Posts Tagged “strawberry shipments”

California Truck Rates Show Strength as Some Shipping Areas Near Seasonal Shift

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DSCN0189California produce rates have been showing strength with an increased demand for refrigerated trucks in areas ranging from the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys to Santa Maria and down south in Ventura County.  The increases have generally been around one to five percent.

With the official arrival of fall occurring September 22d, which is the arrival of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  It also means the transition of many produce shipping areas, if not from one hemisphere to another, but at least from one country to another, or in some cases, especially in the Western U.S., shifting locations in the same state or a neighboring state.

California certainly is the best example of the changing season.

As Watsonville strawberry shipments decline the red berry’s volume is now increasing to the south in Ventura County.  In California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, nearly 900 truck loads of cantaloupe are being shipped weekly from the Westside District, but this will soon be in a seasonal decline.  At the same time, very light loadings of melons have started from Central and Western Arizona and are increasing.  California honeydew volume already is in a seasonal decline with the new season barely underway in Central Arizona and will start in Western Arizona in the next week or so.

San Joaquin Valley table grapes is probably the state’s single biggest volume item averaging around 1750 truck  loads weekly.  The combined volume of head lettuce and romaine from the Salinas Valley has recently had similar volume to grapes, but lettuce volume will start sliding soon, to eventually give away to desert shipping areas in California and Arizona.  Salinas also is offering around 600 loads of celery per week.  To the south in Kern County, carrots are totaling about 750 loads.

Salinas vegetables – grossing about $5100 to Chicago; San Joaquin Valley fruit  – grossing about $6200 to Baltimore.

 

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Shipping Updates: California Strawberries and Garlic; Plus Indiana Spuds and Citrus Imports

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DSCN9841Here’s some shipping updates including California strawberries, plus some not so obvious ones such as garlic, Indiana potatoes and imported citrus from Chile.

This has been one of the best season’s for California strawberry shipments as volume, quality and more predictable loadings have been much better than the past three or four years.  Good volume  should continue from Watsonville heading toward autumn. Last week about 1,000 truck loads were shipped.  That should mean good loading opportunities into September, before the transition to shipments out of Oxnard, CA, which will continue into December.

For example, Well-Pict of Watsonville, CA grows and ships strawberries and raspberries for the late-season on about 700 acres in Oxnard.  Naturipe Berry Growers of Salinas, CA has a fall crop in Santa Maria, CA., with best loading opportunities coming toward an end-of-August, or early September.

Salinas Valley strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7400 to New York City.

 

Garlic Shipments

Most garlic shipments in the U.S. are coming out of California, where supplies are plentiful and quality is good.  For example, Christopher Ranch of Gilroy, CA had to cut garlic plantings by about 10 percent the past couple of years due to the drought, but have now rebounded with volume this season being a little above normal.  Loadings of garlic started last June and will continue until early September.

Meanwhile, Spice World Inc. of Orlando, FL and The Garlic Co. in Shafter, CA also have good volume out of California.

Indiana Potato Shipments

Red potato shipper Black Gold Farms of Grand Forks, ND starts harvesting spuds this week at its Winamac, IN farming operation and will be shipping through the month.  This is the fifth year of the Indiana program.

Chilean Navel Imports

Chile’s navel orange shipments through the week of July 10th were 29 percent over a year ago with 35,591 tons, compared to last season’s 27,600 tons.  However, the season started late, but will end two to three weeks earlier this year due to a smaller crop and weather issues.  That means imports to the U.S. lasting through October.

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What to Look for with Produce Shipments for the Fourth of July

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DSCN9472Wanting 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 Shipments

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.

Blueberry Shipments

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.

Strawberry Shipments

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.

Watermelon Shipments

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.

Vegetable Shipments

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.

 

 

 

 

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California Spring Produce Shipments will be Erratic for Weeks

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DSCN8983As 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.

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California Strawberry Volume Increases over Last Year

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DSCN8846There 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.

 

 

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Florida Strawberry, Veggie Shipments Good – for this Time of Year

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dscn8613Florida 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.

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A Look at U.S. domestic and Imported Berries

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112_12851Blueberry 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.

Strawberry Shipments

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.

Raspberry Shipments

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.

 

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Good Shipments for the 4th of July

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DSCN1324+1Good 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.

Cherry Shipments

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.

Berry Shipments

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

Watermelon Shipments

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.

 

 

 

 

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El Nino is Adversely Affecting Many Produce Shipments

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003El Nino is adversely affecting many produce shipments in North America.

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.

The El Niño  phenomenon has played a major role in the various weather patterns and is affecting production on all items ranging from beefsteak, cluster, heirloom and roma tomatoes as well as grape tomatoes, mini roma grape tomatoes and medley tomatoes.   Additionally, there are long sweet peppers, mini sweet peppers, bell peppers, seedless cucumbers, mini seedless cucumbers and baby eggplant, among others.
Lower than normal temperatures in combination with lower light levels reduce yields across the board for greenhouse grown produce during the spring and summer out of Canada, and during the winter in Mexico.
Mexican vegetables through Nogales – grossing about $3000 to Chicago.

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El Niño Arrival in California Is Not Good for Produce Shipments

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DSCN6950Wintertime 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.

 

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