Posts Tagged “Coachella Valley produce shipments”

California Desert Lettuce Shipments are Looking Strong

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California winter desert lettuce shipments are looking good this season due to good growing conditions, although the nearby Yuma lettuce season may be a little behind schedule because of rain.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA transitioned its lettuce shipments from the Salinas Valley to Yuma, AZ the second week of November and to Brawley, CA this week, where it has a branch operation.

The company reports the Yuma area was hit by a significant storm system that included heavy rain and hail, which causes significant damage to some early planted lettuce fields.

While lettuce shipments were lighter than normal for Thanksgiving, volume is now improving.

Coastline began around Thanksgiving from Brawley with Imperial Valley vegetable shipments including about two dozen items such as romaine, romaine hearts, cauliflower, green leaf and red leaf lettuce. These loadings should continue until early April

While romaine grown in Salinas has been cited for food borne illness, it thus far has not affected growing areas in the California and Arizona deserts. One possible point of confusion from a consumer perspective may be, for example, was observed recently in a Wal-Mart supermarket. A well known shipper stated on the romaine in the display case was distributed by the company “from Salinas, CA.” However, a Wal-Mart sign stated no lettuce was Salinas was being distributed by the store. That may be factually correct, but how many consumers hestitate to by the romaine because they do not know where it was grown.

Who really cares where the company who distributed it is from. It is more important to known where the produce was grown. One can debate\ the costs of labeling, but that is a whole different issue.

Boskovich Fresh Food Group of Oxnard, CA grows and ships most of it vegetables from Ventura County, although it complements its program of celery, cabbages, romaine, red- and green-leaf lettuce and other items with a limited amount of lettuce and some red and green leaf from Yuma.

Meanwhile, Peter Rabbit Farms of , Coachella, CA launched its red and green leaf season the second week of November, followed by romain loadings a week later. The company was experiencing truck load volume by Thanksgiving, with the season continuing through March.

Ocean Mist Farms of Castroville, CA grows and ships winter vegetables from the Coachella Valley including artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cardone, cauliflower, celery, fennel/sweet anise, a full line of leafy greens, green cabbage, iceberg lettuce, rapini/broccoli rabe and spinach.

Shipments of iceberg and leaf items started the third week of November, while broccoli and cauliflower got underway a few days before Thanksgiving. The company has increased its Brussels sprouts and iceberg lettuce volume this year.

Baloian Farms of Fresno CA started shipping from the Coachella Valley the first half of November with items ranging from romaine, to romaine hearts, red leaf, green leaf, jumbo butter leaf and cauliflower following its seasonal transition from the Fresno. The company expects similar volume again this season with romaine and green leaf , while more volume will be coming from other vegetables such as romaine hearts, green onions, cauliflower and celery.

Such a storm can damage or even destroy planted fields, he said.

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California Desert Grape and Vegetable Shipments are Gaining in Volume

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GAtks0314 016California desert produce shipments are early this year with everything from grapes to vegetables.

Grape loadings from the Coachella Valley got underway with very light volume about a week ago, which is about two weeks earlier than normal.  This will probaby result in the season ending around July 1st, instead of mid July.  Coachella typically ships about 6 million boxes of grapes each year.  Likewise, the Arvin district (Bakersfield area) also is early this year and is expected to get underway in the last week of June, instead of around the Fourth of July.

Vegetable Shipments

Some shippers see this as a banner year for desert vegetables.

In the Coachella Valley, early starts are occuring with vegetables.   Decent supplies are already underway.  Peak desert vegetable shipments should hit around Memorial Day, with good volume still happening for the Fourth of July, with items ranging from sweet white, yellow and multi-colored corn to watermelons and peppers.  Pepper loading should continue through June, with corn and melons finishing up after Memorial Day.

Imperial Valley Onion Shipments

Anticipating start dates for harvest in truckload volumes range from April 21 to May 1, although some early harvesting had already begun as of the second week of April.

The Imperial Valley, one of California’s major onion growing districts and the earliest to harvest, is located at the southern tip of California, about 130 miles inland from San Diego.

The total acreage planted with onions in the Imperial Valley in 2012, the most recent year for which final data are available, was around 8,500 acres. Roughly half of the production grown is for the fresh or fresh-cut market and a similar amount for processing.

Blueberry Shipments

Initial shipments of California blueberries got underway a couple of weeks ago from the Central San Joaquin Valley.

The state ranks 5th in shipments with about 54 million pounds, which is similar to a year ago.  Loadings should peak in mid-May and continue through mid-June.

San Joaquin Valley carrots, blueberries and other produce – grossing about $7600 to New York City.

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