Posts Tagged “strawberry shipments”
Wanting to spend the Fourth of July with family and friends instead of on the road? Here are some of the better opportunities for produce shipments leading up to the celebration of our nation’s 241st celebration of independence.
Avocado loadings will be good, but certainly not great. When you take Mexico pretty out of the mix, because this time of year shipments are at a seasonal low, you are pretty much left with Southern California, as well as imports from Peru arriving at various ports. Still there will be 40 to 45 million pounds of avocado across the U.S. being shipped weekly. We’ll also mention Southern Florida avocado shipments. Florida’s biggest avocado shipper, Brooks Tropical of Homestead will be having its heaviest loadings in two years.
New Jersey blueberries will be in peak season, mostly from the Southern part of the state.
If you loaded British Columbia blueberries last season in time for Fourth of July activities that won’t happen this year. BC blues are a month later, which is more normal, and shipments won’t get underway until the first week of July. The region should ship about 170 million pounds this season, lasting into mid September.
On the West Coast, Mother Nature has been kind to strawberries from the Watsonville area. Heavy shipments are now occurring and will remain that way through mid July. There also will be much lighter loadings of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, which will start hitting stride around the Fourth of July.
Salinas Valley berries and vegetables – grossing abut $7900 to New York City.
Early season watermelons from Texas have probably been the best quality in a few years and that hopefully will continue with maturing fruit coming on in Oklahoma…..Meanwhile, Northern Florida and Georgia are looking to have a decent amount of shipments, although volume has been heavier in some other years.
Central Florida watermelons – grossing about $2800 to New York City.
Decent supplies of vegetables are coming out of Southern Georgia. For example, the Moultrie area is loading items ranging from sweet corn to squash, cabbage and green beans……North Carolina vegetable shipments are ranging from bell peppers, hot peppers and eggplant….Moving to California, the Gilroy area has some of the state’s largest shipments of sweet corn…..The roller coast ride for Salinas Valley head lettuce has continued since last spring. Shipments should be a little more steady now, with volume better than last year time, but still not heavy.
Southern Georgia vegetable shipments – grossing about $2000 to New York City.
As the month of March progresses, produce shippers will be transitioning to the coastal valleys of California as well as the Huron district on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. However, for now primary vegetables shipments continue from the desert regions of California and Arizona. But shipping gapes in the weeks ahead are certain.
Loadings for some early season cauliflower and broccoli should start from the Salinas Valley in mid-March. Meanwhile desert lettuce shipments will shift to Huron (San Joaquin Valley) by the end of March. However it be early April before lettuce and leaf items are shipped from Salinas. This is when the shipping gaps will start and the issues will continue at least until May.
A couple of hours drive to the south a very similar scenario is seen in Santa Maria. The broccoli and cauliflower currently being harvested has quality issues due to relentless recent rains.
Quality is expected to gradually improve along with volume throughout March, but yields and loadings will be down along with supply gaps.
Vegetable shipments from the California and Arizona deserts should finish during the third week of March.
In Southern California, rains hit strawberry fields and volume is slowly improving, but still struggling to get back to normal. Decent strawberry shipments are expected by the third week of March from Ventura County. While Southern California strawberries are working to regain good volume, shipments from Florida and Mexico are starting to decline. Both those areas of origin are well above their shipping levels compared to the same time in 2016.
Florida and Mexico had a combined volume of about 36 million cartons compared to about half that in late February 2016. For the past two years, those two production areas have combined to ship around 50 million trays to U.S. markets.
In late February, California had shipped just 3 million crates compared to the close to 200 million it typically ships in a calendar year.
There has been a small turn around in California strawberry fields following a three-year trend of declining acreage, while shipments are up significantly.
At least for this year, the trend for decreased acreage has been halted, with an estimate of a bit more than 36,000, on par with 2016 numbers, according to the California Strawberry Commission Acreage Survey for 2017.
In 2016, total strawberry shipments from California topped 196 million trays, representing about 3.4 percent gain over the previous year even with 5 percent fewer acres.
2017 has not gotten off to a very good start due to several rain storms having drenched California during the first six weeks of the season. However, it is still running ahead of 2016 though behind 2015. By mid-January, total California shipments were in the 750,000 tray range compared to half that in 2016, but 1.2 million in 2015.
However, shipments from both Mexico and Florida were well ahead of the past two years. In mid-January, Florida strawberry shipments loaded almost 3 million trays for shippin while Mexico topped 3.5 million. In 2016, by mid-January those two competing points of origin had only delivered a total of 2.5 million trays last year and about 3.8 million the previous year.
Central Florida strawberries – grossing about $1200 to Atlanta.
California growers continue to be the leading production region in the world and are expected to supply more than 79 percent of the volume shipped in the United States in 2017.
The acreage report is published two times a year with acreage information voluntarily provided by California strawberry growers and shippers. The first “Acreage Survey” for the 2017 harvest year includes acres that were planted in the fall of 2016 as well as the forecast of acreage that will be planted in the summer of 2017 for fall production. For 2017, the commission reports a total of 36,141 acres, with 30,074 planted last fall and an estimated 6,067 slated for summer planting. As a point of comparison, last year, fall plantings totaled 29,318 acres with a then estimate of 6,721 for summer planting.
In 2013, the CSC January acreage report revealed 35,670 acres of fall plantings and 5,146 summer plantings for a total of 40,816 acres. In 2014, total acreage dropped to just under 39,000 and in 2015, the total was 38,100. Last year saw another decline of about 5 percent to 36,039. This year represents a negligible gain, but it’s a gain nonetheless.
In its report about acreage, CSC noted that while acreage has declined in recent years production has actually remained stable or increased partially due to new varieties, which has led to higher yields per acre.
Ventura County strawberries – grossing about $3600 to Dallas.
Florida strawberries and tomatoes are leading produce shipments from the Sunshine state this month.
Florida has over 11,000 acres of strawberries are grown in the Plant City area each year, with Hillsborough County shipping about 15 percent of the nation’s strawberries and virtually all the berries grown during the winter.
Since late spring, the weather was good and the state has been leading the nation in strawberry shipments now for a number of weeks. Although small compared to California’s total strawberry shipments, Florida ships about 20 million flats each year.
Florida is loading about 1,000 truck loads of strawberries per week.
Florida Vegetable Shipments
Unlike some winters, Florida growing conditions also have generally been favorable for vegetables, leading to fairly stable shipments from week to week. Mature greens provide Florida’s heaviest tomato volume, with much less amounts coming from plum and grape tomatoes. However, if you add the three types of tomatoes together, they are averaging about the same amount of volume as Florida strawberries.
However, a major difference between hauling strawberries and tomatoes relates to geography. Florida’s strawberry shipments are concentrated in a relatively small growing area just west of Tampa. By contrast, Florida tomato shipments are spread throughout much of the state, with some areas being more active depending on the season.
At the same time, Florida also is shipping a number of other winter vegetables. However, volume with Florida vegetable shipments are much lighter this time of the year. While Florida may be shipping around 1,000 truckloads of mature green, plum and grape tomatoes each week, the next closest item is bell peppers, averaging only 250 truck loads weekly. Other leading Florida vegetables range from cabbage, to sweet corn, cucumbers, and beans, but the volume this time of year is only 50 percent or less that of bell peppers.
This will remain so until the last half of March, or April, depending upon weather conditions. All of this means mixed loads and only partial loads for the most part in the winter. Even during the heaviest Florida produce shipping season in the spring, multiple picks and drops are very common.
Blueberry shipments have definitely hit the big time with increases in plantings on both a domestic and imported basis. Shipments also remain strong for strawberries and raspberries. Here’s a closer look at shipments for domestic and imported berries.
Fresh blueberry loadings are now occurring virtually the year around whether it is from domestic production or from imports involving other countries.
Native to North America, blueberries are in good volume here from April through October. Likewise, with farmers in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasonal swap brings blueberries from South America from November through March.
The U.S. is the world’s largest grower and shipper of berries. In 2014, 667.6 million pounds of blueberries were shipped.
However, the U.S. is also a net importer of fresh and frozen blueberries. Canada supplies nearly 20 percent of fresh product into the U.S., but South America has a very strong U.S. import program.
In 2014, the U.S. imported 234.7 million pounds of fresh blueberries valued at nearly $530.5 million. Over 60 percent of this product came from Chile, which supplies the U.S. market from mid-November through January.
In 2014 the U.S. imported 124.7 million pounds of fresh blackberries.
Mexico supplied nearly all U.S. imported fresh blackberry volumes, representing a four-year annual average market share of 96 percent from 2011 to 2014.
While the U.S. is the world’s largest strawberry grower and shipper, it is also a big importer. In 2014, the nation imported 355.9 million pounds of fresh strawberries. The majority of all U.S. strawberry imports come from Mexico, with Canada supplying less than one percent.
Mexican strawberries have overlapping shipping seasons with Florida, but typically fresh strawberries from Mexico are only a supplement to the U.S. domestic supply. Most Mexican strawberries being produced and imported to the U.S. are shipped during the winter.
The U.S. also imports raspberries from October through May, with most imports originating from Mexico, which ships about 96 percent of the total imports.
In 2014, the U.S. imported a total of almost 96.8 million pounds of fresh raspberries from Mexico, Canada and Chile.
Good volume and produce loading opportunities are expected leading into celebrating our nation’s independence. Here’s a look at a number of fruits and vegetables that are popular Fourth of July items.
A 4 percent drop in cherry shipments is estimated from the previous 19.8 million boxes. Loadings now appear to be more like 18.4 million boxes. About 10 million boxes of cherries will be shipped during June and almost 8 million in July.
The decline is due to a compression with the bloom period, so there will be compression in harvest. This will translate into fewer days for shipments.
Loadings for the East Coast should be especially heavy the week of Father’s Day for July 4 and Canada Day on July 1. Heavy volume will continue the first half of July.
Northwest blueberry shipments will be heavy, especially for the Fourth of July. This also in the time with initial loadings will start for Michigan blueberries.
In California’s Watsonville and Salinas district, strawberry shipments were not hurt by the cool weather that resulted in quality issues with some vegetables.
Peak Watsonville strawberry shipments and other berries are occurring and will continue into mid-July. Weekly fresh strawberry volumes exceeded 7 million trays in May, roughly on par with last year.
Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry shipments are a little early out of the Pacific Northwest.
Sweet Corn Shipments
Georgia sweet corn volume should be light through mid-June but begin increasing significantly by June 17th through the Fourth of July. Normal shipments are seen leading into the Fourth of July.
The majority of the nation’s sweet corn shipments leading up the Fourth, originate from Georgia
Georgia should begin shipping watermelons in big volume by June 15th.
Rain-caused losses in Texas, the end of Nogales, Ariz., (Mexican) season and the tail end of central Florida shipments. All of these factors will mean excellent loading opportunities for Georgia watermelon shipments.
South Carolina should start watermelon loadings by June 24th, while North Carolina will get underway by June 29th.
Unseasonable heat brought on an early, heavier-than-normal shipments for the Florida strawberry season, which started before Thanksgiving and lasted through Christmas. Now strawberry shipments are in a lull and are not expected reach decent volume by Valentine’s Day, February 14th, which is a popular event for the fruit. Assuming shipments ever get on “normal” track this season, loadings should continue through March.
Changing weather patterns are impacting fruit and vegetable production across North and South America, and it is not just field-grown produce that is being affected.
Wintertime any year can pose it own set of problems relating to shipping volume, gaps, and quality for California produce shipments. But this year is becoming even more unpredictable with the California El Niño storm season underway, which can translate into weeks of frequent rain, resulting in harvest delays or damage to strawberries, citrus and vegetables.
Rain is predicted through the end of January, which can affect late March and early April produce shipments after the seasonal transition from the California and Arizona deserts.
The Yuma, AZ shipping area has already been experiencing much lighter shipments of cauliflower, broccoli and celery.
Central California plantings (San Joaquin Valley), including the Huron district, is already a concern to many produce growers who hope to plant on the schedule. Huron often prevents or lessens a shipping gap between the desert and Salinas for items such as lettuce.
Concerning citrus shipments, California packinghouses have been stepping up harvest in anticipation of coming rains. Thus far, shipping gaps have pretty much been avoided.
Citrus is more resistant than vegetables to rain damage, so growers work to increase picking and packing during storm breaks.
Luckily for strawberry shipments in the months ahead, the Watsonville and Salinas districts completed planting before any storms. However, drops in strawberry shipping volume is expected from Ventura and Orange counties.
Over 2016 California strawberry shipments are expected to have decreased volumes.
Above average rainfall is forecast through March in California, Texas and Florida by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Based on NASA satellite imagery, climatologists say the warming trend in the Pacific Ocean equals that of the same months in 1998, when heavy rains and flooding rolled through the regions. It was one of the two strongest El Niño’s on record.
The Salinas Valley had extensive flooding in 1998.
BOTTOM LINE….There’s a pretty good chance lighter than normal western vegetable shipments will be with us for a while.
California and Arizona desert vegetable shipments, grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
Agriculture pumped $8.1 billion into the economy of California’s Monterey County in 2014. The report, Economic Contributions of Monterey County Agriculture was prepared by Agricultural Impact Associates for Eric Lauritzen, the county’s agricultural commissioner. The last such analysis was for 2011.
California’s drought is now in its fourth year, but has had little effect thus far on total production in the county, compared to the Central San Joaquin Valley and its dependence on federal and state water projects. Agriculture’s share of Monterey’s direct economic output was unchanged from 2011 at 18.5 percent, but rose from $5.1 billion to $5.7 billion.
The $8.1 billion in 2014 impacts amounts to nearly $1 million every hour – $926,757, to be exact – according to the report. Farm production totaled about $7 billion; value-added food processing, $1.1 billion. Wineries accounted for nearly half of value-added.
Crop diversity has slowly declined since 2005, the report finds, making the region more vulnerable to fluctuations in the strawberry market, for one. That’s so even though as many crop types are grown in the area as ever.
“It means that a small number of crops have grown to represent larger pieces of the economic pie,” the report says. “Strawberry shipments for example, accounted for 10.7 percent of the county’s overall production value in 2004, but expanded to 19.9 percent a decade later.”
Nevertheless, Monterey’s diversity was rated higher than three other coastal counties: Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
The agriculture industry employed 55,702 in 2014, or 23.7 percent of all local jobs, up from 45,140 and 20 percent.
Salinas Valley vegetables and strawberries – grossing about $5500 to Atlanta.
Western Produce Shipping Areas
Washington state easily provides the most loading opportunities in the Northwest with apples averaging over 3200 truck loads per week. The Yakima and Wenatchee Valleys also have pears in much smaller volume.
Washington apples – grossing about $5000 to Dallas.
Idaho potato shipments continue as we approach the last few months of the 2014-15 shipping season. About 1300 truck load equivalents are being handled weekly, although rails account for a larger percentage than with most produce items. However, trucks still rule!
Idaho potatoes – grossing about $4700 to New York City.
In California, strawberry shipments remain in heavy volume, with about equal movement coming out of the Watsonville area and the Santa Maria District. Nearly 1200 truck loads per week are being shipped from these two areas…Also, big volume with mixed vegetables continue from the Salinas Valley.
Salinas/Watsonville vegetables and strawberries – grossing about $6300 to Orlando.
At Nogales, AZ, about 2500 truck loads of watermelons are crossing the border from Mexico each week. Mexican grape shipments also are increasing.
Nogales produce – grossing about $2600 to Dallas.
Central Produce Shipping Areas
San Luis Valley potato shipments from Southern Colorado continue on a steady pace averaging about 600 truck loads per week…..Central Wisconsin potato loadings are much lighter heading towards the end of its season.
Colorado potatoes – grossing about $2200 to Chicago.
In South Texas, about 1000 truck loads of Mexican avocados are crossing the border each week at McAllen. There also are a number of tropical fruits and limes crossing in moderate volumes. Texas sweet onion shipments are just about finished for the season.
South Texas produce – grossing about $2600 to Atlanta.
Eastern Produce Shipments
While Florida is headed towards a seasonal end to its spring produce shipping season, more of the focus moves to Georgia. As Florida blueberry shipments rapidly decline, “blues” are gaining in volume from Southern Georgia. The state also has moderate volume with vegetables ranging from cabbage to beans and Vidalia onions.
North Carolina sweet potatoes continue to be shipped in moderate volume, mostly from eastern areas of the state.