Posts Tagged “Michigan vegetable shipments”

Michigan Vegetable Shipments Picking up Volume After Slow Start

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Michigan vegetable shipments got off to a slow start this year due to chilly weather, but have moved into good volume for late summer and fall. Harvest was two to three weeks later than normal for most growers.

Rice Lake Farms Packing LLC, Grant, MI is one operation that is late this year. The company started harvesting turnips, rutabagas and red beets in late July. It began shipping gold beets and candy beets in early August and also has watermelon and radishes.

Jumbo carrots and celery root is just getting underway for Rice Lake Farms.

Superior Sales of Hudsonville has a similar situation with a late start this year, but is now shipping green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, green peppers and specialty chili peppers, such as jalapenos, serranos and poblanos.

Superior Sales shipped asparagus during the spring and was shipping corn, cabbage, celery, and red and green leaf lettuce this summer.

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Michigan Produce Shipments will Peak in August, September

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Michigan vegetable shipments have been underway for months, but will be peaking in August and September.

The state actually ships produce the year around, although apples make up its fruit shipments during the winter. Likewise most winter vegetable shipments consist of potato and onion repacking operation with the product sourced from other areas.

But right now the focus on fresh summer and fall produce loadings.

In 2018, Michigan shipped the equivalent of 50.8 million 40-pound cartons of fresh fruits and vegetables, according the USDA.

The state’s total shipments were slightly less than 53.2 million 40-pound equivalent cartons shipped in 2017 and 9 percent lower than the 55.8 million 40-pound cartons shipped by the state in 2016.


While Michigan ships fruits and vegetables every month of the year, volume will increase seasonally this summer and fall. Last year, 14 percent of total annual Michigan produce shipments occurred in August, increasing to 15 percent in September.

The top 10 fresh produce commodities for the state in 2018, in 40-pound carton equivalents, were:

  • Apples, 6.9 million cartons, down 13 percent from 7.9 million cartons in 2017;
  • Potatoes: 5.65 million cartons, down 4 percent from 5.91 million cartons in 2017;
  • Watermelons (seeded and unseeded): 2.46 million cartons, up 5 percent from 2.35 million cartons in 2017;
  • Cucumbers: 2.05 million cartons, down 7 percent from 2.21 million cartons in 2017;
  • Onions: 1.14 million carton, down 16 percent from 1.36 million cartons in 2017;
  • Bell peppers: 985,000 cartons, down 26 percent from 1.33 million cartons in 2017: 
  • Cabbage: 880,000 cartons, down 15 percent from 1.04 million cartons in 2017;
  • Squash: 880,000 cartons, up 4 percent from 847,500 cartons in 2017;
  • Celery: 862,500 cartons, down 33 percent from 1.28 million cartons in 2017;
  • Blueberries: 672,500 cartons, down 32 percent from 982,500 cartons in 2017;
  • Tomatoes (all types): 655,000 cartons, down 33 percent from 975,000 cartons in 2017;
  • Sweet corn: 562,500 cartons, down 5 percent from 592,500 cartons in 2017;
  • Asparagus: 272,500 cartons, down 8 percent from 297,500 cartons in 2017; and 
  • Peaches: 117,500 cartons, down 4 percent from 122,500 acres in 1970.

Long-term acreage trends

The USDA’s Census of Agriculture reveals most Michigan fruit and vegetables experienced an acreage decline in the past 10 years, though there are exceptions.

Acreage figures for Michigan fruits and vegetables in 2017, compared with 2007:

  • Apples: 38,563 acres in 2017, down 13 percent from 44,189 in 2007;
  • Peaches: 2,863 acres in 2017, down 47 percent from 5,400 acres in 2007;
  • Grapes: 13,127 acres in 2017, down 11 percent from 14,701 acres in 2007;
  • Blueberries: 22,959 acres in 2017 (no data for 2007);
  • Celery: 2,078 acres in 2017, up 6 percent from 1,968 acres in 2007;
  • Carrots: 3,473 acres in 2017, down 37 percent from 5,499 acres in 2007;
  • Onions: 2,495 acres in 2017, down 46 percent from 4,592 acres in 2007;
  • Cucumbers: 34,409 acres in 2017, down 16 percent from 40,820 acres in 2007;
  • Lettuce: 1,027 acres in 2017, up 17 percent from 876 acres in 2007;
  • Bell peppers: 1,876 acres in 2017, up 19 percent from 1,577 acres in 2007;
  • Potatoes (fresh market and processing): 30,750 acres in 2017, up 19 percent from 1,577 acres in 2007; 
  • Sweet corn: 8,466 acres in 2017, down 11 percent from 10,885 acres in 2007;
  • Strawberries: 870 acres in 2017, down 29 percent from 1,229 acres in 2007; and
  • Raspberries: 532 acres in 2017, down 19 percent from 654 acres in 2007.

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Fruit Shipping Round Up from CA, NW and MI

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strawberriesNow that we are well into summer, here’s a look at California strawberry shipments, blueberries from the Northwest and New Jersey, as well as from Michigan, plus more.

For the 2016 season, California will ship nearly 80 percent of the  strawberry volume in the United States.

The 2016 California Strawberry Acreage Survey from the California Strawberry Commission notes 32,515 acres of strawberries were planted in California for the 2016 season.  This breaks down to 27,783 acres planted in the fall of last year for production in the winter, spring and summer and then 4,732 acres planted this summer for production in the fall.

California strawberries are shipped year-round in California, with the ‘late-season strawberries’ second planting often referred to as the “summer plant.”

The majority of this acreage is shipped into the fall/early winter, and primarily originates from the Oxnard and Santa Maria areas.

Watsonville strawberries and Salinas vegetables – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.

Blueberry Shipments

Oregon blueberry shipments are now coming out of the Willamette Valley region with mid- to late-season varieties.  Fresh shipments have ended a week or so early this year and now loadings are coming with “blues” out of storage.  Shipments should continue through September.

Meanwhile, peak blueberry shipments are expected through August from British Columbia and New Jersey, with both areas continuing with lighter volume through September.

Michigan Produce Shipments

Michigan could set record blueberry shipments as loadings continue this season.  However, growers are fighting a pest known as the Spotted Wing Drosophila, a nasty invasive fruit fly.  It’s requiring close attention with insecticides, are abundant, requiring stringent controls, DeGrandchamp said.

Meanwhile Southwestern Michigan also is shipping peaches and plums (Berrien County), but in much lighter volume.  The apricot season has ended.

Berian County apple shipments get underway in September, followed closely by loadings from Allegan County.

Michigan blueberry shipments – grossing about $3500 to Dallas; Michigan vegetable shipments grossing 25 to 30 percent less, depending upon destination.



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Michigan Produce Shipments are Looking Good

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IMG_6040+1Shipments of Michigan vegetables were steady this spring and it appears the heavier volume fruit and vegetable crops coming on in summer should also do well.

Not known for a particularly long growing season anyway, there’s a mindset that if you have a good crop of something, normally the rest of the crops will follow. Heaviest vegetable volume should occur during July and August.

Michigan Vegetable Shipments

Rhubarb got underway in early May, with the radish harvest starting in late May.

Buurma Farms of Willard, OH, grows and ships a full line of vegetables on about 1,000 acres in Gregory, MI.  Turnip and mustard greens, cilantro and dill got going the first week of June, and were followed a couple of weeks later by collards, kale and parsley.

In a few days, if not weeks, there will be cucumbers, pumpkins, green peppers, organic kale and ornamentals, as well as acorn squash, sweet corn, carrots and chili peppers.  Cabbage and zucchini have just started being shipped, with zucchini finishing in mid September.  This is when hard squash takes over, and along with cabbage, which will continue through Thanksgiving.,  Cucumber loadings will start in early July.

Grape tomatoes should begin around mid-July.  Romas and cantaloupes will follow, about July 20, with round tomatoes coming around August 1.

Celery was to start around the end of July, with shipments ending during the first half of October.

Sweet corn loadings begin in late July and continue through September.

Michigan Fruit Shipments

Peach shipments kick off Michigan’s fruit season, starting around the third or fourth week of July.

At Greg Orchards and Produce Inc., of Benton Harbor, MI, a good crop of pie cherries was seen as  a sign of positive for blueberry, grape, apple and peach crops to come.  Michigan blueberry shipments get underway in late June and run through late September.






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Late Season MI Blueberry Shipments are Starting

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136_3639+1Michigan fresh blueberry shipment will be done much earlier this year than normal, and total volumes will be well below previous estimates.

If that isn’t disappointing enough there’s now a shipping gap this week which will last through August 10th.  The lull in loadings is occurring with the transition from bluecrop to elliot varieties.

About 46 million pounds of fresh-market Michigan fruit should be shipped this season.  This compares to about 47 million pounds shipped in both 2014 and 2013.

Fewer shipments this year dates back to bitter winter weather.  Bushes less than one year of age and bushes older than five or six years were hit particularly hard, which will have a lingering effect on production.  The next two or three seasons expect Michigan blueberry shipments to be down.

So the overall effects of the cold winter and subsequent June drop on the 2014-15 crop will be heavy when final damages are tabulated, and the effects will continue to be felt next season and beyond.

Late-season elliots, which are starting this week, survived the winter much better than earlier varieties.  Shipments will be heavier in the later part of the season than in the early, which is completely backwards.

Michigan Vegetable Shipments

Michigan vegetable shipments are increasing or entering their peak season on items ranging from celery to cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant and squash, among others.

Michigan produce – grossing about $2800 to Dallas.

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Michigan and New York, Both to have Big Volume Apple Shipments

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DSCN4289The states of Michigan and New York at various times claim to be the second largest shipper of apples (Washington state is the easy first), but both states will have large, and similar sized crops this season.

Michigan apple shipments should hit about 28.7 million bushels of apples this year, which isn’t that far off of their record setting 2013 crop, which was 30 million bushels.  The estimate is showing what many Michigan apple shippers been predicting for several years. The average Michigan apple crop size will continue to increase.  Because of the high-density plantings (approximately 1,000 trees per acre) and advancements in technology, Michigan is going to continue to produce a larger quantity of apples.

Michigan blueberry shipments – grossing about $2700 to Atlanta; Michigan vegetable shipments grossing about 20 percent less.  Too few apples yet, to quote.

New York Apple Shipments

Unlike Michigan, which has most of its apple operations in the Western part of the state, New York grows and ships apples were several different areas, although the heaviest volume originates out of the Hudson Valley.   Still, New York state also ships apples from the Champlain Valley, as well as from areas in the central and western part of the state.   Excellent growing conditions, including a late spring with warm weather, good rainfall, and cool nights have cultivated a harvest which is so far was exceeding the 30 million bushels forecast made this past July.

Western New York vegetable shipments – grossing about $1500 to  Baltimore.


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Michigan Vegetable Shipments Should Have Good Volume in July

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DSCN3926You know summer has arrived when Michigan vegetable shipments finally start picking up, mostly from the western part of the state.

Within the past few days, light volume has gotten underway with squash, cucumbers, grape tomatoes.  These items should have good volume from July through September.  Cabbage loadings also have started and will continue into mid November.

Shortly after the Fourth of July, look for blueberry shipments to get started.  Leafy greens and radishes also get underway in early July.  By mid July you’ll find loadings of celery and carrots.

Around the third week of July, sweet corn shipments start.  Peak volume will be the month of August but shipments tailing off after Labor Day.  Late July also means roma tomatoes are available, with round tomatoes coming on about August 1st.

Michigan apple shipments from the large 2103-14 crop are still ongoing, but a seasonal decline is underway with loadings now less than 100 truckloads per week.

The Wolverine state produces the second most diverse crop of agricultural products (after California) , including fresh fruits and vegetables.

Michigan apples – grossing about $2500 to Atlanta.

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