Posts Tagged “Michigan blueberries”

Good Shipments for the 4th of July

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DSCN1324+1Good volume and produce loading opportunities are expected leading into celebrating our nation’s independence.   Here’s a look at a number of fruits and vegetables that are popular Fourth of July items.

Cherry Shipments

A 4 percent drop in cherry shipments is estimated from the previous 19.8 million boxes.   Loadings now appear to be more like 18.4 million boxes.   About 10 million boxes of cherries will be shipped during June and almost 8 million in July.

The decline is due to a compression with the bloom period, so there will be compression in harvest.  This will translate into fewer days for shipments.

Loadings for the East Coast should be especially heavy the week of Father’s Day for July 4 and Canada Day on July 1.  Heavy volume will continue the first half of  July.

Berry Shipments

Northwest blueberry shipments will be heavy, especially for the Fourth of July.  This also in the time with initial loadings will start for Michigan blueberries.

In California’s Watsonville and Salinas district, strawberry shipments were not hurt by the cool weather that resulted in quality issues with some vegetables.

Peak Watsonville strawberry shipments and other berries are occurring and will continue into mid-July.  Weekly fresh strawberry volumes exceeded 7 million trays in May, roughly on par with last year.

Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry shipments are a little early out of the Pacific Northwest.

Sweet Corn Shipments

Georgia sweet corn volume should be light through mid-June but begin increasing significantly by June 17th through the Fourth of July.  Normal shipments are seen leading into the Fourth of July.

The majority of the nation’s  sweet corn shipments leading up the Fourth, originate from Georgia

Watermelon Shipments

Georgia should begin shipping watermelons in big volume by June 15th.

Rain-caused losses in Texas, the end of Nogales, Ariz., (Mexican) season and the tail end of central Florida shipments.  All of these factors will mean excellent loading opportunities for Georgia watermelon shipments.

South Carolina should start watermelon loadings by June 24th, while North Carolina will get underway by June 29th.





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Jury Still Out on How Michigan Fruit Shipments will be Affected by Winter Weather

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112The harsh winter has not only been tough on us, it will also have an impact on Michigan fruit shipments.

It’s estimated the brutle Michigan winter will slash Michigan peach shipments and wine grapes by 50 percent.

A fruit tree, grape vine, or small fruit bush is hardy down to a certain temperature.  Apple and cherry trees can take the coldest weather, while peaches are some of the most vulnerable to the cold.

However, with peaches and grapes, the losses may not be as bad as they appear. A  grower usually will prune 50 percent of the peach blossoms to produce bigger fruit.  Nature may have just saved peach growers some extra work. In wine grapes, the grower can adjust pruning methods later in the season, and still produce a nice amount of wine grapes.

Minus any more damaging weather conditions, the peach and wine grape shipments have the potential to be average to a little lower than average.

Michigan blueberries may also have some damage, but the losses will vary from variety to variety. Some blueberry varieties are more cold hardy than other varieties.

There is good news for Michigan’s apple crop and cherry shipments. These tree fruits are among the most cold tolerant. Right now very little damage is expected from the winter cold on apples and cherries.

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National Produce Shipments: Watch for California Produce Heat Damage

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When the Fourth of July falls during the week, there’s no telling what may happen regarding refrigerated truck demand.  Demand will be big – but how big? How big a factor will heat damage be to produce loads?

So many factors play into it.  A significant factor, for example, in California’s Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys could the scortching temperatures.  Coachella grapes and San Joaquin Valley stone fruit could develop quality problems.  While temperatures are supposed to cool some over the long 4th of July holiday, triple digits were common this past weekend.  So just be extra careful loading produce items that have been subjected to heat.

Washington state apricot shipments have joined other summer fruits such as cherries, peaches and blueberries.  Loadings for apricots should continue through July.

Washington blueberries are in peak volume through July, with shipments continuing into October.

New York State

New York state ranks fifth in the nation for vegetable shipments and second with apples.  Vegetable loadings will be cranking up in July from many parts of this huge state…..A big time rebound is being forecast for New York apples this season, which will get underway in August.  Last season’s shipments were drastically cut due to weather factors.


About 104 million pounds of Michigan blueberry shipments could wind up being the end-of-season total, up from 87 million pounds last year and the biggest since 2010’s total of 107 million pounds.

North American growers are expected to ship about 380 million pounds of fresh-market blueberries in 2013, up from about 330 million pounds in 2012.

Fresh blueberries loadings are expected to make up about 55% of U.S. blueberry production in 2013.

East Coast

North Carolina is shipping blueberries, South Carolina is loading peaches, while Georgia has everything from Fort Valley peaches, to Vidalia onions and a good variety of vegetables from the Southern part of the state.


Shipments and demand for refrigerated equipment can get pretty funky during the week when a holiday such as the Fourth of July falls on a week day.  Produce buyers are already ordering post holiday fruits and veggies for deliveries to restock.  Some eastbound coast-to-coast loads could concievably hit $10,000, but that’s simply a guess.  You can bet $9000-plus is a good bet.


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