Posts Tagged “Florida watermelons”
Florida spring vegetable shipments appear to be building, and they should be, considering it’s mid-April. With the increasing volume, demand for trucks is picking up, resulting in some modest rate increases.
Now through May should be the best time for obtaining loads out of the Sunshine state. For the immediate future most loads are available out of the Central and Southern portions of the state. Northern Florida has a few blueberries available, but it’s early in the season and volume is increasing. Still, Northern Florida is going to be pretty scarce overall for produce loads until the seasonal migration of watermelons and a few other items start there, which is several weeks away.
South and central Florida mature green tomatoes, along with much smaller volumes of roma (plum), grape and cherry tomatoes are averaging around 950 truck loads per week. However, the single biggest volume item right now is sweet corn, with around 785 truck loads per week. There is still good volume with potatoes (mostly red and other colors) with about 385 truck loads per week.
After this, you’ll find good volume with items ranging from green beans, to cucumbers and bell peppers, each averaging roughly 225 truck loads a week. Aside from the aforementioned items, there’s much lesser volume with such vegetables as eggplant, escarole-endive, radish, spinach, etc.
South Florida watermelons have recently started, but this week accounted for less than 200 truck loads. However, volume will be quickly increasing prior to the harvest gradually moving to central and northern Florida, before migrating up the East Coast. In fact, after the Florida heat ends vegetable shipments, probably sometime in June, watermelons will easily have the biggest volume in Florida.
Currently Florida is the number one destination for volume loads (but that don’t mean you will avoid multiple pick ups). Enjoy it while you can, because it may be “slim pickins” down the road apiece with Georgia vegetables and especially blueberries, that got hit by a March freeze.
South Florida vegetables – grossing about $2400 to Cincinnati; $3000-plus to Brooklyn, NY.
From Florida in the East to California in West, to Canada in the North, here’s a look at opportunities for loadings in three different time zones.
Florida Avocado Shipments
South Florida avocado shipments will get underway nearly a month later than normal, beginning with light volumes in late May. Shipments will be light in June before heaviest loadings arrive in early to mid-July. Shipments should hit about 1 million-1.1 million-bushel this season with south Florida green-skinned varieties.
June is expected to bring considerably smaller volume than usual, but shipments are expected to catch up with bigger volume later in the season.
Southern and Central Florida watermelons, vegetables and tomatoes – grossing about $3300 to New York City.
Ontario Asparagus Shipments
Just North of the U.S. border, asparagus loadings are underway from Southern Ontario. An estimated 85 Canadian farmers in the province grow about 3,400 acres of asparagus. Norfolk and Elgin County have the bulk of Ontario’s asparagus farms, but there are others located in Chatham-Kent, Waterloo and in Essex County. The weather has been a little cool, but as soon as it warms up, asparagus grows really fast and volume will take off.
California Apricot Shipments
Last year California apricot loadings hit a record low. Only 35,000 tons were shipped. In a normal year like 2014, shipments totaled 55,500 tons.
Grown mostly in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties, California apricots account for about 98 percent of all apricots produced in the United States. This year’s apricot shipments should top 50,000-tons.
California Fig Shipments
California fig loadings have been underway in light volume from the Coachella Valley. However, with the close of May primary volume will have shifted to the Southern San Joaquin Valley, although it will be mid June before shipments hit stride. Two primary fig shippers are Western Fresh Marketing and Stellar Distributing, both based in Madera, CA, the heart of fig country. About 35 percent of the fig volume goes to the fresh market, with the remainder being dried.
California fig growers produce 100 percent of the dried figs and 98 percent of the fresh figs grown in the United States.