Posts Tagged “Texas vegetable shipments”

South Texas Winter Grapefruit Clobbered by February Freeze, Vegetable Shipments Look Better

By |

Lower Rio Grande Valley grapefruit shipments overall are predicted to be down nearly 70 percent this season, thanks to a devastating freeze last February. Meanwhile, winter vegetable shipments are expected to be more normal.

Grapefruit and orange loading typically start in south Texas during October, but the Texas International Produce Associations reports the 2021 Valentine freeze resulted in a later-starting crop. That delayed shipments, finally picking up around Thanksgiving and winding down in March.

However, overall grapefruit shipments could be down by two-thirds from a normal season.

Struggling to find good news in the whole debacle, the association notes while the overall volume will be lighter, fruit size and quality should be good. Less fruit on the tree means larger sizes.

Lone Star Citrus Growers of Mission, TX reports much of the fruit is also hanging on the internal branches of the tree due to the outer canopy loss after the freeze. Hopefully, this will result in fewer outer blemishes caused by the wind.

The company increased its acreage for this season and expects to produce 75% of what it had last year. Lone Star Citrus, like other marketers, will operate on a condensed harvesting and packing schedule, allowing the firm to maximize efficiencies.

The operation contends despite the fierce freeze in February, the longer-term outlook for Texas citrus is positive and sees having 80 percent of a crop next season.

Lone Star Citrus markets grapefruit and a variety of orange varieties, including marrs, navel, pineapple and valencia.

Vegetable Shipments

Lone Star vegetable shipments kicked off with herbs in early November, with items ranging from cilantro to parsley, and cabbage, followed soon by kale.

Grow Farms Texas, Donna, TX, continues to grow its program in south Texas on both domestic and Mexico Grown products.  Its cabbage survived last year’s February freeze, resulting in a great Saint Patrick’s day harvest. An even better crop is seen this year.

The company is looking at good cucumber and bell pepper production out of Mexico, along with increasing volume of eggplant and squash. It is increasing its hot peppers volume each year, led by jalapeno and serrano.

Read more »

The Importance of South Texas Produce Shipments

By |

Texas produce growers are currently harvesting and shipping melons, citrus and other crops to supermarkets mostly throughout the Eastern half of the country.

When the Lone Star State producers of fresh fruits and vegetable are not in season, Texas is the major route for fruits and vegetables from Mexico.

Many Texas produce operations also have relationships with the growers in Mexico.

For example, in 2016, two-thirds of all the fresh produce sold in Texas was grown in Mexico. Texas grows $900 million of 60 different produce items on 117,000 acres. There are 26,000 acres of watermelons, and 22,000 acres of grapefruit out of a total of 29,000 acres of citrus.

As of 2018, Texas had a population of 28 million people and has the third highest growth population rate of all the states at 1.8 percent per year.

J & D Produce Inc. of Edinburg, TX is a grower-shipper in the Rio Grande Valley and has been shipping kale during the winter for over 25 years to the northeastern U.S.

The company estimates 20 percent of what it grows is distributed in the Lone Star State, while the other 80 percent is shipped out of the state wholesale terminal markets and retail distribution centers, mostly east of the Mississippi River.

Texas is so important in grapefruit and orange production that when California’s largest grower-shipper wanted to fill out their portfolio of year-round citrus, they looked to the Lower Rio Grand Valley.

Wonderful Citrus of Los Angeles grows and ships Texas grapefruit and oranges. While volume during the past five years has been flat, new plantings of grapefruit and oranges were launched a few years ago. The company is now expecting shipments to increase over the next several years.

Wonderful citrus is now the largest red grapefruit grower in Texas, accounting for 50 to 55 percent total share of volume this winter season.

Although Florida remains the orange juice king despite struggles with citrus greening disease, California and Texas are by far the leading fresh market citrus producers with a combined total of nearly 300,000 acres,

The 2018-2019 Texas vegetable shipments experienced problems due to weather factors during the growing season and will conclude in the middle of April. Excessive rains in the Rio Grande Valley, including the Winter Garden district west of San Antonio, made for difficulty in planting schedules, and then later with harvesting, packing and shipping.

In 2016, U.S. fruit and vegetable imports from Mexico reached about 10 million metric tons, with a total value of about $12.4 billion, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service statistics, which accounted for 43 percent of all U.S. fruit-and-vegetable imports from all countries.

About half of all the fresh produce coming into the country from Mexico does so through Texas. Each year, 255,000 truckloads cross the border from Mexico into Texas. At the Pharr International Bridge south of McAllen alone, 157,000 loads of produce come in every year, which is a little more than Nogales, AZ.

Tomatoes account for nearly 30 percent of all the vegetables imported from Mexico, while avocados, watermelons and limes make up more than half the volume of fruits.

Over the previous 12 years, fresh produce from Mexico has grown significantly each year, the biggest items being tomatoes, avocados, limes, mangos and broccoli. Mangos and limes are very close in volume and one or the other can lead in volume from year-to-year to rank number 5 in imports. The volume of both is now larger than sweet peppers.

Read more »

Texas Vegetable Volume is Increasing after a Slow Start; Argentina Lemon Imports

By |

A16South Texas vegetables are improving, plus an update on how Argentina lemon imports are shaping up.

Texas vegetable shipments have gotten off to a rocky start due to weather factors, but shippers see volume improving, although it may December before that happens.

Most of the Lower Grande Valley and the Winter Garden/Uvalde growing regions in Central Texas received a lot of rain the past two months, and delayed plantings. Wet field also have hindered harvests.  It has resulted in a number of vegetables getting off to a slow start.

Texas cabbage shipments are expected to be good, in part because of reduced volume in Florida and Georgia resulting from hurricane damage.

Frontera Produce Ltd. in Edinburg, TX ships cilantro, chili peppers, calabaza and cabbage and has noted its challenges with the weather, but says crops and loadings have rebounded.  Quality is reported good.

Frontera started shipping jalapeño, anaheim and serrano peppers, as well as calabaza squash in mid October.  During the past four years the company has gradually increased its chili pepper production, and this year that trend continues.  Frontera is now starting its Texas cabbage season.

Grow Farms Texas LLC of Donna reports Mexico’s prime vegetable growing region in Culiacan has been spared damage from a series of storms, but hot pepper production just to the south were not as lucky.

Argentina Lemon Imports

Argentina produce company Latin Lemon has pointed out the country’s return to the U.S., which last year reopened for the South American country after a 17-year hiatus.  Latin Lemon reports the first season had gone very well, despite the strict export protocol, while nearly 10,000 metric tons (MT) of lemons were exported to the U.S.

Argentina took advantage of an eight-week window after California’s season, but before the heavy Mexican volumes.  The plan was and is to slowly and cautiously build up volumes.  Argentina currently exports nearly 20 percent of its lemon production.


Read more »