Posts Tagged “Michigan apple shipments”

Michigan Apple Shipments to Start in late August; Volume Looking Good

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Observers of Michigan apples report the crop is looking good for 2020, but we haven’t heard any specifics as to how it compares to an average of 25 million bushels shipped in a normal season. That old crop will wrap up in July before the new season kicks off with early varieties in late August.

We should have a better idea when an official crop size estimate is released at USApple’s Outlook conference, Aug. 20-21, which will be online this year.

Many growers have signed on with managed varieties in Michigan, such as Smitten, Sweet Tango, Kiku, and more. In addition, EverCrisp has become exceedingly popular in the winter months, as it stores well.

There also are more traditional varieties such as Honeycrisp, Gala and Fuji . There is less volume due to lower demand for such varieties as
Jonathan and Romes, among others.

The Michigan Apple Commitee reports it is aiming toward expansion beyond the Great Lakes region. Michigan Apples are shipped to 32 states and exported to 18 countries.

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Belleharvest, Michigan Fresh Join Forces to Ship Apples

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Two Michigan apple markets have combined sales staffs and represent about 150 growers, which will result in around 3 million bushels of Michigan apple shipments due to the union.

Joining forces are Belleharvest Sales Inc. and Michigan Fresh Marketing.

The merger creates a sales alliance, resulting in the second-largest apple shipping operation in Michigan, according to a news release. In 2018, 10 million to 11 million of the state’s 24 million bushels were sold on the fresh market.

The apples will be packed at 7 facilities owned by Belleharvest of Belding, MI., and Michigan Fresh Marketing of Grand Rapids.

“This move is being made to take full advantage of both companies’ strengths and abilities,” Milt Fuehrer, Belleharvest CEO, said. “By merging the offices into one company there will be a robust sales department along with a wider distribution footprint.”

Michigan Fresh CEO Joe D’Ottavio said the partnership allows for innovation.

“The growth potential these two organizations bring to the market is exponential,” D’Ottavio said. “We have an experienced sales team, diverse varieties, and the ability to pack orders quickly and efficiently.”

The Belleharvest/Michigan Fresh partnership follows other changes in the Michigan apple industry. In January, Applewood Fresh Growers LLC of Sparta, formed to market apples from more than 11,000 acres in Michigan and other states.

Also in January, Riveridge Produce Marketing, a Sparta apple grower-shipper-marketer, acquired Sparta apple company Jack Brown Produce’s sales operation.

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Early Forecast Has Michigan Apple Shipments Looking Good

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While Washington state continues to easily lead the nation in apple shipments, both Michigan and New York have been running neck and neck in recent years for second place.

During the 2018-19 season Michigan shipped apples to retailers in 32 states, up from about 28 states the previous season.

The Michigan Apple Committee in Lansing relates there has been a good increase into markets in the Northeast and the organization is hoping to expand its presence into the Southern U.S.

While the bloom on trees is a little late this year due to a cool and wet spring, warmer temperatures recently have spurred bee activity during pollination. This has observers optimistic about a full crop.



Last year, the Michigan apple shipments totaled about 24 million bushels, down from early season projections of 27 million bushels or more.

Michigan fresh apple loadings typically range from 10 million to 14 million bushels, with the balance of the crop going to processors. The 2018 crop was about 10 million to 11 million cartons fresh. 

While an overall larger crop is seen, one exception could be the Honeycrisp variety, where growers are seeing a somewhat lighter crop compared with a year ago.



While early varieties will begin harvest in August, gala harvest is expected to get underway around Labor Day.

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Fewer U.S. Apple Shipments this Season, but There Still will be Good Volume

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C3Just about everyone is in agreement there will be fewer U.S. apple shipments this season, which extends into the late summer of 2019.  How many fewer, depends upon whom you ask.

The U.S. Apple Association is predicting 256.16 million, 42-pound cartons will be shipped.  This is 6 percent below the USDA’s forecast, as well a 6 percent less than a year ago.

Western Apple Shipments

More specifically, the U.S. Apple Association is predicting this season’s Washington apple shipments will be at 155 million cartons, which is 10 percent below the USDA’s  forecast of 171.4 million cartons.  The U.S. Apple estimate for Washington is off 13 percent from 2017 shipments and 5 percent below the five-year average.

Washington growers reported that

The early harvested apple crop has fallen short of the expectations of Washington growers due to uneven bloom timing, which resulted in uneven maturity rates in orchards.

In total, Western U.S. apple shipments are estimated at 166.2 million cartons, off 9 percent from the USDA’s estimate and 12 percent below a year ago.

Midwest and Eastern Apple Shipments

The U.S. Apple Association and USDA figures pretty well match for Michigan and New York. The U.S. Apple estimates for New York is 31 million cartons, unchanged from the USDA estimate of 30.9 million cartons and the same as last year’s output.

Michigan apple shipments estimated U.S. Apple stand at 28 million cartons, unchanged from the USDA’s 27.96 million carton estimate.  Michigan’s forecasted crop is 40 percent above a year ago and 8 percent higher than the five-year average.

Michigan accounts for about 90 percent of Midwest apple shipments.

BelleHarvest Fruit Sales Inc. of Belding, MI reports while this season’s forecast shows a nice rebound in volume, it falls short of the record 2016 apple shipments of 30.4 million cartons.

Fifty percent of the Michigan apple crop will consist of Fuji, Honeycrisp and gala, a number expected to increase in coming years.

The U.S. Apple estimate for the Midwest stands at 31.6 million cartons, virtually unchanged from the USDA estimate of 31.4 million cartons and up 35 percent from a year ago.

Eastern Apple Shipments

Crist Brothers Apple Orchards of Walden, NY points out various apple shipping regions in the East have similar volume to last year, which includes New England’s Vermont, which had some dry weather.

Virginia apple shipments have experienced excessive rains since last May and June, but is still expecting normal shipments.

Pennsylvania apple shipments are expected to total 12-million bushels, down 5 percent from last year.

New York apple shipments from Hudson Valley should be similar to the five-year average.

Western New York shipments are predicted to be about the same as a year ago.

The U.S. Apple estimate predicts Eastern U.S. apple shipments to total  58.4 million cartons, nearly unchanged from the USDA’s estimate of 58.7 million cartons and down only 1 percent from a year ago.

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Huge Michigan Apple Shipping Increase is Seen; Envy Apple Loadings are Rising

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DSCN0864The shipping of Michigan apples should make a major rebound this season over a year ago.

Both volume and sizing of Michigan apples should be up as the USDA predicts 1.18 billion pounds, a 40 percent increase from the 840 million pounds produced in 2017.

While it may be a large volume crop, total shipments are not expected to set a record.  In 2016, Michigan apple shipments set a record of 1.28 billion pounds.

The Michigan Apple Committee reports a favorable crop to good springtime weather and no major weather incidents such as summertime hail.

The apple harvest in Michigan is underway and BelleHarvest Sales Inc. of Belding, MI is reporting a “great” crop that has size, sugar and color.

North Bay Produce of Traverse, MI launched its season with the paula reds variety on August 17th describing the growing season a pretty good, with great pollination and a really nice crop.

Glei’s Inc. of Hillsdale, MI kicked off its primary early summer varieties around Labor Day with galas city growing conditions as being much better than a year ago when there was frost damage.  The company normally has apple shipments lasting 10 months, but the season in 2017 was shorter with poor quality.

Envy Apple Shipments

The Oppenheimer Group of Vancouver, B.C. is forecasting a 50 pecent increase in shipments of its Envy apples this season.  The Envy apple is now shipped year around with the combination of its domestic loadings from Washington, as well as being imported from New Zealand.  The variety has been described as large, red, very sweet and crisp.

Oppy also is expecting a 10 percent increase in its shipments of the Jazz variety.  A big difference from last season is the company is expects good sizing for Jazz apples.

The Pacific Rose variety of apple will also receive emphasis this season, which has been sold out of Washington for 15 years.  It is know as being very popular in China and in Vietnam. The taste of the Pacific Rose has been compared to that of the fuji apple.

Oppy also will be shipping Ambrosia apples in larger volume, whose originals are from British Columbia. The Ambrosia comes from BC Tree Fruit of Kelowna, B.C.

Oppy did not cite volumes for any of these varieties.

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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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Spring Frost will Mean Fewer Apple Shipments from Michigan This Season

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DSCN9658A visit by “Jack Frost” last spring suckered punch Michigan apple growers and the result will be fewer loading opportunities in the new season set to start soon.

Michigan apple shipments for the upcoming season have taken a significant hit due to a frost last May.  It is expected to result in nearly 30 percent fewer truck loads from the from 2016 17-shipping season.

While the official USDA forecast will come out August 10th, the industry’s Premier 2017 Apple Production Estimate pegs the Michigan crop at 20 million (42-pound) cartons, off 29 percent from a year ago and 8 percent less than the five-year average.

Among the biggest losers from the spring cold were jonagolds and McIntosh, which suffered significant frost damage on May 8.  Having much better luck were galas, Honeycrisp and fuji apples.

Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc. of Sparta, MI is among the state’s largest apple shippers.  The company expects about three-quarters of a full crop.

Initially, the USDA estimates 27.98 million cartons of fresh and processed fruit for Michigan apples.

Total fresh Michigan apple shipments through early July were nearly 9 million cartons, with most of the fresh apples from the old  shipped by mid-July.

First harvest of paulareds and gingergold apples is expected around the third week of August.

U.S. Apple Shipments

The USDA in its June forecast — the final one for the 2016-17 — the agency raised its 2016 estimate for Washington apple shipments by 8 percent compared with the August 2016 estimate.  The USDA also raised its estimate for 2016 U.S. apple production from 248 million (42-pound) cartons in August 2016 to its final estimate of 268 million cartons.

The Premier estimate shows the 2017 U.S. apple crop at 255.57 million cartons, which is down 5 percent from the final USDA estimate for the 2016 crop of 268.4 million cartons.

The 2017 Premier production estimate for Washington state calls for production of 165 million cartons in 2017, down 5.3 percent from 174.3 million cartons produced in 2016 but 9 percent higher than the five-year average. About 80 percent of Washington apples are shipped fresh.

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California Strawberry Shipments are Strong; Michigan Freeze Has Asparagus Down, but Not Out

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Asparagus freezeHeavy California strawberry shipments should continue for the foreseeable future.  Meanwhile, Michigan asparagus was clobbered by a hard freeze, but good volume is returning soon.

While fresh strawberry shipments from Oxnard are over with only berries for processing being picked, fresh loadings have moved northward to  Santa Maria and Watsonville. A significant increase in volume took place last week and will the trend will continue.  Watsonville will experience its heaviest strawberry shipments the last week of May through the first week of June.  Santa Maria strawberry shipments are currently peaking.

Additionally, raspberry loadings are now coming out of Watsonville and are expected to have significant volume increases during the next weeks, which will continue through Summer and into the Fall.

Grower report that the four year drought in California resulted in a build up of salt in the soil, but this season’s heavy rains leeched most of that salt out of the ground.  This is making for prime growing conditions, and crop quality.

California strawberry shipments have been heavy since right after Easter with good loading opportunities expected for upcoming holidays in the weeks ahead from the Northern districts.

Santa Maria strawberriy and vegetable shipments – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

Salinas Valley strawberry and vegetable shipments – grossing about $6600 to New York City.

Michigan Asparagus Shipments

Asparagus is one of the most unusual produce crops I am familiar with.  I was once visiting an asparagus farm in California and the owner told me that under excellent conditions the vegetable grew so fast at night you could literally hear it growing.  It can grow as much as four to six inches a day!

I was reminded of this with the May 8th hard freeze in Michigan that severely hit the asparagus crop (see photo).  Despite temperatures plunging to 23 degrees F. for two to three hours, resulting in  a loss of an estimated 5 to 8 percent of the total crop, the season is far from lost.  Decent volume will be returning this week, with peak volume shipments out of Michigan coming next week.

Typically, the heaviest asparagus shipments occur early in the season.  That won’t happen in Michigan this year.  Even though  all the asparagus that was above ground froze, it will quickly rebound.

Michigan apple shipments – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta.

 

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Michigan is Experiencing Record Apple Shipments

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appleSalesby The Michigan Apple Committee

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Apple industry set new shipment records eleven weeks in a row in from October 15 through Christmas, according to the USDA Specialty Crop Market News Service.

“These record numbers come as no surprise after the Michigan Apple industry reported an estimated record crop of 31 million bushels for 2016. Growers, packers and shippers have been working very hard to continue to move the apple crop,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “These numbers illustrate not only that we have a large crop, but also that there is great retail and consumer demand for Michigan-grown apples.”

According to the USDA Specialty Crop Market News Service, the organization that tracks shipment numbers, the Michigan apple shipments totaled 330,150 boxes of apples the week of October 15. The weeks of October 22, 29, and November 5 each recorded more than 300,000 boxes. The week of December 24 saw shipments at 153,787 boxes, more than 1,200 higher than that week in 2013. Comprehensive shipment data for Michigan and the entire U.S. can be found at the USDA Specialty Crop Market News Service website, at ttp://www.marketnews.usda.gov/portal/fv.

“With the adoption of high-density orchard plantings, more trees in the ground and new technology from the orchard, to the packing line, to the retailer, this is a trend that will continue,” said Smith. “Michigan is poised to increase apple production into the future, and the Michigan Apple Committee is prepared to support that growth through retail programs, consumer education and research funding.”

With 11.3 million total apple trees in commercial production on 35,500 acres, Michigan is the second largest producer of apples in the United States, and distributes apples to 27 states and 18 countries.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com.

Western Michigan apples – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta.

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13% More U.S. Apples Remain to be Shipped over Previous Season

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dscn8591Good apple loading opportunities for produce truckers should remain throughout the season which normally continues into August.  This will be particularly true for Washington state, the nation’s leading apple shipper.

There are significant differences in U.S. apple shipments by region, but fresh market apples remaining in storages stood at 120.3 million bushels on December 1st.  This is an increase of 13 percent over a year earlier and 12 percent more than the five-year average of 107.5 million bushels.

New York state easily leads apple shipments in the Northeast and was particularly hit hard by cold weather at blossom time.  Plus a persistent drought during the growing season didn’t help New York or other Northeastern apple shippers.

New York apples in storage as of last November 1st were down 28 percent from the same date a year earlier.

Also of interest is Michigan apple shipments now rank number 2 in the nation, having surpassed New York.  Michigan apples in storages were 17 percent higher last November than the previous season, thanks primarily to good growing conditions.

Apples remaining in storage in the Western states, led by Washington, were 17 percent higher on November 1st than a year earlier.

Nationally, the total number of apples in storage was 179 million bushels, 11 percent more than the previous year total of 161 million bushels.

Apples are big business.  The fruit had totaled $2.9 billion in total sales as of October 29th, or 7.3 percent more than the same period in 2015.

Gala was the dominant variety, with $670.5 million in sales, followed by Honeycrisp, $541.5 million; fuji, $386.6 million; granny smith, $330.9 million; red delicious, $311.3 million; Pink Lady, $157.5 million; golden delicious, $129.2 million; mcintosh, $80.5 million; and Ambrosia, $60.9 million.

Apple growers in Michigan harvested an estimated 31 million bushels in 2016, compared to New York’s total of an estimated 28 million bushels.

Washington had its second-largest apple crop in history — 137.4 million bushels as of November.  The record is the 2014 crop of 142 million bushels.  There are 7 million more cartons of red delicious and 5 million more of galas remaining in Washington storages, compared to 2015.

Apple shipments from Eastern growing areas hasn’t been as fortunate.  There was a record cold snap in mid-April in Pennsylvania and other states, which may have reduced the New York and Pennsylvania crops by up to a third.

Yakima Valley (WA) apples and pears – grossing about $6400 to New York City.

Western Michigan apples – grossing about $3100 to Dallas.

 

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