Posts Tagged “sweet corn”

Leafy Green Shipments from Branch Farms Coming out of Florida

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A23by Branch: A Family Of Farms

South Bay, Fla. – Branch: A Family of Farms, the country’s largest distributor of sweet corn, is in the midst of a promising season of leafy green production out of their Belle Glade and South Bay, Fla. farms.

The region and its crops were spared by Hurricane Michael in early October which allowed Branch to ship its full offering of leafy greens without interruption.

“We are very lucky that we can meet demand of leaf lettuce from our Florida farms,” says Brett Bergmann, president of Branch. “We look forward to providing our customers with fresh, quality product this holiday season.”

Branch’s farmers grow a full assortment of leaf items including green and red leaf, Boston, romaine, endive, escarole, parsley, dill, cilantro and Chinese cabbage.  This year’s forecasted cool winter provides ideal growing conditions for Florida leafy greens.

Branch growers invest in trialing new varieties each new season to provide the best items available. This year’s new offerings include a new green leaf variety and three romaine varieties which were bred specifically for the Florida environment. These varieties have good head size and weight and are excellent for romaine hearts. Additionally, a new endive was introduced that grows in a more upright and conical manner. This helps reduce shrink through minimizing rib breakage as well as making it easier to pack.

“Our primary goal from our research and development process is to continuously improve upon the eating experience for the consumer and of course improve upon how existing varieties perform in the Southern climates,” said Bergmann.  “We thrive from having collaborative conversations around product innovation with customers.  More so than ever before, it’s imperative to be continuously innovating and planning out varieties and supply needs well in advance.”


About Branch
Since 1957, our founding principles still drive us at Branch: integrity, quality, service – a commitment to our industry and the sustainability of our environment. As a family owned and operated business, we are a premier grower, packer, shipper of sweet corn in the United States also offering our customers green beans, leafy greens, radishes and celery.

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An Eastern Produce Shipping Round Up

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VidaliaOnion1Photo:  Courtesy Vidalia® Onion Committee

Shipments of  New Jersey-grown peaches should get underway in early July, a little later than last year.  Good quality and quantity are being predicted, with loadings lasting through mid-September.  More volume is seen this season since some trees planted three to five years ago are coming into production. (more…)

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Produce Loading Opportunities from Both Coasts.

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Potential loads for cherries have taken a hit in the Northwest due to an April frost and heavy May rains.

Estimates are now at 17 million boxes, down from 18.6 million boxes.

Loadings will be adversely affected the most on early varieties like chelans and early bings.

Caution is urged when you are at the loading dock and be on the look out for splitting in cherries and other issues.

Shipments are underway, but expected to be lighter than normal.  Volume should be decent within a couple of weeks for deliveries to retailers for the Fourth of July holiday.  Good volume and much better quality is seen during the month of July.

California cherry shipments are on the downside and this should result in good demand for fruit available in the Northwest, especially with its current light volume.

Oregon Cherries

Hood River cherry shipments in Oregon are expected to start around July 15th and should continue through August.  Good volume and quality are forecast.

California Fruit

California’s Watsonville district should have good strawberry volume for shipments leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.  The same can be said for stone fruit loadings originating out of the San Joaquin Valley.

New Jersey Blueberries

New Jersey’s blueberry shipments should start this week  with good volume heading into the Fourth of July.  Good quality should reduce your chances of claims or rejected loads.

Georgia Sweet Corn

Georgia sweet corn loadings, along with a number of mixed vegetables should make for good loading opportunities.  There’s also Fort Valley peaches and Vidalia onions.  Quality on all these items is now generally good.

South Georgia mixed vegetables – grossing about $3200 to Boston.

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – grossing about $6900 to Atlanta.

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Southeastern Fall Produce Shipments are Gearing Up

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If you haul produce in the fall out of Florida, expect weather related small gaps in the early part of the sweet corn season as well as with small harvest and loading delays with green beans, bell peppers, cucumbers and squash.

Volume for  early bean shipments also is expected to be off and on.  However, loads are not expected to be until early December.

On some vegetables, including bell peppers, cucumbers and squash, be on the look out for quality issues resutling from frequent rains durng the growing season.

Sporadic harvesting and shipments could make things interesting for the active shipping period when deliveries for  the Thanksgiving holidays could get a little dicey.  I’m not saying this will happen, but just be aware of the potential problems.

Florida pepper shipments should be in decent volume by the end of  October.

If Georgia experiences favorable November weather, shipments there could continue through Thanksgiving.

However, southern Georgia fall veggies are having some problems with whiteflies.  For example, some yellow squash is looking more like albino (white) squash as the pests suck out the nutrients.  I’d be sure and let my receiver(s) know what you are preparing to load rather than find out if they’ll accept it upon arrival!

Besides squash, the pests also are affecting cucumbers, bell peppers and grean beans.  Sweet corn apparently isn’t being significantly hit.  Lower yields will mean less product for hauling.  Color of the fall vegetables also is being affected.  Unfortunately, color and general appearance often receive as much emphasis as the quality of product in this cosmetic world.

South Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2200 to New York City.



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West Coast, Texas and New York Produce Loads

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As expected, there will be a  record number of cherries shipped from Washington state this season by produce haulers.

Washington state had shipped 18.7 million boxes of cherries as of August 22nd.  If you include the Northwest, in other words, mostly Oregon,  as of Aug. 22, 22.8 million boxes of cherries had been shipped, which also is a record.  By the end of August most of the fruit will have been packed and shipped, and  total volume will likely top a record 23 million boxes.

California table grape shipments are ahead of schedule this season due to the warmer-than-normal weather.  The primary concern is if the San Joaquin Valley heat eventually starts taking a toll of the vineyards, which could lead to quality problems, something we’ll watch out for as it could impact claims or rejected loads for produce truckers.

It appears this year will be the first time California  hits 100 million or more boxes of grapes.

In the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, watermelon shipments continue.  Quality appears good enough that you should be able to avoid unfair claims or rejected loads – depending of course, upon whom you are delivering to.  There also are steady shipments of Mexican citrus, tropical fruit and vegetables crossing the border into South Texas.

In the Hudson Valley of New York, various vegetables such as sweet corn are being loaded in light to moderate volume.  The new apple harvest has just started and volume is very light, but increasing.

South Texas produce loads – grossing about $220o to Atlanta.

San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

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Ohio Vegetable Loads are Available

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Ohio ships a substaintable amount of vegetables during the summer and fall and volume is increasing.  The Buckeye state has several major farming operations scattered around different regions shipping dozens of different types of vegetables ranging from squash to bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans.

Although shipments have started on some items, Ohio cranks up in July.

For example, cabbage and snap bean shipments area just starting, while items such as potatoes and sweet corn will get going by mid July.

The single most active area in  the state with a handful of large shippers providing the most shipments, is located in central Ohio around small communities such as Willard and Plymouth.

However, there’s at least one significant vegetable shipping operation just Southwest of Akron in the eastern part of the state —  at Hartville.  There’s also  a couple of vegetable operations in Northwest Ohio, not that far south of Detroit, MI – in towns such as Napoleon and Alvordton, OH.

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Many California Districts are Shipping

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Whether talking the desert areas of the Imperial or Coachella Valleys, or Southern California to Ventura County, Bakersfield, and on to Santa Maria and Salinas, produce is being shipped.  Granted, not all the areas are in full harvest, but shipping areas are abundant.  It will only get better for produce haulers in the weeks ahead as demand for refrigerated equipment increases and rates climb accordingly.

In the desert, you’ll find bell peppers, beans and sweet corn in both the Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley.  Cantaloupe loadings begin in a couple of weeks or so.  Also, the Coachella Valley ships the first domestic grapes in the U.S. each year.  Coachella grape loadings will begin a week to 10 days earlier than normal this year — around the first week of May.  Loadings should continue through June, with about 9 million cartons forecast.

California cherry shipments begin from the central and south areas of the San Joaquin Valley the first half of May, but expect shipments to be lighter than normal.  Heaviest cherry loading opportunities come with the later bing cherry variety from the Stockton-Linden-Lodi area.  Overall, unless Mother Nature does a whack job on these perishable beauties, California should ship 8.5 to 9 million boxes of cherries, the most in a decade!

California desert vegetables – grossing about $7200 to New York City.


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