Posts Tagged “Desert vegetable shipments”

Better Volume is Seen for Desert Vegetable Shipments

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Supplies of some California winter vegetables, lettuces in particular, were tight for Thanksgiving, but availability was good on others, and volume overall should increase by Christmas.

Ocean Mist Farms of Castroville, CA report the lettuce shortage started as the Salinas season was completed.

Salinas was described and being “…a rough end to the season,” with severe virus problems in the Salinas Valley.

F.O.B. prices for 24-count cartons of romaine lettuce were in the $80 range in early November, according to the USDA. A year earlier, they were less than half that.

Ocean Mist began sourcing lettuce out of Yuma, AZ, just prior to Thanksgiving week.

Boskovich Farms of Oxnard, CA report disease problems with California celery as well.

The Nunes Co., of Salinas notes volume for broccoli and cauliflower could be down due to cooler than normal weather. The company transitioned to its Arizona and Mexico desert growing areas in early November.

Despite the gloomy outlook for some items, growers were optimistic about other commodities.

Progressive Produce LLC of Los Angeles has positive news noting there are plenty of holiday staples like potatoes, onions and asparagus available, with good quality.

Progressive Produce sources from Colorado, Washington, California and Idaho during the winter.

The Nunes Co. will ship 40 conventional and 30 organic products this fall and winter. Its core items include organic and conventional romaine, iceberg and leaf lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli and celery. Celery, broccoli and cauliflower shipments are especially good during the holidays.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas will continue to ship full line of over 25 products this season, including iceberg lettuce, broccoli bunches and crowns, cauliflower, naked and sleeved celery, romaine cartons, romaine hearts, green and red leaf lettuces, green onions and a full line of bunching items.

The company began shipping from the desert in Yuma the first week of November with iceberg and romaine lettuce. Its other vegetable items come of Brawley, CA in the Imperial Valley, which started started right after Thanksgiving.

About 75% of Ocean Mist Farms’ winter volume comes from California’s Coachella Valley, Munger said, and 25% comes from Yuma.

The transition to Coachella from the Salinas area took place by the third week of November for most items.

Ocean Mist is the largest artichoke grower in North America, although the company also ships 30 other items, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, leaf lettuces: iceberg, romaine, romaine hearts, yellow and green leaf lettuce, spinach; and some specialty items like anise and escarole.

Boskovich Farms of Oxnard is shipping onions, radishes, kale, romaine hearts and beets from Mexico. The company also grows parsley, cilantro, spinach and celery year-round in Oxnard.

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Coachella Valley Desert Pepper Shipments are Underway

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Peppers shipments for Prime Time International are winding down from Mexico and transitioning to the Coachella Valley.

For the next two and one-half months the California desert will be primary source of shipments for the company, based in La Quinta, CA.P

Prime Time is growing and shipping green, red, and yellow Bell peppers, along with white and bi-color sweet corn, eggplant and chilies.

The company continues to pack hot house Bell peppers, asparagus and sweet mini peppers in various regions across Mainland and Baja Mexico throughout the summer.

The transition to the Coachella Valley is underway now and will continue to migrate north in early summer to the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast of California. The California desert’s warm, dry climate allows for peak growing conditions in the springtime.

Volume, quality and size peak in April, May and early June in Coachella.

The Coachella Valley has had a warm winter and early spring, leading Prime Time to expect an earlier start to the season. Sweet corn and Bell peppers are starting nearly two weeks earlier than usual for Prime Time. The company usually begins peak volume for the Memorial Day weekend, and this is expected again this season.

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Winter Vegetable Shipments Increasing from California, Arizona Desert Areas

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While Arizona-California desert growers and shippers have experienced a cool down this week in the midi-60s and low 70s, it follows ideal weather conditions with highs in the 80s last week. But overall, desert vegetable volume is increasing.

In the meantime, green leaf, iceberg, and romaine lettuce volume is good, thanks in part because these are winter varieties which have been developed to have favorable quality and availability during the colder months.

The first crop premium Iceberg availability is inconsistent due to low weights, although premium Green Leaf and Romaine are readily available.
Both Arizona and California desert shipments are in full swing.

Lettuce and leaf quality are good, although growth cracking, mildew, fringe burn, and seeder exist in some lots. As a result, it’s important, as always, to be aware of what is being loaded onto the truck and that the receiver is aware of it.

Shipments have been moderate since Thanksgiving and loadings are starting to ramp up for the holidays.

Broccoli shipments are increasing from the Arizona and California desert regions. Overall quality is good, although pin rot is affecting some lots.

Cauliflower volume also is increasing with good quality great color and ideal size being reported.

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Desert Vegetable Shipments Getting Off to a Slow Start

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Modern popular models of heavy trucks are shades of blue in a row on a truck stop for drivers’ rest and refueling of vehicles for the further movement for delivery commercial goods in accordance with the schedule drawn up and route

Near perfect growing conditions have been going on in the desert areas of California and Arizona. The Yuma, AZ forecast has highs in the low to mid 70s going well into December. If this continues there should be good, steady lettuce shipments with nice quality.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA launched its iceberg lettuce season in Yuma the first week of November, but other commodities, including broccoli, cauliflower, mixed leaf, romaine, green leaf and red leaf did not in Salinas until the last few days. The company gets started in the Brawley, CA the week of November 30th.

Boskovich Farms Inc. of Oxnard, CA will ship lettuce out of Yuma, as well as Oxnard this winter, but just about all of its other winter commodities will continue to be shipped exclusively from Oxnard.

The shipper grows green onions, radishes, leeks, beets, kales and Brussels sprouts in Mexico starting in November but will ship them from Oxnard.

Organic greens such as chards, kale and celery are grown in San Luis, Mexico, just south of Yuma.

The company’s Yuma iceberg lettuce program will kicked off the week of November 16 and continues through March.

Boskovich Farms will grow and ship celery, cabbages, romaine lettuce, napa, bok choy, parsleys, cilantro and spinach in Oxnard.

The company reports there will be a bit of a gap in November when Salinas is ending and before the desert gets fully geared.

the week of Oct. 18, which will run th

Peter Rabbit Farms of Coachella, CA, started its bell pepper and leaf lettuce in October and will continue through Christmas. The operation reports a few more green and red bell peppers this season. This will be the first year for its lettuce crop, so supplies are expected to be tight.

North Shore Greenhouses Inc., Thermal, CA is at it busiest time of year with its Roasting Mix which is a blend of rosemary, sage and thyme.

Prime Time International of Coachella, CA started harvest of green bell peppers, eggplant and chili peppers in the desert in October, while beans got underway the first week of November, followed by red bell peppers a couple of weeks later.

The company also started its hothouse production of red, yellow and orange bell peppers in Jalisco, Mexico, and began harvesting elongated red, yellow and orange bell peppers in Vizcaino in Baja California.

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Western Veg Shipping Gaps are Expected

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DSCN7150The roller coaster ride of western winter desert vegetables has seen peaks and valleys in volume over the past three months and it is not over yet.

Light shipments of Western vegetables occurred in holidays ranging from Thanksgiving and Christmas through New Years and well into January.  Then volume experienced a dramatic increase with lettuce and many vegetables heading into February. However, a potential shipping gap is looming as it appears winter vegetable shipments may come to a conclusion in mid- to late March.  This would be ahead of the transition for many produce shippers to the Salinas and Santa Maria valleys.

The winter weather forecasts of hugh amounts of rains El Niño in Southern California have failed to materialize.   Although a wet March is still being forecast.  If that occurs and it drenches the desert, an even earlier end to vegetable shipments would most likely occur.

Some are saying that regardless of the El Niño situation, desert loadings are going to end early.  While Salinas Valley vegetable shipments might get an early start, volume still will be light.

There will be some early Salinas fields harvested from mid-March to mid-April, but shipments will be variable at best.

Yuma, AZ vegetables shipments – grossing about $5700 to New York City.

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Western Desert Vegetable Shipments Finally Returning to Normal

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011While weather related issues continue to adversely affect produce shipments around the country, keep your fingers crossed shipments are getting back towards a more normal track in the deserts of Arizona and California.

The unprecedented run of low shipments and shipping gaps appears to be over, with the possible exception of celery.  This means higher volume and more consistent shipments of various types of lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower.

Since the week of January 11 it has been warmer and temperatures are in the mid- to high 40s for lows and the highs are in the high 60s to low 70s.  Let’s hope the good desert weather continues.

Meanwhile, much of Central and Northern California have been hit with above-average rain since the beginning of the year, something the desert areas were spared for the most part.

Growers in the coastal California valleys (Santa Maria and Salinas), which will be shipping the majority of the nation’s vegetable crops in the spring are having a few problems getting into the fields to plant.  The shift in lettuce production to Santa Maria typically occurs around April 1.  Those fields harvested in April need to be planted this month.  If the storms continue, that could be an issue.

There’s complaints about a lot of low produce freight rates now. Just look at the desert, which is grossing under $2 per mile.

Desert vegetable shipments – grossing about $5800 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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Weather Woes Reducing Shipments in California and Florida

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FloridaFloodGrowing and shipping fruits and vegetables in winter is risky business and weather conditions too often play havoc.  For example, cold weather in the California and Arizona deserts are disrupting vegetable shipments.  In Florida, southern vegetables have been pounded by heavy rains, literally wiping out crops.  Strawberry shipments further north in Florida are being hurt by heat.

Desert Vegetable Shipments

Cold weather in the early season and variable weather since then has slowed vegetable growth – and shipments of  cauliflower, broccoli, Iceberg lettuce, leaf items or Brussels sprouts.  With temperature highs varying as much as 20 degrees from day to day, problems happen.  Then there are nightly lows around freezing, that curtail early morning harvests.  The result is volume running 25 to 50 percent below normal, which will continue through the end of the year.  Farming operations are having to remove the outer leaves of lettuce with ice damage.

California, Arizona desert vegetables grossing about $3800 to Dallas.

Florida Vegetable Shipments

South Florida’s Redlands growing region was hit with torrential rains in early December, resulting in severe damage to winter yellow squash, zucchini and green beans.

The 15 inches of rain that pounded Florida City and Homestead, Fla.,  also hurt tomatoes and sweet corn, but the squash and beans sustained the most severe damage with losses in the 60 to 70 percent range.  The excessive water  killed many plants and caused serious quality issues that prevented vegetables from being shipped for the Christmas holidays.

The region grows product primarily mid-November through mid-April, similar to Belle Glade, Fla., and Immokalee.

Belle Glade ships corn and beans while Immokalee ships beans, tomatoes and squash.

Florida Strawberry Shipments

Higher than normal temperatures in the Plant City, FL area has resulted in strawberry shipments facing shipping gaps.  Volume is less than normal due to the heat.  Although volume is starting to increase, it will probably be the second full week of January before loadings are up to where they should be.

Florida vegetables and strawberries – grossing about $2000 to Chicago.


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Shipping Update: CA Walnuts, Veggies and FL Tomatoes

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004More California walnut shipments are seen this year, plus lighter loadings of early season desert veggies.  Also, a look at Florida tomato shipments.

Walnut production in California is slightly more than that of the previous season. But because exports to China are down because of duties imposed, this may actually result in more domestic shipments than last season.  However, the amount of domestic shipments will be determined in part, if exports to Turkey and the Middle East replace of the China bound walnuts.

The forecast has walnut production at 575,000 tons, a one percent increase from last year.

Central San Joaquin Valley walnuts, kiwi, pomegranates, apples, etc. – grossing about $4000 to Dallas.

Desert Vegetable Shipments

Both the Salinas Valley and the Santa Maria district were wrapping up shipments early at the close of November.  Combine that with the seasonal shift of broccoli, cauliflower and other items to Yuma, AZ and the Imperial Valley of California, where volume is lighter than normal, and we’re looking at shipping gaps.  Good volume and steady shipments may not occur until after Christmas.

Deserts shipments still too light to get an accurate quote on truck rates.

Florida Tomato Shipments

South Florida is shipping  grape, mature green and cherry tomatoes, primarily from the Homestead and Palmetto-Ruskin areas.  However, temperatures that often have been running 15 to 20 degrees warmer than normal have reduced volume and sizing on the product.

For example, as of mid November, growers had harvested a little more than 1,158 40,000-pound units of mature greens compared to 1,383 units the same time last fall.

Central and South Florida tomatoes, mixed veggies – grossing about $2500 to New York City.

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Shipping Updates: From Spuds to Desert Veggies

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DSCN5110From North American potatoes, to desert vegetables, here is a shipping update.
The potential for potato shipments in the U.S. and Canada is up 2 percent from the previous season.  About 510 million cwt. (per hundredweight) of potatoes were produced last fall in North America.  About 408 million cwt. were grown in the U.S., 102 million cwt. in Canada.  The U.S. total is 3percent more than the year before, the Canadian total 1 percent less.  The U.S. harvested  929,500 acres, down from 930,500 acres in 2013.   However, U.S. yields increased from 425 cwt. to 439 cwt. per acre.  Canadian acreage fell from 351,300 in 2013 to 343,700 last year.  Yields rose from 292 cwt. to 297 cwt. per acre.

Idaho potatoes shipments – grossing about $6000 to New York City.

Desert Vegetable Shipments

Perfect weather in the Southwestern deserts of Arizona and California may be great for production and volume with head lettuce, romaine, broccoli and other vegetables.  However, demand for such items in portions of the upper Midwest, and especially the Northeast has been killed because of snow storm after snow storm.  The desert shipping areas have another month or so before the transition to the Huron district in the San Joaquin Valley.  Vegetable loadings typically occur for about three weeks from Huron before shifting to the Salinas Valley.

Desert vegetables  – grossing about $5400 to Atlanta.



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