Pennsylvania apple shipments have started, plus an update on how apples are moving from California operations.
Rice Fruit Co. of Gardners, Pennsylvania have recently started its stone fruit season, which will continue until Labor Day. Shipments started with the company’s Premier Honeycrisp apple, an early season Honeycrip varietal. It will be shipped until mid-August.
The apple grower/shipper started with stonefruit, which is a short, fast and furious season, before quickly turning to apples, including the seasonal varietal ginger gold, the first-to-market Premier Honeycrisp and shortly thereafter, gala.
Rice Fruit Co. today is the largest fresh apple packing facility east of the Mississippi. Besides the fruit grown by R&L Orchards, the company packs fruit for about 75 other fruit-growing families, mostly in Adams County, but some from as far away as Virginia and New York. The company packs fruit year-round, using 18 controlled atmosphere storage rooms. In the spring and summer months, it also stores and repacks fruit from the southern hemisphere.
California Apple Shipments
California’s apple shipments got underway in mid-July and continues through early October. The early California apple forecast projects about 1.6 million boxes of which about 1.2 million boxes will go to processing.
No doubt California is a minor shipper of apples compared to Washington state that ships more apples in a week than the Golden State does over an entire year. California does not store apples, unlike Washington which places most of its fruit in storage for a near year around shipping season.
Calfiornia is the first state in the U.S. to ship apples from a new crop every year.
Although a large percentage of California apples are sold domestically, nearly 20 percent of California apple volume is moved offshore to places such as Canada, Mexico and Southeast Asia.
Primavera Marking of Linden, CA, which ships 90 percent of its apples to retailers, just started harvesting Galas the week of July 24 It will start shipping Fujis around Aug. 15, Granny Smiths around Aug. 28 and Pink Ladies the week of Oct. 16.
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Mushroom loadings increased in the United States during the past year. Additionally, looking at other types of shipments, here are updates on California grapes and Pennsylvania apples.
Mushroom shipments increased during the 2015-16 season, with about 946 million pounds of mushrooms were moved in 2015-16. This was a 2 perecent increase for the pervious season, according to the USDA.
The value of this season’s crop, at $1.19 billion, was down less than 1 perecent from 2014-15, while the average price for mushrooms in 2015-16, $1.26 per pound, which was two cents lower than the season before.
About 346 producers grew mushrooms in the U.S. in 2015-16, 12 fewer than the year before.
Agaricus mushroom volumes in 2015-16 totaled 922 million pounds, 2 percent more than the season before. As has historically been the case, Pennsylvania accounted for 64 percent of total shipments with California a distant second at 12 percent.
The agaricus crop was valued at $1.1 billion, down 2 percent from 2014-15. About 165 million pounds of portabello, crimini and other brown mushrooms were shipped this season, 3 percent more than last season.
The specialty mushroom category, which includes shiitakes, oysters and other varieties, registered the biggest value gain by percentage in 2015-16. Specialty sales rose 30 percent this season to $95 million. The average price, $3.94 per pound was up 40 percent.
California Grape Shipments
California grape shipments are comparable to last year at the same time. Through August 27th, about 1.78 billion pounds of grapes had been shipped in the U.S. for the season, down from 1.88 billion pounds last year at the same time.
In the week ending August 27, about 74 million pounds shipped, down from 82.5 million pounds in the same week last year.
San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit and tomatoes – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.
Pennsylvania Apple Shipments
Pennsylvania apple shipments should be normal, putting it at around its five-year average. This is approximately 10 million bushels. Harvest started the third week of August in most areas of the state and should be finished by early November. Pennsylvania has about 275 growers.
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Apple shipments from West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania are forecast to increase over 41 million pounds this year across the three states, according to the USDA. Meanwhile, imports of Chilean blueberries continue to increase.
Pennsylvania apple shipments should see a 32-million pound increase over 2014.
Meanwhile, West Virginia apple shipments are expected to increase by 8 million pounds, while Maryland apple shipments are projected to have a 1.6 million-pound hike.
Pennsylvania, which had 493 million pounds of apples in 2014, ranked fourth among 29 major apple-producing states. West Virginia ranked ninth, with 82 million pounds last year.
Chilean Blueberry Imports
Chilean blueberry production will continue to grow during the 2015-16 season, and global exports of fresh blueberries will be in the range of 218 million to 241 million pounds. This means an increase of 7 to 19 percent over the previous season’s exports of 203 million pounds.
North America is by far the largest export market for Chilean blueberries, with 67 percent of Chilean blueberry exports landing in this market during the 2014-15 season. Europe comprised 23 percent of Chile’s fresh blueberry exports and Asia 10 percent.
Chile’s blueberry acreage continues to expand, with about 39,289 acres currently planted. In 2014-15, Chile exported a total of 34.1 million boxes, with over 19 million boxes shipped to North America. In 2015-16, exports to America are projected to exceed 20 million boxes and reach new historic highs.
The first export peak is expected to be similar in timing to 2014, with projected exports of 9-13 million pounds in December.
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Here’s a round of produce loads originating out of the Northeastern United States.
Appalachian Apple Shipments
Pennsylvania apple shipments are above preseason estimates, while New York loadings are less than expected.
Shipments are running about 10-15 percent more than preseason estimates and last year’s numbers as of early October. If the shipments hold true for the rest of the season, Pennsylvania should have record apple shipments.
Other apple shipping states in the Appalachian region include Maryland, Virginia and West Virgina
New York Produce Shipments
As for New York, apple loadings probably will not reach pre-season estimates. Part of that can be traced to a typical decline following a huge year in 2013-14, when New York shipped about 33 million cartons. The other reason is blamed on extreme cold last winter, which caused bud damage.
The onion harvest out of New York’s Orange County is well under way, resulting in increased onion shipments. Over 125 loads per week are now being shipped….Long Island, NY is shipping potatoes in light volume.
However, it is cabbage providing as big a volume as any fresh produce right now. About 160 loads a week are coming from production areas in the Western and Central areas of New York.
New York apples – grossing about $3400 to Orlando.
Maine Potato Shipments
The potato harvest in Aroostock County, ME is wrapping up, and the focus will soon be with shipping spuds to Eastern markets.
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Today, we’re going to bounce around the U.S. a little bit. First, we’ll give a glimpse at loading opportunities as the volume increases for Eastern apple shipments. We’ll also go to Colorado and the new onion shipping season, before finishing up with a look at the annual growing volume with sweet onions from Peru at various American ports.
Average shipments of apples from the three leading Eastern states are expected this season, and loadings have started in recent weeks.
New York Apple Shipments
The Empire State had a big crop last season and will be down only slightly this season at 30 million bushels. Loadings originate out of the Hudson and Champlain Valleys, as well as from central and western areas of the state.
Hudson Valley apples – grossing about $3400 to Atlanta.
Pennsylvania Apple Shipments
Pennsylvania also is expecting normal apple shipments, with a forecast of 11.8 million bushels for the season. Initial light volume started in mid August with early varieties of fruit from towns such as Gardners and Fairfield.
Virginia Apple Shipments
Some weather issues should result in Virginia apple shipments being about 75 t0 80 percent of a full crop. Shipments originate from communities ranging from Charlottesville to Timberville. Virginia expects to ship about 4,285 bushels this season.
Colorado Onion Shipments
Colorado onions shipments have moved into good volume from the Northeastern part of the state. Loadings should remain fairly steady into January.
Peruvian Onion Imports
Imports of sweet onions from Peru are now arriving at various U.S. Ports. Good, steady volume of Peruvian onion shipments should be available from ports well into the first quarter of 2015. Over the past decade or so, Peru has come to fill a void with sweet onions, because domestic sweet onion supplies are pretty much depleted by this time of the year.
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Here’s a round up of big-time apple shipments from New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the leader — Washington State.
This year’s expected record-breaking apple crop has left many New York growers with fruit still on the trees and not enough storage space after the harvest. Still, there should be record loading opportunities for apple haulers this season.
The bountiful 2013 growing season left many growers without enough workers to harvest the apples, not enough bins to place them in and not enough cold-storage capacity. Last summer, New York apple shipments were estimated at a record-setting 32 million bushels, nearly double last year’s harvest that was devasted by freezing weather. That figure for this season could even be low. Some observers see New York apple shipments topping 34 million bushels when all the figures are final.
New York apples – grossing about $2000 to Atlanta.
But New York isn’t alone when it comes to record apple shipments this year. In Pennsyvlania, one of the largest operations, Rice Fruit Co. in Gardners, is reporting number setting volume with its apple shipments. Pennsylvania apple shipments should continue through July, until the new crop is harvested starting in August.
Michigan Apple Shipments
Looking at Michigan, its biggest apple shipper, Riverridge Produce Inc. in Sparta is reported record setting loadings. The state should have record volume by the end of the season next summer.
Michigan apples – grossing about $3000 to New York City.
Washington State Apple Shipments
Finally, in Washington state, which ships as many apples as the rest of the states combined, should move about 110 million boxes of fruit this season. That’s down about 9 million boxes from original estimates, but it will still be one of the biggest apple crops on record.
Washington state apples – grossing about $5400 to Dallas.
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While plenty of apples continue to be shipped from the 2012-13 season out of Washington state, the new crop will start heading to market, mostly by truck, in less than two months!
Estimates of apple shipments each pre-season tend to be conservative, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we ended up having record loadings, as happened for the 2012-13 season.
The nation’s leading shipper of apples, Washington state, will have fewer loads this coming season, but there will still be plenty of fruit for hauling – even from there.
An estimated 251 million bushels of fresh-market and processed-market apples are expected to be shipped in the new season, up from 215 million for the 2012-13 crop, according to estimates.
About 67% of U.S. apples typically go to the fresh market, according to the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association.
While production in industry leader Washington is expected to fall, from 154 million to 148 million bushels, big gains in Michigan and New York, which were devastated by freezes in the spring of 2012, should result in even more apple loads than last season!
An estimated 26.3 million bushels of apples could ship from Michigan in the 2013-14 season, up from 2.7 million bushels this season.
New York production is expected to jump from 16.9 million to 34 million bushels.
Pennsylvania’s apple volumes are projected to fall from 11.7 million to 10.5 million bushels.
The 26.3 million bushel total in Michigan would be the largest since 2009, when about 27.4 million bushels shipped from the Wolverine State.
Washington state pretty much has a lock on apple shipments right now – grossing about $4300 to Chicago, around $6500 to New York City.
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