Posts Tagged “Idaho potato shipments”

Shipping Outlooks: Hurricane Damaged FL; ID Spuds, WA Apples and Imported Mangoes

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DSCN0043Here’s a shipping outlook for different areas and commodities ranging from Florida after Hurricane Irma, to Idaho potatoes, Washington apples and imported mangoes.

Florida’s projected 75 million-box orange crop may have been slashed by 40 percent or more due to Hurricane Irma, depending on where the groves are located.  Heavy losses are also are expected with grapefruit and other items.

This is the off season for many Florida vegetable shipments, but products such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and strawberries in South Florida took a big hit and replantings will result in shipments being at least a month or two if not more later than normal.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato shipments from the season that recently ended was 12 percent over that of two years ago.  The diggings for the current crop are underway off of  308,000 acres, which is 15,000 acres less than last year.  However, Idaho will still have plenty of potatoes to haul.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

Apple Shipments

Red delicious will soon lose its status as the volume leader in the Washington apple industry as the variety will amount to 25 percent of the 2017-18 crop, off about 5 percent from recent years.

Gala apples should account for 23 percent of the new crop, and is on track to surpass red delicious this season or next.  Red Delicious popularity has declined because of a number of new varieties that are considered to taste better.  Growers have been planting proprietary varieties or improved versions of varieties such as gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Cosmic Crisp.

Over 600,000 Honey Crisp trees were planted this year, and about 5.5 million more will go in the ground next year.  A significant reason for more Honey Crisp planting is it has a harvest window very similar to that of the Red Delicious.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

Mango Imports

As Mexican mango imports seasonally decline the slack its being picked up by imports from Brazil.  Brazil’s season is expected to continue through November with a projection of approximately 8.2 million boxes  Peak imports are expected mid-September to mid-October.

As Brazilian imports wind down, imports will be available from Ecuador followed by Peru, which will take production into the new year with the return to volume from Mexico coming in March.

Mexican mangoes through Nogales – grossing about $4000 to Chicago.



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Idaho Farmers Gearing up for Potato Harvest; Michigan Apple Shipping Outlook is Updated

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DSCN9804Idaho farmers are ramping up to start harvesting potatoes soon.  Plus, an updated report on how Michigan apple shipments will be in the wake of that spring freeze.

The 2017 Idaho potato harvest commences with days coming off of 308,000 acres.  Over 700 farmers will be preparing to dig about 13 billion pounds of potatoes in a short six-week window.

This year’s crop, which will produce approximately one-third of all potatoes shipped in the United States, will contribute more than $4.5 billion to Idaho’s economy and provide more than 30,000 jobs.  Idaho potato shipments are easily the largest volume in the country.  Heres some more interesting facts:

When fall potatoes are harvested, approximately 62 percent will be used as processed products; 29 percent will be sold as fresh potatoes to retailers and foodservice operators; and 9 percent are grown for certified seed

  • More than 25 potato varieties are grown in Idaho
  • The average American eats about 113 pounds of potatoes each year
  • Idaho potatoes are certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food
  • A 5.3-ounce potato provides 110 calories, 45 percent daily value of vitamin C, nearly twice the potassium of a banana, three grams of fiber, and are fat-, sodium-, cholesterol- and gluten-free.
  • The potato is the world’s fourth-largest food crop.
  • At a White House dinner in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson was the first person to serve French fries in the United States
  • New York consumes more Idaho potatoes than any other state, followed by Ohio, Florida and Texas
  • The first potato was grown in Peru between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Michigan Apple Shipments

Following a hard frost on May 8-9 apple buds were damaged in certain Michigan production areas.  However, opinions vary on how much fresh apple shipments will be affected this season..

Still, the majority opinion sees volume at about 75 to 80 of normal.  In 2017 there was a huge crop that totaled 30 million bushels.  Another difference this season will be timing. Crops of 2015 and 2016 were about three weeks earlier than normal.  This season, the harvest and shipments will start on a more normal pattern, any day now with the Sweet Tango, Gala and McIntosh varieties.

The Ridge, which produces the majority of Michigan’s fresh apples, fared a little better, which is why the crop is not down more. The northern part of the state pretty much will have a full crop. Southern Michigan growers may be off 20 to 30 percent.


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National Produce Shipping Outlook as We Wait for Spring Volume Increases

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DSCN7302If you thought produce hauling was bad in January, you’ve probably not found February to be any better.  But it’s that time of the year.  Hang in there, March is coming and volume on many items will be picking up as we head into spring.  In the meantime, here’s a national outlook for some of the better loading opportunities.

Apple Shipments

Washington state’s Yakima and Wenatchee valleys are providing the lion’s share of apple shipments, and the single biggest volume for any fruit or vegetable right now, moving around 3100 truck load equivalents per week.  Michigan and New York state are loading some apples, but nothing close to Washington.

Washington apples and pears – grossing about $6200 to New York City.

Potato Shipments

As has been the case for months, one of the heaviest volume produce item is with Idaho potato shipments.  Originating primarily from the Burley and Twin Falls areas, the state is averaging around 1900 truck load equivalents per week.  However, keep in mind with a big crop and low f.o.b. prices, shippers are looking for the cheapest transportation available, and often that is with the railroad….Colorado’s San Luis Valley is shipping about 600 truck loads of potatoes, while Central Wisconsin is moving about half that volume.

Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5100 to New York City.

Imported Produce

Mexican imported  produce continues crossing the border near McAllen, Tx.  Avocados last week amounted to around 875 truck loads and volume is expected to increase.  Mexican tomatoes are around 500 truck loads per week.  There’s many other items in much smaller volume ranging from limes to watermelon crossing the South Texas border.

Imported cantaloupes are in good volume primarily from Guatemala and Honduras arriving mostly at Southern Florida ports and ports in Southern California…..Peruvian grape arrivals are pretty much finished.  Problems with Chilean grape quality are supposed to be improving now, but still keep an eye on what’s being loaded.  But Chile’s the only game in town now with grapes, with most arriving at Ports in the Philadelphia area.



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U.S. Potato Shipping Update; Imports of Argentina Lemons Gets Okay

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dscn8596Two-thirds of the nation’s potatoes have yet to be shipped for the 2016-17 season.  Meanwhile, Argentina lemons will be permitted to enter the U.S., with first arrivals next spring.

About 34 percent of the U.S. potato crop has been shipped thus far this season as of December 1st.  The 13 major potato shipping states had 269 million cwt. of potatoes in storage at the beginning of the month, up 2 percent from a year ago.

The nation’s largest potato shipper, Idaho, had 72 percent of its fall crop — 100 million cwt. — remaining in storage on December 1st.  Washington state, which is a distant second to Idaho in volume, had 57 million cwt. of potatoes in storage December 1st, which was 54 percent of its crop.

Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5100 to New York City.

San Luis Valley, Colorado potatoes – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

Argentina Lemon Imports

The USDA has ruled fresh lemons from Argentina will be permitted to be imported into the U.S., which has greatly upset California citrus leaders.   The rule is the result of 10 years of study on pest risks.  The agriculture department projects  Argentina may export between 15,000 and 20,000 metric tons of fresh lemons to the U.S. annually, or about 4 percent of the average total U.S. lemon volume (based on shipments from 2008 to 2014) of 535,244 metric tons.

Most Argentina lemons are expected to be arriving at U.S. ports between April 1st and August 31st.  Based on imports of 18,000 metric tons, the USDA estimates that the effect of Argentina lemon exports to the U.S. will be a lemon price reduction of about 4 percent. This is not the first time Argentina has been approved to ship lemons to the U.S.  Argentina had shipped close to 1.5 million cartons of lemons to the U.S. in 2000-01 before U.S. grower concerns about pest and disease threats — including canker — were upheld in a California court.



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Where’s the Biggest Demand for Produce Trucks?, Plus Lots More

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dscn8594Check out where in the nation the biggest demand for produce truckers is….Also, there are reasons South Texas is becoming a bigger player for hauling Mexican imported produce. Plus, what’s up with pomegranates.

Idaho Potato Shipments

The biggest demand for produce trucking in the country is coming out of the Twin Falls, ID area.  Easily, the largest potato shipping state, Idaho is currently averaging about 2000 truck load equivalents of mostly russet potatoes per week.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $2200 to Atlanta.

California Pomegranate Shipments

 Most pomegranates for the holiday season have already been shipped because of a short crop due to heavy October rains.  The USDA reports only 120,000 pounds of U.S. pomegranates shipped between November 6 – 12, off from 660,000 between November  8 – 14 a year ago.  The year-to-date total for U.S. pomegranate shipments is 7.56 million pounds, down from 9.17 million pounds at the same point last year.

California’s Pom Wonderful accounts for about 60 percent of the pomegranate shipments, which normally lasts through January.

Crown Jewels Produce, of Fresno, normally ships through the second week of December, but finished its season a month early.  Its volume is down about 30 percent.

Simonian Fruit of Fowler, CA typically ships pomegranates into January, or February, but will wrap up its season by Christmas if not sooner.

Mexican Import Growth

Mexico continues to play a pivotal role in the Texas produce industry.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in our Texas ports of entry on the import side,” Bret Erickson, president and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association, said recently. “It’s important to recognize also that many of our largest producers in Texas are also some of our largest importers, so the import industry plays a real critical role in the overall success of the produce industry in Texas.”
Import volumes were up nearly 25 percent in 2015 from the previous year, and a significant volume of fresh produce coming from Mexico now goes through Texas.
This has resulted in volumes of fresh produce coming through Pharr, TX just about equaling tonnage in Nogales, AZ.
Reasons for the increase in import volume include a new highway system in Mexico, which serves as a pipeline from the main production area of Mexico straight to south Texas.
Weather and labor issues in the U.S. have also contributed.  However, the import growth rate is expected to slow in the coming years as the infrastructure in the area expands to handle the volume now being transported.
The boom in infrastructure in south Texas is certainly a positive economic impact to the state of Texas in terms of jobs and construction companies getting bids to build cold storage facilities, with some being as large as 100,000 square feet.
Mexcian imports through South Texas – grossing bout $3100 to Miami.


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Lettuce Loads Moving to Huron; Idaho Potato Update

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dscn8447Salinas Valley lettuce shipments are on the decline and the seasonal transition to the San Joaquin Valley is underway.  Also, here is an update on potato shipments out of the nation’s leading state – Idaho.

Harvest of iceberg lettuce from the Westside district in the San Joaquin Valley in the Huron, CA area got underway about 10 days ago and volume shipments are increasing.

The seasonal transition of lettuce from California’s Salinas Valley to Huron and to desert growing regions of Arizona (Yuma) and California (Imperial Valley) are underway.   Although some minor insect problems and wind damage have occurred, other all quality of the iceberg is reported to be good.

Salinas Valley fruit and vegetable shipments – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

San Joaquin Valley vegetable shipments – grossing about $5100 to Atlanta.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato acreage is reported to be very similar compared with a year ago, and Idaho potato growers and shippers are looking at good quality crop with a good range of sizes for the 2016-17 shipping season. Yields are reported to be fairly good.

About 325,000 acres of Idaho potatoes were planted this year, compared with 323,000 acres planted a year ago.  The state’s potato crop accounts for about 33 percent of all U.S. potato volume.

According to the USDA  Idaho’s 2015-16 crop was being shipped throughout the season, with top shipment months occurring in September (12 percent of annual volume), October (12 percent), April (11 percent), March (9 percent) and May (9 percent). The comparatively lower volume months were July (6 percent) and August (6 percent).

For the state’s acreage in the 2014-15 season, Russet Burbank potatoes stood at 50.4 percent of the shipments, down from 52.5 percent in 2013-14.  Russet Norkotah volume accounted for 17 percent of the acreage, down from 20.1 percent in 2013-14 shipping season.  Ranger Russet rose from 14.2 percent in the 2013-14 season to 15.5 percent in the  2014-15 shipping season.

Idaho potato shipments from the Idaho Falls area – grossing about $3000 to Chicago; $5000 to New York City.

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Fall Means More Storage Potato, Onion Shipments

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dscn8177Fall is settling in to many parts of the U.S. and that is good for storage potato and onion shipments.  Here’s a look at the most active shipping areas.

Storage onions from around the country are being shipped, although the heaviest volume is coming from Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Leading the nation in dry onion shipments is Washington state’s Columbia Basin.  It is averaging about 875 truck loads per week.  Coming in a close second are onion shipments out of western Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon, amount to a little over 800 loads weekly.  From here volume is significantly less from other areas.

Ranking third are sweet onion imports from Peru.  An equivalent of nearly 150 truck loads are arriving weekly by boat.  However, keep in mind these arrivals are scattered among a few different ports along the East Coast.  Placing fourth in volume are storage onions from upstate New York led by Orange County, although some volume is scattered from the central and western portions of the state.  Use some caution as some quality problems are being reported.

Finally, there is some very light volume coming out of the Bakersfield are of Southern California.

Columbia Basin potatoes and onions – grossing $3500 to Chicago.

Potato Shipments

Potato shipments, mostly from the Northwestern U.S. and the central U.S. are mostly moving in steady volume now.  As usual, Idaho easily leads the volume.  It is moving nearly 1600 truck load equivalents weekly, mostly from the Twin Falls, Burley areas.  Keep in mind, up to about 40 percent of this volume may be moving by rail.  Two separate shipping areas have similar potato right now.  Colorado’s San Luis Valley, as well as Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umatillia Basin of Oregon are averaging about 675 truck loads weekly.

A number of other potato shipments are available from other parts of the nation, but in very light volume.  Among those are Western Texas (Hereford) and Eastern New Mexico; Northwest Washington, the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan, Southern California, Long Island, NY and the Klamath Basin of Northern California and Southern Oregon.

Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5000 to New York City.

Colorado potato loadings – grossing about $2900 to Atlanta.

Wisconsin potato shipments – grossing about $950 to Chicago.




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U.S. Potato Shipments Underway for New Season

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Chuck & Randy Boushey, A&L PotatoThe new U.S. potato shipping season is underway in very light volume.  Here is a preview from five states on what to expect.

Indiana Potato Shipments

Here’s one you may not be aware of.  The red potato harvest has begun at Black Gold Farms’ operation in Winamac, IN, located about hallway between Chicago and Indianapolis.  Red potatoes for the fresh market account for  several hundred acres of Norland and Dark Red Norland varieties, which are being shipped through August.  The Winamac farm allows Black Gold Farms to ship potatoes the year-round from its own farms.  The cycle that starts each year in Texas and then transitions to North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri before moving up to Indiana and finally to the Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota.

North Dakota/Minnesota Potato Shipments

Red River Valley red potato shipments out of North Dakota and Minnesota are expected to be off 25 to 30 percent from a year ago due to weather factors.  However, shipments, which will begin in mid October, are expected to be normal for 2016-17 until storages start running out of product late in the season (May and June).  This will probably mean an earlier than normal end to shipping for most shippers.  The Red River Valley is the nation’s largest red potato shipping area.  A & L Potato Co. in East Grand Forks, MN is already packing and shipping red potatoes.  Big Lake and Long Prairie, MN, along with Wisconsin typically ship the first red potatoes of the new season beginning in August.

Big Lake, MN potatoes – grossing about $1000 to Chicago.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

Central Wisconsin is now shipping red potatoes, with russets coming soon.  The first russets are expected this week in very light volume.  The Badger State ranks third in U.S. potato shipments. Normal volume is expected this year.

Idaho Potato Shipments

The nation’s leading potato shipper, Idaho, is expected to get underway for the new season the week of August 15th.  Normal volume is expected for the 2016-17 shipping season.

Twin Falls, ID potatoes – grossing about $1450 to L.A.




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A National Produce Shipping Smorgasbord

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DSCN7132Here’s a smorgasbord of produce loading opportunities from around the nation ranging from Michigan to Missouri, the east coast, Idaho and the southwest.

Michigan Produce Shipments

There is light to moderate shipments of summer vegetables coming out of Michigan, primarily in the western half of the state.  Cucumbers are one of the heavier volume items, but it is still only about 200 truck loads per week.  Other items range from squash to celery.  Blueberry shipments continue to increase in volume, while sweet corn is just getting started.  Peach loadings will be down significantly this season.

Michigan blueberries and vegetables – grossing about $850 to Chicago.

Midwest Produce Shipments

Watermelon shipments are your best bet here.  In the boot heel of Southeastern Missouri, about a 1,000 truckloads of watermelons were loaded last week, and volume is still increasing….Meanwhile, southwestern Indiana and southeastern Illinois watermelon shipments are very light and it will be another two weeks before substantial volume is available.

Missouri watermelons – grossing about $1500 to Chicago.

Eastern Produce Shipments

In New Jersey, peach loadings are just getting underway, while the blueberry season is coming to an end….New York state is starting to wake up with items ranging from Hudson Valley sweet corn to cucumbers picking up in August….Watermelon loadings should be moving into decent volume in a couple of weeks from Delaware, Maryland and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho continues to ship potatoes from the 2015-16 crop.  The state is moving nearly 1,900 truckload equivalents weekly.  Potato loadings are relatively light by comparison from other states.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $5000 to New York City.

New Mexico Onion Shipments

Onion shipments are available from the southern part of the state and averaging around 750 truckloads per week….Across the state line in the Hereford, Tx area, potato shipments are moving into good volume with the new crop.  Shippers are still trying to sell some of the old crop, which increases your chances of quality problems at destination.

New Mexico onions – grossing about $3400 to Atlanta.

Now wasn’t this a smorgasbord?



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A National Spring Produce Shipping Update

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DSCN7313Here’s a look at spring produce shipments from across the United States.

Northwest Cherry growers released their second crop estimate of the season on Friday 13.  In May —  19.8 million 20-pound boxes were forecast, and this should not have been affected by rains which hit Washington nearly a week ago.

Washington cherry shipments are still expected to occur ahead of normal schedule.  Initial cherry shipments are expected about May 20 – 23 for the earliest varieties.   Approximately 600,000 boxes of cherries are expected to be shipped by the end of May.  In total, shipments are forecast to be in the 18.5 to 20.5 million box range, a slight increase from a year ago.
Blueberry Shipments
The eastern U.S. is currently providing the vast majority of blueberry shipments, with loadings taking place out of northern Florida, southern Georgia and North Carolina.  Florida “blues” should quickly wind down next week….In Georgia, expected a shipping gap of just a few days as the season shifts from the highbush to the Rabbit Eye variety.  Fair to good volume is continuing from Eastern North Carolina.  Mexican blueberry shipments are light and erratic.
Georgia blueberries, sweet onions, and mixed vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.
Cantaloupe Shipments
Melon loadings led by cantaloupe and honeydew are coming out the desert regions of California and Arizona.   California produce shipments are coming out of the Imperial Valley and the nearby Palo Verde Valley.  Just to the east, Arizona loadings are taking place from the Yuma area, as well as in the central part of the state closer to Phoenix.
Nogales Produce Shipments
Imported Mexican produce, led by watermelons and table grapes are crossing the border at Nogales, AZ.  Most other imported Mexican produce commodities that crossed here are not available now.  Watermelon crossing are averaging about 2700 truck loads per week.  Table grape volume is around 750 truck loads weekly.
Mexican produce through Nogales – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.
Idaho Potato Shipments
Although we are entering the latter months of the 2015-16 shipping season, there are still over 1600 truck load equivalents be shipped each week.
Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5100 to New York City.

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