Posts Tagged “Colorado potato shipments”

With Lighter Idaho Crop, Colorado Looks to Strong Potato Shipments this Season

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Although the San Luis Valley Colorado got off to a show start this season due to weather factors, overall shipments have been strong as the season built steam, in part because of an early season gap in the west between an early ending old crop and the start of a new one.

The San Luis Valley ships about 1.6 billion pounds of potatoes a year, 90% of which go to the fresh market. An average volume crop is seen this season.

Tater Traders of Golden, CO, who ships San Luis Valley potatoes, reports similar potato crops nationwide for the 2021-2022 was down a bit, noting the valley expects about 1.5 billion pounds this year. Despite last season’s tight crop, the doesn’t anticipate too much of a shipping gap between a fully depleted pipeline and the October harvest.

Even with the new crop nearing harvest, Colorado grower-shippers could be facing another year of tight potato supplies.

Similar a year ago, the 2022-23 crop is down. Water shortages remain and may be worse this time around. 

Skyline Potato of Center, CO a reports a crop about 10 days later than normal. A similar situation exists with crops in New Mexico and Idaho. 

Wada Farms has regional offices in Monte Vista, CO., agrees, and sees average yields this year.

A shortage in supplies of western potatoes, including Idaho has resulted in buyers looking more the Colorado so far this season. Some buyers also are taking shipments from Colorado to save on freight rates when it is closer to their markets.

 Farm Fresh Direct of America in Monte Vista, CO ., anticipates a quality 2022-23 potato crop and notes the potatoes are rebounding well from a slow start due to springtime winds and cool temperatures.

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Colorado Potato Shipments are Looking Good – MountainKing

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MountainKing Potatoes of Houston expects strong quality for its fall harvest of fresh potatoes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.

MountainKing’s creamers and fingerlings began shipping in late September. Its Butter Reds and Butter Russets will be available by the end of October.

“The 2021 crop outlook is very bright,” Andreas Trettin, director of marketing for MountainKing Potatoes, said in a news release. 
“The ability of our farms to evaluate prior season successes and setbacks have provided us with a great road map.  Modifications were made to fertilization and irrigation plans as well as land changes amongst our varieties. These adjustments continue to breed improvement year after year.”

MountainKing’s early harvest test digs indicate impressive potato sizes with minimal bruising, Trettin.

MountainKing will see “dramatically increased” acreage for its yellow-flesh varieties as shoppers continue to shift from traditional white-flesh reds and russets to more flavorful yellow-flesh types, according to the release.

MountainKing acreage expanded by 94% for its Butter Russets, 30% for its Creamer Reds and 14% for its Butter Golds, according to the company. In total, MountainKing allocated more than 1,200 acres for its yellow-flesh varieties. The company also dedicated more than 400 acres for its small potatoes. 

“We spend a lot of time in the offseason examining IRI data and customer feedback on the different varieties,” Trettin said. “Our increased acreage directly reflects customer purchasing habits and national potato sales trends.”

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San Luis Potato Shipments Starting Late, with Lower Volume

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Colorado potato shipments could be off 10 percent or more this season due to less planted acreage and weather conditions during the growing season and harvest.

Rain and cool weather last spring delayed the potato harvest in the San Luis potatoes up to 2 weeks in some areas.

The Colorado Administrative Committee reports 8 percent less acreage has been planted this season. Even with favorable weather it is seeing 5 to 10 percent less volume and possibly more for the 2019 – 2020 shipping season.

Still, potato operations such as Fresh Farm Direct LLC of Monte Vista, CO insist quality will be good even with less product.

Skyline Potato Co. of Center, CO expects yields to be similar to last season.

Aspen Produce LLC of Center, CO expects a “really nice” crop for this season.

Potatoes from the San Luis Valley – grossing about $2150 to Chicago.

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Potatoes Lead U.S. Vegetable Shipments: Argentina Lemon Imports Coming

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dscn5995Here’s some information on potato shipments you may not know….Plus, a new import item to the U.S. is coming – Argentina lemons.

Potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.  This also means the nationwide spud crop contributes about 15 percent of farm sales receipts for vegetables each year.   Annually over 30 billion pound of potatoes are grown and shipped in the nation.

More than 50 percent of potato sales are to processors for french fries, chips, dehydrated potatoes and other potato products.  The balance goes to the fresh market.

Economists who crunch food consumption data collected by the USDA have come to the conclusion the average American eats 142 pounds of potatoes a year, or almost 365 potatoes per person. That is an average of a potato a day.  Potatoes are grown commercially in every state from Florida to Alaska, but about 30 states produce the commercial crop.

In terms of nutrition, the potato is best known for its carbohydrate content, about 26 grams in a medium potato.  That potato, eaten with the skin, provides 27 milligrams of vitamin C, 620 milligrams of potassium, 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6 and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

The fiber content of a potato with its skin is equivalent to that of many whole grain breads, pastas and cereals. But unlike most of its processed carbohydrate-cousins, that medium potato has just 110 calories and is sodium and cholesterol free.

San Luis Valley, Colorado potato shipments – grossing about $2150 to Chicago.

Argentina Lemon Imports

 Lemons from Argentina are poised to win import approval from the USDA after officials visited the Northwest region of the South American country making sure certain standards are met.

Import permits will be issued to Argentine lemon exporters when agriculture officials provide six months of fruit fly trapping data and USDA verification of the data.

 The USDA said annual imports of fresh lemons from Argentina are expected to range between 15,000 and 20,000 metric tons. Most Argentine lemon imports are projected between April 1 and August 31.

U.S. fresh lemon production averages about 497,350 metric tons per year.


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Loadings for CO Spuds, GA Veggies, Peruvian Onions

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As we approach fall, here is a look at the upcoming possibilities for fall loadings for Colorado potatoes, Georgia vegetables and imports of sweet onions from Peru.

Colorado Potato ShipmentsIMG_5479+1

Last year San Luis Valley Colorado potatoes were harvested off of 52,000 acres.   This year acreage is about 50,900 acres.

Diggings started for some growers in August, with the harvest running into mid-October.  There were 2,176 truck loads shipped during the 2015-16 season, down about 400 loads from the previous season.  Russets account for nearly 99 percent of the crop last year and 97 percent in 2014-15.

Yellows last year were 0.2 percent, down slightly from 0.3 in 2014-15.  Interestingly, yellows have declined since 2013, dropping 0.1percent each year.  Red potatoes were 1 percent last year and 2.6 percent the year before, showing an increase of russets in 2015-16.

Shipments are increasing, but currently too light to quote freight rates.

Georgia Vegetable Shipments

While the volume doesn’t match that of spring and summer loadings, fall Georgia vegetable shipments are significant.  A drawback may be multiple pick ups for lack of any one shipping having truckload volume at anyone time.  Still, it is that time of year.  Florida is dead and there’s not a lot of choices in the Southeast.

Generally speaking most fall Georgia vegetables are in the ground and harvest will be starting anytime.  Heaviest volumes will be during October, although lighter shipments will be occurring in November and into December.

Among the fall veggie loading available are:  bell peppers, squash, cabbage, green beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, greens (kale, collard, turnip and mustard), as well as carrots sweet potatoes and hot peppers.

Shipments are too light to get an accurate quote on freight rates.

Peruvian Onion Imports

Onion imports from Peru have started arriving at U.S. ports in light volume, but are increasing.  Peru typically follows the Vidalia sweet onion season.  The product from Southeastern Georgia enjoyed banner shipments this season and is virtually finished.  Meanwhile, it’s making for a good transition to Peruvian imported onions, which will continue through the winter and dovetail into the sweet onion shipments that will be coming next spring out of Mexico and then Texas – and once again back to Vidalia.

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Shipping Outlook for Peaches, Sweet Onions, Spuds, Sweet Potatoes

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DSCN7453From Georgia peaches, to sweet onions loadings around the country, to potatoes and sweet potatoes, here are some produce loading oppportunities.

Vidalia onion shipments have gotten off to a fast start.  Much of the reason is due to light supplies from areas creating a larger demand for the sweet onion from Southeastern Georgia…. Onions also are experiencing brisk shipments out of the California desert area of  the Imperial Valley…..Sweet onion shipments out of Walla Walla Washington are expected to get under way about June 20th.

Georgia Peach Shipments

Peach shipments from Georgia are expected to get underway the third week of May from the Ft. Valley area.  Georgia is expecting its best season in a decade.

Colorado Potato Shipments

Walked into my local Wal-Mart  supermarket in northeastern Oklahoma May 5 and the first thing customers saw were of bins of Colorado russets.  They were priced at 75 cents for a 5-pound bag.  Why don’t they just give them away!  The San Luis Valley of Colorado is shipping over 600 truck loads of potatoes a week.

Colorado potatoes – grossing about $1600 to Dallas.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

Potato loadings are coming out of Central Wisconsin.  Volume is averaging around 250 truck loads per week.

Wisconsin potatoes – grossing about $950 to Chicago.

North Carolina Sweet Potato Shipments

Sweet potato shipments, primarily from Eastern North Carolina, are having pretty steady volume from week to week.  The Tarheel State is averaging about 250 truck loads being shipped a week.



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A National Produce Shipping Update from 6 Different States

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DSCN0492+1A number of states are just getting underway with spring produce shipments, plus we through in some updates on a few that have been shipping all along.

Cherry Shipments

California cherry shipments have been underway for a week or more out of the San Joaquin Valley.  Good volume is expected next week (May 2-6).  Good loading opportunities will continue for several weeks, before being replaced by shipments out of the Yakima Valley in Washington state.

Asparagus Shipments

Asparagus loadings from three separate regions should be good leading up to Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8th.  California, Washington and Mexico have all been shipping in the second half of April.

California volume remains steady, and Washington state came out of the gate with good supplies.  Baja California and other Mexican shipping areas have been ramping up in April and should have good supplies for about the next six weeks.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato shipments are remaining fairly steady from week to week, averaging over 1600 truck load equivalents, primarily out of the Upper Valley and the Twin Falls areas.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $4000 to Atlanta.

Colorado Potato Shipments

The Rocky Mountain state is the nation’s second largest potato shipper.  The San Luis is averaging over 600 potatoes being shipped weekly.

Colorado potato shipments – grossing about $1500 to Dallas.

Washington Apple Shipments

Washington state is shipping more apples and pears than the rest of the nation combined.   Both apples and pears are being loaded from the Yakima and Wenatchee Valleys.

Washington apples – grossing about $5000 to Orlando.

Georgia Vegetable Shipments

Southern Georgia remains pretty dormant right now, but spring vegetables shipments will be picking up in the next few weeks.  Look for light to moderate volume with everything from beans, to cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, greens and more in early May.  Vidalia onions shipments just started this week.

Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2200 to New York City.

New Jersey Blueberry Shipments

New Jersey blueberry shipments should get underway in mid June.  New Jersey produced 57 million pounds of blueberries in 2014.  Approximately 82 percent of the state’s blueberry acreage is in Atlantic County.

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Colorado Potato Shipping Update; California Avocados to Increase

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007Only one state is shipping more potatoes than Colorado right now, plus soaring shipments are possible for the new California avocado shipping season.

Colorado is averaging around 750 truck loads of potatoes being shipped weekly, second only to Idaho.  Colorado’s San Luis Valley has remained relatively stable in recent years, with a 4-5 percent fluctuation depending on rotation of the crops.

In 2o15 plantings for the crop, which are now being shipped stood at 51,000 acres.  Conventional spuds took up 47,000 acres, and organics accounted for 4,000 acres.  Russets amounted to 38,540 acres in conventionals and 3,280 in organics.  There were 2,820 acres in conventional red potatoes and 240 acres in organics.  Yellows had 3,290 acres in conventional and 280 in organics.  Specialty potatoes had 2,350 acres in conventional, 200 in organics.

Colorado has finally been getting decent rains and snow packs and looking ahead to the 2016 planting and growing seasons, a lot of people are optimistic there will be a good crop and shipments.

Colorado potato shipments grossing about $1700 to Dallas.

California Avocado Shipments

The upcoming California avocado crop is projected to be 392.5 million pounds, which amounts to a 40 percent increase in shipments from last year.  Rains in California have certainly helped, plus the alternate-bearing nature of the trees is expected to have an effect on this year’s crop.  The Hass variety, California’s main avocado variety, tends to have a heavy crop, followed by lighter volume the next season.   During the last two years, California avocado shipments have been lighter and the trees are ready to produce again.

Shipments of California avocados start to build up in March with peak loadings occurring between April and August with availability into September and October.

Southern California, citrus, vegetables – grossing about $3700 to Dallas.




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P.E.I installs metal detectors; Update on U.S. Spud Shipments

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IMG_6510+1Prince Edward Island potato shippers have installed metal detectors in their warehouses after steel needles and other sharp objects were found in their potatoes….Plus, a shipping update from leading U.S. potato shipping states.

 Luckily, last year none of the potatoes that they exported had any foreign objects in them, but they are not taking any risks this year. These metal detectors cost $50,000 each. The provincial and federal governments are helping the farmers with some funding, however this is an extra expense that they didn’t have in previous years.

The industry and the government were offering $500,000 reward for any tip-offs regarding the potato tampering, but the money was never claimed.

Light shipments of potatoes continue from New Brunswick province, with most coming from P.E.I.

U.S. Potato Shipments

The three leading U.S. states for potato shipments continue to have steady movement.

Idaho, as usual, easily leads the pack in shipments with an average of about 1500 truckload equivalents of mostly russets per week….The second heaviest volume is originating out of Colorado’s San Luis Valley, averaging about 750 truck loads weekly.  Finally, there is Central Wisconsin that is moving around 500 truck loads each week.

Wisconsin potato shipments averaging about $2200 to San Antonio.

Colorado potato shipments averaging about  $2500 to Chicago.

Idaho potato shipments averaging about $5500 to New York City.

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Colorado Potato Shipments Underway for New Season

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IMG_5511+1New season Colorado potato shipments are underway, but still light in volume, while increasing.

About 250 truck loads were shipping last week.

While we don’t a forecast yet for the 2015-16 shipping season it appears there won’t be any drastic changes in total truck shipments from this past year.

The San Luis Valley planted 52,900 acres of potatoes  for the 2014-15 shipping season.  With the end of July the region had shipped nearly 14 million cwt of fresh market spuds.

There were 2,561 truck loads shipped during  July, compared to 2,291 in July 2014 and 1,839 in 2013.  Shipments to date for the 2014-15 seaspm were 30,325 truck loads, compared to 29,344 in 2014 and 31,988 in 2013.

Organic potato acreage continues to increase, and now exceeds 4,000 acres.

Shipments of yellow potatoes also is increasing.   It now accounts for 8 to 10 percent of the volume each year nationally.  Russet Norkotahs continue to lead the pack in overall potato acreage in the San Luis Valley.   Red potato shipments are a much smaller percentage.

Fingerlings and specialty potato shipments  also are increasing from the San Luis Valley.

San Luis Valley potato shipments – grossing about $3300 to Cleveland.

Woerner Purchases Cañon Potato

Cañon Potato Co. has been acquired by Woerner Holdings Inc. and Woerner subsidiary H.C. Schmieding Produce Co. will market and distribute potatoes from Cañon’s Center, Colo., facility.

In the deal, Woerner takes on the packing and storage facility of Cañon Potato, which announced its closure in 2013.  That’s when the co-owner and a sales veteran left to join a competing Colorado shipper.

Springdale, Ark.-based potato shipper H.C. Schmieding Produce was sold to West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Woerner in April.

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