Posts Tagged “potato shipments”
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.
Thanksgiving is early this year (November 23rd) and there should be heavy produce shipments the weeks of November 6th and November 13th as retailers across American stock their shelves for this popular holiday. Among the most popular items are potatoes, onions, celery, and sweet potatoes.
Idaho rail loadings for delivery to the East Coast will have to be made in early November to arrive in time for Thanksgiving distribution. Truck shipments should be particularly heavy the next two weeks. Idaho truck supplies, as well as many other areas around the country appear to be particularly tight, if not in short supply.
Potato shipments are strong with Idaho shipping around 1750 truck load equivalents weekly. You will probably be hauling more cartons of potatoes and fewer consumer bags because Idaho has more larger sized spuds this year than normal.
While overall Idaho potato shipments could be down a little this season, potato haulers need to exercise some caution. As much as 20 percent of the Idaho crop was harvested recently following several nights of freezes. This very well could result in a higher cull rate for potatoes, which hopefully will remove poor quality product before it is loaded on your truck.
Overall, fewer onion shipments are seen, particular out of the west this season. For example, in the Treasure Valley of Idaho-eastern Oregon volume could be off 20 to 30 percent. It has been loading about 700 truck loads of onions per week.
Celery, and sweet potatoes
The Salinas Valley, while approaching the end of the season, is still shipping about over 600 loads of celery a week, as well as items ranging from broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce….North Carolina sweet potato shipments are seasonally strong, particularly by volume leader North Carolina, with much fewer shipments originating from California, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5400 to New York City.
Malheur County Oregon onions – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.
Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing bout $7400 to New York City.
In a turn around from a year ago Red River Valley potato grower-shippers in North Dakota and Minnesota anticipate plenty of potato loads for hauling this season. It would be a terrific improvement for both growers, shippers and truckers from a rain-soaked 2016 season.
Last year during the 2017 growing season, dry soil made growing and harvesting difficult although the abundant rainfall from 2016 had created good planting conditions. The result was a 30 percent drop in potato shipments.
A couple of timely downpours this past September helped the digging get started on time.
The Red River Valley potato harvest generally runs for about six weeks in September and October, with shipments typically lasting through spring.
The Red River Valley includes about 80,000 acres in North Dakota and 45,000 in Minnesota. Potato volume for the fresh market typically totals about 7 million hundredweight (cwt).
A significant change in the valley this season is formation of H & S FreshPak in Hoople, ND, a new company created when J.G. Hall & Sons of Hoople and O.C. Schulz & Sons Inc. of Crystal, ND, who purchased Northern Valley Growers of Hoople and changed the name to H & S.
Truck availability has been a concern in the valley this season, a situation that has a history. Due to the low population of North Dakota, getting loads into the valley is often a challenge. Other factors such as the recovery from hurricanes in Texas and Florida hasn’t helped the availability of trucks.
The valley has over 250 growers producing more than 40 million cwt. of potatoes annually, with about 17 percent of the product shipped to the fresh market. The region is the third largest potato growing area in the U.S.
Yellow variety potatoes continue to increase in popularity, mostly at the expense of Russets and whites, neither of which valley growers have produced in a number of years.
While U.S. red potato shipments increased about 14 percent between 2009 – 2015, white potato shipments plunged 43.3 percent.
The co-op Associated Potato Growers Inc. of Grand Forks, ND continues to be the valley’s largest potato shipper. Of the dozen wash plants in the valley, two of the other largest shippers are NoKota Packers, Inc. of Buxton, ND and J.G. Hall of Hoople.
Potato shipments from Grand Forks – grossing about $4800 to New York City.
Potato shipments in good numbers are now coming out of Kern County, California, as well as from Eloy, Arizona and continuing until early July.
Following a recent shipping gap in late May, Kern County potato shipments should be relatively strong they peak in June and continue until about July 10th.
These California spud loading typically begin in late April or early May and last for about two months. This year, the first potatoes were dug and shipped in late April, but several growers didn’t get underway in Kern County until the second week of May. This was due to their earliest new potatoes being grown a couple of hundred miles south in the California desert.
This season there is 1,058 acres of white potatoes, 1,853 acres of reds and 1,834 acres of yellows in Kern County. This year there were no russet potatoes which had been declining for several years.
Kern County potatoes and carrot shipments – grossing about $6100 to Atlanta.
Arizona Potato Shipments
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, AZ is now shipping fresh potatoes from Arizona in good volume.
Potandon will be shipping mini potatoes, red potatoes, and gold potatoes in the Green Giant™ label from Pinto Creek,.
Red and yellow potato shipments will continue until the July 4 weekend. Mini red, mini yellow, medley packs and purple potatoes will ship through August. Potandon also has started moving Arizona product to their Idaho cross-dock facility next week for mixed loads.
The Pinto Creek packing facility has seen constant improvement over the past five years, from a new storage facility to state of the art grading and sizing equipment, making it one of the premier red potato packing sheds in the southwest.
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, and is able to provide year-round supply to any size retail, foodservice, or wholesale customer.
From Nogales to California, the Northwest and Colorado, here are some springtime loading opportunities with fresh fruits and vegetables.
While springtime crossings of imported Mexican vegetables is past its peak, there are about 1500 truck loads of watermelons being loaded per week, with around 500 truck loads of vine ripe tomatoes available. There’s much less volume with squash, peppers and some other vegetables. Mexican grape loadings should be available in very light volume starting next week, with decent loading opportunities not coming until around the second week of May.
Mexican watermelon and tomato shipments – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.
California Produce Shipments
With lettuce volume crashing in the Imperial Valley and the Yuma area, lettuce loadings have made the seasonal shift to the Huron district on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley. Huron is moving around 650 loads of head lettuce a week, accounting for nearly 87 percent of the state’s lettuce shipments right now. Huron will continue well into May before giving away to California coastal shipping areas.
In fact, Santa Maria Valley has very light loadings of lettuce, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and other vegetables. Heaviest Santa Maria volume is with strawberries, a little over 300 loads per week. Strawberry loadings in California are heaviest out of Ventura County, around 500 loads a week. Santa Maria could be a little frustrating this season. Although new crops are just starting, weather related shipping gaps are seen.
In Kern County around Bakersfield, about 375 truck load equivalents are being loaded weekly. The new crop of stone fruit should have its first pickings the week of April 24th.
Huron lettuce – grossing about $6000 to New York City.
As always, Idaho leads potato volume accounting for nearly 1900 truck load equivalents a week, although a substantial amount of this is moving by rail…..Colorado’s San Luis Valley come next in volume averaging around 750 loads a week. The Columbia Basin in southern Washington and adjacent Umatillin Basin in Northern Oregon are shipping about 60 percent of Colorado’s volume.
Twin Falls, ID area potatoes – grossing about $5100 to Atlanta.
If you thought produce hauling was bad in January, you’ve probably not found February to be any better. But it’s that time of the year. Hang in there, March is coming and volume on many items will be picking up as we head into spring. In the meantime, here’s a national outlook for some of the better loading opportunities.
Washington state’s Yakima and Wenatchee valleys are providing the lion’s share of apple shipments, and the single biggest volume for any fruit or vegetable right now, moving around 3100 truck load equivalents per week. Michigan and New York state are loading some apples, but nothing close to Washington.
Washington apples and pears – grossing about $6200 to New York City.
As has been the case for months, one of the heaviest volume produce item is with Idaho potato shipments. Originating primarily from the Burley and Twin Falls areas, the state is averaging around 1900 truck load equivalents per week. However, keep in mind with a big crop and low f.o.b. prices, shippers are looking for the cheapest transportation available, and often that is with the railroad….Colorado’s San Luis Valley is shipping about 600 truck loads of potatoes, while Central Wisconsin is moving about half that volume.
Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5100 to New York City.
Mexican imported produce continues crossing the border near McAllen, Tx. Avocados last week amounted to around 875 truck loads and volume is expected to increase. Mexican tomatoes are around 500 truck loads per week. There’s many other items in much smaller volume ranging from limes to watermelon crossing the South Texas border.
Imported cantaloupes are in good volume primarily from Guatemala and Honduras arriving mostly at Southern Florida ports and ports in Southern California…..Peruvian grape arrivals are pretty much finished. Problems with Chilean grape quality are supposed to be improving now, but still keep an eye on what’s being loaded. But Chile’s the only game in town now with grapes, with most arriving at Ports in the Philadelphia area.
Here’s a look at loading opportunities for two favorite St. Patrick’s Day vegetables. We also take a look at Yuma vegetable shipments, and California asparagus.
Cabbage and potato volume should be very good for shipments leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17th.
South Florida cabbage shipments have started and will be in good volume heading into March. Shipments will continue through May.
There will be plenty of spuds available for the holiday with new crops of red potatoes and white potatoes from South Florida as well as late season storage red potatoes from the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota. Idaho continues to heavily ship russet potatoes, but reds and whites are an Irish favorite.
Yuma Vegetable Shipments
Winter Yuma vegetables shipments are always a roll of the dice and this season seems no different, except maybe the issues are different. Many of the same shippers out of Salinas also farm in Yuma, AZ. In Salinas they are used to dealing with mildew. The problem is rare in the desert, but has been a major problem this season, especially with head lettuce and romaine. Mildew is caused by rain, warm temperatures and humidity. The result has been a lot of fields have been disced.
The result will be lighter volume for the last month or so with Yuma vegetable shipments. There’s also growing concerns with Yuma tending to finish up a few weeks early, that Salinas may get off to a slow start this season and there could be major shipping gaps from late March, through April and perhaps into May.
Yuma vegetable shipments – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
California asparagus shipments should get underway in early to mid-March, from the Stockton-Delta area. It is estimated the state has 9,000 to 10,000 acres of “grass” and volume is expected to be similar to last season. There also is good news in that water supplies have improved a lot over a year ago with reservoirs continuing to rise.
Asparagus shipments typically get a boost from the Easter observance (April 16th), which is one of the most popular times of year for the vegetable.
Last week in our report on the growing volume from Mexico with many vegetables, we noted it often comes at the expense of California. An excellent example of this is labor costs.
California’s minimum wage is headed to $15 per hour by 2023. A new law also requires agricultural workers to be paid overtime after eight hours, down from 10 hours previously. Asparagus is cut by hand and is one of the most labor intensive crops in the produce industry.
Here’s some information on potato shipments you may not know….Plus, a new import item to the U.S. is coming – Argentina lemons.
Potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. This also means the nationwide spud crop contributes about 15 percent of farm sales receipts for vegetables each year. Annually over 30 billion pound of potatoes are grown and shipped in the nation.
More than 50 percent of potato sales are to processors for french fries, chips, dehydrated potatoes and other potato products. The balance goes to the fresh market.
Economists who crunch food consumption data collected by the USDA have come to the conclusion the average American eats 142 pounds of potatoes a year, or almost 365 potatoes per person. That is an average of a potato a day. Potatoes are grown commercially in every state from Florida to Alaska, but about 30 states produce the commercial crop.
In terms of nutrition, the potato is best known for its carbohydrate content, about 26 grams in a medium potato. That potato, eaten with the skin, provides 27 milligrams of vitamin C, 620 milligrams of potassium, 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6 and trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
The fiber content of a potato with its skin is equivalent to that of many whole grain breads, pastas and cereals. But unlike most of its processed carbohydrate-cousins, that medium potato has just 110 calories and is sodium and cholesterol free.
San Luis Valley, Colorado potato shipments – grossing about $2150 to Chicago.
Argentina Lemon Imports
Lemons from Argentina are poised to win import approval from the USDA after officials visited the Northwest region of the South American country making sure certain standards are met.
Import permits will be issued to Argentine lemon exporters when agriculture officials provide six months of fruit fly trapping data and USDA verification of the data.
The USDA said annual imports of fresh lemons from Argentina are expected to range between 15,000 and 20,000 metric tons. Most Argentine lemon imports are projected between April 1 and August 31.
U.S. fresh lemon production averages about 497,350 metric tons per year.
Fall is settling in to many parts of the U.S. and that is good for storage potato and onion shipments. Here’s a look at the most active shipping areas.
Storage onions from around the country are being shipped, although the heaviest volume is coming from Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Leading the nation in dry onion shipments is Washington state’s Columbia Basin. It is averaging about 875 truck loads per week. Coming in a close second are onion shipments out of western Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon, amount to a little over 800 loads weekly. From here volume is significantly less from other areas.
Ranking third are sweet onion imports from Peru. An equivalent of nearly 150 truck loads are arriving weekly by boat. However, keep in mind these arrivals are scattered among a few different ports along the East Coast. Placing fourth in volume are storage onions from upstate New York led by Orange County, although some volume is scattered from the central and western portions of the state. Use some caution as some quality problems are being reported.
Finally, there is some very light volume coming out of the Bakersfield are of Southern California.
Columbia Basin potatoes and onions – grossing $3500 to Chicago.
Potato shipments, mostly from the Northwestern U.S. and the central U.S. are mostly moving in steady volume now. As usual, Idaho easily leads the volume. It is moving nearly 1600 truck load equivalents weekly, mostly from the Twin Falls, Burley areas. Keep in mind, up to about 40 percent of this volume may be moving by rail. Two separate shipping areas have similar potato right now. Colorado’s San Luis Valley, as well as Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umatillia Basin of Oregon are averaging about 675 truck loads weekly.
A number of other potato shipments are available from other parts of the nation, but in very light volume. Among those are Western Texas (Hereford) and Eastern New Mexico; Northwest Washington, the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan, Southern California, Long Island, NY and the Klamath Basin of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
Idaho potato shipments – grossing about $5000 to New York City.
Colorado potato loadings – grossing about $2900 to Atlanta.
Wisconsin potato shipments – grossing about $950 to Chicago.