Posts Tagged “feature”

Shipping Outlooks: Hurricane Damaged FL; ID Spuds, WA Apples and Imported Mangoes

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DSCN0043Here’s a shipping outlook for different areas and commodities ranging from Florida after Hurricane Irma, to Idaho potatoes, Washington apples and imported mangoes.

Florida’s projected 75 million-box orange crop may have been slashed by 40 percent or more due to Hurricane Irma, depending on where the groves are located.  Heavy losses are also are expected with grapefruit and other items.

This is the off season for many Florida vegetable shipments, but products such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and strawberries in South Florida took a big hit and replantings will result in shipments being at least a month or two if not more later than normal.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato shipments from the season that recently ended was 12 percent over that of two years ago.  The diggings for the current crop are underway off of  308,000 acres, which is 15,000 acres less than last year.  However, Idaho will still have plenty of potatoes to haul.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Apple Shipments

Red delicious will soon lose its status as the volume leader in the Washington apple industry as the variety will amount to 25 percent of the 2017-18 crop, off about 5 percent from recent years.

Gala apples should account for 23 percent of the new crop, and is on track to surpass red delicious this season or next.  Red Delicious popularity has declined because of a number of new varieties that are considered to taste better.  Growers have been planting proprietary varieties or improved versions of varieties such as gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Cosmic Crisp.

Over 600,000 Honey Crisp trees were planted this year, and about 5.5 million more will go in the ground next year.  A significant reason for more Honey Crisp planting is it has a harvest window very similar to that of the Red Delicious.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

Mango Imports

As Mexican mango imports seasonally decline the slack its being picked up by imports from Brazil.  Brazil’s season is expected to continue through November with a projection of approximately 8.2 million boxes  Peak imports are expected mid-September to mid-October.

As Brazilian imports wind down, imports will be available from Ecuador followed by Peru, which will take production into the new year with the return to volume from Mexico coming in March.

Mexican mangoes through Nogales – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.



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Shenandoah Growers Deploying Indoor Farming Nationwide

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ShenandoahBy Shenandoah Growers

ROCKINGHAM, Va. — Shenandoah Growers, Inc. (SGI), the leading grower and marketer of certified organic fresh herbs for retail in the U.S., announces the attainment of another milestone in the company’s drive to fundamentally change the way highly perishable produce is grown and distributed.  Leveraging a proprietary combination of automated greenhouses and indoor LED vertical grow rooms to produce over 30 million certified organic plants per year, SGI brings a third indoor growing facility online.  The new facility, located in Texas, is the latest component of SGI’s innovative hub-and-spoke farming and distribution system, and only the most recent step in the company’s three-year, multi-million-dollar nationwide expansion of indoor farming.

The company’s latest indoor growing facility takes its place in a system that is quickly scalable for market growth, allowing Shenandoah Growers to locally deliver certified organic superior flavor and shelf life at a fraction of the capital cost of other indoor farms.

“This indoor farm, and the two others in our system, are critical elements of how Shenandoah Growers is transforming the way perishable produce is grown and distributed,” said Timothy Heydon, CEO of Shenandoah Growers. “Shenandoah Growers focuses continually on innovation.  With the integration of our modular indoor growing technology into our existing national footprint, we can grow amazing certified organic produce that delivers fresh flavor to consumers in a sustainable way, minimizing inputs of water, bio-media, land resources, and food miles.  We are proud to be a part of transforming agriculture production and distribution for the future.”

Shenandoah Gowers’ Rockingham, Virginia farm complex serves as the eastern hub of a nationwide growing system.  With a farming and supply chain platform spanning the country, the company’s unique indoor farms cover the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and South Central markets.  Shenandoah Growers continues the expansion of its farms, greenhouses and the implementation of an indoor farming hub and spoke system on the West Coast, with completion expected in 2018.

About Shenandoah Growers
Founded over 26 years ago and headquartered in Rockingham Virginia, Shenandoah Growers is a leading grower and marketer of fresh organic culinary herbs in the United States. The company’s mission is to bring fresh healthy flavor to food.  Customer-driven with an expertise and passion for fresh flavor, the company has over 1,200 associates working across a nationally integrated platform of farms, production facilities and logistics operating in 11 states.

For more information, visit

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Wisconsin Potato Shipments Could be Affected by Frost; Red River Valley is Barely Underway

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Volume in terms of hundredweight is expected to be down only slightly for Wisconsin potatoes shipments this season.  Meanwhile, the Red River Valley has very limited potato shipments at this point.

Wisconsin’s potato shipments are expected be off about 5 percent this season from a year amounting to 27 million hundredweight (cwt) the 2017 18 growing. storage and shipping season.  The 2016=17 fresh volume totaled 28.5 million cwt.

Due to a late weather related planting, growers will be leaving the potatoes in the ground as long as possible to give time to gain size.  This resulted in diggings getting underway September 11th instead of September. 1st.  Updated forecasts will be needed as growers are rolling the dice a bit as the latter harvest increases the change of a damaging frost.  Wisconsin’s potato farmers normally complete harvest by October. 10th.   Digging of potatoes this fall could continue as late as October 20 to gain as much growing time as possible for a product that is gauged by weight.  Thus, growers are praying for a late frost.

Russet potatoes currently make up about 70 percent of potato shipments in the U.S., followed by red potatoes that have increase to 20 percent and yellow potatoes amounting 10 percent.  Russets also continue make up the biggest volume of Wisconsin potato shipments.

How Wisconsin  Potato Volume Ranks
Wisconsin is the nation’s third-largest potato shipping state, and ranks number one No. 1 east of the Mississippi River.  Frito Lay has become a big presence in the Badger State and accounts for 25 percent of Wisconsin’s potatoes shipped for the processing market.  Another 10 percent of the state’s potatoes are shipped as seed.

Red River Valley Potato Shipments

Shipments haven’t really ramped up yet but red potatoes from the nation’s largest “red” production region have got underway.  While red potatoes continue to grow in popularity, about 18 percent of the Valley’s fresh potato production will be yellows this fall, a number that has tripled in the last six years.



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Drain the Swamp Hell….Nuke the Swamp!

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IMG_6364By Larry Oscar
Well, it’s that time again. Time to rant about some ignorant thing our left wing emotional liberals have done.  But I guess we conservatives should not gloat so much.

It’s sort of like playing chess with the dog.  The recent events have given us all pause to examine our values in greater depth. This country was built on diversity and that includes a diversity of opinion. That was what we taught children back in the day.

For some reason liberals think diversity ends at race now.  I guess their little minds just can’t comprehend diversity being more cosmological.  Diversity is actually rather simple.  Just look at the universe around us.  Our planet has a rich diversity of life that encompasses more than 100 million species. The truth is no one really knows how many species our planet has.  100 million is just a WAG by most scientists.

Guess what folks…diversity is the norm rather than the exception.  For decades now we have heard those on the left preach diversity and now it becomes obvious they didn’t even know what they were talking about.  The reality is that my left wing liberal friends are dumber than dirt.  Diversity is NOT limited to race!  I know, I know, that is a social shock to the tender ears of a liberal, so let them run for their “safe rooms”, but it is the truth.  It was written somewhere that “the truth shall make you free”.  Gee, I wonder who said that?

You see, diversity comes in all forms.  There is diversity in individual abilities, individual thought, individual speech, and even individual wealth.  And the list goes on. If the human species on this planet is to survive we must recognize that diversity in all aspects of human existence is a natural right of the individual.  Our founding fathers understood we are all equal before God and the law. We are not equal in abilities, looks, wealth, or much of anything else.  And it is NOT the governments job to attempt such a foolhardy endeavor as to “make us equal in everything.”

By trying to do so our government has promoted inequality.  The government has, in the fog of stupidity, attempted to “right the wrongs of the past”.  The government has created an atmosphere of intolerance and discrimination.  Common sense tells us that two wrongs don’t’ make a right.

For decades our government has promoted a policy of “affirmative action” which by it’s very nature is discriminatory.   You don’t punish the sons for the sins of the fathers. That creates resentment and is divisive.  Our government takes the earnings from workers paychecks to fund handouts for people so fat cat politicians can “buy” their votes.  If politicians offered one cent for a vote they would be in jail.  Tell me, what’s the difference in offering money for your vote or a government handout paid for by some other American worker’s earnings?

Corruption is corruption and it doesn’t make any difference what party you are with.  For nearly a decade now the Dumbocrats have ran on a platform of jealousy and envy of the successful people among us.  They have promoted a “war on success,” and even instilled in the minds of the Millennials a “right” to live off of the hard work of others.  If anybody wants to know why “we the people” are angry just let them listen to old ferret faced Mitch McConnell tell us that President Trump has “excessive expectations.” Are you kidding me?

These bozo Republicans have lied to us for seven years and told us they had a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. “Just give us your vote” they cried, and when they finally got our vote they betrayed us.  “We the people” may be facing what my ancestors, who came to this country in 1743, faced.  We may be approaching a climate of revolution!

Many of us who voted in the elections of 2016 thought this was the last hope to save our country from the tyranny of big government.  It was the fear of the tyranny of big government that was responsible for the second amendment to our Constitution.  Now the liberals are trying to do away with our second amendment as they spew vicious attacks on our beloved Constitution.

Our liberal friends would be wise to take note.  They may just get a taste of the wrath of patriots who live by the words of Patrick Henry.  And you may see a day of reckoning for those of you who think you have a “right” to mooch off of your fellow countrymen.  I was shocked when Vladimir Putin threw 755 US diplomats out of Russia. Who would have ever thought that we had 755 diplomats in Russia in the first place?  As it turns out we had over 1200 diplomats in Russia. Go Vlad. And I bet almost all of these blood suckers are earning over six figures of tax payer earned dollars.

Drain the swamp hell…nuke the swamp!

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Shipping Updates from Salinas Veggies to FL Citrus and Imported Persimmons

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DSCN9984While Salinas Valley veggie shipments have been hindered due to weather related issues, it may pale in comparison to Florida oranges after Hurricane Irma.  Also, imported Japanese persimmons to be become a reality.

Salinas Valley vegetable shipments leading up to Labor Day were paired back because of hot weather and the effects are still being felt nearly two weeks later.  When the temperature surpasses 90 degrees F. it becomes to hot for field workers, not to mention quality issues come into focus.  The result has been lighter-than-normal loadings of  leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Caution is urged when loading, as produce haulers should look for potential heat related quality problems.

Florida Citrus vs. Irma

The wrath of Hurricane Irma is bound to be bad news for Florida citrus, especially orange that already is reeling from declining production due to citrus greening.  Florida accounts for 56 percent of U.S. citrus production and is the number one state for oranges, although the vast majority goes for processing.   Still, we’re talking about Florida’s total production for oranges in 2015 was valued at $1.17 billion.

Other top produce crops threatened by Irma are tomatoes, and green beans, although neither are in peak season.  Severe citrus crop losses seen for product exposed to hurricane force winds exceeding 85 mph.

Imported Persimmons


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule allowing the importation of fresh persimmon with calyxes (a plant part protecting the flower) from Japan.

APHIS scientists prepared a pest risk analysis and determined that commercial shipments of persimmons with calyxes produced under a systems approach can safely be imported into the continental United States. The systems approach includes requirements for packing house registration, orchard monitoring and control of pests, fruit culling, biometric sampling, a phytosanitary certificate with additional declaration, port of entry inspection and traceback. These measures will protect our country against the introduction of plant pests.


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Sweet Potato Shipments for New Season are Just Getting Started

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DSCN9997U.S. domestic sweet potato shipments of the new crop started recently from two of the leading states, North Carolina and Louisiana.

Loading opportunities for sweet potatoes should be similar this season compared to a year ago from the top volume state of North Carolina, as well as from Louisiana.   The harvest got underway in late August by some companies, while getting started in early September with others.  Assuming the product is cured before shipping, this mean the hauling season has barely started.

Observers believe there are around 3.1 billion pounds of sweet potatoes to be shipped during the season that lasts about a year from approximately August to August.

SMP Southeast/Edmonson Farms, Vardaman, MS has added 350-400 acres this season with its beauregard, bellevue and orleans varieties.

Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C., began its harvest the latter part of  August, about a week earlier than last year and hopes to wrap up digging by the end of October.

Some sweet potatoes from this past season are still being shipped from storage as is the case with Ham Produce Co. Inc., Snow Hill, N.C.  It should complete shipments of the old crop by the end of  September, while transiting to its 2017 crop.

Potato and sweet potato shipper Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC, of Idaho Falls, ID markets sweet potatoes for some growers in sweet potato producing states.  Its growers started harvesting around the start of September.

Kornegay Family Produce, Princeton, N.C., began harvesting around Labor Day.

Meanwhile, Southern Produce Distributors Inc., Faison, N.C., launched its harvest the first week of September with the covington variety and planned to start digging murasakis, an increasingly popular purple-skin, white-flesh Asian variety, three weeks later.

Garber Farms, Iota, LA., was on a similar path to getting its season underway and like other areas, was reporting good, quality sweet potatoes.



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Record Sales for Pazazz Apples are Seen for This Winter

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PPazaaaazazz apples shattered retail sales targets last winter, less than a year ahead of its nationwide 2018 roll out, according to Honeybear Brands. The variety, which debuted a month earlier than usual in December 2016, sold faster, in more markets and more retail stores than at any other time since its initial introduction.

“We’re looking at the sales numbers and receiving feedback from our retail partners as we speak,” Don Roper, Honeybear’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release. “We’re thrilled. Pazazz did exactly what we designed the variety to do: offer a truly exceptional variety to help drive new revenue for retailers as well as provide an opportunity to extend their sales window of premium apple varieties well into the later winter months.”

Roper said it’s too early to put an exact number on final retail sales figures, but this year’s crop production was up nearly 400 percent over last year and is already sold out. Retailer feedback highlighted strong, repeat customer sales and a sharp rise in inquiries from new customers seeking out the variety by name.

“Pazazz has created a strong following among apple lovers,” Roper said in the release. “That’s an incredible development in just a few short years and an absolute win for retailers who are giving their customers another reason to get excited in the fresh produce aisle. It is a real testament to the unique eating experience of this apple and its flavor profile that has significantly raised the bar in the apple category.”

Thanks to increased production from planted acreage and the continued maturation of Pazazz orchards, the 2016-17 Pazazz crop debuted in many regions a month earlier than usual, arriving on store shelves in December 2016 and making an immediate impact on pre-holiday retail sales. In all, Pazazz was sold in more than 50 markets and 1,000 stores in January and February.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results we’ve seen from Pazazz,” Craig Clasen, group vice president of produce purchasing at Hy-Vee, said in the release. “For a new variety, it’s performing incredibly well across our more than 240 stores throughout the Midwest and it offers many of the things we try to bring our customers with every piece of produce that they purchase — excellence in quality, superior taste and freshness.”

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New Apple Varieties are being Introduced by Companies Coast-to-Coast

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DSCN4900From coast-to-coast apple growers are growing new apple varieties to increase sales.

For example there are New York apple growers looking to make a splash with the RubyFrost and SnapDragon varieties.

On the opposite side of the country there are growers and shippers pushing varieties for club stores such as Jazz and Envy.

The Honeycrisp is perhaps the best example of a meteoric rise in an apple variety, plus the initial success of the RubyFrost and Snap Dragon have been impressive.

While some of the new varieties have been seen as rising stars, the traditional favorites of consumers continue playing an important role such as in New York state with the world-famous mcintosh, as well as galas and empires.

While marketers heap praise on new varieties, not everyone is completely sold.

For example, Forrence Orchards Inc., of Peru, N.Y. has seen sales of its more traditional varieties such as McIntosh and Cortland adversely affected by the new varieties.  At the same time Forrence Orchards also has invested in the Honeycrisp.

One of the more interesting aspects in all of these changes will be observing to see if consumers are willing to pay substantially higher prices for these new varieties which can easily be 50 percent or more.  A generation ago the red delicious, golden delicious, golds and cortlands pretty much made up the choices in the apple section of local produce departments.

Planning Important

It is very costly to launch a new apple variety, including being labor intensive.  The bottom line on whether it is worth the effort and cost ultimately depends on whether the consumer likes the product.

Even if the new variety proves popular with consumers, it also takes a lot of help from retailers through good placement in the produce department, promoting the product, and having reasonable pricing.

Stemilt Growers LLC  of Wenatchee, WA offers its Piñata variety apple in bulk, organic bulk, 3-pound Lil Snapper conventional and organic kid-sized fruit and a value 5-pound pouch bag using an attractive display-ready carton.  These efforts are backed by promotion with social media and in-store demonstrations.

Hess Bros. Fruit Co. of Leola, PA  is launching a late season proprietary variety called Sweet Cheeks, expected to should be available at the end of January. The initial offering will only be a couple of truck loads.

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Northwest Pears are Similar in Volume to Last Year; New Pear Variety is Coming

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DSCN0035Volume and loading opportunities for Northwest pears should be similar to last season.

If the forecast holds this should translate into early variety pears shipped for the summer and fall pear season in 2016 being down 3 percent, followed by winter pear volume that continues well in 2017 being up 2 percent.

Rainier Fruit of Selah, WA, as well as most other pear growers started shipping bartlets in mid August and anjouis in early Septembers, about two to three weeks later than last season.

The Pear Bureau Northwest projects shipments near 18 million boxes, down about 9 percent from the five-year average.  The forecast for loading opportunities improved a little from the June 2 estimate, which predicted volume would be down about 2 percent from last season.

Probably the biggest change is Bosc shipments are projected to decline by 19 percent from last season and a 16 percent drop from the five-year average.

New Pear Variety

WENATCHEE, Wash. — Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers of Wenatchee, WA will have limited shipments this season of Gem, a new pear variety, which is about five years away from full production.  The limited volume will be shared this season with retail customers and a few consumers to start gathering some feedback on the fruit.

The pear is expected to be a relatively convenient offering compared to other options in the category, meaning it can be eaten out of hand.  The taste is said to be more like a Bartlett, but a little spicier type taste to it.  A lot of times with pears one has to wait for it to change color or check the neck to gauge its ripeness.  Another appeal with the Gem is it does not instantly brown when cut.  This could possibly lead to value-added opportunities such as packaged pear slices, which has become so popular with apples.

Oneonta markets fruit for Diamond Fruit Growers of Hood River, OR.





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Health Benefits of Potatoes are Cited

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DSCN8805Are Potatoes Good for You?

Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, and those eaten with the skin are a good source of potassium. Foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium, such as potatoes, may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
All varieties of potatoes are nutritious and, while both the type and amounts of nutrients may vary slightly depending on the variety, the differences are minimal. So minimal in fact, the FDA nutrition label for potatoes represents a composite of varietals.
The FDA-approved Nutrition Facts Label says it all. Potatoes are:
– An excellent source of vitamin C
– A good source of potassium (more than a banana!)
– A good source of vitamin B6
– Fat-, sodium- and cholesterol-free
– Only 110 calories per serving

Potatoes and Potassium

One medium potato with skin provides 620 milligrams or 18% of the recommended daily value (DV) of potassium per serving and is considered one of the best foods with potassium. Skin- on potatoes rank highest for foods with potassium and are among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits. Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract.

Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, few Americans are getting the recommended 4700 milligrams per day of potassium they need. (Potatoes make it easier!)

Are Potatoes Fattening?

No. A 5.3-ounce potato has only 100 calories and no fat. Experts agree weight gain occurs when an individual consumes more calories than he or she expends.

Are Fries and Chips Healthy?

Staple foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be eaten every day, while fried foods and high fat snacks should be viewed as occasional treats. One food, even one meal, does not make or break a healthful diet. Understanding the impact that fried foods, like fries and chips, or high-fat foods like ice cream and cookies, have on your overall eating pattern makes it possible for you to “make room” for them as occasional indulgences.

More information on potatoes can be found at the Potato Goodness website.

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