Posts Tagged “San Joaquin Valley”

San Joaquin Valley Fruit is Starting Soon; Some Calif. Rates Hit $9,500

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DSCN0145Two major California summer produce items are expected to get underway the week of June 24th, with volume shipments really increasing entering July.

Meanwhile, $9,000 gross freight rates from Salinas to the East Coast are becoming relatively common.

Cantaloupe shipments from the West Side of California’s San Joaquin Valley are  expected to get underway next week, as loadings will continue into October.

Overall acreage is down about 5 to 10 percent on cantaloupes from a year ago.  Whether that translates to yields and an reduction in loads remains to be seen.

Cantaloupe shipments start each season from Huron in the southern part of the valley and gradually moves northward into the Firebaugh district, before coming out of the Los Banos area.  The end of the season has cantouples originating from fields in the northern area of Crow’s Landing.

Besides cantaloupe, other melons will be available for hauls ranging from honeydews, to Cranshaws, Casabas, Persians, Canaries, Orange Flesh, Santa Claus, Galias and Hamis.

Shipments of these items should get underway by July 1st.

Record Grapes Shipments?

Southern San Joaquin Valley table grapes from the Arvin district near Bakersfield will start shipping a little early this year (last week of June).  Combine this with Sonara Mexican grapes crossing the border at Nogales, AZ and Coachella Valley grapes in the California desert running a little late – and there could be a glut of fruit needing to be shipped just prior to the Fouth of July holidays.

A number of grape shippers will be going entering the shipping arena the week of June 24th.

The April preliminary estimate this year is 106.9 million 19-pound boxes of grapes . If  this holds, it will top last year’s record volume of about 101 million boxes.

More than half of that volume will be harvested and shipped after Sept. 1.

If the estimate holds it would result in record California grape shipments  for the second year in a row.

Coachella Valley grapes – grossing about $6700 to Atlanta.

Salinas Valley veggies, berries – grossing mostly around $8000, with some as high as $9500 to Boston; $6,000 to Chicago.

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California Produce Loads Continue to Crank Up

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IMG_5643California’s Santa Maria district currently leads the state in strawberry volume with nearly 800 truck loads being shipped a week, but the Watsonville district will be catching up – and surpassing  Santa Maria very soon.  Meanwhile, Salinas Valley vegetables are continuing to increase is volume led by lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower.   The San Joaquin Valley in cranking up with everything from stone fruit to vegetables.

The Imperial and Coachella valleys are shipping melons and mixed veggies, plus Coachella table grapes are now being shipped in volume.

Some produce loads, particularly from more northern Calilforna shipping areas, are already exceeding a rate of $9,000 to the East Coast.

Mexican tomatoes are being shipped in volume from Baja peninsula via distribution centers around San Diego.  Product ranges from romas to grape, cherry and vine ripe tomatoes.

Looking ahead, warm April temperatures have pushed the California pear crop about 10 days ahead of last year.  Early variety pears from the Sacramento River district should get underway around July 2-3, followed by bartletts about July 5.

The projected California almond crop is expected to reach 2 billion pounds this year.  This would fall short only to 2011’s 2.03 billion pound crop and is 6% higher than 2012’s output, which was about 1.89 billion pounds.   Almonds are the state’s largest agricultural export, with California alone producing 80 percent of the world’s supply.

California almond shipments come from over 810,000 acres.

Salinas vegetables – grossing about $9000 to Boston.

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – about $6,000 to Chicago.

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Western Produce Shipments are Gearing Up; Rates Soar

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Grower/shippers in California’s San Joaquin Valley report good shipments of quality California stone fruit in the last half of May and it should pick up even more with the month of June.



Yellow and white peaches, as well as yellow and white nectarines have been moving for the past month.

Peak stone fruit shipments will be occurring the last half of June and July, with about average shipments seen for the season.

PEARS – California pear shipments will start the earlier than at least the past couple of years.  Loadings are expected to get underway around July 9th.

Washington state

Northwest cherry shippers, for the first time in six years, expect good volume shipments for cherries in June.   The first shipments of cherries in the state could start from June 1 through June 3.

Barring some bad weather (which would probably be rain),  full bore cherry shipments should be occurring in time  for the Fourth of the July for the first time since 2007.

The record shipments of 23 million 20-pound boxes of Northwest cherries last year was a 23% increase over the 2011 crop.

The Northwest will likely harvest a cherry crop in the 18 million to 20 million carton range in 2013.

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – grossing about $8,800 to Boston.

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Produce Hauling from the Salinas Valley, San Joaquin Valley

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Between now and August produce truckers will have the upper hand when it comes to freight rates – assuming you don’t have contract rates (but that’s another story).

Not only are we nearing the peak shipping season from California, which accounts for about half of the nation’s fresh produce, but other areas, particularly in the upper mid-west and east are providing competition for trucks.

Caution Hauling Desert Items

Before I get into the Salinas and San Joaquin Valley shipments, use caution loading desert vegetables such as bell peppers and corn as temperatures well above 100 degrees have been occurring.  It’s been really hot in the Coachella and Imperial valleys, as well as Arizona’s Yuma district.  Little or no report of heat damage has yet been reported but keep your eyes peeled for scalding and other heat symptoms in the days ahead.  Even watermelons can suffer if prolonged heat occurs.

Salinas Valley

Dozens of different kinds of vegetables are being shipped from the Salinas area.  But the big volume items are various types of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower.  There also is decent volume with brussel sprouts and celery.  Nearby Castroville is the artichoke capital of the world, while nearby Watsonville is ground zero for strawberry shipments.

San Joaquin Valley

This report will focus primarily on summer from from the SJV.  We’ll soon cover the many vegetables coming into volume.

Stone fruit, led by peaches, plums and nectarines, are just getting underway from the southern part of the valley.

The consensus appear to be that around 40 to 43 million boxes of stone fruit will be shipped this year from the San Joaquin Valley, which would be pretty average when looking at the volume for the past five years.

California cherry shipments are building and hitting good volume just prior to the Memorial weekend (May 25-27).  However, winds damaged 40 to 50% of the early variety Rainier cherries around Bakersfield on May 5th.

There also was some wind damage to almond trees in the Bakersfield area.

Last year, California shipped a record 101.5 milion boxes of grapes.  The Coachella Valley, which is shipping now, accounts for 10 percent or less of this volume.  The rest comes from the San Joaquin Valley, starting with the Arvin District in late June.

Apple shipments, which took at 30 percent hit last year, are expected to return to normal this year.  Beginning in July, California apple shipments get underway, but this is minor (2 million boxes) compared to Washington state  (129 million boxes predicted).

Kern District

Located near Bakersfield, Kern County ships a lot carrots and potatoes, althouigh this time of the year you will get a better freight rate hauling more perishable items ranging from lettuce to stone fruit, grapes and berries.

Kern County potatoes shipments started about a week ago.  Due to so much over production of russet potatoes around the country, this variety has been reduced by up to 75 percent.  Russets have been replaced primarily with red, yellow and white potatoes.

When Kern County growers are not planting carrots or potatoes in their fields, they use bell peppers as a rotation crop.  Bell peppers loadings are just starting and building in volume, continuing until November.

Salinas vegetables – grossing about $5200 to Chicago.

California desert vegetables – about $7300 to New York City.


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National Produce Loading Opportunities

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California cherry shipments kicked off the third week of April and volume is building.  Decent loading opportunities are now just beginning to happen.  Decent volume for deliveries in time for the Memorial Day holiday (May 25-27), with earlier varieties are expected. However, the later  variety bing volume will be substantially less than a year ago.

The San Joaquin Valley southern region including Brooks and Tulare shipments will likely peak May 16-21.  Overall peak shipments should be around  May 25 to June 7.  The bing cherry crop shipments are expected to be off by 30% to 50% from  last year, due in large part to an alternate-bearing cycle.

California has had normal asparagus shipments during April, but loadings are expected lighter than usual now and this will probablycontinue through May.


Like so many areas of the country, a colder than normal spring has Michigan asparagus shipments off to a slow to start.  Significant increases in volume are not expected until the third week of May, two weeks or more behind schedule.


After recovering from an early March  freeze, Florida sweet corn grower-shippers are finally entering peak spring shipments.  Peak loadings normally start around mid-April.


Georgia sweet corn shipments also are going to be a little later due to the cold growing season.  Corn loadings from  Georgia should start in late May, but decent shipments will not be happening until early June. Georgia’s shipments normally end after July 4.

South Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.

Central Florida vegetables  – about $4000 to Boston.



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California Produce Spring Shipments are Increasing

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Light shipments of cherries from California’s Arvin district near Bakersfield have gotten underway within the past week.    Decent volume should be occuring within the next week or two.  Excellent quality with good volume are being forecast for both California and Washington state this season, despite a mid April freeze in Washington that will reduce some loading opportunties.

Apricots are among the most perishable of stone fruits, but optimism abounds this year the product won’t get taken out by Mother Nature as it pretty much has been the past four years.

Most apricots are grown, packed and shipped in the San Joaquin Valley.  Loadings should be hitting stride now and continue through May.  About 90 percent of the apricots grown in the United States come from California. Production in 2011 was nearly 69,000 tons.

Meanwhile, there are much better loading opportunities with California items ranging from strawberries to mixed vegetables.

Strawberry shipments are heavy and will continue to heavy for another month.

Overall, the Salinas Valley is becoming the most active area for produce shipments.  Lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower, plus dozens of other mixed vegetables are being shipped and volume will increase in the weeks ahead.

The nearby Watsonville district is shipping some strawberries, but but there also are berries and some mixed veggies coming out of the Santa Maria district to the south.

The Coachella Valley is expected to start harvesting desert grapes any day now, but good volume shipments are not expected until the week of May 20. Normal volume is expected.

Southern Californa strawberries, vegetables – grossing about $5400 to Chicago.

Salinas Valley mixed veggies – about $7400 to New York City.

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Give Santa Milk and Carrots (Instead of Cookies)?

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Each Christmas Eve, tradition holds that children leave out a plate of milk and cookies for Santa. During the night Santa Claus might visit in excess of 125 million homes. (Estimates vary.) Should he eat merely a single cookie in each visit, at an average of 100 calories per cookie, Bolthouse Farms analysts estimate that Santa may consume as many as 12.5 billion empty calories in a single night. This season, Bolthouse Farms is encouraging Santa Claus to make a smarter food choice.

Children who learn to make smart food choices at an early age tend to thrive. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades[1] and research shows that kids are consuming 5-15% more sugar per day than dietary guidelines allow.[2] To combat the sugar craze, experts recommend making smart food choices, like limiting desserts, sweets and sugary cereals and checking nutrition labels to ensure that sugar isn’t a main ingredient.[3] As sugar is undoubtedly the primary ingredient in the 125 million cookies Santa may consume on Christmas Eve, this gives American parents an ideal moment to discuss food choices.

Bolthouse Farms’ Cut and Peeled Baby Carrots will be repackaged this December as the “Official Snack of Santa.” The holiday carrots will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. At 35 calories per serving and full of Vitamin A and beta carotene, baby carrots give Santa and his reindeer the nutritious edge needed to navigate their global journey. With a satisfying crunch that pairs well with favorite holiday dips and dressings, baby carrots are an ideal snack for “all the good boys and girls,” young and old.

“We are sympathetic to Santa and we love cookies, too. But we’re sure Mrs. Claus would welcome it if Santa cut down on the empty calories,” said Jeff Dunn, chief executive officer, Bolthouse Farms. “Even small food choices, made the right way day after day, can have a positive, lasting impact.”

To complement its holiday campaign, Bolthouse Farms is helping to raise funds for Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization committed to ending hunger and developing sustainable nutritionsolutions. Beginning on November 26 and running for one month, Bolthouse Farms asks consumers to help Santa fight hunger by pledging their support on For every pledge, Bolthouse Farms will donate $1 to Action Against Hunger, up to $25,000.

“The people at Action Against Hunger are putting every resource at their disposal towards the fight against hunger, and we’re proud to support them,” said Bolthouse Farms’ Jeff Dunn. “For some communities, of course, food choices are not a choice at all – access to food and clean water are limited. For other communities, more options exist, and children can learn at an early age to make choices that keep them healthy and engaged.”

Bolthouse Farms is a health-and-wellness focused company. Headquartered in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Bolthouse has grown to become America’s premier producer of carrots, as well as a category leader in super-premium juices, smoothies, protein shakes, cafe beverages and premium refrigerated dressings.

  1. Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. JAMA. 2012;307:483-90.
  2. Dietary Guidelines for Americans,
  3. Mayo Clinic,

About Bolthouse Farms

Bolthouse Farms is a farm located in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, known for high-quality consumer brands and innovative products. Bolthouse Farms is a market share leader in growing and distributing carrots. In addition, Bolthouse Farms produces and sells super-premium juices, smoothies, protein shakes and cafe beverages under the Bolthouse Farms brand name. In recent years, Bolthouse Farms diversified its offerings by launching a line of premium refrigerated yogurt dressings and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrettes. The Bolthouse Farms mission is to Inspire the Fresh Revolution™ and change the way people consume healthy foods and beverages. The company was acquired by Campbell Soup Company on Aug. 6, 2012. To learn more about the company’s mission and see the entire line of current products, visit

About Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that works to save the lives of acutely malnourished children and ensure that communities have long-term access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. By providing immediate assistance during times of emergency while integrating our programs into local and national systems for sustainability, we aim to restore health, self-sufficiency, and independence to vulnerable populations around the world.

Source: Bolthouse Farms

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California Vegetable Shipments Shifting to Different Areas

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While head lettuce shipments continue from the Salinas Valley and the Huron District in the San Joaquin Valley, volume is rapidly decreasing as the seasonal shift if well underway and volume increases from the desert areas of the Imperial Valley in Southern California and in the nearby Yuma district of Arizona.

Normal shipments are expected from the desert areas through the end of the year.  Loadings for romaine from the Imperial Valley should start the week after Thanksgiving.

Lettuce loads from the Salinas Vallely are expected to overlap the Imperial Valley season by a week or two.

Record shipments of tables grapes continues from the San Joaquin Valley spanning the Kern District to the northern part of the valley is averaging over 1,600 truckloads per week…..Also from the Kern District is shipments of carrots, averaging about 350 truckload equivalents per week.

Strawberry shipments from the Watsonville District are in a seasonal decline, while volume is picking up from Ventura County.  Moderate volume continues from the Santa Maria District.  As with many vegetables in California, berry volume is much lower than only a few weeks ago.

There’s a number of produce items in California providing light volume, but at this point may be helping to fill out the truck.  Those items may range from oranges to lemons, kiwi, various veggies and even holiday product such as pomegrantes.

San Joaquin Valley produce – grossing about $4400 to Chicago.


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California Fall Shipping Update from Salinas, San Joaquin Valleys

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The Salinas Valley continues to provide the best loading opportunities with fall produce.  Shipments of vegetables are holding pretty steady from week to week.  Various types of lettuce is providing the heaviest volume.  When you combine lettuce, with volume coming from celery, broccoli and cauliflower, the Salinas Valley is averaging about 3,400 truck loads of vegetables a week.

This doesn’t include various lighter volume mixed vegetables, or berries.  While the Watsonville district is shipping around 500 truck loads of strawberries weekly, this volume is declining.  The nearby Santa Maria district is remain fairly steady with less volume, while shipments from Ventura County are very light, but increasing.

In previous reports there has been coverage of California citrus hauling prospects.  Here is some information on lemon shipments, most of which will originate from the California and Arizona deserts between now until February.  Loads will also be available from California’s San Joaquin Valley.  Overall, lemon volume could be up 20 percent over a year ago.

The San Joaquin Valley’s biggest volume currently is with table grapes and tomatoes.  Grape volume easily leads the pack.  From the Bakersfield are northward through the San Joaquin Valley, grapes are averaging about 1800 truckloads per week.

Mature green tomato shipments from Central California are totalling over 725 truckloads per week.

San Joaquin Valley grapes, tomatoes, etc.  – grossing about $6700 to New York City.

Salinas Valley vegetables, berries – about $4400 to Chicago.


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California Seasonal Shipping Areas to Change

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The California coastal valleys of Salinas and Santa Maria typically remain the major sources of supply of lettuce through mid-October.   Huron, which is located on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, usually fills the lettuce supply gap in late October through much of November before harvest switches to the desert in California and Arizona. Some of the hardier items, such as broccoli and cauliflower, will continue in the Salinas area until the shift to the desert (California’s Imperial Valley and the Yuma, AZ area) around Thanksgiving.

There has been strong shipments of California vegetables since early summer.  A primary reason is the extreme drought in the Midwest and the upper Midwest, which knocked out some  home-grown crops.

Additionally, there was the hurricane that hit New Orleans and continued on through the South hitting Kentucky and Tennessee and knocking out some of those local tomato harvests. It all helped to benefit shipments of  California tomatoes.


Blackberry shipments are winding down on California’s Central Coast, but raspberries could go through the end of October.

Blackberries loadings tend to decline by the end of September and are finished by mid-October as the shipments out of Mexico pick up.

California strawberry and raspberry shipments have provided some problems for haulers over the summer. Both are more delicate fruit, especially raspberries.  Much of this can be blamed on the horrendous summer heatthan began in June and continued through most of August.  Good quality fruit results in more shipments (due to consumer demand), plus truckers deal with  fewer rejections. Obviously the quality of the fruit has improved since the heat has subsided.  The fruit holds up better when shipped.

Salinas area vegetables and berries – grossing about $4700 to Chicago.




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