Posts Tagged “potato shipments”

United States Shipping Update for the Nation’s Potatoes and Onions

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OnionAs expected, Idaho continues to have the most product remaining in storage for United States potato shipments this season, with loading opportunities higher than a year ago.  Meanwhile, we also take at look at the best hauling opportunities for onions.
Potatoes remaining in storages as of June 1st from the major potato shipping states totaled 55.5 million hundredweight (cwt), up 8 percent compared with a year ago, according to a USDA report.
The report noted potatoes in remaining in storage to be shipped in the top 13 potato-growing states, totaled 14 percent  of the fall storage states’ 2016 production, which was 1 percent more than at the same time a year ago.
Potato shipments were up 1 pecent from a year ago and season-to-date shrink and loss was 9 pecent greater than a year ago.
Idaho potatoes in storage made up 38 pecent of total remaining spuds from the 2016 harvest, followed by Washington with 23 percent and 10 percent for Wisconsin.
Potato shipments out of the nation’s leading state, Idaho, are averaging over 1900 truck load equivalents of spud loadings per week.  Meanwhile, the San Luis Valley of Colorado is moving nearly 700 truck loads each week, while  southern Washington’s Columbia Basin and northern Oregon’s Umatilla Basin are shipping about 425 truckloads weekly of potatoes.
An interesting note is while Central Wisconsin has the third most potatoes in storage, it ranks fourth in weekly loadings with about 200 truck loads.
Idaho potatoes – grossing about $4700 to New York City.
Onion Shipments
It is mostly dried onions coming out of storage right now.  Volume is relatively low even among the leading volume onion shipping areas.  Southern New Mexico has the most onion shipments right now averaging over 11oo truck loads per week. From here the drop off is significant as the combined Columbia Basin and Umatilla Basin (Washington and Oregon) is averaging only 425 truck loads a week – about the same as that area’s potato loadings.
In southeast Georgia where the sweet onion crop was one of the best in a long time, they are moving over 300 truck loads each week from storages.
New Mexico onions – grossing about $1500 to Dallas.

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California and Arizona Potato Shipments are Going Strong

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DSCN9471Potato 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.

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Western Produce Shipments: Here’s Several Loading Opportunties

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FDSCN9022rom Nogales to California, the Northwest and Colorado, here are some springtime loading opportunities with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Nogales Crossings

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.

Potato Shipments

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.



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National Produce Shipping Outlook as We Wait for Spring Volume Increases

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DSCN7302If 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.

Apple Shipments

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.

Potato Shipments

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.

Imported Produce

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.



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Loadings for St. Patrick’s Day; Plus Yuma Vegetable Shipments

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DSCN8840Here’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.

Potato Shipments

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.

Asparagus Shipments

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.



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Potatoes Lead U.S. Vegetable Shipments: Argentina Lemon Imports Coming

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dscn5995Here’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.


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Fall Means More Storage Potato, Onion Shipments

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dscn8177Fall 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

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.




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U.S. Cranberry Shipments Up; Spuds Loads were Down

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img_29981U.S. Cranberry loadings will increase a little this season, while the nation’s potato shipments final count for last season were down.

The nation’s 2016 cranberry shipments are forecast at 8.59 million barrels, up slightly from last season, according to the USDA.

Wisconsin production, the largest cranberry shipping state, is up from 4.9 million barrels in 2015 to 5.2 million barrels.  Meanwhile,in Massachusetts, the second leading state, fell from 2.4 million barrels in 2015 to 2 million barrels.

At 588,000 barrels, New Jersey production is off from 595,000 barrels in 2015, while Oregon production is tabbed at 530,000 barrels, down from 562,000 barrels the previous season.

Harvesting of fresh and processed berries in Massachusetts began the third week of September and should be completed by the third week of November.

Massachusetts cranberry growers have been harvesting fresh and processed fruit from respective dry and wet bogs.  In the water bogs, which account for about 85 percent of the fruit, which goes to processing, fruit is grown in dry bogs or fields.  Then the fields are flooded with water to bring fruit to the surface.

The fruit is harvested with spindle-type machinery and once the berries surface at the top of the water, the free-flowing berries are vacuumed into a machine that removes leaves, litter and chaff.  It is then loaded into trucks and delivered to a receiving station.

Concerning cranberries for the fresh harvest, gasoline-powered machines are used that drive over the vines and gently pull berries out of the vines and into burlap bags.  The fruit is brought to the shoreline and sorted before being transported to a receiving station for cleaning and packaging.

U.S. Potato Shipments

About 441 million cwt. of potatoes were produced in the U.S. in the 2015-16 marketing season.

That’s up slightly from an estimate in January but slightly lower than production in the previous season, according to a report from the USDA’s Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Major producers included:

  • Idaho, 130.4 million cwt.;
  • Washington, 100.3 million cwt.;
  • Wisconsin, 27.8 million cwt.;
  • North Dakota, 27.6 million cwt.;
  • Colorado, 22.6 million cwt.;
  • Oregon, 21.8 million cwt.;
  • Michigan, 17.6 million cwt.;
  • Maine, 16.2 million cwt.; and
  • Minnesota, 16.2 million cwt.

About 122 million cwt. of the 2015-16 total were for the fresh market.

The number of acres harvested in 2015, 1.05 million acres, was up slightly from 2014, but yields fell from 421 cwt. to 418 cwt. per acre.

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Imports to Pick up on PEI Spuds, Tropical Fruits

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007Late summer in the U.S. means increasing imports of items ranging from Canadian potatoes to various tropical fruits from several countries.

Prince Edward Island Potato Shipments

Prince Edward Island potato shipments from Eastern Canada could be down slightly this year due to less yields and planted acreage.  Potato diggings typically start in late September.  For example, Garden Isle Farms, Albany, Prince Edward Island, expects to begin digging the week of September 26th.

PEI potato growers have about 89,000 acres of potatoes were planted this year, 500 less than in 2015.  PEI’s fresh-crop mix of russets, yellows, reds and whites should remain fairly steady, with the trend of fewer white potatoes continuing.  Harvest should begin in the last week of September, with russets following at the beginning of October,

Processing markets may take a little higher percentage of the crop this year, with about 30 percent going to the fresh market.  While some growers are looking at new yellow varieties, production still remains mostly russets.

Mango Imports

With Mexican imported mangos finishing the season within the next week or so, the focus will shift to Brazilian imported mangoes.  Boats of Brazilian fruit began arriving at U.S. ports in August and should continue until November, with the peak volume coming in mid- to late October.  Additionally imported mangoes are arriving from Ecuador and arrivals should hit record levels in late October or early November.

Pineapple Imports

Pineapples from Costa Rica face a normal production gap from mid-August to mid-September and it has been a so-so season due to weather factors.

Papaya Imports

Boat arrivals of golden papaya out of Brazil should experience increased volume by the second week of September.  There also are papaya imports from Guatemala.

Lime Imports

Imported limes are arriving from Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia and Guatemala.  Volumes are now increasing some, but are considered to be normal.



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Shipping Updates from Georgia and the Northwest

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DSCN7767Georgia peach shipments enter the final weeks of the season, while Vidalia onions continue providing consistent, steady loads.  In the Northwest pears, potatoes and onions are in light, but increasing volume.

Following a shipping in late  July, Ft. Valley, GA area shippers are expecting a final season surge of peaches before loadings wind down around August 16-17.  The first half of the season was off to a slow start until the middle of June, but it has ramped up and should continue for a couple more weeks.  Total Georgia peach shipments this year are expected to be up about 25 percent from a year ago.  Some shippers have already finished their season, but a couple of larger ones remain in operation.

Meanwhile, sweet onions from the Vidalia district continue to be shipped from storages, averaging about 250 truck loads per week.

Vidalia onion shipments – grossing about $3000 to New York City.

Northwest Pear Shipments

Northwest pear shipments, primarily from Washington state and Oregon should be very similar to the 2015-16 shipping season, with a 2 percent increase in volume being forecast.  Growers in Washington and Oregon should produce about 18.7 million boxes of pears this season,    The initial estimate was made last spring and a revised shipping estimated is expected soon. Harvest of bartletts and Starkrimson pears was beginning in late July, with winter pears expected to begin in mid-August.

However, apple shipments continue to have the heaviest volume, even though it is late in the season, with a few early varieties already kicking off the start of the 2016-17 shipping season.  Rates to the East Coast may vary by as much $500 to a $1000.  For example, recent rates to Atlanta have ranged from $4800 to $5800, although the majority of the shipments seem to going for the higher end of this range.

Potato and Onion Shipments

Northwest potato shipments and onion shipments for the new season are increasing in volume.  In the Columbia Basin of Washington and the adjacent Umatilla Basin of Oregon potato loadings are expected to have a sharp increase as the old crop has finished and the 2016-17 is now the primary focus.  This same area also has very light onion volume, but it will increasing in the weeks to come.

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