Following early shipments the past couple of years, Arkansas tomato loadings are expected to be more normal time-wise with light volume starting around June 10. Primary production is centered in south-central Arkansas around small towns such as Hermitage. Shipments should continue until about July 20th.
We’ll soon be entering the time of year when the bottom will drop out on Florida produce shipments as overall volume plummets. An exception is with Florida avocados.
South Florida had 7,500 acres in the 2012-13 season, shipping 1.16 million bushels. This was higher than the 819,594 bushel average growers shipped on an annual basis between 2006 and 2010.
Very light avocado shipments have started, but good volume will not hit until about July 1st. Peak shipments should take place in July through September.
It is the tail end of the Florida shipping season for citrus, but there may be a little more product for hauling than originally predicted. The updated estimate shows an increase in grapefruit and a small decline in tangerines, with orange volume remaining the same.
The grapefruit forecast has been increased by 1.3 million equivalent cartons in May from its April estimate.
Colored grapefruit production increased 500,000 cartons while white grapefruit jumped 800,000 cartons, according to the USDA. About 95% of the state’s grapefruit has been shipped. The tangerines forecast has been dropped by 100,000 boxes to 3.4 million boxes. About 97% of the state’s honey tangerines has been shipped.
As for oranges, volume remains at 138 million cartons, with the late season valencias volume staying at 71 million cartons. The majority of the Florida’s oranges are processed. As for the fresh market, about 70% of navels, half of the grapefruit and two-thirds of the tangerines are for fresh.
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While total Florida spring produce volume is winding down, some other areas in the East are shipping, or will be soon.
Florida red potato shipments are about two weeks later than usual as a series of winter freezes and heavy spring rains damaged the crop and could cut yields by as much as 50% on the front end of the red potato season. Shipments got underway around Palatka, Fla. about the second week of May. South Florida red spud loadings finished up in mid-May around Lake Wales.
Watermelons shipments got off to a shaky start from Southern Florida, but quality has improved and product is coming in steady volume out of the Ft. Meyers and Arcadia areas. The harvest gradually moves northward over the next few weeks, before shifting to Georgia around June 15-20, about two weeks later than usual.
As Florida veggie loadings decline, the transition from central Florida to southern Georgia is bringing lighter-than-normal volume on some vegetables. which are behind two weeks or more due to weather.
Georgia bell peppers and cucumbers are still moving in light volume and decent shipments are not expected until early to mid-June. Squash and bean shipments from south Georgia are now ending.
While it was rough start for Vidalia onion shipments this year, with seed stem problems, better weather is making life easier for both shippers and truckers.
While no official crop estimates have been made, observers see total Vidalia onion loadings at around 4.5 million boxes this season.
Seed stem has adversely about 30% to 40% of Vidalia crops this year.
Sweet corn shipments should get under way in mid-June, at least two weeks later than normal. A similar situation exists with lettuce……Currently, cilantro and kale are being shipped.
South Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2600 to New York City.
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