Posts Tagged “Florida blueberry shipments”

Florida Blueberry Shipments are Now in Peak Volume

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With Florida spring vegetable shipments to peak later this month, Florida blueberry shipments are already there.

Florida’s blueberry harvest is in full swing and state officials estimate acreage at 5,200 and production near 20 million pounds.

Blueberries grow throughout the state of Florida, primarily from Hendry County in the south to Alachua and Putnam counties in the north, Doug Phillips, University of Florida’s blueberry extension coordinator, said in a news release. “There are some rabbit eye blueberries grown in the Florida Panhandle, mostly on smaller farms with U-pick operations,” he said. “Most blueberries grow in central Florida, although there is significant acreage in both the north-central and south-central regions.”

Florida has the first U.S.-produced blueberries to reach the domestic market in early spring. Harvest generally begins in March in the south-central and central regions and continues through early May, when market prices decline. Phillips said the state’s market window is when prices are typically the highest, which is an advantage for Florida growers. The state ranks eighth in the U.S. in terms of utilized blueberry production.

“We are not very large, but we do produce the first fresh fruit of the country and that makes us very relevant,” Phillips said.

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Florida Blueberry Volume Set for Late March Start

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Florida Classic Growers Inc. of Dundee- FL looks to start harvesting Central Florida fields the last week of March.

The shipper expects to have blueberries through the month of April and into the first week of May. 

Freezing temperatures in January may have delayed the start of the harvest about a week later than normal, but the outlook for the crop remains good.

With berries from Mexico and Chile expected to fade at the end of March, Florida blueberries will be in prime position for big demand during April.

The Florida blueberry crop is doing well despite a pretty hard freeze.

Generally, Florida blueberry acreage is increasing, but not as rapidly as a decade ago. The number of growers may be declining as smaller growers leave the business.

The USDA reported that Florida’s blueberry acreage in 2020 was 4,400 acres, up from 3,500 acres in 2010 but down from 5,100 acres in 2019.

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Shipping Outlook: Florida Blueberries, Peaches, and Valencias

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A3Here is the outlook for loadings of Florida blueberries, peaches and Valencia oranges.

Florida blueberry shipments are now moving in decent volume and will continue  until the middle of May.

Wish Farms of Plant City, FL should have about 250,000 pounds of organic fruit from Florida this year, compared to 100,000 pounds a year ago.  Strawberries are Wish Farms’ largest crop, accounting for  about 60percent of its volume, compared to 30 percent for blueberries. The company will wind up its strawberry season any day now.

In all, Florida blueberry production consists of about 7,000 acres and 1,000 growers.  Florida shipped about 20 million pounds of blueberries in 2017, and a similar volume is expected this year.


New Florida Blueberry Shipper

MIAMI, FLA. –  Crystal Valley Foods (Crystal Valley) has announced that it will begin shipping conventional and organic Florida blueberries under the Crystal Valley label this season. The first shipments will begin at the end of March and they will be available through the end of May.

The company has an exclusive partnership with a grower/packer in Hawthorne, Fla. and they expect a good Florida season as weather in the region has been conducive to good volume and quality.

With the acquisition of Team Produce last year, Crystal Valley has been able to successfully enter into the berry category, supplying imported blueberries from September through April. The transition into Florida is the first step in offering their customers year-round blueberries.

About Crystal Valley Foods

Founded in 1994, Crystal Valley Foods is a leading grower and importer of produce from Central and South America. With offices and facilities in Miami and Los Angeles, the company is one of the largest importers and distributors of asparagus in the USA. Its extensive product line also includes baby vegetables, peas, beans, berries, baby lettuces, peppers and other specialty crops.


Florida Citrus

The Dundee (FL) Citrus Growers Association reports Florida grapefruit shipments are winding down, but valencia oranges will continue through April. with storage crop available into June.

Florida Peaches

Florida peach shipments are just getting started will continue until the middle of May. with peak loadings mostly occurring during April.   Traditionally, Florida peaches start as Chile exits the marketplace and before California, South Carolina or Georgia being shipments of new season fruit.


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Shipping Updates: Onions Nationwide; Western Vegetables; and Florida Blueberries

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IMG_5516+1Here are shipping updates on Mexican and South Texas sweet onion shipments.  We also update Western vegetable shipments transitioning from the desert areas to up north in Salinas Valley. Finally, it appears Florida blueberry shipments will be good despite a killing Southeastern freeze.

It is the tail end of Mexican sweet onion shipments out of Mexico crossing the border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  Still about 400 truck loads should cross the border next week, and perhaps the week after that.  Meanwhile, South Texas sweet onion shipments have been underway for several weeks and will continue for a few more weeks.

By contrast, in  New York, steady loadings of storage onions are occurring from Orange County, but volume is less than 150 truck loads a week .

Onions from the California desert get underway from El Centro around April 18 -20.

New Mexico onion loadings from the southern part of the state will start at the end of May or early June.

The nation’s biggest volume shipments of onions are from storages out of the Idaho, Eastern Oregon area, amounting to about 875 truck loads per week.

Idaho, Malheur County, Oregon onions – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Mexican tropical fruits and vegetables – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Salinas Vegetable Shipments

The transition from the deserts of California and Yuma, AZ are starting, but this is going to require some patience on the part of produce truckers.  With the desert areas wrapping up shipments early and Salinas vegetables getting a late start, this simply means SHIPPING GAPS!

Florida Blueberry Shipments

A freeze that swept through an estimated three-quarters of Georgia’s $400 million blueberry crop around St. Patrick’s Day could turn into an Easter boon for Florida blueberry shippers.

Florida skirted the most damaging parts of the cold wave that enveloped the Southeast and wrecked much of Georgia’s blueberry crop, with temperatures reported in the low 20s.

However,  Florida dodged the bullet, with only minimal damage in Gainesville and north/  Blueberries grown south of I-4 are fine.

At Wish Farms in Hawthorne, FL, located east of Gainesville, temperatures dropped to as low as  28 degrees F., but it emerged relatively unscathed.

Florida’s peak shipments for blueberries are during April and May.  How much?  Good question.  Whether the Florida blueberry industry is embarrassed with their production compared to larger producing states, or they are just secretive isn’t clear.  You just don’t see volume statistics readily available.


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Southeastern Blueberry Shipments are About 2 Weeks Later than Normal

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017Southeastern blueberry shipments are running about two weeks later than normal.

Due to unusually warm winter, produce truckers can expect a later start for Florida and Georgia blueberries and good volume for both states is expected  two weeks later than usual.  In late March,  harvest was light in the southern part of Florida near Wauchula.

Some operations started harvesting light volume in mid-March, but packing in volume isn’t expected until April 15.  The transition to Georgia is  expected to start in mid-April.  Something different in Florida is a slow season with drawn-out shipments vs. a seasonal production peak.  Florida should ship blueberries through late May, instead of the more typical mid-May finish.  As for Georgia, peak loadings should start about May 7, later than the state’s typical late April peak.

This year, Florida expects to ship around 18 million pounds, down from last season’s 25 million pounds.  Florida blueberry shipments will be light through early April with larger, truck load volume planned  for April 15-20, about two weeks later than normal.

Early season Georgia blueberry shipments will be lighter because of cold weather during February in the Homerville, Ga. area.  Up to 25 percent of Georgia’s early crop could sustain losses and good volume shipments are not expected until May.

In Florida, decent volume shipments are not expected until April.  Florida will have its heaviest shipments in late April and in mid- to late April, when both states will be shipping.

Florida berries, veggies and tomatoes – grossing about $1000 to Atlanta.

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Shipping Outlook for NY Apples, FL Blueberries and CA Citrus

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Here’s a look at loading opportunities with New York apples, Florida blueberries, plus citrus and artichokes from California.

New York apple shipments have been steady from week to week shipments for the most part.  The Empire state has between 550 and 600 primary apple growers that produce an average of 29.5 to 30 million bushels a season.  That average is nudging up over time as orchards become more productive.

Florida Blueberry Shipments

A very limited amount of Florida blueberry shipments are underway, but due to an excessively warm winter, volume is expected to be much lower this season.  Florida has about 8,000 acres of blueberries and is the first state to ship the fruit each year.   It is closely followed by Georgia blueberry shipments.  Georgia has about 25,000 acres of blueberries, with the harvest starting in a few weeks.  We’ll provide more information on Georgia “blues” as it becomes available.

Central Florida berries, veggies – grossing about $2100 to New York City; Southern Florida potatoes and melons, about $2500 to  New York City.

California Artichoke Shipments

Ocean Mist Farms of Castroville, CA is entering the peak season for its artichoke shipments.  Peak loadings should continue through May.  Ocean Mist is the largest grower shipper of the product.

California Orange Shipments

Navel orange shipments out of the San Joaquin Valley should be about 10 to 15 percent higher than originally estimated.  The harvest is about 50 percent completed and shipments have been steady.

San Joaquin Valley oranges, kiwifruit and carrots – grossing about $4400 to Atlanta.


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Southeastern Produce Shipments are Rolling Along

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DSCN5304Florida spring produce shipments continue to roll along, while Georgia is starting to show signs of life.

Over a 1,000 truck loads of mature green, plum and roma tomatoes are being shipped weekly from central and southern portions of Florida.   Over 700 trucks loads of sweet corn also are be loaded each week, while good volume also is found with potatoes, bell peppers, cabbage and cucumbers. Dozens of other spring veggies also are being shipped in smaller quantities.

April has seen a big increase in volumes of Florida blueberry shipments.  In late March there was virtually no movement, but volume exploded the week of April 6th as shipments took off.  However, peak volumes in Florida should start tapering off this week.   Total Florida blueberry shipments could be 5 to 7 million pounds above last season.

Florida vegetable shipments – grossing about $3200 to New York City, $2700 to Chicago.

Georgia Produce Shipments

Georgia now is shipping blueberries in light, but increasing volume.  Other Georgia produce shipments are mostly light with items ranging from carrots to greens (collards, kale, mustard, turnips, etc.) . There is light, but increasing volume with squash. Cabbage remains light, but should be in good volume by the week of May 4th.

Vidalia onion shipments are increasing, hitting good volume by early May.  Peaches from the Fort Valley area should start the third week of May.


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A Shipping Update on Florida Citrus, Southeastern Blueberries

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DSCN4419Florida citrus shipments continue on a steady pace, while the state’s blueberry shipping season is just getting underway.

The Sunshine State’s orange production has declined slightly with the issuance of the USDA’s March 10th report.  However, production of grapefruit and tangerines has remained steady.

Late-season orange production, which includes navels declined 2 percent or 1 million equivalent cartons from the previous month’s report.  The late season valencias, which ship primarily to processed channels, remained unchanged.  Valencias account for 55 million cartons with the other oranges at 47 million cartons.

Final season navel shipments is reported at 1.4 million cartons.  Navels ship primarily fresh while around 96 percent of the state’s oranges are harvested for processing.

Overall, Florida this season is expected to ship 120 million cartons of citrus, down from last season’s 124 million cartons.

Florida citrus – grossing about $3500 to Boston.

Florida, Georgia Blueberry Shipments

Florida blueberry shipments are just starting from the Southern and central parts of the state of the state and loading should be available into early May.  Northern Florida blueberries normally start in early April and will be available through late May.  That freeze which damaged Georgia blueberries several weeks ago, did little or no damage for Central Florida blueberries.

The amount of damage to Georgia blueberries is still be assessed, but the state will still probably have decent shipments this season.

In recent years Georgia has surged to become the biggest domestic producer.  For the 2014 season, Georgia’s 56 million pounds topped perennial leaders Michigan and New Jersey.

For years, Michigan and New Jersey traded the top spot for fresh production, with New Jersey leading four out of five years.  In the mid-2000s, Georgia’s fresh volume was double Florida’s, a pace that continued as both states boosted production.
In the most recent season, Georgia’s fresh volume was more than three times that of Florida.

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Florida Spring Vegetable Shipments Moving into Peak Volume

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016Florida spring produce is entering its peak shipping period.

This week south Florida sweet corn shipments hit good  volume and peak loadings will continue through Memorial Day.  Around the last week of May, Georgia will start taking the spotlight with corn shipments.

Florida sweet corn volume is up dramatically from last year.  Plus, this is the largest volume in the past four years.

Green bean loadings from the Belle Glade, FL  area will continue strong through Easter, then began a decline before ending  the first week of May.  This will be followed by Georgia bean shipments getting underway around May 10.

Florida Blueberry Shipments

Florida berry shipments have on going for about a month, and should continue until June.   Afterwards, loading opportunities become available in Georgia, followed by  North Carolina, New Jersey and the Pacific Northwest, where berries are picked until late September.

Florida blueberry shipments have roughly tripled over the last 10 years, and this year’s crop is likely to reach 25 million pounds before giving away to Georgia blues.  Michigan, the nation’s leading blueberry shipper, produced 87 million pounds in 2012. In 2013, Chile exported 174 million pounds of blueberries, most of them to the United States.

Florida produce shipments – grossing about $3400 to New York City.




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Florida Spring Produce Shipments to Hit Stride in April

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HP0325Florida vegetable shipments are gearing up, but will it be record loading opportunties?  It certainly does not appear likely.

Light volume and later shipments have marked many produce shipments from Florida, but as we progress into spring it is gradually improving.

Following a disappointing winter, grower-shippers are seeing improved supplies as Florida’s vegetable growers transition to the new spring crop. Florida produce shippers are eyeing improved supplies of bell peppers as the Sunshine State transitions to the new spring crop. Unfavorable winter weather has delayed bigger spring volume by a week the first half of March.

However, you can expect a lot more April and May vegetable loadings. This will also be spurred by the fact Mexican vegetable shipments will be finishing earlier than normal due to unusually warm weather. This will increase demand for Florida green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers and cucumbers, which are just starting in very light volume. You can also look for shipments of tomatoes, celery, sweet corn, lettuce, radish, cabbage and watermelon.  Good volume will arrive in early to mid-April. However, some shippers predicting their volume will be down as much as 30 to 40 percent on some items.

While Florida spring vegetable loading opportunties will be good, I’m not expecting it to be great this season.  Few, if any, bumper crops are seen.

Florida blueberry shipments have recently started and are moving into volume.  Peak loading oppportunties will be around the third or fourth week of April.

Florida strawberry shipments from the Plant City area are winding down and should be finished by early April.

Florida produce – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.


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