Posts Tagged “Skagit Valley”
The Skagit Valley north of Seattle, WA has become an important produce shipping area over the past couple of decades and has particularly become known for its quality fresh potatoes. Thus, with the collapse May 24 of a bridge in the area on Interstate 5, it is going to mean problems for produce truckers, and Skagit Valley shippers, not to mention big rigs just passing through the area.
Both truckers and farmers are constantly facing new challenges and this is certainly another one.
The Skagit Valley has built an admirable reputation for growing and shipping conventional red, white, gold and purple potatoes as well as organic red and russet potatoes, that are shipped all over the country.
A temporary bridge is expected to be in place in a few weeks, but transportation over this portion of I-5 certainly will not be back to normal when Skagit Valley potato shipments get underway in August.
The bridge collapse sent cars and people into the river. Three people were sent to area hospitals for treatment, but there were no fatalities.
It has been reported that an oversized and overweight big rig struck a girder at the top of the bridge, causing the collapse.
In the Skagit Valley, located just north of Seattle, red, yellow, white and even a few purple potatoes are now providing loads. Much of the activity centers around the town of Mount Vernon. This isn’t the heavest volume produce area in the state, but it has a reputation for having consistent quality. That reduces chances of claims and rejections for the trucker.
Washington’s main potato shipping area is in the Columbia Basin in the southern part of the state, that also extends into the Umatilla Basin of Oregon. This region is averaging nearly 900 truckload equivalents of potato shipments a week. The Columbia Basin also is shipping dry onions.
The Yakima and Wenatchee valleys are now shipping the new crop of pears. Oregon shipments will be up slightly from a year ago with 10.6 million 44-pound equivalent boxes forecast. Washington state may be down slightly from last year with about 19.1 million 44-pound boxes. Although the Northwest is expected to have six percent fewer pear loads this season, it still exceeds the five-year average for shipments by about two percent.
Between Washington state and Oregon, the two states account for about 75 percent of the nation’s pear volume.
As has been reported in several recent stories on HaulProduce.com, a huge apple crop is still being forecast, with loadings expected to be brisk this season as Washington state works to fill voids in Michigan and New York state, who are shipping less apples due to weather related problems.
Columbia Basin potatoes and onions – grossing about $5600 to New York City.
Washington apple and pears – about $3700 to Chicago.