Posts Tagged “Salinas Valley vegetable shipments”

Salinas Valley Veggie Loadings on the Rise Following a Slow Start

By |

Salinas Valley vegetable shipments have been reduced for much of 2023 due to rain, floods, cold and cloudy weather. However, warmer weather is now leading to bigger volume and loading opportunties.

Impatiens necrotic spot virus – INSV – a daunting lettuce pest in recent years, may be a problem as warm weather otherwise boosts Salinas production. 

The most recent chilly, cloudy weather cleared in mid-June, which is increasing Salinas vegetable production and shipments. Sales and marketing company Produce West of Salinas, CA reports the slow start to the season was all weather related, resulting in a two week delay in plantings. 

Salinas celery has a lot of seeders and yields are down. 

In Salinas, INSV has been a problem for the last three years, although not much of a problem so far this year. However, there are concerns it may be a problem with warmer temperatures. The virus sucks the life out of plants. Santa Maria also is discovering a little INSV now. That’s not a good sign if they have warmer weather.

Read more »

Salinas Spring Vegetable Shipments Expected to Have a Rocky Start

By |

Significant weather factors played havoc with the transition of Salinas Valley vegetables to the deserts of California and Arizona several months ago. It is now time for that transition from the south to Salinas and weather conditions up north are going to result in a rocky return.

Shipping gaps and disruptions are already occurring and will continue until at least early on many vegetable items. The problems started when rains prevented plantings from occurring on time. This will adversely affect the size, weight and condition of the product at harvesting.

Caution is urged when loading Salinas vegetable and make sure your receiver knows what quality, size, etc. of product they will be receiving.

There will be delayed shipments of broccoli and cauliflower in the Salinas Valley because of the excessive cold temperatures in February.

Florida vegetables will be an attractive alternative to Salinas for receivers until Florida starts winding down in April and May.

Celery volume will be limited this spring.

Oxnard received a lot of rain, delaying plantings during the early part of the farming season. However, there are Huron loadings of Iceberg lettuce, which will assist more consistent production of Iceberg through the transition period from the desert to the Salinas Valley. There are very few shipping from Huron this spring. Many will not be making the transition from the desert to Salinas or Santa Maria without shipping gaps.

Read more »

California Weather has Salinas Growers Seeking Other Areas for Spring Plantings

By |

Torrential rains and flooding in the Salinas Valley has continued and many growers are looking to other areas for spring plantings.

Church Bros. Farms of Salinas, CA expects shipping gaps this spring for vegetables.

Normally leafy greens harvest in Salinas starts about April 1. That harvest date requires a Jan. 1 planting. Salinas growers – with those in much of California’s Central Valley – received constant waves of torrential rainfall through the first two weeks of January. The Salinas River is overflowing.

Cole crops in the Salinas Valley are planted in November and December. Those plantings are lost. Church reports two of its growers have 2,000 acres underwater. In all, 20,000 acres are flooded in the valley. However, the company is unsure exactly how much of that total is cultivated. Some of that acreage will have to be disked if it was already planted with crops.

The grower/shipper reports loss of acres could create a gap in April and the following months as there are new food safety rules in place which did not exist in 1995. These rules restrict planting fields that were affected by the flood waters for 60 days and the soil must be sufficiently dried out. After 30 days, growers have to test the soil again before it can plant.

The company indicates that the Salinas River level in 1995 reached 30 feet and the flood level was 23 feet. Church notes that in a recent comparison photo, the river was measured at 24.6 feet and the damage was nowhere near what it was in 1995.

Some growers were already shifting to plant in Yuma. That inherent danger is the potential crop-killing heat in April. If those fields can withstand heat through April 10-20 they will still be better off than trying to plant using a pontoon boat in Salinas. Other growers are planting in Mexico to compensate for saturated Salinas fields.

Read more »

Heat in the Salinas Valley is Causing Quality Problems for Produce Shipments

By |

Cooler weather came to the Salinas Valley, but it didn’t last long as high temperatures is once again playing havoc with vegetable quality. The heatwave started Thursday, July 14 and will continue through the middle of this week.

Morning lows will range from the upper 40°s to low 60°s and daytime highs for inland areas will be in the 80°s to low 100°s; coastal areas should remain in the 70°s.

The heat increases has been occurring every two weeks as this cycle of rising high pressure has been going on since early June. It is not typical of Salinas Valley weather patterns and many crops have reacted poorly to the heat and elevated humidity levels. This is resultin in widespread quality and shelf-life concerns in commodity and value-added crops.

Produce haulers are urge to use caution when loading and to check quality being put on the truck. The shippers should letting receivers know what to expect.

The most common heat-related defects observed:

Baby Leaf and Other Lettuces:

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Growth cracks
  • Inconsistent growth/fluctuating density
  • Increased insect pressure
  • Internal burn/tip burn
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun burn/sun scalding


  • Accelerated growth/oversized crowns
  • Dehydration
  • Hollow core
  • Pin rot
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Yellowing


  • Decreased size
  • Lower volume
  • Increased bruising
  • Soft texture
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Maintaining the proper cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life.

Read more »

Salinas Vegetable Shipments are Rebounding from a Late Start

By |

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.


Read more »

Shipping Updates from Salinas Veggies to FL Citrus and Imported Persimmons

By |

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.


Read more »

Loading Update on Western Veggies, Eastern “Blues”

By |

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.

Read more »

Shipments of California Produce, Plus other Areas

By |


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.



Read more »

California Produce Shipments are on the Rise

By |

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.



Read more »

Western Veg Shipping Gaps are Expected

By |

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.

Read more »