Posts Tagged “peaches”

Georgia Peach Shipper is Doubling Capacity of Packinghouse

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Lane Southern Orchards, a major peach grower and shipper based in Fort Valley, GA, is doubling the capacity of its packinghouse in a $4 million project to be completed before the 2019 season.

By the early summer peach harvest, the renovated and expanded facility will allow the company to pack 23,000 25-pounds boxes a day, putting Lane’s seasonal capacity at 3 million boxes.

Technology upgrades to grading and sorting processes is also included, along with improved cold storage and shipping and receiving facilities, according to a news release.

A Durand-Wayland robotic bin handling system, designed to be gentle on the peaches, will streamline efficiencies in the packinghouse.

International Farming Corp. purchased Lane Southern Orchards in 2015, and the peach company’s CEO, Mark Sanchez, said it has been a “great partner.”

“They understand the culture of farming and have given us the opportunity for tremendous growth,” Sanchez said in the release. “The ability to enhance our facilities to create best-in-class efficiencies and quality control is the latest example of that growth.”

In 2018, Lane Southern Orchards and Taylor Orchards of Reynolds, GA merged, combining peach/pecan acreage, facilities and innovation. A surge in plantings in 2018 and this year brings the total acreage of peaches and nuts to more than 10,000.

“The complete renovation of the original Lane facility with new technology allows us to easily handle the additional supply of peaches and be a better supplier to our existing customers while we expand our customer base,” Duke Lane III, director of sales for Lane Southern Orchards, said in the release.

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Younger Consumers are More Apt to Buy Peaches

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Young consumers are more likely to buy peaches than older people, and those 18- to 24-year-olds prefer crisp, firm peaches with good flavor, a new University of Florida study shows.

In fact, people aged 51 to 68 are the least interested in buying peaches. Those of that age who do buy peaches prefer sweet, melting-texture peaches. Although they did not study the reason older people don’t like peaches as much, UF/IFAS scientists think older consumers may have repeatedly bought poor-quality peaches in the past, triggering an interest in other fruits.

Overall, consumers want sweet, tasty peaches that melt in your mouth, she said.
In the newly published study titled: “In Pursuit of the Perfect Peach,” Olmstead led an experiment in which 300 consumers took an online survey, then sampled peaches at two Florida farmers’ markets.

The study showed the “ideal peach” depended on combinations of fruit qualities. Peaches labeled as “so sweet … no sugar was needed” were most likely be purchased, reflecting what previous UF/IFAS research has found about strawberries and blueberries.

Furthermore, like the prior UF/IFAS research on blueberries, even though peaches are known to contain antioxidants, consumers buy them more for their taste than their nutritive value, the study showed.

Although consumers wanted sweet, absolute sugar concentrations, there is something other than sweetness that leads to overall liking, the study showed. It could be acid content and aromas, Olmstead said.

Most consumers prefer melting peaches, but small segments also like crisp and firm fruit, the study showed.

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“Woot Fruit” is Introduced to USA Supermarkets

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WootFruitPeachFor years, health-conscious consumers have enjoyed snacking on pre-cut, pre-packaged, and in portion-controlled fresh fruits and veggies from their local market. Up until now, stonefruits like peaches and nectarines have been absent from the value-added category because of difficulties associated with processing and packaging.

But that’s about to change.  On August 5th  Fresh Fruit Cuts,  launched Woot Froot, a line of expertly selected and artfully processed fresh peaches and nectarines that will be available through October.

“Woot Froot pairs the great taste of fresh nectarines and peaches – one of America’s top-ten fruits – with the ease and convenience of fresh cut and the added benefit of consistent quality and flavor,” said Kim Gaarde of Fresh Fruit Cuts. Gaarde also the research and developer of this new product worked diligently through her company Fruit Dynamics over an 7-year time frame to develop the proprietary process for selecting, processing and packaging the fresh cut peaches and nectarines. Gaarde also says the products will deliver a 15-day shelf life.

After seven years of research and development – and a few relentless doubters – Gaarde said she is proud to be a part of the team that is building new value for stonefruit growers and enhancing consumers’ access to value added stonefruit that is both healthy and convenient.

Gaarde also noted that only certain varieties of peaches and nectarines will make the Woot Froot cut. The company tested more than 500 varieties before finding the select few that provide the desired taste and texture worthy of a Woot Froot label. Retail consumer packs are available in 3 oz and 18 oz trays and bulk packages are available for foodservice.

“Three out of five consumers prefer to purchase ripe fruit,” Gaarde said, “but two out of five don’t know how to go about it. Woot Froot takes the guesswork out of purchasing stonefruit, a category that is loved by Americans, but has been relatively flat for the past several years.  We aim to change that and add a little excitement.”

Fresh Cut Fruits will make Woot Froot available through October this year and is preparing for  year-round availability in 2014 and beyond.


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NJ Blueberry Loadings Start, Veggies Coming Soon

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IMG_7021While the folks in New Jersey who are paid to promote Jersey agriculture, they are touting great crops of peaches, blueberries and vegetables this year.  However, excessive rains the first half of June may have an impact on shipments.  Just keep an eye on what you are loading in case quality has been adversely affected. 

Full crops of peaches and  blueberries are being forecast for this season.  Blueberry loadings are just now starting in the southern part of New Jersey, while peach shipments should get underway in mid July and continue into mid August.

The asparagus harvest is underway and other vegetables are expected to follow soon.

New Jersey ranks second nationally in blueberry shipments.

However, most agricultural products are in the greenhouse and nursery products sector. Roses, chrysanthemums, geraniums, lilies, orchids and poinsettias are all grown for the urban markets. Nursery products include grass sod and ornamental shrubs (arborvitae, holly, juniper).

Concerning produce, New Jersey ships significant amounts of of asparagus, bell peppers, eggplant, endive, lettuce and spinach.

Cabbages, snap peas and corn are also raised.  Additionally, the state has  apples, peaches and strawberries, although the later is mainly involvedwith pick your own operations.

Two of the biggest markets for Jesery produce are New York City and Philadelphia, although shipments do occur in many other eastern markets.




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An Eastern Produce Shipping Round Up

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VidaliaOnion1Photo:  Courtesy Vidalia® Onion Committee

Shipments of  New Jersey-grown peaches should get underway in early July, a little later than last year.  Good quality and quantity are being predicted, with loadings lasting through mid-September.  More volume is seen this season since some trees planted three to five years ago are coming into production. (more…)

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Western Produce Shipments are Gearing Up; Rates Soar

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Grower/shippers in California’s San Joaquin Valley report good shipments of quality California stone fruit in the last half of May and it should pick up even more with the month of June.



Yellow and white peaches, as well as yellow and white nectarines have been moving for the past month.

Peak stone fruit shipments will be occurring the last half of June and July, with about average shipments seen for the season.

PEARS – California pear shipments will start the earlier than at least the past couple of years.  Loadings are expected to get underway around July 9th.

Washington state

Northwest cherry shippers, for the first time in six years, expect good volume shipments for cherries in June.   The first shipments of cherries in the state could start from June 1 through June 3.

Barring some bad weather (which would probably be rain),  full bore cherry shipments should be occurring in time  for the Fourth of the July for the first time since 2007.

The record shipments of 23 million 20-pound boxes of Northwest cherries last year was a 23% increase over the 2011 crop.

The Northwest will likely harvest a cherry crop in the 18 million to 20 million carton range in 2013.

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – grossing about $8,800 to Boston.

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Updates on Spring Shipments from Florida, Georgia and S.C.

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Here’s a round up of some loading and coming loading opportunities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, where produce shipments have been slower gaining momentum due to temperatures below normal.


Tomato shipments have pretty much finished in the Immokalee area and have shifted to the Palmetto-Ruskin district.  Loadings were very light at the beginning of May, but now volume is picking up.  Due to weather conditions some disease problems have appeared, so be watchful what you are putting on the truck.

Florida watermelons like it hot and cool weather has put shipments behind schedule.  Watermelon loadings should be hitting good volume by the end of May.

Mixed vegetables also continue to be shipped.


Blueberry shipments continue to increase from Georgia as new acreage comes into production each year.  In fact, the state is now one of the leading shippers of “blues.”  Georgia should have about 70 million pounds of blueberries, which equals about 1,750 truckload equivalents.

Georgia has about 22,000 acres of blueberries.   Shipments, which have been underway a couple of weeks, are now moving into volume.

Like other produce items, a cool spring has delayed Georgia peach shipments.  There should be  around 1.8 to 2 million, 25 pound cartons of peaches for hauling this season.    Good quality and normal volume is predicted.  Shipments should continue into mid-August.

Vidalia onion shipments are lower due to weather and disease, but moderate volume continues from Southeastern Georgia.  Mixed veggies from Central and Southern Georgia also continue.

South Carolina

Despite cold and wet weather prections for South Carolina strawberries, shipments are good.  Strawberry loadings usually end in May, but this year are expected to continue through June.

South Carolina peach loadings also look promising.  Light shipments get underway in a few weeks.  Florida mixed vegetable loads – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.


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Georgia and Michigan Spring Produce Shipments

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Georgia shipments should start from the Fort Valley area in mid-May, about a week or two later than in recent years.  Loadings should be more normal this season, with peak movement occurring in July and continuing until about August 10.   The season then should conclude a week or so later.

Looking at Vidalia onions, too much rain, mostly in March, is resulting in a disease known as seed stems.   This results in bolts, flower stalks and seeds showing up on the plants in the field.   Seed stems cause the core of an onion to become hollow, which results in rapid deterioration of the entire onion.  Most of this is problem is removed at the packing shed with grading, but keep an extra eye out for it when loading.  A significant reduction in loading opportunities is expected because of the problem.

South Carolina peach shipments typically follow Georgia shipments, with only a few days or a week separating when the two areas start and finish.


Michigan ranks third in the nation for asparagus shipments, annually producing 25 million pounds.  The harvest is usually underway by May 1st, but cold weather has the crop behind schedule.  Asparagus should finally be getting underway anytime now.

Michigan also is one of the leading shippers of blueberries., with loading opportunities normally from June to September, with the most volume occurring in July and August.

 “Blues” shipments from Michigan totaled only 72 million pounds in 2011 and 87 million pounds in 2012.  This year, it may return to a more normal loading amount at over 100 million pounds of blueberries.


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Nationally Produce Rates are Remaining Relatively Steady

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Since a significant rise in early June of rates for hauling fresh produce from some major shipping areas — particuarly the west coast, it has been a pretty quiet summer as rates have remained relatively stable, and few serious truck shortages have occurred.

While some produce items may have record shipments this year, such as California grapes and Washington state cherries, other areas ranging from Michigan fruit to South Texas vegetables, as well as California stone fruit, have taken some hits from the weather.  I’m sure there may be other factors involved ranging from more contract rates, which tend to provide more rate stability on a seasonal, if not a year around basis.  The struggling economy, with a lot of pitfully low rates for dry freight, may have more carriers seeking higher paying produce loads, particularly this time of the year.

Nationally, here’s a glimpse at loading opportunities for fresh fruits and vegetables.

South Carolina peaches are still being shipped , primarily in an area located south and southeast of Columbia stretching to the Georgia state line.  Speaking of Georgia, peach loadings are on their last leg and should be finished within a week as the latter part of the season had exceptionally light production.  South Carolina won’t be far behind.

In South Texas, various citrus, tropical fruits and vegetables from Mexico continue crossing the border into the Lone Star State.  They join lesser amounts of produce grown and shipped from the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Southern New Mexico continues to ship onions…..In Michigan, blueberries and various vegetables such as cucumbers and squash are providing loads. 

In Idaho, the country’s largest potato shipper continues to provide hauls from the 2011-12 harvest.  New product should become available for hauling next month.

In the Columbia Basin of Washington state, potato and onion loads remain available.  An excellent crop of sweet cherries are now coming out of Washington’s Yakima and Wenachee valleys, along with late season apples.  Shipments of Washington pears are virtually finished.

In California, the vast majority of produce shipments are now coming from shipping areas north of Interstate 10.

Salinas Valley vegetables are generally grossing – about $7700 to New York City.

Washington states potatoes and onions from the Columbia Basin – about $3000 to Chicago.

South Carolina peaches – about $3400 to Boston.

Georgia peaches – $3300 to New York City.





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Eastern Produce Loadings are Moving North

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Produce loadings have seasonally moved northward, some by as much as three weeks earlier than normal.

A case in point is New Jersey where southern area vegetables have been ahead of schedule for weeks.  Now it is peach loadings taking center stage.  Jersey peaches started the third week of June, but do not normally get underway until around July 10th.  The Garden State ranks fourth nationally in peach volume behind California, South Carolina and Georgia….New Jersey also is a leading shipper of blueberries, which are now moving in volume.

Watermelon loadings are available from the Charleston-Beaufort area of South Carolina…..North Carolina continues to ship sweet potatoes.

Florida has entered its deadest part of the year as far as produce is concerned, while the state of Georgia isn’t a whole lot better.  Weather problems really hurt Georgia vegetable, blueberry and watermelon shipments this year.  Vidalia onion volume has dwindled and the latter end of the Georgia peach shipping season is lighter than normal.

New Jersey blueberries – grossing about $2600 to Orlando.

North Carolina sweet potatoes – about $1750 to Philadelphia.



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