Posts Tagged “pumpkin shipments”

Strong Demand Expected for Pumpkins Loadings This Fall

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Great growing conditions have Grower/shippers optimistic about pumping shipments for the fall.

Van Groningen & Sonks of Manteca, CA not last season demand was driven by people staying home, resulting in folks decorating their homes more and celebrating with their familiess.

While this may not be the situation this year, at least as much, the company doesn’t anticipate demand falling off. This year’s expectations are based on the trends the operation has seen for other holidays and events. Since people were unable to celebrate Halloween traditionally last year, there is likely pent-up demand to celebrate this year.

Bay Baby Produce of Mount Vernon, WA also expects strong demand as a result of more social gatherings. The different colors and textures available make pumpkins ideal for decorating not only for holidays but throughout the fall.

The weather has been hotter and drier than usual in their area, the crop looks good. A bigger variable for the company is with the supply chain. 

Obtaining items such as cardboard and pallets, finding labor, and experiencing a diminished capacity in trucks and drivers has resulted in packing and shipping product. The pumpkin season is a short and intense season. This consolidated supply and drastic increase in production will likely be difficult for an already stressed supply chain to handle.

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Pumpkin Loads are Shaping up Good for Fall

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About 40 percent of pumpkin acres in 2017 were grown in five States: Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, and California. However, all state produce at least some pumpkins.

At Turek Farms in King Ferry, NY the company observes people are not going on vacation, because they are staying home and spending more on landscaping and cooking,” said Turek ships hundreds of loads of traditional orange jack-o-lanterns to retailers in the Northeast.

The majority of Turek’s pumpkins are ready the last 10 days in September and the first 20 days of October.

At Jackson Farming Co. based in Autryville, N.C., pumpkins for carving are ready to be shipped in mid-September, although a few loads go out to retailers who set up their produce departments up right after Labor Day. Jackson’s peak shipping period is October 1 – 15.

Washington state is expecting plentiful supplies of pumpkins and ornamental gourds, according to Bay Baby Produce of Mount Vernon, WA. The operation grows over 550 acres of pumpkins in the Skagit Valley, including 15 pumpkin varieties from pie to ornamental and three varieties of long-stemmed, hard-shelled pumpkins for decoration. 

Bay Baby expects to started harvesting the second week of August and continues until October 15, with product shipping from the first of September until October 25. Bay Baby’s designs are shipped across North America and down to Mexico, with some exported to Japan and Taiwan.

Frey Farms of Keenes, IL starts picking the last week of August and first week of September, stocking up building up its inventory. Then right after Labor Day it starts shipping to retail stores.

Frey’s ornamentals, from mesh bags of white, orange and striped mini pumpkins to gourds and decorative corn, start ramping up the second and third week of September. However, most loadings of its jack-type pumpkins take place in October.

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U.S. Pumpkin Shipments are Strong this Fall: Honeybear Pazazz Apple Shipping Period to Double

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DSCN0085Pumpkin shipments in the U.S. should equal or exceed the volume of a year ago, thanks to a bountiful harvest, favorable growing conditions in the six states that account for 50 percent of the pumpkins in the nation….Also, Honeybear Pazazz apple shipments will increase substantially this season.

Last year 1.6 billion pounds of pumpkins were shipped.  Some observers believe this year’s U.S. pumpkin totals by the end of the season could be one of the best on record.

Decorative pumpkins such as jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pie filling and yogurt remain popular.  However, it is the new and different uses of pumpkins such as liquid coffee, cereal and dog food where demand is really soar.

Libby’s supplies nearly 80 percent of U.S canned pumpkins.  Libby’s is a unit of Nestle SA, which is also the parent company of Nestle Purina Petcare, the world’s No. 2 pet food manufacturer.  Pets apparently love pumpkins, plus there is antioxidant-like benefits and dietary fiber content. Purina uses real pumpkins to accent its cat and dog food recipes year round.

Dog food sales with pumpkin flavors soared to $41.9 million for the 52-week period ending July 29, compared with $925,288 during a similar period in 2013.

The liquor market for pumpkins, including pumpkin-flavored craft beers, has declined in recent years with ever changing millennials switching to other flavors.

Pazazz Apples

 The Pazazz premium apple variety, now in its fourth year of commercial introduction by Honeybear Brands, ships early November to many markets and will be available at retail until early April while supplies last.

With its largest volume ever, Pazazz should be available for five to six months this year instead of the usual three.

Pazazz will also be available in 50-75 percent more retail markets than previous years as the crop reaches full maturity.

Retailers include Wegmans in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland; Loblaws in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec; Publix in all stores and all markets; all Hy-Vee in Iowa as well as Kansas City and Minnesota; Meijer in Illinois Michigan and Ohio; Kroger in Kentucky, Central Indiana, Michigan, Eastern Illinois and Texas; Ralphs in California; QFC in Oregon and Washington; and United Supermarkets in Texas and New Mexico. Additional markets and stores may be added in the coming weeks and months.

Honeybear, based in Brewster, WA,  is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties. The company started as Wescott Agri Products, a family run apple orchard in the early 1970s. From that early start several generations ago, Honeybear still employs the same hands-on, personal attention to apple varieties produced through the Honeybear Apple Varietal Development Program. Honeybear is the leading grower of Honeycrisp in the Northwest and offers complete domestic and global apply supply integration from varietal development to growing, packing, shipping and retailer support.


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Fall Shipping Update from Pumpkins to Hard Squash, Ornamentals, and Grapes

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DSCN8844Favorable weather across much of the United States is resulting in good loading opportunities for pumpkins and other fall items.  Meanwhile an update on California grape shipments shows the best is yet to come.

Pumpkins are grown in almost every state and shippers in most areas see a good crop of pumpkins and hard squash for the upcoming season. Since these items are grown in so many states, most loads are regional or local.
While pumpkins are an American Halloween tradition, good volume typically occurs after after October 31st.   Pumpkin shipments typically are brisk following Halloween as Americans prepare for Thanksgiving.
For example, Frey Farms in Keenes, Ill., started shipping its fall pumpkins the last week of August. Besides regular pumpkins, the company sells painted pumpkins as an in-and-out item and pumpkin tattoo kits – food-safe transfers that enable consumers to “paint” a pumpkin in a minute.
Van Groningen & Sons Inc. Manteca, CA starts shipping pumpkin and ornamentals around Labor Day.
Todd Greiner Farms of Hart, MI began shipping  pumpkins, squash and ornamentals in late August.
Jackson Melons Inc., of Henderson, TX will start shipping carving pumpkins right after Labor Day.
Pumpkin Pyle of Floydada, TX  is shipping pumpkins, squash and ornamentals, which will continue through until about October 20th.
California Grape Shipments
The California table grape shipments continues through the summers and by season’s end at the end of the year, maybe January, is projected at 111.4 million 19-pound boxes.
California grape  shippers loaded 108.9 million 19-pound box equivalents, about 40 percent of which was moved from May through August.  With the end of August, 60 percent of the overall crop had been shipped in 2016, but the season should last into January.
Over 85 varieties are grown in California, with the leading varieties being scarlet royal, autumn king, flame seedless, crimson seedless and sugraone.  About 93 percent of the state’s grapes are seedless.
With California grape crop in 2016, 36 percent of the fruit was exported, mostly to Canada, Mexico, China, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.

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Pumpkin Shipments are Down from Many Regions

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015Heavy rains should keep pumpkin shipments lighter than usual around much of the country heading into Halloween (October 31st).

For example, Mike Pirrone Produce Inc., based in Capac, MI expects just 300 loads of pumpkins to be shipped this year  This would be down from the 500 loads of pumpkins normally shipped.

West Texas pumpkin shippers have a similar story.  If the prediction of 50 percent fewer shipments this season holds, it would be the lowest production in 20 years.

At Lusk Onion Co. of Clovis, N.M., average shipments are expected, but the product is maturing in smaller sizes than usual.  The overall crop is being described as pretty average in volume, but the size is a little smaller.

There also have reports of pumpkin shippers in Indiana being particularly hit hard due to excessive spring rains.

Both North Carolina and South Carolina have taken hits in production thanks to Hurricane Joaquin and it’s drenching rains.

It’s difficult getting any current national production, or shipping numbers for pumpkins since about 40 states grow and ship the item, but mostly on a local and regional basis.

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A Look at Loadings for Pumpkins, Colorado Onions, NC Sweet Potatoes

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IMG_6548Halloween, and then Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and one big hint of those events coming are pumpkin shipments.  Those loadings have actually been going on since August in some places, but now bigger volume is taking place.

A vast majority of pumpkins are shipped relatively short distances, primarily because the item is grown in virtually every one of the lower 48 states.  Still, some pumpkins are shipped several hundred miles.

From upstate to New York down to the Carolinas a significant drop in pumpkin shipments are expected due to excessive rains.   Much better growing conditions and the resulting volume is seen from the upper Midwestern states.  New Mexico is reporting good loadings, but most destinations are to regional markets in nearby states such as Texas, Oklahoma and some to Colorado.

The five leading pumpkin shipping states are:  Illinois, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

NE Colorado Onion Shipments

Northeast Colorado onion shipments are not expected to be signficantly affected from heavy rains in the state in mid September, just some harvesting delays.  At least this is what Colorado onion shipper are saying.   Up to eight inches of rain pounded the area over a six-day period.  It is still recomended looking for possible quality problems when loading these onions coming out of storage.

Northeastern Colorado has about 2,000  to 2,500 acres of onions, which is only about 2.5 percent of total storage onions in the USA….There also are some norkotah potato shipments from this area, but no word as yet on how quality or volume may be affected.

Sweet Potato Shipments

North Carolina is the nation’s leader with sweet potato shipments.  Both the Tar Heel state, as well a loadings from other leading sweet potato states are expected to be down around 20 to 25 percent, compared to the season that recently ended.  Some other areas with significant sweet potato volume are California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Shipments are so light right now as farmers have just finished the old crop and are starting to harvest the new crop, that shipments of uncured, green sweet potatoes are taking place to meet demand.  Just make sure your receiver is aware of this.  It takes about 30 to 45 days once sweet potatoes are harvested, to be cured.  Weather issues have resulted in harvests running two to four weeks late.  Curing should be completed by late October.

North Carolina sweet potatoes – grossing about $2250 to New York City. 



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