Posts Tagged “Florida citrus shipments”

Big Jump in Florida Citrus Shipments are Forecast; U.S. Also is Up

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A20Florida citrus shipments for the 2018-19 season is forecast at 86.9 million boxes, a 75 percent increase from last year’s Hurricane Irma damaged crop, according to the USDA.

Citrus shipments are still far below Florida’s peak volume of 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.

“This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry,” said Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, in a statement. “For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last year from Hurricane Irma. This estimated increase in production is the much-anticipated good news that Florida’s growers have hoped for. Much work remains, but the citrus industry is strong and here to stay.”

Florida’s forecast for all oranges is set at 79 million boxes for 2018-19, up an impressive 76 percent from 44.95 million boxes in 2017-18, notes the USDA.

For grapefruit, the USDA forecast Florida shipments at 6.7 million boxes in 2018-19, up 72 percent from 3.88 million boxes from 2017-18.  Florida red grapefruit shipments was 5.5 million boxes, up from 3.18 million boxes last season.

Florida tangerine/mandarin shipments for the 2018-19 season is 1.2 million boxes, up from 60 percent from last season.

California and Texas

California growers and shippers also are expecting to ship more volume.

The California navel orange shipments for 2018-19 is 49 million boxes is up 8 percent from last season’s final shipments. The California valencia orange forecast is 9 million boxes, down 5 percent from last season’s final utilization. The Texas all-orange shipping forecast is at 2.4 million boxes, is up 28 percent from last season’s final utilization, the USDA said.

The U.S. 2018-2019 grapefruit shipments are is forecast 33 percent higher than last season’s final utilization. In Texas, expected production of 6.2 million boxes is up 29 percent from a year ago.

The forecast for the 2018-2019 U.S. lemon crop is down 4 percent from last season’s final shipments. California volume forecast is at 20 million boxes is off 6 percent from the 2017-2018 season.

The USDA said the U.S. tangerine and mandarin crop is forecast up 22 percent from last season’s final loadings. California tangerine and mandarin forecast, at 23 million boxes, is up 20 percent from the previous year.

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Mushroom Shipments Should Improve, But Florida Citrus has More Bad News

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AA11Mushroom shipments look good for the first quarter of 2018, which will be an improvement, at least for some areas of the country….Meanwhile, the forecast for Florida citrus shipments takes another hit.

Shipments of mushrooms from Texas and Florida should be better this year as the region has recovered from hurricane damage last fall.  While mushrooms are grown indoors, production still depends on the quality of compost, which is grown outside.

As long as growers don’t have to deal with frozen compost, a relatively mild fall has led to improved conditions.   At the same time companies such as Oakshire Mushroom Farm of Kennett Square, PA, which markets mushrooms under the Dole label, see adequate labor as a continuing problem, like other operations, because mushrooms are a very labor-intense crop.

Monterey Mushrooms Inc. of Watsonville, CA also anticipates an good crop for early 2018.  The company has 10 farms strategically located around the United States and Mexico and it  makes its own compost.

White mushrooms still constitute most mushroom shipments, but brown mushrooms continue to gain.  Ten years or more ago, white mushrooms represented over 90 percent of shipments.  That has now shrunk to about  70 percent, because baby portabellas are still increasing in popularity.  Portabellas have been fairly stable, accounting for around  6 to 7 percent of total volume.  Specialty mushrooms, particularly shiitake and oyster, also are gaining in volume. 

Florida Citrus Shipments

45 million boxes of oranges from Florida are predicted to be shipped, down 2 percent from the USDA January forecast.

The 2017-18 crop will be the smallest in over 75 years, assuming the estimate is accurate.   Hurricane Irma devastated much of the production in the state when the storm hit last September, compounding the low production numbers caused by citrus greening disease.

The current crop projection is off 35 percent from the 2016-17 season.

The forecast for valencias is now 26 million boxes, down 4 percent from the January estimate.The projections for non-valencia oranges and grapefruit are unchanged at 19 million boxes and 4.65 million boxes, respectively.

Before the hurricane, private estimates suggested Florida was set to produce 75 million boxes of oranges this season.

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Citrus Shipments from the Nation’s Top Three States Expected to be Down

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AA1Overall citrus shipments from the nation’s three leading states are expected to be lower this season for various reasons.

California citrus shipments of navel oranges and lemons will be down this season.  It also means lighter than normal loadings towards the end of the season, and perhaps shipments ending sooner than usual.

California is expected to ship 35 million boxes of navel oranges, down 11 percent from the 2016-17 season.   While California lemon volume should remain about this same this season at about 20.5 million boxes, it will be lower than normal.

Southern California citrus – grossing about $8000 to New York City.

Florida Citrus Shipments

In Texas, grapefruit has received a lot of interest after Hurricane Irma significantly reduced volume from Florida.   Florida will probably ship about 4.65 million boxes of grapefruit, down more than 40 percent from the 2016-17 season.  Florida grower-shippers have had a tough time, with Hurricane Irma estimated to have caused at least $760 million in losses to the citrus industry there.

Shipments are down 40 percent to 55 percent depending on grove location.  Quality also has been an issue due the hurricane winds that really beat up the fruit, as well as weakening the trees.

Imports from Mexico and Morocco have resulted in Seald Sweet of Vero Beach, FL filling gaps left by Florida citrus, and the company has been bringing imported fruit into its Florida packinghouse.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods of Oviedo, FL reports its orange volume is down an estimated 29 percent, grapefruit off by 65 percent and tangerines and mandarins plunging by 80 percent.  Duda’s grapefruit shipments that usually continue into March, ended in early January.

Duda has an import program as well, including clementines from Morocco.

Texas Citrus Shipments

Texas grapefruit shipping estimates have been lowered from 5.3 million boxes to 4.1 million boxes.  Shipments are ahead of estimates, with about 56 percent of the overall crop remaining to be shipped, compared to 68 percent the same time in 2017.    Loadings by truck, however, should stay strong through the spring.

Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.



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FL Fresh Citrus Shipments to Increase with Less Product for Processors

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DSCN0084Florida fresh citrus shipments should increase this season, despite the state’s expected 27 percent plummet in volume from a year ago, according to a USDA estimate in November. This would cut the crop to 50 million boxes.

The primary culprit is Hurricane Irma that hit Florida September 10th.

Florida grapefruit shipments are forecast to be 4.65 million boxes, down 40 percent from last year.  The November forecast in down from the last one issued in October, but many in the Florida citrus industry believe actual harvest numbers will be even lower.

For long haul truckers of refrigerated products, this may not be all bad news.  For example, DLF International Inc. of Vero Beach, FL expects to ship more fruit to the fresh market this season. The company’s October fresh volume doubled over the same period a year ago.  At the same time it will be sending less product to processors.

Florida Classic Growers of Dundee, FL is the marketing arm of the Dundee Citrus Growers Association.   It actually has more citrus than a year ago.  The company has been shipping sunburst tangerines, which should continue into December.   The firm’s grapefruit loadings got underway in early November and should continue into January.  Florida navels and hamlin oranges began in early November, and may last through December. The valencia harvest for the cooperative should start in January and continue into June.

Seald Sweet LLC of Vero Beach is starting valencia shipments earlier than normal to help make up for early and mid-season varieties that had a shorter than usual season.  Seald Sweet, which lost at least 30 percent of its oranges to the hurricane expects to ship a higher percentage of its citrus to the fresh market.

At IMG Citrus Inc. of Vero Beach, 35 percent of its fruit was lost to the storm.  IMG had planned a volume increase prior to the hurricane because of maturing groves and the acquisition of additional acreage.  Following Irma, IMG, sees its shipments declining 10 to 15 percent from a year ago.  The company expects light volumes until the end of the year, but good volume coming with the New Year.

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Shipping Updates from California Carrots, to Florida Citrus and Vidalia Onions

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IMG_1982Here’s a shipping update ranging from California carrots to Florida citrus and Vidalia onions.  There’s also one less major Georgia onion shipper this year.

California carrots may a little roughed up due to record rains and flooded fields during the past several months, but shippers say the quality remains good for hauling despite some blemishes and cosmetic flaws.

Eighty-five percent of the nation’s fresh carrots are grown and shipped from California.  It’s believed there are between 40 and 50 carrot growers in the Golden State.  Most of those farmers market and ship the product through Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield, Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc., Bakersfield, or Kern Ridge Growers in Arvin.

Kern County carrots – grossing about $3700 to Chicago.

Florida Citrus

Florida citrus shipments, consisting primarily of grapefruit, tangerines and Valencia oranges, are on a steady seasonal decline.  Grapefruit is pretty much finished, while tangerine loadings should continue until mid-April.  valencias shipments are expected remain fairly steady through May.

Since 2005, when the first signs of citrus greening was discovered, Florida’s citrus shipments have plummeted by  75 percent.

Florida spring produce – grossing about $1100 to Atlanta.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Vidalia onion shipments from Southeastern Georgia get underway with the official packing date of April 12th, which is two weeks earlier than last year   Favorable winter and spring growing conditions are the reasons for the earlier start.  Last season Georgia shipped 268 million pounds of Vidalia onions from 11,200 acres. 

Plantation Sweets Bankruptcy, Auction

Vidalia onions has one less grower/shipper this season.  Plantation Sweets of Cobbtown, GA  filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2016 claiming assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities of more than $10 million and listing an estimated 50-99 creditors, according to court documents filed at that time.  Plantation Sweets was one of oldest and larger Vidalia onion operations ranking as the second or third largest shipper there.

The packinghouse, land and equipment formerly used in operations for Plantation Sweets will be offered in a bank-ordered auction April 26. Farming equipment and micro-bins used in the operations will be sold April 27 in a separate auction.

While known for its Vidalia onions, Plantation Sweets also had sweet potatoes, watermelon, corn, cabbage and tobacco.

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Citrus Shipping Outlook for Florida, Texas and California

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DSCN7158A small decrease is expected for Florida citrus shipments this season, while increases are projected for California and Texas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates in its Jan. 12 report that  Florida orange shipments will 71 million 90-pound boxes, one million less than expected in the USDA December forecast, a decrease of about 1 percent.

Loadings for midseason and navel varieties remains unchanged at 36 million boxes, but the forecast for the later valencia oranges is now 35 million, down about 3 percent from the earliered total of 36 million.  These small changes are considered normal for season to season.

The good news is observers believe the citrus industry is gaining ground on fight citrus greening disease (huanglongbing) as new trees are now being planted.

The overall forecast of 71 million boxes of Florida oranges is 13% less than last season’s production.

Florida is projected to ship 9 million 85-pound boxes of grapefruit, off about 3 percent from the December forecast, with the expectation for red grapefruit steady at 7.3 million boxes and the outlook for white down from 2 million to 1.7 million.

The projection for tangerines and tangelos in Florida was up slightly to 1.52 million boxes from 1.5 million in the December forecast.

Southern and Central Florida citrus, strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.

California Citrus Shipments

California is expected to ship 53 million 80-pound boxes of oranges, up about 5 percent from the December forecast of 50.5 million. The state is expected to ship 44 million boxes of non-valencia oranges and 9 million boxes of valencia oranges. In December, the forecast was for 42 million boxes of non-valencias and 8.5 million of valencias.

The Golden State is expected to produce 4.1 million 80-pound boxes of grapefruit, up 2.5 percent from the December prediction of 4 million.

Forecasts for lemon shipments were down nearly 5 percent in California, from 21 million 80-pound boxes to 20 million, and down nearly 14 percent in Arizona, from 1.8 million to 1.55 million.

The expectation for California  tangerines and tangelos was unchanged at 23 million boxes.

Southern California citrus, tomatoes and kiwifruit – grossing about $3900 to Chicago.

Texas Citrus Shipments

The Lower Rio Grande Valley of  Texas, should ship 1.45 million 85-pound boxes of non-valencias, up from a December projection of one million, a 45 percent increase.  The forecast for 350,000 boxes of valencias was unchanged from last month.

The USDA projected Texas production will be 5.3 million 80-pound boxes, up nearly 13 percent from the December forecast of 4.7 million.

In the last 10 seasons, the January citrus forecast for the various regions has deviated from final production by an average of 5 percent, ranging from 15 percent below production to 10 percent above production.

South Texas citrus, Mexican tropical fruit and vegetables – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.

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Florida Citrus Shipments to Have Adequate Volume

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dscn8614There is good news for Florida citrus shipments as adequate volumes on most items are expected this season.

U.S. growers have been harvesting grapefruit and oranges for juices in high volumes while navels and tangerines were hitting the fresh market in limited, but increasing volumes.
The USDA projection for early, midseason and navel varieties in Florida is up 6 percent from October, at 36 million boxes, but down slightly from last season’s final shipments.
Some observers believe Florida citrus volume has finally bottomed out and is getting ready to increase again, although this could take five to 10 years.  It was not indicated, but could this bottoming out be an indication the industry is turning the corner in fight citrus greening, which has been devastating  Florida citrus groves?
Orange Shipments
The USDA has projected 2016-2017 Florida orange shipments  at 72 million boxes, up 3 percent from October.
The USDA forecast of 72 million boxes was down 12 percent from last season’s final shipments.
The forecast of 36 million boxes of Florida valencia oranges for November was the same as the October forecast, down 21 percent from last season’s final volume.
Juice orange volume is expected to be substantially down the latter part of the season.  Florida is expecting could Valencia movement as California’s valencia season has ended and the imported navel season has finished.
Grapefruit Shipments
The Indian River and central Florida citrus regions escaped serious damage from Hurricane Matthew, which rolled along the state’s East Coast in early October.
Florida is predicted to ship 9.6 million cartons — 11 percent lower than last season and the lowest level in 50 years.
There has been a shortage of tangerines, although volume has been increasing in recent weeks.
Coming in our December 5th  post, a look at Florida fall vegetable shipments.
South and Central Florida citrus and vegetables – grossing about $2100 to New York City.

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Florida Outlook for Tomato, Citrus Shipments

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112_12781Florida tomato shipments look to be similar to last season, while a big plunge is seen with Florida citrus.

During the 2015-16 season, which ended in June, tomato growers packed 28.2 million 25-pound equivalent cartons of mature greens and vine-ripe tomatoes, down from 36.5 million from the previous season.  The decline is attributed primarily to excessive rains during the growing season.  Torrential spring rains reduced yields that caused the 8 million carton shortage,

Last year, Mexican tomato imports increased 18 percent from the prior year from October to mid-June.   Imported Mexican tomatoes are primarily vine ripes, while Florida’s tomatoes are mostly mature greens.

Fall plantings for this season are expected to be similar to a year ago.  Florida tomato shipments will get underway in October.  In fact Florida typically is shipping tomatoes most of the year, with the exception being July, August and September.

Florida Citrus Shipments

Florida citrus acreage has declined  to its lowest level in nearly three generations.

On September 12th, the USDA reported the Sunshine State’s citrus acreage declined to 480,121 acres for 2015-16, the lowest since the agency began surveying acreage in 1966.

Oranges, which constitute 89 percent of the state’s citrus acreage, is the lowest since that period as are grapefruit and tangerines.  In 1970, Florida growers planted 715,806 acres of oranges, 124,050 acres of grapefruit and 101,615 acres of specialty fruit or tangerines and tangelos.

Currently, oranges make up 425,728 acres, grapefruit, 40,316 acres and specialty fruit, 14,077.

Orange production is down 3.7 percent from the 2014-15 season while white grapefruit sustained the biggest loss at 17 percent for the period.  Red seedless grapefruit experienced only a 4 percent decline.

Tangerine and tangelo acreage declined 17 percent respectively from the previous year.

Of the 27 citrus-producing counties, 24 recorded acreage declines.

The Indian River region produces the most grapefruit acreage while the central region leads in the production of oranges and specialty fruit.

In terms of total citrus production, the central, southern and western regions represent the biggest acreage.

Florida will have light overall shipments of produce until March or April when spring vegetables get underway.  In fact the whole Southeast is pretty “dead” this time of year.

Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $800 to Atlanta.




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NY Apples; 26% Fewer FL Orange Shipments are Seen

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DSCN7456Apple shippers in upstate New York will be more comfortable with a forecast once they get through August.  Meanwhile, an early forecast doesn’t predict any good times for Florida citrus shipments.

New York apple shippers are reluctant to put on estimate on their crop this season.  After all, farmers get spooked easily, don’t want to jinx the crop, and are all too aware of what Mother Nature may have planned.  Once we get into September they’ll start loosening up a bit.

Still they remember what history has taught them that a lot can change between April and August, even from July to August.   Into 2015 crop all hell broke loose between July and August.  The USDA’s July 2015 forecast was 26.2 million 42-pound units, or cartons. Its July 2016 final estimate of the 2015 crop just came out at 32.4 million.  That’s a significant increase to market, sell and ship without a lot of notice.  But even that year was just short of 2009’s record crop of 32.6 million.

Florida Citrus Shipments

Florida citrus shippers face a tumultuous year  if a projected 26 percent decline in Florida’s new orange crop for the 2016-17 season pans out.

One recent prediction has Florida orange growers producing only 60.5 million boxes of oranges in the new season, which begins in October, down from 81.5 million boxes in 2015-16.

If that   estimate holds, it will be the smalles Florida orange crop in 53 years since 54.9 million boxes harvested in the 1963-64 season. The next lowest crop was 57.79 million orange boxes in 1949-50.

Florida growers continue to lose the battle against the fatal bacterial disease citrus greening.   Additionally, the fungal disease called “postbloom fruit drop” hit the late-season Valencia orange crop hard during the spring.

Greening results in a tree producing fewer, smaller fruit, meaning fewer boxes are picked.  Infected trees also show a diminished capacity to hold onto mature fruit before harvesting, known as “pre-harvest drop.”

Florida citrus officials consider greening as the primary factor behind the 66 percent drop in the state’s orange harvest from 242 million boxes in the 2003-04 season, the last non-hurricane season before the disease’s 2005 discovery in the state.

The USDA will release its first official crop estimate October 12.

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Florida Grapefruit, Orange Shipments in Huge Decline

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IMG_6589+1Alarming declines in Florida citrus shipments continue.

Florida grapefruit shipments are the lowest in at least three decades and down 300,000 cartons from the previous month’s report due to El Nino weather conditions and December temperatures in the mid 80s that cut production.  Some growers plan to end grapefruit loadings by March, earlier than the typical May seasonal finish.

The latest Florida citrus forecast issued by the USDA has this season’s production for the state as 29 percent lighter than last season’s crop.  The tangerine forecast improved, though production for that item is still expected to be less than that from the previous season.
Orange volume for the state of Florida is expected to reach 69 million boxes of fruit for the 2015-2016 season – that’s almost a third less than the 96.8 million boxes produced during the 2014-2015 season. The forecast is in line with a trend that has the state’s orange shipments decreasing over the last several years.  Of the 69 million expected boxes, 33 million are expected to be Valencia oranges.
The forecast for tangerines was increased this month to an estimated 1.5 million boxes for the season.  That’s a million more boxes than were forecast for the season last month. But even with the bump, production for the season is still expected to be significantly less than the 2.3 million boxes that were produced during the 2014-2015 season.


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