Posts Tagged “Salinas Valley vegetable shipments”

Salinas Vegetable Shipments are Rebounding from a Late Start

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A21Spring weather conditions have gradually improved California’s Salinas Valley produce shipments, which had been hampered by rain and cold weather.

Still, some shippers such as Tanimura & Antle Inc. of Salinas see volume being lighter than normal on some items in late May and early June because of planting delays.

At the same time growing conditions and ultimately shipments are expected to better than in 2017, which had even worse weather conditions.

Salinas Valley vegetable crop acreage increased slightly from 286,637 acres in 2015 to 290,987 acres in 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available from the Monterey County agricultural commissioner’s office.

There has been a significant decline in artichoke acreage in Monterey County, from 7,242 acres in 2006 to 4,050 in 2016.

Weather has been a problem for impacted overall artichoke production for a number of years.  This has resulted in the nation’s largest artichoke grower Ocean Mist Farms of, Castroville, CA

deciding to diversify artichoke growing locations to include areas such as the Coachella Valley, rather than concentrate all of its volume in Monterey County.

D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, based in Salinas, completed its desert lettuce shipments the last week of March after finishing up other vegetable crops in mid-March.  Most Salinas vegetable shipments got underway in early March, but a spring rain descended on the area the last few days of the month, bringing most of the harvests to a halt, and resulting in quality issues. The quality of Salinas vegetables has improved with the weather.

Another Salinas produce company, Coastline Family Farms, started its Salinas vegetable season April 9th following a few days of rains.  Early season leaf lettuce and romaine hearts showed some signs of blister and peel because of an early spring frost, but apparently has experienced a significant improvement in quality since.

Lucky Strike Farms of Burlingame, CA., expects to have a steady vegetable deal this season.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $8300 to New York City.


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Shipping Updates from Salinas Veggies to FL Citrus and Imported Persimmons

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DSCN9984While Salinas Valley veggie shipments have been hindered due to weather related issues, it may pale in comparison to Florida oranges after Hurricane Irma.  Also, imported Japanese persimmons to be become a reality.

Salinas Valley vegetable shipments leading up to Labor Day were paired back because of hot weather and the effects are still being felt nearly two weeks later.  When the temperature surpasses 90 degrees F. it becomes to hot for field workers, not to mention quality issues come into focus.  The result has been lighter-than-normal loadings of  leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Caution is urged when loading, as produce haulers should look for potential heat related quality problems.

Florida Citrus vs. Irma

The wrath of Hurricane Irma is bound to be bad news for Florida citrus, especially orange that already is reeling from declining production due to citrus greening.  Florida accounts for 56 percent of U.S. citrus production and is the number one state for oranges, although the vast majority goes for processing.   Still, we’re talking about Florida’s total production for oranges in 2015 was valued at $1.17 billion.

Other top produce crops threatened by Irma are tomatoes, and green beans, although neither are in peak season.  Severe citrus crop losses seen for product exposed to hurricane force winds exceeding 85 mph.

Imported Persimmons


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule allowing the importation of fresh persimmon with calyxes (a plant part protecting the flower) from Japan.

APHIS scientists prepared a pest risk analysis and determined that commercial shipments of persimmons with calyxes produced under a systems approach can safely be imported into the continental United States. The systems approach includes requirements for packing house registration, orchard monitoring and control of pests, fruit culling, biometric sampling, a phytosanitary certificate with additional declaration, port of entry inspection and traceback. These measures will protect our country against the introduction of plant pests.


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Loading Update on Western Veggies, Eastern “Blues”

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DSCN7473Salinas Valley vegetable shipments continue to struggle, while eastern blueberry loadings may finally get going this month.
It has been a less than stellar spring for central coast vegetable shipments due mostly to weather conditions.  In essence, Salinas Valley vegetable shipments are going to be trying at best heading into summer.  You’ll need to be alert when loading product.  There is everything from quality issues to inconsistent sizing of lettuce heads.
This situation is expected to continue through June, and perhaps through most of July.  Salinas vegetable shippers tend to plant about 40 percent less  product for summer because they face so much competition from various home grown season in the U.S. and Canada.  Other vegetables ranging from broccoli to cauliflower also are being affected, but to a lesser extent.
Salinas Valley vegetable and berry shipments – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.
Georgia Blueberry Shipments
Warmer weather, poor pollinating conditions and labor issues are all contributing to fewer blueberries currently coming out of the Southeastern U.S.  Georgia blueberry shipments will pick up by mid June.  The state has shipped nearly 90 million pounds of blueberries per year in the past, but in 2016, it will be well short of that number.  The longer growing season in this region may help offset an even greater decline in shipments.  Georgia has one of the longest seasons in the U.S., from mid-April to the middle of July.
Georgia’s season nearly mirrors the blueberry shipping seasons in a few other states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Georgia blueberry shipments grossing about $2600 to Chicago.  Georgia vegetables grossing about 15 to 20 percent less.
NJ Fruit Shipments
After fewer blueberry shipments in 2015, New Jersey expects to rebound this year.  Initial loadings should get underway around June 10-11.  In 2013 New Jersey shipped 65 million pounds of “blues”, followed by 55 million pounds in 2014.  During those years (2013 and 2014) the state ranked seventh nationally in total blueberry volume.  However, the state slipped to seventh place in 2015 behind shipments from California and North Carolina.
About 87 percent of New Jersey blueberry shipments are delivered for the fresh market.
New Jersey peach shipments should begin around June 18th and continue well into July.  Loadings should continue through July and perhaps extend until the middle of August.  New Jersey ranks fourth in peach shipments behind California, South Carolina and Georgia.  While no forecast is out yet, weather factors are expected to reduce Jersey peach volume this season.

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Shipments of California Produce, Plus other Areas

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U.S. watermelon shipments continue to increase, plus an update on Salinas veggies, California cherries and almonds.  Finally, did you know North Carolina ships potatoes?

Watermelon Shipments

Mexican watermelon shipments through Nogales easily leads volume in the U.S., hitting about 2,500 truck loads a week.  Florida melon loadings are only about one-third this amount and Texas is even lighter.

Nogales rates on watermelons, grapes, tropical fruit ,up as much as 15% this week – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.


Salinas Valley Vegetable Shipments

It continues to be less than a steller shipping season for Salinas Valley vegetables.  Various types of lettuce in particular are in a shipping gap, with low production coming out of the fields due to weather factors this spring.  Vegetable shipments are not expect to show major improvements until the week of June 6th.

Salinas vegetables – grossing about $4600 to Chicago.

California Cherry Shipments

California cherry loadings will come to a screeching shortly after Memorial Day.  A once promising harvest of 8 to 9 million cartons has been decimated by rains.  The final total for the product is estimated at only 4.5 million cartons.  This compares to 6 million cherries shipped a year ago.

If you are picking up one of the final loads of the season, use caution.  Cracking  or splitting are among problems being reported with the fruit.  New high tech grading equipment is supposed to catch this, but caution is still urged.

Almond Shipments

California almond movement should be up 5.8 percent over last year, according to the most recent forecast.  In 2016, almonds totaled  2 billion pounds.  This compares to 2015’s volume of 1.89 billion pounds.

North Carolina Potatoes

The Tar Heel state doesn’t even rank in the top 10 nationally for potato loadings.  However, still has about 16,000 acres of plantings, although this is down from about 2010 when it had 21,000 acres.  Shipping, primarily from the Elizabeth City area, will get underway the last half of June.  Shipments are destined to receivers mostly along the East Coast, with some product going to Canada.  About 30 percent of the loads are for table stock, with the balance going to processors.  Around 30 percent of the product is red potatoes.



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California Produce Shipments are on the Rise

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DSCN7303California produce shipments have been disappointing so far this spring when it comes to total volume and freight rates, loadings are on the rise.  Here’s a look at several different areas from the Golden State.

Kern Co. Produce Shipments

Currently there is light to moderate volume coming out of the Bakersfield area (Kern County) on items ranging from carrots to turnips, beets, rutabagas and navel oranges….(Carrots, along with sweet corn are available in the Imperial Valley).  Carrot volume is light in Kern County, but will have a significant increase in May…..Around May 1st, Kern County green bell peppers get started.

There should be more info on Coachella Valley grape shipments soon when the first domestic grapes get underway in early May.  This will occur within a few days after the start of Mexican grape shipments.  (Look for a more detailed shipping outlook on Mexican grapes, Friday, April 22nd.)  Coachella table grapes, similar to Mexico, are expected to finish shipments a little early this year – late June.  About this time table grapes from the Bakersfield area will get underway with both red and green varieties, followed by black seedless grapes in mid July.

Kern Co. vegetable shipments – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.

Strawberry Shipments

California strawberry shipments have been a big disappointment this year.  As of April 9th about 27.3 million trays had been shipped, far less than the 43.3 million trays at the same time a year ago.  Lack of labor and weather have been cited as primary factors.  California has 32,515 acres planted this year, a drop of 5,585 acres from 2015.

Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $5100 to Atlanta.

Salinas Valley Vegetable Shipments

About 500 truck loads of head lettuce are being shipped weekly from Salinas, with volume expected to increase on it  and other types of lettuce.  Overall, Salinas is still leaving a lot to be desired in total vegetable shipments, but the month of May should be much better.  Lettuce shipments from the Huron area in the San Joaquin Valley are in a seasonal decline.  There’s several other veggies in very light volume also coming out of the Central San Joaquin Valley.

(Another California shipping update will be coming next week.)

Salinas Valley vegetable shipments – grossing about $6800 to Boston.



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Western Veg Shipping Gaps are Expected

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DSCN7150The roller coaster ride of western winter desert vegetables has seen peaks and valleys in volume over the past three months and it is not over yet.

Light shipments of Western vegetables occurred in holidays ranging from Thanksgiving and Christmas through New Years and well into January.  Then volume experienced a dramatic increase with lettuce and many vegetables heading into February. However, a potential shipping gap is looming as it appears winter vegetable shipments may come to a conclusion in mid- to late March.  This would be ahead of the transition for many produce shippers to the Salinas and Santa Maria valleys.

The winter weather forecasts of hugh amounts of rains El Niño in Southern California have failed to materialize.   Although a wet March is still being forecast.  If that occurs and it drenches the desert, an even earlier end to vegetable shipments would most likely occur.

Some are saying that regardless of the El Niño situation, desert loadings are going to end early.  While Salinas Valley vegetable shipments might get an early start, volume still will be light.

There will be some early Salinas fields harvested from mid-March to mid-April, but shipments will be variable at best.

Yuma, AZ vegetables shipments – grossing about $5700 to New York City.

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California Vegetables are Facing Shipping Gaps

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IMG_6577+1Salinas Valley vegetable shipments will be transitioning this week to the Huron district in the San Joaquin Valley, while shipments from the desert will start in early November.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Salinas veggies this season, with periods of heavy shipments, followed by shipping gaps, primarily due to hot weather affecting everything from Iceberg lettuce, to  broccoli, cauliflower, celery and other crops.  It’s unclear when, but shipping gaps are being predicted right into the Thanksgiving pull for product by receivers next month.

The Salinas Valley has had warmer than normal temperature since the first of August, resulting in early harvests, followed by shipping gaps.

The transition for Huron vegetable shipments in Central California is taking place this week, while the initial harvest from Yuma, AZ, in the desert begins next week. Yuma vegetable shipments will be increasing in the weeks to follow.

California’s Santa Maria Valley has experienced many of the same challenges found in Salinas.

With frost hitting eastern Canada and excessive rains on the east coast of the U.S., California is about the only place shipping vegetables now.

Central San Joaquin Valley produce items – grossing about $7000 to Boston.

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California Lettuce Quality, Volume is Affecting Produce Rates

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DSCN1996+1Taking a look at Salinas Valley vegetable shipments this summer and you get a good hint at one reason why California produce have been less than stellar.

California’s coastal valleys near Santa Maria and Salinas have experienced unusually warm nights all summer long, which has resulted in some hollow hearts and other issues that basically reduced Iceberg and other varieties of lettuce volume and the weight of each head.  Less tonnage per acre has resulted in a demand-exceeds-supply situation, with Iceberg lettuce prices topping $20 per carton.

The lack of lettuce quality is closer to what you normally find in late September or October.  The lighter amount of lettuce shipments could continue until the end of the coastal valley deals in mid- to late October.  In fact, improvements may not come until the transition to Huron in the San Joaquin Valley in the fall.   However, many grower-shippers won’t be planting lettuce in Huron this fall because of the California drought.

The shortage appears to be mostly with various types of lettuce category, while supplies of broccoli, cauliflower and most of the other staple vegetable volumes are adequate.

Something else to consider is El Niño.  Meteorologists studying the Pacific Ocean say the warm water patterns are surfacing from the equator to much farther north off the California coast which may mean very heavy fall and winter rains.  If  this weather pattern becomes a reality many low lying produce fields could become flooded, cutting into acreage and shipments.

Most are predicting that if the El Niño conditions that currently exist do bring huge amounts of rain, they will probably start in late September, with the brunt of the storms hitting from December through February.  If that occurs, produce shipments could get cut short, and next season growers would have to delay planting in many fields.  Enough speculation.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $4600 to Chicago; $6700 to New York City.


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Salinas Valley Vegetable Shipping Gaps Should be Easing

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DSCN0548+1Salinas Valley Vegetable Shipments

Supply gaps on leaf lettuce, cauliflower and other items in the Salinas Valley have cut shipments and made it more difficult for produce truckers to figure out when loads will be available.  However, as we enter May loadings should improve and be more predictable.

Caution should also be used loading Salinas vegetables due to adverse effects from weather, which has experienced periods of very warm and cold temperatures.  There also has been reports of wind burn and tip burn, that hurt quality, as well as yields.  Just make sure your receiver is aware of any quality problems.  Some product is being shipped three to four weeks earlier than normal due to above average temperatures.

Loadings of green and red leaf are particularly light due to the weather issues.  The wild swings in volume have made it difficult for truckers and shippers a like.

California Strawberry Shipments

Watsonville strawberries shipments also have come on earlier this season.  Strawberries, which started in February, have posted phenomenal early-season volume shipments in Salinas and Watsonville. Through April 11, the district shipped 4.1 million fresh trays, up from 1 million last year and 890,424 in 2013.  Statewide in California the totals were 43.4 million, up about 4 million over 2014.

All spring holidays — Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), Mother’s Day (May 10th), Memorial Day (May 25th) — should have plenty of strawberry shipments leading up these events.   Other berry shipments will experience great volume in May ranging from California raspberries, to blackberries and blueberries.

Salinas Valley vegetables and strawberries – grossing about $5000 to Chicago, $7100 to New York City.


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California Produce Shipments from Salinas to Ventura County

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DSCN5229Here’s a round up California produce loadings as Salinas Valley vegetable shipments are increasing.

Items such a broccoli, head lettuce and other lettuces are among many vegetables increasing in volume from the Salinas Valley as they head towards full stride in the next couple of weeks or so.  Lettuce from the Huron district in the San Joaquin Valley is on the decline as volume is being replaced by product from Salinas.  Overall Salinas shipments are only moderate at this time, although these shipments still exceed those from the Santa Maria district to the south.

Light to moderate spring shipments of broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables are off to an early start from California’s Santa Maria district.  Items ranging from anise, to cauliflower and broccoli are shipped year-round from Santa Maria.   Mixed leaf kicked off in early March, iceberg started in late March, cilantro and spinach should start harvesting anytime and celery in May.

There also is a wide range of Santa Maria vegetable shipments, including mixed leaf, red, green, and romaine lettuce, romaine hearts,  and celery, as well as mixed baby carrots, mixed beets and mixed radishes.

Concerning Ventura County produce shipments, there are loadings of strawberries, raspberries, celery, romaine and leaf lettuce, as well as cabbage.

Ventura County produce – grossing about $6800 to New York City.

Santa Maria vegetable shipments – grossing about $4400 to Chicago.



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