Posts Tagged “potato shipments”
Potato shipments should be strong during the holidays and well into 2019, despite bad weather in some growing regions and an overall reduction in production.
Potatoes USA of Denver is the marketing organization for the 2,500 commercial potato growers operating in the United States. It reports overall shipments may be slightly below last year, which was the period July 2017 to July 2018.
It believes shipments to foodservice and retail chains will continue to grow this year.
Potandon Produce of Idaho Falls, Idaho reports excessive rain hit many potato growers, particularly in Wisconsin, and Michigan, while there has been an early snow season in North Dakota. Meanwhile, Colorado, Texas, Idaho and Washington were experiencing good-sized crops.
The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association of Antigo reports the state’s potato shipments may be down 10 to 15 percent, which would mean a total production of just over 2.3 billion pounds — down from about 2.6 billion last year.
In Grand Forks, N.D., Black Gold Farms reduced its acreage slightly this year because the company had too many potatoes last year.
Black Gold Farms grows and ships norland and dark norland potatoes for the early season, red potatoes for mid-season and the sangre variety for late season.
The company is now shipping a few more yellow potatoes.
Mountain King Potato of Monte Vista, CO., is reporting excellent quality and average yields.
Mack Farms of Lake Wales, FL has planted mostly red potatoes and some gold and white varieties. It will begin harvesting in early February, and is the first Florida operation to ship new potatoes to market. The company does not ship potatoes out of storage.
Most South Florida potato growers are expected to have about the same acreage as last year.
Russet potatoes continue to be the variety most widely shipped, but they continue to decline each year with the increasing popularity of red and gold potatoes.
With good growing weather, Colorado’s San Luis Valley potato industry is expecting good shipments with volume repeating that of a year ago.
The valley has around 52,000 acres of potatoes planted for this season. There has been an increase in organic potato acreage.
Farm Fresh Direct of Monte Vista, CO reports solid growing conditions this season with decent weather to produce potatoes. While the volume on conventional potato shipments is about the same, the company reports organic volume should see a slight increase. It began digging russet potatoes the week of August 27, which followed the new crop of organic reds and yellows the week of August 20th.
A similar report came from Rocky Farms of Center, CO, which described the past summer as being ideal for growing potatoes.
Rocky Farms began shipping a limited amount of spuds the week of September 3rd and began loading in larger volumes October 1st, on a similar schedule with previous years.
At Skyline Potato Co. of Center, CO, also had a normal start to the season with fields producing good quality potatoes.
While San Luis Valley potato growers most often mention water as the primary issue (could use more), there also were concerns over increasing freight rates and labor issues. Freight rates were expected to continue increasing as the holidays approach. Colorado implemented minimum wage increases that continue through 2020.
Truck shortages were cited as a common problem and no one was expecting any decline in freight rates. With a roaring economy, labor was not expected to get any better. As a result, the industry continues to look more to automation.
Idaho continues to lead the nation in potato shipments with over 40 percent of the total volume. Colorado potato shipments rank second, while Wisconsin ranks third. In fourth place is the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota.
Colorado potatoes – grossing about $3400 to Atlanta.
Potato shipper Eagle Eye Produce, headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, is loading potatoes out of Mattawa, WA, and Pioche, NV, with farming operations at each location with production and shipping facilities on each farm….Meanwhile Oregon onion shipper River Point Farms is shipping onions year around.
Eagle Eye Produce has found the Nevada growing area offers ideal growing for potatoes due to isolation and dry climate. This reduces disease issues which often hinders other growing regions. The company has a climate-controlled storage on site, providing it with the ability to ship potatoes starting in September and going through May.
In Mattawa, the Eagle Eye facility will provide about 2,500 truck loads of product available for shipment with a high percentage of No. 1’, which means excellent quality that is shipped to foodservice customers.
Eagle Eye started its new crop potato shipments on August 1st and will continue shipping through next July, which means it has potatoes year-round.
Eagle Eye Produce reports trucking and transportation issues remains one of the biggest challenges with the company and the produce industry.
This is resulting in Eagle Eye searching for alternate means of transportation for shipping product ranging from rail, to cold connect, and intermodal. There operation also has its own logistic department with a fleet of trucks that helps reduces the challenges it faces with transportation.
River Point Farms
River Point Farms, based in Hermiston, OR, is a vertically integrated, source-based onion supplier shipping whole skin-on, whole peel and cut onions to market 52 weeks per year.
The company is one of the largest onion shippers in the United States growing between 400 to 500 million pounds of onions annually. The firm has yellow, red, sweet yellow, sweet red, white and organic yellows on its farms in the Columbia Basin. River Point has a state-of-the-art packing and storage facilities allowing it to grow, store, pack and process quality onions year-round.
River Point Farms started its new crop of onion shipments in late June.
Fresh potato shipments got underway from Washington’s Columbia Basin and Oregon’s Umatilla Basin in late July with yellow and red potatoes, then with russet norkotahs.
Washington state potato acreage has been stable in recent years at about 170,000 acres, and it is expected to remain similar this year.
About 90 percent of Washington potato volume goes to processors for frozen potatoes. Much of this processing is attributed to access to deepwater ports in Seattle-Tacoma for export to Far East markets.
Strong global demand for frozen potatoes, growing at 6 to 8 percent a year could lead to an even higher percentage of spuds going to the processors in the future.
Only about 2 percent of Washington production is with organic potatoes, which is split evenly between fresh and processing uses.
Washington fresh potato shipments in 2017 totaled 22.9 million 50-pound cartons, up from 20.1 million cartons in 2016, according to the USDA.
Oregon Potato Shipments
Over the past three season Oregon potato shipments came off of 38,900 acres, where fresh volume accounts for about 12 percent of the production.
Limited water supplies could result in a decline in the Klamath Falls growing region in 2018. However, acreage could increase in the Blue Mountain-Hermiston area on the Washington border.
Oregon shipped 5.3 million 50-pound cartons in 2017, up from 5.1 million cartons in 2016. In comparison, the Idaho’s fresh shipments in 2017 were 73.9 million 50-pound cartons, up from 70.4 million cartons in 2016.
Idaho growers harvested 309,000 fall potato acres in 2017, off from 324,000 acres in 2016.
The Washington/Oregon potato industry at times has expressed concerns over rising truck rates for potatoes pointing out the cost of freight has been equaling the cost of the product being hauled. For example, a common truck rate has been $9 per 50-pound carton, which is the average price of a box of russets. This is believed to be possibly opening the door for more regional potato production so receivers can save on freight rates.
Heavy rains last spring set back vegetable crops and shipments from the mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, which in some cases will result in shipping gaps. Still, growers are expressing optimism for a strong year.
Some farmers reported actually pumping off more water in May from the field than they pumped in for irrigation. The result could be shipping gaps in July.
Fifer Orchards of Wyoming, DE is an exception claiming the rains did not prevent normal planting of crops and the season’s shipments should be on schedule for vegetables, although a little later than usual.
Fifer Orchards also is expecting a full crop of peaches, with no injury from cold weather. Peach shipments start in mid-July and continue through mid-September.
Papen Farms of Dover, DE report cool and wet weather during March, April and May set crop progress back, but weather in June was favorable. However, yields could be off because of growing conditions.
Papen Farms cabbage shipments started in mid-June, about two weeks later than normal. Sweet corn shipments were about a week late and got underway in early July and will continue into September. Green bean loadings will get started started the last week of July.
Papen Farms will be shipping vegetables to markets ranging from Maine to Florida. The company’s early shipments tending to go north because the Delaware harvest is running ahead of those northern regions. Later in the season, the pattern is reversed, with more shipments to Southern states.
As for the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the spring was cold and wet at Dublin Farms of Horntown, VA. The operation ships red potatoes, white potatoes, and yellow fleshed potatoes. Some shippers also have russet potatoes. Shipments will continue until mid-August from acreage similar to a year ago. Potato acreage in the area is normally between 3,000 and 4,000 acres.
Most Eastern Shore of Virginia vegetable shipments consist of potatoes, green beans and tomatoes.
by Potandon Produce L.L.C.
Idaho Falls, ID – Potandon Produce L.L.C., the exclusive marketing agent for Pinto Creek Co., LLC in Eloy, Arizona, began potato shipments May 10th.
Early season growing conditions did delay this year’s crop, but did not impact quality. Red potatoes became available for shipping on the 10th, with yellows available May 14th. Potandon will also distribute Arizona potatoes from their Idaho Falls, Idaho cross-dock facility starting approximately May 18th.
Dick Thomas, Senior VP of Sales reported that overall acreage has remained fairly consistent with the last two years, with a slight increase in mini potato acres to meet additional demand.
Pinto Creek is a PRIMUS certified facility with a full-time Quality Assurance person on-site daily. The packing facility has seen steady improvement over the past decade with the addition of a new storage facility and modernized grading and sizing equipment. The Pinto Creek team commitment to excellence has elevated their status to one of the premier red and yellow potato packing sheds in the nation.
About Potandon Produce L.L.C.
Headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Potandon Produce is the largest marketer of fresh potatoes and one of the largest marketers of fresh onions in North America. Potandon holds the exclusive licensing rights to the Green Giant™ brand for fresh potatoes and onions in North America, and is able to provide year-round supply to any size retail, foodservice, or wholesale customer. Potandon is also an industry leader in food safety and in bringing innovative products to the market. Visit www.potandon.com to learn more about Potandon, and go to Potandon’s consumer website, www.klondikebrands.com, to learn more about the company’s distinctive potato varieties. To learn more about the Green Giant™ Fresh program visit www.greengiantfresh.com.
Green Giant, the Green Giant character, Sprout, and associated words and designs are trademarks of B&G Foods North America, Inc.-used under license. ©2016 B&G Foods North America, Inc.
Asparagus loadings out of Michigan have started. Meanwhile, here’s an update on how many potatoes remain to be shipped for the 2017-18 shipping season.
Michigan asparagus shipments are just getting underway and will continue into late June with good volumes coming in time for the Memorial weekend, May 26 – 28.
One of the larger Michigan asparagus companies that grows, packs and ships is Todd Greiner Farms Packing LLC of Hart, MI. The company recently completed a 20,000-square-foot addition to its packinghouse, which is the second expansion in the last year. This includes two new controlled atmosphere/cold storage rooms and two new shipping and receiving docks. Greiner Farms also ships other vegetables and watermelons.
Vidalia Onion Shipments
Vidalia certified sweet onions are grown in 20 southeastern Georgia counties by 80 farmers and available in the spring and summer months. However, the majority of the onions are located in only two counties. In 2017, Georgia shippers had almost 230 million pounds of Vidalia onions. Similar volume is seen this season, and shipments got underway April 20th.
U.S. Potato Shipments
U.S. potatoes remaining in storages to be shipped as of April 1st were up 2 percent from year-ago. The USDA reports the 13 major potato shipping states held 134 million cwt. of potatoes in storage. Potatoes in storage accounted for 33 percent of the fall storage states’ 2017 production, 1 percent more than last year.
Idaho potatoes remaining to be shipped totaled 50 million cwt. off 4 pecent from 52 million cwt. from last year. As a percent of production, Idaho potato stocks represented 38 percent of the state’s 2017 production, up 1 percent from a year ago.
In Washington, the state with the second-highest amount of potatoes remaining in storage, the USDA reported 30 million cwt. of potatoes. That was up 3.4 percent from 29 million cwt. the same time a year ago. Washington’s stocks accounted for 30 percent of 2017 potato shipments, up from 27 percent in 2016.
Idaho potatoes from Twin Falls area to New York City – grossing about $5300.
Washington potatoes from the Columbia Basin – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.
Imported Mexican shipments are expected to remain steady with good volume for the next six weeks. Meanwhile, here’s a break down of U.S. potato shipments when comparing russets and other varieties.
Mexican produce shipments from bumper spring crops are now occurring Mexico with items such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, bell peppers, watermelon and mangoes. Table grapes, among others, will begin in a few weeks.
March and April are often seen as a secondary shipping peak for northern-grown Mexican products as demand typically increases with improving spring weather in U.S. markets. Imported Mexican produce shipments are expected to remain very steady through April.
Russet potato shipments have been giving away, at least to a certain degree, to other varieties of spuds, although russets easily remain the category. At least this is the case from a study of potato movement from July through December. It has been a long time since russet shipments have seen an increase compared to other potato varieties.
In data collected by Nielsen, fresh russet volume was up 0.43 percent for the six-month period. Russet potatoes accounted for 66.08 percent of potato category sales, up from 65.46 percent a year ago.
Red potato shipments ranked second behind russets for the July through December period, accounting for 16.03 percent, down from 17.03 percent in the same period a year ago. Red potato sales for the six-month period were off 1.48 percent compared with year-ago numbers, and red potato volume was down 6.78 percent compared with a year ago.
The third-ranked potato category in July through December last year was yellow potatoes, accounting for 10.75 percent of total fresh potato sales compared with 9.85 percent last year. White potatoes, the fourth-ranked fresh potato category, suffered declines in volume and sales compared with a year ago.
White potato sales were off 6.20 percent compared with a year ago, while volume of white potatoes sold at retail from July through December was off 12.21 percent compared with the same period a year ago. White potato sales accounted for 5.55 percent of potato category sales, down from 6.19 percent the same period a year ago.
Fingerling potato sales account for just 0.23 percent of total potato category sales from July through December, up just slightly from 0.22 percent the same period a year ago.
Grand Forks, ND red potatoes – grossing about $4600 to New York City; $2000 to Chicago; $2800 to Dallas.
Idaho russets – grossing about $5100 to New York City.
San Luis Valley, Colorado russets – grossing about $2200 to Chicago $4000 to New York City.
U.S. potato shipments are remaining fairly steady week to week with total shipments quite similar to a year ago….Meanwhile, here is a look at Mexican produce items crossing the border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Roughly the same amount of U.S. potatoes remain in storages to be shipped from the major potato states that existed at this same time in 2017 as of February 1st.
Storages held 202.55 million cwt. (per hundredweight) at the beginning of February, compared to storages holding 203.10 million cwt. a year earlier. Potatoes remaining to be shipped accounted for 51 percent of the volume by fall storage states, only one percent more than 2017. Potato disappearance is down three percent to 197 million cwt., and season-to-date shrink (loss of product due to quality) has also fallen, down five percent from 2017 to 15.4 million cwt.
Florida tomato volume is rebounding as the recovery from Hurricane Irma continues. Meanwhile, double digit freights on potatoes from some states in the Western U.S. are occurring.
Florida tomato shipments remain much lighter than normal thanks to Hurricane Irma last fall, that is fixing to change. Volume is gradually coming back as the replantings mature, but it will be around Christmas or perhaps early January before volumes return to normal. Irma dumped a ton of water of some fields, so use caution loading. There’s a chance of bacterial and general quality problems with some product, until a little later in the season.
North American Potato Shipping Update
North American fall potato shipments in the most recent USDA update is pegged 505 million cwt. (per hundredweight), down 1 percent from last year. Canadian growers harvested 106 million cwt., up slightly from 2016, and U.S. growers are expected to produce 399 million cwt., down 2 percent from 2016. U.S. growers planted 906,500 acres, down from 923,800 in 2016, and harvested 900,600 acres, off from 909,600 in 2016.
Canadian growers planted 345,800 acres and harvested 342,200, both amounts similar to the previous crop. The USDA reported yields per acre at 443 cwt. for growers in the U.S. and at 309 cwt. for growers in Canada.
Potato shipments for Christmas are getting underway and truck rates from both Idaho and Colorado have increased 10 to 20 percent to many markets. Wisconsin, which has the lowest volume of the three states, is not experiencing volatility in rates. Idaho is shipping moving nearly 1700 truckload equivalents of spuds a week, although a significant amount of this is going by rail. Colorado is shipping around 750 truckloads per week, while Wisconsin is loading about 400 truckloads. The Columbia Basin and Umatilla Basin on the Washington/Oregon border has similar volume (about 350 loads) to Colorado and rates have generally went up 10 to 15 percent recently.
Twin Falls area Idaho potatoes – grossing about $6300 to New York City.
San Luis Valley Colorado potatoes – grossing about $2000 to Dallas.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin area potatoes – grossing about $3300 to Atlanta.
Washington’s Columbian Basin potatoes – grossing bout $5100 to Chicago.