Posts Tagged “Salinas Valley lettuce shipments”

California Lettuce Crop Virus Outbreak Could Lead to Quality Claims

By |

Caution is urged loading Salinas Valley lettuce, which could cost you money due to rejected loads, claims or deductions from your freight rate.

Below is an update from Markon Cooperative Inc. of Salinas, CA regarding the explosion of plant virus and disease issues heavily impacting lettuce crops over the last couple of weeks in California’s Salinas Valley. 

  • Green leaf has been the least affected, but yields are down 20 to 50 percent in some iceberg and romaine lettuce crops
  • Sclerotinia is not uncommon in late summer/early fall crops, but the Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus is typically not as widespread as it is currently being reported
  • Harvesting crews are heavily trimming heads to detect and cull defects, but may not be able to eliminate these issues 100%
  • Production crews are harvesting fields at a faster pace due to the increase in culled product; upcoming fields will have less time to fully mature
  • Expect light weights, intermittent quality and shelf-life issues, and elevated markets for lettuce items for the duration of the Salinas season

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8700 to New York City.

Read more »

California Lettuce Shipments are Moving in Good Volume

By |

Lettuce shipments to retailers have been relatively strong since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while foodservice business has been down, but generally seems to be improving.

Over 1,800 truck loads of Iceberg and Romaine lettuce are being shipped weekly from the Salinas Vally.

Coastline Family Farms of Salinas, CA reports loadings destined to retailers has been booming, while restaurants and other foodservice has been hit hard. The company’s primary items are Iceberg lettuce, romaine, romaine hearts, green leaf and red leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and green onions.

Misionero Vegetables of Gonzalez, CA ships Earth Greens Organics and Garden Life lines, which include leafy greens and lettuce items.

The Nunes Co. Inc. of Salinas reports good crops with
iceberg lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, romaine hearts and celery.

Church Brothers of Salinas says INSV continues to be a problem in the Salinas Valley. INSV is Impatiens Necrotic Spot. The virus causes a wide variety of symptoms including wilting, stem death, stunting, yellowing, poor flowering, ‘chicken pox-like’ sunken spots on leaves, etches or ring spots on leaves, and many others. When loading, you should look for such symptoms.

The grower shipper has its Tender Leaf program which includes specialty items such as the new Tuscan Tender Leaves mix, Ready Leaf, Tuscan Baby Romaine — a hybrid leaf that makes for a creative, healthy serving vehicle — and romaine wraps.

Church Brothers’ major leafy green/lettuce items are iceberg, romaine, green leaf, and butter lettuce.

Dole Food Co. of Charlotte, N.C. markets 11 Dole-branded leafy green/lettuce products, including arugula, butter lettuce, chard, endive, green leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, kale, radicchio, romaine and spinach.

The company also offers 66 packaged salad varieties including its popular Chopped!, Slawesome! and Premium salad kit lines, salad mixes and slaws. 

The company’s growers experienced hardly any pest or disease problems this season.

Salinas lettuce is grossing – about $6500 to Atlanta.

Read more »

California Shipping Update with Salinas Lettuce and San Joaquin Valley Grapes

By |

DSCN9845Salinas Valley lettuce shipments continue with less ups and down in volume.  Meanwhile, San Joaquin Valley table grape shipments will enter it biggest volume period of the season starting in September.

After a rocky start last spring hauling head lettuce and leaf lettuce out of the Salinas Valley, shipments have become more reliable and steady in the second half of the season.

However, there seems to be less overall volume this year, due in part to the stormy, water deluged fields earlier this year, and the fact a number of head or Iceberg major growers reduced acreage, in part because of the weather and partly due to past low prices.  Those can result from over production, but just as importantly a lot of homegrown and eastern commercial operations are in full production from the Northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada.

Salinas Iceberg shippers are averaging over 1200 truck loads of product a week, and over 900 truck loads of romaine.

Leaf Lettuce Shipments

Spring plantings of leaf lettuce were erratic in a similar fashion to head lettuce.  Items such a romaine, as well green and red leaf lettuce shipments haven’t been exceptional this season out of Salinas.  There are freight advantages for buyers on the East Coast sourcing product much closer to home than California.  As a result, a lot of California lettuce shipments are limited to the Western U.S.

Salinas Valley lettuce shipments, as well as broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables – grossing about $4100 to Dallas, $7000 to New York City.

Grape Shipments

A generally hot weather pattern in the San Joaquin Valley since May apparently hasn’t hurt table grape quality, but if it continues could affect the quality of product being distributed around the country – particularly with red grapes and black grapes.  It’s not unusual for the valley to have hot spells in summer, but not stretching out this long.

California growers are expected to ship 111.4 million 19-pound boxes of grapes this season topping last season’s nearly 109 million boxes.  Over 60 percent of the volume will be shipped after September 1st.

San Joaquin Valley grapes, stone fruit and apples – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.

Read more »

Lettuce Loads Moving to Huron; Idaho Potato Update

By |

dscn8447Salinas Valley lettuce shipments are on the decline and the seasonal transition to the San Joaquin Valley is underway.  Also, here is an update on potato shipments out of the nation’s leading state – Idaho.

Harvest of iceberg lettuce from the Westside district in the San Joaquin Valley in the Huron, CA area got underway about 10 days ago and volume shipments are increasing.

The seasonal transition of lettuce from California’s Salinas Valley to Huron and to desert growing regions of Arizona (Yuma) and California (Imperial Valley) are underway.   Although some minor insect problems and wind damage have occurred, other all quality of the iceberg is reported to be good.

Salinas Valley fruit and vegetable shipments – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

San Joaquin Valley vegetable shipments – grossing about $5100 to Atlanta.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Idaho potato acreage is reported to be very similar compared with a year ago, and Idaho potato growers and shippers are looking at good quality crop with a good range of sizes for the 2016-17 shipping season. Yields are reported to be fairly good.

About 325,000 acres of Idaho potatoes were planted this year, compared with 323,000 acres planted a year ago.  The state’s potato crop accounts for about 33 percent of all U.S. potato volume.

According to the USDA  Idaho’s 2015-16 crop was being shipped throughout the season, with top shipment months occurring in September (12 percent of annual volume), October (12 percent), April (11 percent), March (9 percent) and May (9 percent). The comparatively lower volume months were July (6 percent) and August (6 percent).

For the state’s acreage in the 2014-15 season, Russet Burbank potatoes stood at 50.4 percent of the shipments, down from 52.5 percent in 2013-14.  Russet Norkotah volume accounted for 17 percent of the acreage, down from 20.1 percent in 2013-14 shipping season.  Ranger Russet rose from 14.2 percent in the 2013-14 season to 15.5 percent in the  2014-15 shipping season.

Idaho potato shipments from the Idaho Falls area – grossing about $3000 to Chicago; $5000 to New York City.

Read more »

California Outlook for Broccoli, Raspberry, Walnut Shipments

By |

RaspberriesCalifornia broccoli shipments continue to struggle with volume and quality, while raspberry loadings have improved.  Meanwhile, record walnut loadings are forecast.

Just about the time it seem Salinas Valley lettuce shipments are getting straightened out from unpredictable highs and lows in volume, a similar problem is now occurring with Salinas Valley broccoli shipments.  Again, similar to lettuce, broccoli has been facing some quality problems  such as brown bead, hollow stem and stunted growth, which are the side effects of hot weather.  Some areas of the Salinas Valley have hit 110 degrees recently.  While quality is expected to improve going further into September, volume could remain below normal for weeks.  It’s always good to check what’s being loaded onto the truck, so the buyer (receiver) knows what is being delivered.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $6800 to New York City.

Berry Shipments

Raspberry shipments from the Salinas/Watsonville district have improved in the past week as the weather has cooled.  The berries  are grown under hoops and inside the hoops, and it was simply too hot.  This time of the year, raspberry production is limited to the Watsonville and Salinas areas.   Shipments of the fruit normally occur from May through  October.

Watsonville/Salinas berries – grossing about $4500 to Dallas.

Walnut Shipments

This year’s California walnut production from the San Joaquin Valley is forecast at a record 575,000 tons despite a lack of chilling hours during winter and the California drought that continues to impact the state. The forecast is up 1 percent from 2014’s production of 570,000 tons.

According to the USDA, California walnut acreage amounted to 181,000 in 1990 and increased every year to 300,000 acres in 2015.  In the past decade alone, acreage increased by 40 percent. The number of trees per acre went up significantly as well.


Read more »