Posts Tagged “Georgia blueberry shipments”

Widespread Panic! SE Blueberries, Peaches, other Crops Clobbered by Freeze

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DSCN9012More details are becoming available on that mid March hard freeze that hit crops from North Carolina to Southern Georgia.  Spring produce shipments from the Southeast will definitely be affected.

Georgia Blueberry Shipments

That March 15-17 freeze could reduce Georgia blueberry shipments by as much as 75 percent this spring, costing the industry $400 million.  At best, there is hope “only” 60 percent of the crop was lost, but it could easily be higher in the south-central areas of Georgia, which is heart of blueberry production.

In this area, covering about 50 miles,  60 to 70 percent of Georgia’s blueberry crop is located.  Some farmers have lost 100% of their early production rabbiteye crop.  Temperatures in the area dropped to as low as 21 degrees for three nights in a row in mid-March.

Georgia Peach Shipments

Georgia peach orchards, primarily located in the Ft. Valley area, may have faired better than blueberries.  Shipments may be reduced by “only” 40 to 50 percent.  The lack of chill hours in middle Georgia had delayed the budding process.  Now those buds are emerging, but growers now have to take a wait and see approach.  Because the peaches were so late, it may have protected the crop.

Still,  later on, there’s what is called the “May drop,” where any damaged peaches could start falling from trees.

Vidalia Onion Shipments

Escaping freeze damage was the Vidalia sweet onion crop.  Shippers are still making normal plans for the official April 12 opening shipping date.  It is described as one of the best crops in years.

Georgia Vegetable Shipments

Freeze damage to Georgia vegetables is all over the board.  Bell peppers and other summer vegetables will be lost, while others veggie are expected to be slowed, but not fatally harmed by the weather.  It will be awhile before accurate information is available…..As for Georgia watermelon shipments, there is believed to be some losses, but it should be relatively minor.

North Carolina Fruit Shipments

There is widespread damage to peaches and blueberry crops, but little specific information is available at this time.

South Carolina Produce Shipments

We’ll have a report on Monday, March 27th regarding South Carolina, which actually ships more peaches than Georgia or North Carolina in a normal season.




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Loading Update on Western Veggies, Eastern “Blues”

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DSCN7473Salinas Valley vegetable shipments continue to struggle, while eastern blueberry loadings may finally get going this month.
It has been a less than stellar spring for central coast vegetable shipments due mostly to weather conditions.  In essence, Salinas Valley vegetable shipments are going to be trying at best heading into summer.  You’ll need to be alert when loading product.  There is everything from quality issues to inconsistent sizing of lettuce heads.
This situation is expected to continue through June, and perhaps through most of July.  Salinas vegetable shippers tend to plant about 40 percent less  product for summer because they face so much competition from various home grown season in the U.S. and Canada.  Other vegetables ranging from broccoli to cauliflower also are being affected, but to a lesser extent.
Salinas Valley vegetable and berry shipments – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.
Georgia Blueberry Shipments
Warmer weather, poor pollinating conditions and labor issues are all contributing to fewer blueberries currently coming out of the Southeastern U.S.  Georgia blueberry shipments will pick up by mid June.  The state has shipped nearly 90 million pounds of blueberries per year in the past, but in 2016, it will be well short of that number.  The longer growing season in this region may help offset an even greater decline in shipments.  Georgia has one of the longest seasons in the U.S., from mid-April to the middle of July.
Georgia’s season nearly mirrors the blueberry shipping seasons in a few other states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Georgia blueberry shipments grossing about $2600 to Chicago.  Georgia vegetables grossing about 15 to 20 percent less.
NJ Fruit Shipments
After fewer blueberry shipments in 2015, New Jersey expects to rebound this year.  Initial loadings should get underway around June 10-11.  In 2013 New Jersey shipped 65 million pounds of “blues”, followed by 55 million pounds in 2014.  During those years (2013 and 2014) the state ranked seventh nationally in total blueberry volume.  However, the state slipped to seventh place in 2015 behind shipments from California and North Carolina.
About 87 percent of New Jersey blueberry shipments are delivered for the fresh market.
New Jersey peach shipments should begin around June 18th and continue well into July.  Loadings should continue through July and perhaps extend until the middle of August.  New Jersey ranks fourth in peach shipments behind California, South Carolina and Georgia.  While no forecast is out yet, weather factors are expected to reduce Jersey peach volume this season.

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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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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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FL Veggies Mostly Escape Freeze Damage; SE Blueberries are Hit Hard

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DSCN4488Freezing temperatures late last week that descended upon the South apparently sparred most Florida vegetables.  However, some big time damage has hit blueberry crops in Florida and Georgia.

Florida Produce Shipments

Widespread damage to Florida vegetable crops, which is less than two months from entering peak spring shipments, apparently has been avoided.  Strawberries in the Plant City area also escaped damage.  Temperatures were reported around or just below freezing.  Assessments are underway and more will be known in the days ahead.  There are reports of freezing pocket areas scattered around Florida.  For example, there are reports of damage to green beans and sweet corn in the Lake Okeechobee area, where growers had helicopters flying to circulate the air.  This helps keep temperatures up.

South Florida vegetables – grossing about $2800 to New York City.

Georgia Blueberry Shipments

However, blueberries in Northern Florida and Southern Georgia the night of February 20th were not so lucky.  There are areas in the Gainesville, FL area where there is definite blueberry damage.    It is reported that other Florida blueberry shipping areas didn’t get hit with cold enough temperatures to hurt the fruit.

However, it is different in Georgia.  Temperatures in the low 20s for several hours occurred in the Alma, Baxley, and Homerville, Ga.,regions, which experienced their third consecutive night of freezes.

It may be the end of February before the full extent of the damage in Georgia is known.  Blueberry growers ran frost protection systems throughout the night.  Damage may be less severe in Homerville, which is farther south than the other areas and is in a warmer microclimate.

The early blueberry shipments set to start in mid-April sustained the most damage and the state’s loadings could be delayed until early May.




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Shipping Points Around the USA, and the Potential for Loadings for July 4th Deliveries

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DSCN3783Here’s a checker board summarizing potential loading opportunities (or lack thereof) from areas ranging from the Southeast to the Northeast — and the Northwest.

Georgia Blueberry Shipments

Georgia blueberries are entering their peak shipping period from the Alma and Baxley areas that will continue through the Fourth of July.  The season will end soon after the holiday.

Georgia blueberry and mixed vegetables – grossing about $3100 to New York City.  Vidalia onions from storage – about $3900 to New York City.

Florida Produce Shipments

Not much happening for produce haulers in Florida this time of the year.  However, avocado shipments get underway in late June, with decent volume coming in July.  About 1.1 million bushels are expected to be shipped this season, similar to the volume of a year ago.

Western Berry Shipments

Strawberry shipments out of Watsonville, CA  and blueberry volumes the Pacific Northwest should be good leading up to the Fourth of July.

Watsonville strawberries and Salinas mixed vegetables – grosssing about $8300 to New York City; often higher towards the end of the week.

Northwest Apricot, Cherry Shipments

Apricot shipments get underway in light volume this week, with much better volume next week from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys of Washington.  Apricot volume is predicted to be up 9 percent over last season.  Cherry shipments have started.  Although no record loadings are predicted, it is still one of the biggest crops on record.

New York Produce Shipments

Late start due to weather will probably limit  New York state  sweet corn loadings.

Watermelon Shipments

Watermelon shipments in many areas, particiularly on the East Coast are late, and loading opportunities will be down from normal prior to Independence Day.

North Florida watermelons – grossing about $3700 to New York City.





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