canada’s census of agriculture.

Island farmers planted 83,326 acres in 2016, down from 386,561 acres in 2011, but that was still close to a quarter of all the potato land in Canada. That number has dropped off in recent decades. Until 2005, the province was planting more than 98,842 acres a year.

The second biggest grower was Manitoba, at 67,672 acres.

While the number of acres grown was down just 3.7 per cent, the number of farms reporting was down significantly. In 2011, 300 farms reported potato fields and in 2016 that was down to 247.

That means the average potato farm is getting a lot bigger.  In 2011 the average P.E.I. potato farmer put in 289 acres. In 2016 that was up to 338 acres.

Canadian Fruit Shipments

While shipments are not anything near Canadian potatoe  shipments, fruit shipments are becoming a larger part of Island agriculture, with blueberry shipments leading the pack.

Acreage of fruit, berries and nuts were up 12 per cent between the two censuses, amounting to 14,388 acres.  The huge majority of that, 96.5 per cent of it, was blueberries.

Apples also saw a significant increase, from 126 to 153 acres.

Overall, the number of farms on the Island fell 9.5 per cent, to 1,353.


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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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