Posts Tagged “Oregon”
Shippers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah released their crop estimate last week. Washington is the largest shipper fresh cherries, with an expected crop of 14 million boxes. A box of cherries weighs 20 pounds.
Shipment of cherries should get underway in early June around the Columbia River, with peak loadings taking place in the Northwest prior to the Fourth of July.
Northwest cherry shipments are expected to be similar to 2011 when the five states shipped about 18 million boxes.
Before the 2012-13 Washington state apple shipping season ends in July or August, 132,245,000 truckload equivalents of apples should have been hauled. Sure, some of that fruit will go by rail, but it is trucks carrying the bulk of the loads.
On average, the Yakima and Wentachee Valleys are currently shipping about 3,000 truckload equivalents of apples each week.
Potatoes continue to be a big mover, especially out of Idaho, which has more russet potatoes this season than it knows what to do with. Idaho is loading around 1,800 truckload equivlents of spuds each week.
Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umitilla Basin in Oregon are providing loads of potatoes and onions. However, both spuds and onions combined, do not come even near the volume of potatoes being shipped out of Idaho.
Idaho potatoes – grossing about $3500 to Cleveland.
Washington apples – about $6300 to Orlando.
Talking with a hauler of oversized loads and he was lamenting how rates on the moving the big stuff has dropped in recent weeks. Well, the same holds true for loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, although this is fairly predictable this time of the year when total praoduce volume across the country is much lower than during it’s summer peak.
Still, if you haul perishables, the western states are the place to be doing it — especially with this being the last full week before Christmas.
Washington state apples continue to be shipped in record amounts with about 3,200 truckload equivalents being loaded per week from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys…..A little further south in Washington’s Columbia Basin and the nearby Umatilla Basin in Oregon, both potatoes and onions are being shipped, although in much lesser volume than with Washington’s apples.
The Columbia and Umatilla basins are loading about 400 truckloads of potatoes and around 750 truckloads of onions per week.
The Yuma district in Arizona is likely your best bet when it comes to winter vegetables. This desert area is shipping Iceberg lettuce, romaine, broccoli and cauliflower, among other items. Between these four veggies, the total truck loads are around 2,500 of per week.
Idaho potatoes are another big mover from the Western states. There are about 1,750 truckload equivalents of spuds being shipped on a weekly basis. The state needs to sell a lot of potatoes to pay for their sponsorship and ads related to the recent Famous Idaho Potato Bowl!
This is Thanksgiving week and transportation needs and availability tend to get a little funky, or unpreditable. Thanksgiving shipments have pretty much taken place, so the greatest need for trucks is expected to come as receivers relpinsh stocks following the long holidayweekend.
The New York and Michigan apple industries got clobbered this season by bad weather, and shipments are expected to remain at record levels from both the Yakima Valley and Wenachee Valley. The 2012-13 crop year – 121.5 million boxes could be shipped.
A breakdown by apple variety, also shows in millions of boxes, the following: Red Delicious/32.986; Golden Delicious/11.384; Granny Smith/11.163; Fuji/14.796; Gala/19.915; Braeburn/2.031; Jonagold/0.79; Cameo/0.618; Cripps Pink/2.81; Honeycrisp/2.95; and others/2.982.
As of November 1st, approximately 19.1 million boxes of apples had been shipped. As of the same date in 2011, approximately 14.6 million boxes had been loaded. During 2010, that number was 14.2 million boxes.
Through early November, Northwest growers had shipped 31 percent of the 2012-13 crop, up from 25% at the same time last year.
The 19.2 million boxes expected this year are down from last year’s 20.5 million-box record crop, but overall shipments should be right at the five-year average.
Potatoes and Onions
Washington state also is a major shipper of potatoes and onions, with the vast majority of loads originating from the Columbia Basin and extending into the Umatilla Basin of Oregon.
This area combined is accounting for nearly 750 truck load equivalents of onions on a weekly basis, and another 500 truck load equivalents of potatoes each week.
Washington state potatoes and onions – grossing about $6200 to Atlanta.
Washington state apples and pears – about $5400 to New York City.
The Maine potato harvest was recently completed, which is always a race against finishing before the first hard freeze, which damage spuds remaining in the ground. The majority of the state’s spuds are shipped throughout New England, the northeast and as far south as the mid-Atlantic states.
55,000 acres of Maine potatoes were harvested this year. This is small in comparison the nation’s biggest shipper. Idaho has increased its acreage by 25,000 every year for the past several years. This year, the state is reporting 345,000 acres. In 2011, it planted 320,000, and in 2010 it had 295,000 acres.
Idaho has increased in just two years the equivalent of the entire state of Maine’s production.
By comparison, Wisconsin has 63,000 acres, Colorado and Maine are at 55,000, Minnesota 51,000, Michigan at 46,000, Oregon has 41,000, and New York 17,000 acres.
Added together, these states tally 332,000 acres, 13,000 less than Idaho alone produces.
Most of Maine’s potatoes are grown and shipped from Aroostock County, the state’s largest county. It is the northern most county in the state and has a population of 71,482 as of 2011. In the Native American language it means “beautiful language” and is aptly nicknamed The Crown of Maine, in part because of its location.
The potato is northern Maine’s primary agricultural product and in the 1940s Maine’s potato production was tops in the nation. By 1994 however, Maine had fallen to the eighth ranked potato producer and the seventh in the number of acres devoted to potato cultivation in the United States.
The number of acres of farm land devoted to potatoes has decreased in recent years because of rotational crops, conservation and fewer farmers. However, in the year 2000, Maine grew 63,000 acres of potatoes and nearly 90 percent of that was in Aroostook County.
Potatoes and onions, commonly known as “hardware items” because they are less perishable and generally pose fewer problems when hauling, also normally do not pay as good a freight as most more perishable items. However, the further into fall and the closer to winter, overall fresh fruit and vegetable volume declines, and so do freight rates — and loading opportunties. Therefore, if nothing more than out of necessity potatoes and onions begin looking more attractive if you want or need to haul produce.
In the Snake River area of Oregon there is good demand heading into winter for trucks. An early start of the shipping season combined with fewer onions means less product is left for shipping than normal. Truck loads could be down 15-20% for Treasure Valley growers, due to the fourth-hottest summer on record and other weather-related issues. Fewer onions mean shippers are having less difficulty finding enough trucks to move product.
Around the border area of Western Idaho and Malheur County, OR, nearly 700 truckloads of storage onions are being shipped weekly.
Washington-Oregon Onions and Potatoes
Similar volume with onion shipments are available from the border area of the Columbia Basin in Washington and the Umatilla Basin of Oregon. In Northwest Washington, just north of Seattle is light volume with red and white potatoes from the Skagit Valley.
The nation’s largest volume potato shipper has another huge crop this year. The state is averaging around 1500 truck load equivalents per week, although a significant amount of these potatoes are loaded in rail cars.
Colorado Potatoes and Onions
Storage onions are being shipped from Colorado’s Western Slope, near Olathe, and will continue well into January. Excellent quality is reported. Loads have been moving out of the area at a brisk pace in part because of Colorado’s freight advantage over western shippers….In south-central Colorado is the San Luis Valley, which is shipping around 750 truck loads of spuds per week.
Colorado potatoes – grossing about $1800 to Dallas.
Idaho potatoes – about $5500 to New York City.
Columbia Basin/Umatilla Basin (Washington and Oregon) potatoes and onions – about $4200 to Chicago.
In the Skagit Valley, located just north of Seattle, red, yellow, white and even a few purple potatoes are now providing loads. Much of the activity centers around the town of Mount Vernon. This isn’t the heavest volume produce area in the state, but it has a reputation for having consistent quality. That reduces chances of claims and rejections for the trucker.
Washington’s main potato shipping area is in the Columbia Basin in the southern part of the state, that also extends into the Umatilla Basin of Oregon. This region is averaging nearly 900 truckload equivalents of potato shipments a week. The Columbia Basin also is shipping dry onions.
The Yakima and Wenatchee valleys are now shipping the new crop of pears. Oregon shipments will be up slightly from a year ago with 10.6 million 44-pound equivalent boxes forecast. Washington state may be down slightly from last year with about 19.1 million 44-pound boxes. Although the Northwest is expected to have six percent fewer pear loads this season, it still exceeds the five-year average for shipments by about two percent.
Between Washington state and Oregon, the two states account for about 75 percent of the nation’s pear volume.
As has been reported in several recent stories on HaulProduce.com, a huge apple crop is still being forecast, with loadings expected to be brisk this season as Washington state works to fill voids in Michigan and New York state, who are shipping less apples due to weather related problems.
Columbia Basin potatoes and onions – grossing about $5600 to New York City.
Washington apple and pears – about $3700 to Chicago.
Pictured here is a seeded watermelon. Don’t see ’em near as much as you used to. They have kind of gone the way of “plucking” a watermelon before you buy it. Remember that? Try plucking one today, and you just might be arrested (plucking is using a knife to cut a triangular piece out of the watermelon to taste to see if it’s worth buying). I never was very good at thumping melons to see if they were ripe. I generally just go by color and making sure they don’t have any soft spots. Anyway, I’ve had bought my share of watermelons over the 10 weeks or so. Some were good and others not so good.
This is first seeded watermelon I’ve purchased this year. Seedless melons are just about all the produce departments in stores sell anymore. They assume we consumers are simply too lazy to be bothered with spitting out seeds. Anyway, the seeded melon was as good as any watermelon I’ve had this summer – and was better than most. It was shipped out of Edinburg, TX. Enjoy watermelons while you can, supplies and quality often diminshed after Labor Day.
Another item that has had fantastic quality this summer are cherries – first out of California and now they are coming out of Washington state and Oregon. A record crop has resulted in reasonable retail prices. Like watermelons, enjoy the Northwest cherries while you can. They will be vanishing from your local supermarket by Labor Day.
Another great buy now in retail stores are California grapes, both red and green. They will typically be available through the end of the year, although supplies in the fall drop and prices trend up. But right now, a record crop is being harvested, quality is excellent and prices good. Let’s hope the heat in the San Joaquin Valley subsides some and doesn’t take a toll of the quality of what is a fruit that has excellent eating.
Triple digit heat in much of the country has finally broken and fall shipments of fresh produce are coming. Two such items are fresh cranberries, that will be shipped from a handful of states, plus California apples that fill a niche between loadings of Chilean fruit and apples out of Washington state.
The third largest cranberry crop on record is being forecast by the USDA, amounting to 7.6 million 100-pound barrels. While Massachuetts will be down slightly from last fall, increases are seen in Wisconsin, Washington state, Oregon and New Jersey (the latter being virtually all processed fruit).
Expect Wisconsin cranberry shipments to get started around the week of September 17th, with Massachusetts starting around that same time as well. Oregon and Washington state seasonally start later.
While loadings begin in September, cranberries are still closely associated with the Thanksgiving holiday. Thus, the big volume is moved in the first half of November leading up to the holiday. With this big a crop, some loads will be moving after Thanksgiving (which is November 22nd) for the Christmas holidays.
A lot more California apples used to be shipped than are today. This situation reminds me a bit of vegetables shipped from the Eastern Shore area of Delaware, Maryland and Viriginia. This region is sandwiched in between harvests to its south such as the Carolinas and Georgia, and to the north in shipping areas such as New Jersey and New York. If the Eastern shore veggies are too early or too late they are up against shipments from competing areas to the north and south of them. As a result of many “misses” compared to “hits” for the Eastern Shore, shippers have hurt. The result is fewer shippers and less volume than a decade or two ago.
If you are a veteran trucker who has hauled apples from California, you may remember in the mid 1990s there were around 10 million boxes of fruit being shipped for the season. Today, that number has dwindled to about 2.5 to 3 million boxes. Most of the loads originate out the Central San Joaquin Valley including San Joaquin County, Sonoma County and Santa Cruz County.
Shipments will continue through December. Leading apple varieties are fujis, galas and granny smiths.
While I’ve written some reports suggesting caution when loading Washington state apples from the Wenachee Valley due to damage from a July 20 hail storm, information is now starting to come out relating to the pears from the same area. Expect pear shippers to be loading some “hail grade” pears. Appearance is affected, but eating quality should be fine. Just make sure the parties with whom you are working to deliver the load are aware of this condition to the fruit and it is noted on the bill of lading. Washington state pear shipments are expected to set a record this season volume wise.
In Michigan, produce shipments have been running early this season, not only for vegetables, but blueberries. Expect both to complete shipping a week or two ahead of schedule this summer. Michigan blueberry volume will drop significantly beginning the week of August 27th…..Expect a similar situation with “blues” coming out of Oregon and British Columbia.
In the San Luis Valley of Colorado, potato hauls should be ramping up by the end of August…Virtually all USA potato shipping areas are expecting to load more spuds during the 2012-13 shipping season.
On the East Coast, watermelon shipments have increased significantly over the past three years from Maryland and Delaware. Virginia also is shipping melons…..Expect increased loading opportunities on watermelons for the upcoming Labor Day weekend from areas ranging from West Texas to Indiana and North Carolina.
Delaware watermelons – grossing about $1100 to New York City.
Most fruit and vegetable rates are paying significantly more than rates on potatoes and onions right now, but the difference in rates will be shrinking in the next several weeks as overall fruit and veggie volume seasonally declines and the spud and onion volume rises with the new crops.
There is over 1 million acres of potatoes planted in the USA for the crop that is now being harvested. That is 46,000 more acres than at this time a year ago! Translation: There’s a huge crop that will need to be transported to market – and the railroads can only haul a relatively small amount of it. That means plenty of hauling opportunties this fall, winter and next spring for truckers with refrigerated equipment.
The top nine states with the most potatoes in order of size are: Idaho, Washington, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan and Oregon.
Idaho, the USA’s biggest potato producer, will have a lot more potatoes for hauling this season.
Potato shipments from Washington and Oregon get underway in early August, with volume expected to be normal and about the same as a year ago. Washington has about 25,000 acres of spuds for the fresh market. The Umatilla-Hermiston potato volume may be down a little from last season. No big deal though.
In central Wisconsin, red, white, yellow and russet potato diggings have been underway and shipments begin when the old crop is all sold, or customers begin demanding fresh potatoes from the new season, over the old ones which have been in storages forever. The spuds becoming available will be more abundant than on average from the past five years.
Helping Western onion shipments was the early demise of the Vidalia, GA onion season. It has created bigger demand for onions in the West and demand for trucks from places such as Bakersfield, CA and from Southern New Mexico and the Pasco area of Washington state. Also, imported onions from Peru will begin arriving at USA ports in early August.
Idaho potatoes are grossing – about $4800 to New York City’s Hunts Point.