Posts Tagged “feature”
Although there are lettuce shipments towards the end of the seasons from the Salinas Valley and the Huron area of the San Joaquin Valley, light loadings of the product started late last week from the Yuma district of Arizona as the annual fall transition is underway.
Lettuce volume from the desert is very light and will be increasing right up to Thanksgiving (November 23rd).
Doubling previous informal estimates, a new study says Arizona’s leafy greens industry delivers $2 billion in annual sales. The study, by researchers at the University of Arizona’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, estimated a sales contribution of $2 billion for the Arizona leafy greens industry.
“We examined the whole value chain, including on-farm and post-harvest activities to understand the broad scope of the industry’s contribution to the Arizona economy,”Ashley Kerna Bickel, key researcher and contributor to the report, said in a news release.
Called “Arizona Leafy Greens: Economic Contributions of the Industry Cluster,” the study examined 2015 agricultural cash receipts for on-farm production and post-harvest activities.
The release said the report was funded by the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee. Authors included Kerna Bickel, Dari Duval and George Frisvold.
For purposes of the study, the leafy greens industry was defined to include on-farm activities and also cooling, cutting, washing, packing, processing, storing and shipping.
In addition to the $2 billion sales figure, the study found:
- Arizona is the No. 2 producer of lettuce (iceberg, leaf and romaine) nationally;
- The state’s Yuma County ranks second among U.S. counties in harvested lettuce and spinach acreage;
- From late November to mid-March, Arizona supplies 80 percent of the nation’s lettuce, with an average of 1 billion pounds of lettuce shipped per month;
- Leafy greens have accounted for an average of 17 percent of the state’s total agricultural receipts each year since 2010;
- Nearly 27,000 individuals were employed either directly or indirectly by the Arizona leafy greens industry in 2015, with 16.9 million hired labor hours needed for on-farm operations alone; and
- The leafy greens industry’s total contribution to Arizona’s gross state product was nearly $1.2 billion in 2015.
While Yuma vegetable shipments are too few to count right now, Arizona melon shipments (cantaloupe and honeydew) are totalling over 250 loads per week.
“Name me a city or a state and I will tell you trucks have been tight,” states Bob Rose of the Allen Lund Company LLC.
Rose should know. He is the manager of the firm’s San Francisco office and has been with the transportation and logistics company 31 years. Based in LaCanada, CA, Allen Lund Company has 34 offices nationwide, working with 21,000 trucking companies, providing it with a keen pulse of truck availability.
The last three quarters of 2017 rates have been stronger, reflecting increased demand for equipment.
Allen Lund Company moves about 90,000 loads a year with a significant portion of this being perishables.
Rose doesn’t expect truck availability to improve any the rest of the year, and points out holidays such as Thanksgiving (November 23rd) always means increased demand for fresh fruits and vegetables and refrigerated trucks.
The ethnic population in the U.S. also is a factor with higher volume and demand for equipment to deliver product for their holiday observances.
“Not everyone can haul produce,” says Rose, in reference to the extra demands and knowledge required of drivers hauling perishables.
He also expresses concerns over the looming electronic logging device (ELD) requirement mandate, which the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will begin phasing in December 18th unless it is delayed, as many hope. Plans to start using out-of-service criteria connected with the ELD mandate begins April 1st.
While the large carriers and their trucking associations tend to support ELDs, owner operators and small fleets often view it as limiting their ability to provide superior service, increases their costs of operation, and being another rule limiting their freedom of choice as professional drivers.
“Not a lot of the large carriers are hauling produce,” observes Rose. “Most of it is transported by owner operators and small trucking companies.”
He believes the tight truck supplies are resulting primarily due to the industry being at or near full capacity.
“We talk a lot about truck shortages, but with ELDs, we will feel it. But no one yet knows how ELDs will be enforced,” Rose says.
As a result, he notes Allen Lund Company is looking for ways to reduce the costly delays too often found at loading and unloading docks. They also are seeking improved routes for trucking since customers are maintaining lower inventories and want faster deliveries.
“I want to figure out how to pay drivers more so they can truck less and still support their families,” Rose concludes.
Thanksgiving is early this year (November 23rd) and there should be heavy produce shipments the weeks of November 6th and November 13th as retailers across American stock their shelves for this popular holiday. Among the most popular items are potatoes, onions, celery, and sweet potatoes.
Idaho rail loadings for delivery to the East Coast will have to be made in early November to arrive in time for Thanksgiving distribution. Truck shipments should be particularly heavy the next two weeks. Idaho truck supplies, as well as many other areas around the country appear to be particularly tight, if not in short supply.
Potato shipments are strong with Idaho shipping around 1750 truck load equivalents weekly. You will probably be hauling more cartons of potatoes and fewer consumer bags because Idaho has more larger sized spuds this year than normal.
While overall Idaho potato shipments could be down a little this season, potato haulers need to exercise some caution. As much as 20 percent of the Idaho crop was harvested recently following several nights of freezes. This very well could result in a higher cull rate for potatoes, which hopefully will remove poor quality product before it is loaded on your truck.
Overall, fewer onion shipments are seen, particular out of the west this season. For example, in the Treasure Valley of Idaho-eastern Oregon volume could be off 20 to 30 percent. It has been loading about 700 truck loads of onions per week.
Celery, and sweet potatoes
The Salinas Valley, while approaching the end of the season, is still shipping about over 600 loads of celery a week, as well as items ranging from broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce….North Carolina sweet potato shipments are seasonally strong, particularly by volume leader North Carolina, with much fewer shipments originating from California, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5400 to New York City.
Malheur County Oregon onions – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.
Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing bout $7400 to New York City.
Imported Chilean blueberries begin arriving this month. Meanwhile, citrus imports from Mexico and Brazil are expected to fill a void of available Florida citrus this season.
Chilean blueberry production is down slightly from last season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer berries arriving by boat at U.S. ports. The South American country is the largest producer of blueberries in the Southern Hemisphere, exporting a total of 103,000 tons in 2016-17. Of that amount, 65.7 percent, or 67,707 ton was exported to North America, which is the largest global market of Chilean “blues.”
For the 2017-18 shipping season, Chile’s fresh export volume is predicted to be at 101,700 tons.
Chilean blueberry shipments should be back on schedule this year, with the peak season running from mid-December through February. The country had an unusally early start in 2016.
Shipments on ocean vessels should begin in late November, and ramping up in December.
Early arrivals are shipped by air because of the lack of fruit volume to fill the large shipping containers used by ocean-going vessels.
The majority of oranges imported to Florida arrive from Brazil and Mexico, and that total volume is projected to surpass what is grown in the hurricane-damaged Sunshine State this season.
Last season, Brazil has accounted for 46 percent of the state’s orange imports, followed by 44 percent from Mexico. Costa Rica and Belize are among the other countries supplying citrus. Most grapefruit imported into Florida comes from California and Texas.
The Florida Citrus Commission has approved an adjusted $17.8 million budget that takes into account an increase in imports that will help cover crops lost in September to Hurricane Irma.
The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has projected a preliminary $2.5 billion impact to Florida’s agriculture industry from Irma, with estimated losses to the citrus industry at $761 million.
Even before Irma, the industry had suffered steady declines in production because of deadly citrus-greening disease.
The Florida Department of Citrus projects its revenue will come from nearly 59.3 million boxes of Florida citrus and 65 million boxes of imports.
Oranges will account for 53.7 million of the taxed boxes from Florida and 63.95 million of the imported boxes.
New Zealand imported persimmons to the U.S. has been approved….Americold will a have new huge facility in the Chicago next year.
Americold, the cold storage and logistics company, is building a 15.5-million-cubic-foot automated facility with 57,600 pallet positions.
by FirstFruits Marketing of Washington
YAKIMA, Wash. — Opal®, the highly-acclaimed apple creating a frenzy in the category, is sporting a new look for the 2017-2018 season along with a brand new consumer campaign that will have fans singing. Literally.
This season’s consumer campaign, entitled SupercrispiOpalicious, centers around a challenge issued to Opal fans to create and perform their own original song about why they love Opals. Launching late this fall, the public will be asked to vote on the top five performers selected by a panel of judges. The grand prize winner will be selected by both popular vote and FirstFruits judges and receive a prize package and featured spot on the Opal apple website.
The consumer favorite Opal apple boasts a bright yellow exterior, incredibly sweet flavor and distinctive crisp texture. Best of all, the apple is naturally non-browning, making it perfect for snacks, salads and lunchboxes. As of the 2016-2017 apple season, the Opal is among the ranks of the Top 20 varieties in the country.
Opal fans are some of the most passionate and vocal apple lovers I’ve ever seen,” said Chuck Zeutenhorst, general manager of FirstFruits. “The SupercrispiOpalicious campaign will give them an opportunity to engage with us in a very unique and interactive promotion.”
The familiar Opal logo received a facelift and a redesigned website will launch this fall to coincide with the release of the apples to the market.
FirstFruits represents Broetje Orchards, a leader in Washington organic apple production and an innovator in new varieties to the market, as well as Congdon Orchards. As the exclusive marketer of the Opal®, FirstFruits offers the variety in both organic and conventional options beginning in late October and expects supplies to last through June 2018.
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About FirstFruits Marketing of Washington
FirstFruits Marketing is a collaborative apple marketing company owned by Ralph and Cheryl Broetje. Their growers share a commitment to producing high quality fruit while balancing the demands of purpose, people, planet and profit so that a portion of profits can be donated to non-profit missions supporting the underserved. For more Information, visit www.firstfruits.com
In a turn around from a year ago Red River Valley potato grower-shippers in North Dakota and Minnesota anticipate plenty of potato loads for hauling this season. It would be a terrific improvement for both growers, shippers and truckers from a rain-soaked 2016 season.
Last year during the 2017 growing season, dry soil made growing and harvesting difficult although the abundant rainfall from 2016 had created good planting conditions. The result was a 30 percent drop in potato shipments.
A couple of timely downpours this past September helped the digging get started on time.
The Red River Valley potato harvest generally runs for about six weeks in September and October, with shipments typically lasting through spring.
The Red River Valley includes about 80,000 acres in North Dakota and 45,000 in Minnesota. Potato volume for the fresh market typically totals about 7 million hundredweight (cwt).
A significant change in the valley this season is formation of H & S FreshPak in Hoople, ND, a new company created when J.G. Hall & Sons of Hoople and O.C. Schulz & Sons Inc. of Crystal, ND, who purchased Northern Valley Growers of Hoople and changed the name to H & S.
Truck availability has been a concern in the valley this season, a situation that has a history. Due to the low population of North Dakota, getting loads into the valley is often a challenge. Other factors such as the recovery from hurricanes in Texas and Florida hasn’t helped the availability of trucks.
The valley has over 250 growers producing more than 40 million cwt. of potatoes annually, with about 17 percent of the product shipped to the fresh market. The region is the third largest potato growing area in the U.S.
Yellow variety potatoes continue to increase in popularity, mostly at the expense of Russets and whites, neither of which valley growers have produced in a number of years.
While U.S. red potato shipments increased about 14 percent between 2009 – 2015, white potato shipments plunged 43.3 percent.
The co-op Associated Potato Growers Inc. of Grand Forks, ND continues to be the valley’s largest potato shipper. Of the dozen wash plants in the valley, two of the other largest shippers are NoKota Packers, Inc. of Buxton, ND and J.G. Hall of Hoople.
Potato shipments from Grand Forks – grossing about $4800 to New York City.
Sunions is being touted as America’s first tearless sweet onion and it made its debut recently at the at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention and exhibition in New Orleans.
Developed by Bayer Crop Science, the variety will soon be shipped to retailers, backed by an extensive marketing plan.
Sunions are marketed and distributed exclusively by Generation Farms. Lake Park, GA.; Onions 52. Syracuse, Utah; and Peri & Sons Farms, Yerington, Nev., according to a news release.
“This onion is the product of more than 30 years of research and development to produce an onion that actually decreased in pungency during storage,” Sunions breeder Rick Watson said.
A sensory panel of tasting experts with the authority to determine ship dates follows a protocol that includes flavor and tearlessness. Sunions will ship only after they are deemed ready by the panel, along with lab tests showing proper levels of volatile compounds.
“We’ve established a strict protocol with our sensory team not to allow the release of Sunions until they reach peak flavor and tearlessness,” Lyndon Johnson, crop manager for onions at Bayer Vegetable Seeds “We want to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace with a set of stringent quality requirements to maintain our brand promise.”
If the onions meet protocol, Adam Brady senior marketing manager for Golden Sun Marketing, said Sunions could be available at the start of November. Depending on supply and demand, Sunions may be marketed into March, just before the start of the Vidalia season, he said.
No more tears
Bayer researchers conducted research on the significance of tearlessness and found consumer support.
“Looking for ways to avoid tears when cutting onions is a big deal for consumers,” Don Goodwin, president of Golden Sun Marketing said. “A quick Google search will yield over 500,000 results, and YouTube videos on the topic have received more than 5 million views.”
The variety faced consumer panels at both the Bayer Sensory Lab and a third-party facility in the Ohio State University’s Sensory Evaluation Center, according to the release