Posts Tagged “Florida strawberry shipments”

Florida Strawberry Loadings Increasing: Peak Shipments Expected by Valentine’s Day

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Florida’s strawberry strawberry shipments are gradually ramp up and should hit peak volume in time to make deliveries for Valentine’s Day, February 14.

The Sunshine State strawberry season got underway in early to mid-November, and supplies slowly increased throughout December.

Gem-Pack Berries LLC of Irvine, CA is partnering with Parkesdale Farms of Plant City, FL. The companies expect to have peak volume the week of Valentine’s Day.

On a note of caution, the company is monitoring for Botrytis and Chile thrips. Botrytis is a fungus causing a gray mold and appears as white specks or brown spots on the pedals which spread to the flower. Chile thrips are microscopic pests that damage the strawberry leaves and fruit itself.

Parkesdale Farms expects similar volume to a year ago with ample supplies throughout the season.

Gem-Pack also will offer Well-Pict-brand proprietary strawberry varieties grown in Florida.

Wish Farms of Plant City began picking Florida strawberries the first week of November, which is about a week earlier than usual with average berry size and above average quality.

Peak season for Wish Farms is expected to be mid-February to early March, with volume similar to other seasons.

California Gian Berry Farms of Watsonville, CA started harvesting Florida strawberries the second week of November, but cooler than normal weather had kept its volume below normal.

But volume had not reached normal numbers as of mid-December because of unusually cool weather. Still the company expects total volume to be similar to last season, shipments extending through March and into early April.

Astin Strawberry Exchange LLC has 2,000 acres of strawberries this year, with decent volume expected by January 20, with peak season likely coming after Valentine’s Day, but earlier if weather is warm in January.

The company notes an early Easter of March 31 will be good for Florida strawberry shipments with peak volume occurring from mid-February to mid-March.

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Florida Strawberry Shipments Increasing Going into the New Year

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Florida strawberry shipments are expected to be greater than a year ago as increased acreage now is approaching 12,000 acres. Loadings are increasing with the biggest months for shipments coming with the New Year.

The Florida Strawberry Growers Association of Plant City, FL reports in the calendar year 2021, Florida shipped 17% of its annual volume in December, 13% in January, 35% in February, 32% in March and 2% in April.

Florida’s strawberry production in 2022-23 has increased to close to 12,000 acres. In 2021, Florida’s office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated harvested acres at 10,400, with a reported crop value of nearly $400 million.

Wish Farms of Plant City, FL last season had around 2,100 acres of red strawberries, both conventional and organic, as well as Pink-A-Boo Pineberries. The company sees a 10% increase, with that number going to around 2,300 acres.

Wish Farms report a good, consistent crop with shipments ramping up in January through February and into March.

While Florida strawberries are very popular within the state, distribution also is heavy throughout the U.S. southeast. The grower/shipper also ships significant volume to the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and as far north as Ontario, Canada. 

GEM-Pack reports its has doubled its production of pineberries for the new season. The company started shipping in December and continues until April.

Pineberries are a hybrid cross and are smaller than a common strawberry, measuring between 15 to 23 mm (0.6 to 0.9 in). When ripe, it is almost completely white, but with red seeds.

The company’s berry loadings will be heaviest from now until Valentine’s Day.

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Florida Strawberry Shipments are Strong This Winter

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Strawberry shipments from Florida are looking good for the next two months, despite recent cold snap which did not do any long-lasting harm to the strawberry plants.

Well-Pick of Watsonville, CA also has operations in the Sunshine state and notes the peak shipping season is just beginning and will continue into April. The grower/shipper expects its volume to be as good if not a little better than a year.

A main concern at this point in the season every year is if the weather becomes too warm. This can shorten the season and the distance the berries can be hauled in good condition.

Plant City area strawberries – grossing about $2800 to Chicago; $3800 to New York City.


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Giant Berry Farms Expecting Strong Winter Shipments from Florida, Mexico

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Strong winter strawberry shipments, led by its Florida and Mexico growing regions, is predicted by California Giant Berry Farms, headquartered in Watsonville, CA.

The company reports its 2021-2022 Florida strawberry season started strong, with the long term weather outlook appearing to be better than a year ago. Florida strawberry shipments got underway in time for Christmas and peak shipments are expected in mid-February – around Valentine’s Day.

The strong forecast comes at a critical time for California Giant, as strawberry volumes are tight, following heavy rains in October that ended much of the Watsonville/Salinas growing season. Concurrently, the Santa Maria fall crop finished, as colder temperatures and wet weather becomes more frequent.

In addition to the strong Florida crop forecast, California Giant’s strawberry production shipments from Central Mexico are expected to continually increase in the coming months, with the growing regions season in its early stages. The region, known for its traditionally strong winter harvest is on track to produce as expected.

Florida strawberries and vegetables – grossing $4000 and more to New York City.

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Fungus to Reduce Florida Strawberry Shipments

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A fungus known as pestalotiopsis, causes berries, leaves and roots to rot and turn brown and is bound to reduce total Florida strawberry shipments this season. By how much is not yet known.

A warm, wet winter allowed the fungus to take hold in December. It is spread by water and Florida had a lot of rain December. Warm weather also helps the fungus spread.

Florida ranks second to California in domestic strawberry shipments and plays an important role in strawberry volume during the winter months. Most of Florida’s 10,000 acres of strawberry farms are in Hillsborough County to the east of Tampa and Manatee County to the south.

Hillsborough County’s Plant City is the center of the industry. The town’s annual strawberry festival held in late February drew more than 550,000 people last year.

The current outbreak of the fungus affected about 25 percent of the state’s strawberry fields and about half of the strawberries are grown organically,

One of the growers affected was Wish Farms of Plant City, FL who reported a loss of about 80 acres of organic strawberries. While it was described as a setback the company emphasized it was not a knockout punch and conditions were improving.

Florida strawberries – grossing about $2000 to Chicago.

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Florida Strawberry Shipments are Entering Big Volume Period

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Decent strawberry shipments are finally taking place from the Plant City area of Florida after a slow start during the past month or so. However, it will be February 1st before volume hits a peak.

Although there is no official government acreage estimate for the 2018-19 season, some observers believe total acreage is around 10,000 to 11,000 acres. However, for the 2017-18 the USDA reported planted acres totaled 10,800, while harvested acreage was 10,700 acres.

The USDA said Florida strawberry growers had an average yield of 225 hundredweight per acre. Total production totaled 2.41 million cwt.

Hot weather last fall resulted in smaller strawberries and less volume although that situation started improving in mid December.

USDA shipment statistics show so far this season, conventional Florida strawberry shipments totaled 8.73 million pounds through December 8th, down 43 percent compared with the same time a year ago, when 15.1 million pounds had been shipped.

Total loadings of Florida conventional strawberries during the 2017-18 totaled 240.8 million pounds, according to the USDA.

Strawberry shipments were in a lull in mid-December and decent volume did not occur until after the New Year.

Wish Farms of Plant City, FL reports acreage in Florida could be off a little, perhaps 5 percent — compared with a year ago. Hillsborough County, FL has about 10,000 acres and Manatee County at about 1,000 acres.

While Florida strawberry volume is building, it is not expected to hit real good levels volume until the week of January 20th, which puts shippers in a good position for the important Valentine Day’s (February 14th) demand.

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Florida Strawberry Shipments are Increasing; California Grapes May Last into January

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A18Initial Florida strawberry shipments got underway with the arrival of December and a good, quality crop is being reported.

Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville, CA, also grows strawberries in Wimauma, south of Tampa, and will continue to ship strawberries from there until mid- to late March.

The Florida Strawberry Growers Association Inc. in Dover, FL predicts the state will have about 10,000 acres of strawberries this season.

Astin Strawberry Exchange of Plant City, FL has increased its organic berries this season, and similar to conventional berries, should have good volume the first half of December, peak shipments taking place from late January until mid-March.  Heaviest volume for the company occurs during February. Astin’s organic production is up 40 percent, while conventional volume has increased by 10 percent.  The company expects to ship 6 million flats this season.

Grape Shipments

California grape shipments and how long they will last has importers in a quandry.

Vanguard International USA, Inc. of  Issaquah, WA reports if the quality of California table grapes hold up, the harvest could last until the end of the year, with shipments lasting into January.  At the same time Vanguard points out Peru’s global grape shipments were up 40 percent year-on-year to 3.4 million boxes as of October 31st.  But U.S. buyers will stick with California grapes as long as the quality is there.

Meanwhile, the California industry set a new 5-year record shipping 23 million boxes worldwide between September 8th and October 12th.

Pandol Bros. Inc. of Delano, CA believes the total California crop might even be 10 million more boxes than 2017. Pandol noted in 2017, late season grape shipments were disappointing because there were so many cold storages full of aging grapes.  There are some concerns this year over a repeat of last season.

Pandol reports most retailers are planning to transition to Peruvian grapes later this season, which would be in January, instead of the second half of December.  The company also observed retailers know the ports can be problematic around the Christmas and New Year holidays and the logistics of trucking from California are more reliable.

Chile’s table grapes have been hit by a recent hail storm, but the extent of damage is yet to be assessed.  It is expected that the bad weather has slashed the walnut crop in half, while the cherry crop could have up to $100 million in losses.


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Florida Strawberry Shipments Should be Picking Up in January

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TK4Florida strawberry shipments got off to a good start this season and while volume is currently down, this should change once we get into the New Year.

As of December 9th, loadings had totaled 1.258 million 12-pound cartons, up from 1.075 million cartons the same time a year ago.

While some plastic covering for the plants had to be replaced, strawberries were unaffected by Hurricane Irma last September.  The fruit also came through a cold spell in the middle of December in good shape.  However, that colder weather has resulted in fewer shipments the last half of December, but volume to return more to normal as we progress into January.

Because of  newer strawberry varieties and planting of plugs there was more volume in November than there used to be.  Fruit was being shipped in at the start of November this season instead of after Thanksgiving as in the past.  Florida strawberry shipment for the fresh market should continue through March.

Florida strawberry shipments in calendar year 2016 totaled 18.3 million 12-pound cartons, down slightly from 19.2 million cartons in 2015 but way up from 11.5 million cartons in 2010, according to the USDA.  Florida strawberry shipments typically peak in February and March, with those two months accounting for 32 and 37 percent of annual shipments, respectively.

In 2016, December accounted for 21 percent of total shipments and January had a 9 percent share of total annual shipments.

Additionally, in 2016, Florida strawberry acreage totaled 10,800 planted acres and 10,700 harvested acres of strawberries.

Each year Easter provides a big demand for strawberries.  In 2018, Easter will fall on April 1st, instead of April 16th as it did in 2017.  Florida should still have good supplies of strawberries to ship ahead of the Easter observance.

Wish Farms of Plant City, FL accounts for about 17 to 18 percent of the total strawberry acreage.




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California Strawberry Volume Increases over Last Year

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DSCN8846There has been a small turn around in California strawberry fields following a three-year trend of declining acreage, while shipments are up significantly.

At least for this year, the trend for decreased acreage has been halted, with an estimate of a bit more than 36,000, on par with 2016 numbers, according to the California Strawberry Commission Acreage Survey for 2017.

In 2016, total strawberry shipments from California topped 196 million trays, representing about 3.4 percent gain over the previous year even with 5 percent fewer acres.

2017 has not gotten off to a very good start due to several rain storms having drenched California during the first six weeks of the season.  However, it is still running ahead of 2016 though behind 2015.  By mid-January, total California shipments were in the 750,000 tray range compared to half that in 2016, but 1.2 million in 2015.

However, shipments from both Mexico and Florida were well ahead of the past two years.  In mid-January, Florida strawberry shipments loaded almost 3 million trays for shippin while Mexico topped 3.5 million.  In 2016, by mid-January those two competing points of origin had only delivered a total of 2.5 million trays last year and about 3.8 million the previous year.

Central Florida strawberries – grossing about $1200 to Atlanta.

California growers continue to be the leading production region in the world and are expected to supply more than 79 percent of the volume shipped in the United States in 2017.

The acreage report is published two times a year with acreage information voluntarily provided by California strawberry growers and shippers.  The first “Acreage Survey” for the 2017 harvest year includes acres that were planted in the fall of 2016 as well as the forecast of acreage that will be planted in the summer of 2017 for fall production.  For 2017, the commission reports a total of 36,141 acres, with 30,074 planted last fall and an estimated 6,067 slated for summer planting.  As a point of comparison, last year, fall plantings totaled 29,318 acres with a then estimate of 6,721 for summer planting.

In 2013, the CSC January acreage report revealed 35,670 acres of fall plantings and 5,146 summer plantings for a total of 40,816 acres. In 2014, total acreage dropped to just under 39,000 and in 2015, the total was 38,100. Last year saw another decline of about 5 percent to 36,039. This year represents a negligible gain, but it’s a gain nonetheless.

In its report about acreage, CSC noted that while acreage has declined in recent years production has actually remained stable or increased partially due to new varieties, which has led to higher yields per acre.

Ventura County strawberries – grossing about $3600 to Dallas.



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Here’s a Preview of Some Produce Items to be Shipped for Easter

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AvocadosAs the Easter shipping period for a number of produce items approaches, here’s a look a few commodities coming out of California, Mexico and Florida.

Decent California strawberry volume is expected following a weeks of challenges regarding production.  A wild winter for strawberries should stabilize enough to provide steady loading opportunities for Easter, which falls on March 27th.

The should mean steady volumes  from the Oxnard and Santa Maria growing regions of California and from the Ruskin, FL area.

Because Easter is early this year, and based on the timing of this year’s crop, Florida strawberry shipments should be situated perfectly for Easter.

The past couple of Easters have fallen after peak Florida shipments.

Asparagus Shipments

Thanks to the early Easter this year, there should be enough asparagus shipments from Mexico and California.  Mexican volumes will be declining for the season, but because of the early Easter, it should serve as a good supplement to California, which is having peak shipments.

Avocado Shipments

California avocado loadings should be plentiful this spring and summer, with volume expected to be up to 40 percent greater than last year’s.  California is expected to produce 392.5 million pounds of avocados this season, up significantly from the 279 million pounds shipped last year.  That would be approaching 10,000 truck load equivalents.

The California avocado harvest started in January, hit good volume by late March, with peak shipments occurring from April to July.

Most California avocado shipments are destined for markets are in the western U.S.,, while Mexico will continue shipping heavily into the Midwest and to the East Coast.

Kiwifruit Shipments

The California kiwifruit shipping season continues and about 40 percent of the six-million seven-pound trays remain.  The fuzzy brown fruit is shipped out of California’s Central San Joaquin Valley.  Loading will continue through May and as late as June.


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