Posts Tagged “Texas”
Overweight trucks legally transporting produce into the USA from Mexico might be possible, if the state of Texas eases some rules and regulations. The state and some others see a benefit of easing border congestion.
The Texas House of Representatives recently passed legislation to create an “overweight corridor” at the USA -Mexico border, and the Texas Senate is expected to vote on it soon.
The proposed corridor, from the Anzalduas Bridge to the Pharr/Reynosa Bridge, would be an area where Mexican trucks carrying fresh produce would be able to enter the U.S. even if they were overweight. Trucks would then offload their extra weight at a U.S. cold storage facility.
A Mexican truck, under current law, carrying produce that weighs too much, faces a stiff fine if it crosses into the USA.
Currently, trucks are weighed on the Mexican side of the border, and extra product is typically offloaded there if the truck is overweight. This procedure delays truck movement at the border and exposes perishable fruits and vegetables to the elements as it waits for another truck to pick it up.
Trucks that are overweight would be charged a fee, under the proposed law, which is much smaller than the current fine. The big rig would then be allowed to proceed to a cold storage facility in the overweight zone’s boundaries.
Arizona already has a similar law.
Funds from the overweight fees would be used to maintain the roads that will be carrying the heavier loads.
Apple shipments will remain good through the remainder of the season (late July) as about 36 million bushels of fresh-market apples, mostly in Washington state, remain in storage for shipping. This is about 21% more than last year at the same time.
The 21% figure also represents how many more apples remain to be shipped compared to the 5-year average. Less than 1 million bushels of apples remain to be hauled from other states besides Washington.
There was more fruit remaining in storages for all major apple varieties to be shipped compared to last year at this time.
Washington state apples – grossing about $6500 to New York City.
While watermelon shipments in Florida got underway in early May, it will be the end of the month before there is decent volume. Weather and disease factors will reduce Florida melon loading opportunities this season…Both Texas and Arizona are loading watermelons, with good volume not arriving until around the Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).
Looking ahead to the Northwest, Walla Walla, WA growers have planted approximately 600 acres of the Walla Walla sweet onions this year, down slightly from the 2012 season. Sweet onion shipments should get going around mid-June and running through mid-August. In total, Washington state last year shipped non-storage onions from about 2,500 acres, up slightly from 2011.
Idaho continues trying to shed itself of another mammoth crop of russet potatoes. The state is averaging nearly 1,700 truckload equivalents of spud shipments weekly, although a significant amount of this is moving by rail….Second heaviest potato shipments are currently coming out of the San Luis Valley of Colorado, where about 575 truckload equivalents are moving each week.
San Luis Valley potatoes – grossing about $1700 to Dallas.
Idaho potatoes – about $5525 to Boston.
The last of fresh cranberry loads are now moving to USA markets, but primarily from Central Wisconsin. While Massachusetts often promises Christmas shipments, it has a checkered history of actually delivering, primarily due to quality issues and the demand from the processing marketing.
Probably the most reliable is The Cranberry Network LLC, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., which markets fruit grown by Tomah, WI-based Habelman Bros. Co., the nation’s largest fresh cranberry grower. It plans on packing and shipping fresh-market cranberries through mid-December.
In Texas, the Winter Garden District located just south of San Antonio is gearing up with cabbage, broccoli and onion shipments. Further south in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, there are grapefruit and orange loads available, as well as a variety of vegetables, not only from the valley, but crossing the border from Mexico.
California has a big clementine crop this season coming out of the San Joaquin Valley. The valley continues to ship a record setting table grape crop, which will be winding down in coming weeks.
In the desert areas of California (Imperial Valley) and Arizona (Yuma), volume is increasing on vegetables. Last winter was very mild and unlike many past winters, picks and loads were not significantly disrupted by weather factors. Odds are this won’t happen in two consecutive years, but we’ll find out in the weeks and months ahead.
Imported Spanish clementines arriving on the East Coast are expected to be 25-30 percent lower than last season.
Importers of Peruvian and Chilean onions expect good movement and good quality with winter approaching. Arrivals are taking place now with onions from Peru, while onions from Chile will start arriving anytime, a 20 percent drop is seen.
Imperial Valley vegetables – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.
Over the past two decades imported fresh fruits and vegetables have increased substantially. Not only does this mean year around availability of many items for consumers, but increased loading opportunities – especially during the off season when these items are not available in the USA. Here’s a look at some produce coming from other countries.
Blueberries from Chile are arriving in the USA and will continue through April. With the arrival of the New Year will be the appearance at USA ports with Chilean table grapes and stone fruit.
There is good movement of Central American cantaloupes, honeydews and Mexican honeydews. Loadings of product from Guatemala should continue into about the second week of January. Many of the Central American imports arrive a Florida ports. Imported cantaloupe are crossing the border into Texas from Mexico. Asparagus is being imported from Mexico and Peru and should increase in volume in December.
Typically in January, volume from Mexico through Nogales, AZ really picks up, led by table grapes, but including a number of other items.
Biggest Change with Imports Coming Soon
The biggest change in decades with imported produce will start occuring a matter of weeks. Historically, south Texas has been a major produce shipping area with its fruits and veggies from the Lower Rio Grande Valley and to a much lesser degree from the Winter Garden District, just south of San Antonio.
However, over the past 20 years a lot has changed in Texas. Today, about 65 percent of the fresh produce moved by Lone Star State shippers is grown in Mexico, with the balance grown in Texas. The state now ranks third in USA produce shipments, having surpassed Arizona. California and Florida rank first and second respectively in fresh produce loads.
While much of the imports from Mexico over the years have crossed the border into the USA from Nogales and Tijuana, a significant amount of this tonnage will be shifting to the McAllen, TX border area. This is due to the 143-mile-long Durango-Mazatlan highway expected to open before the end of the year.
Produce shippers are excited because the new route will mean produce shipments that used to arrive at Nogales and Tijuana and destined from Midwestern and Eastern markets, will no longer have to travel two mountain ranges. It also is expected to reduce freight costs up to a $1,000.
Wishing you safe travels if you’re on the road this holiday. Otherwise, I trust you are able to spend Thanksgiving with those you love and cherish the most. We have so much for which to be thankful in this great country. May God’s blessing be with each and everyone of you.
Here’s a few interesting facts about Thanksgiving.
The famous pilgrim celebration at Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621 is traditionally regarded as the first American Thanksgiving. However, there are actually 12 claims to where the “first” Thanksgiving took place: two in Texas, two in Florida, one in Maine, two in Virginia, and five in Massachusetts.
The first Thanksgiving in America actually occurred in 1541, when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his expedition held a thanksgiving celebration in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle.
One of the most popular first Thanksgiving stories recalls the three-day celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. Over 200 years later, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving, and in 1941 Congress established the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday.
Now a Thanksgiving dinner staple, cranberries were actually used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and to dye clothes.
Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), who tirelessly worked to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday, also was the first person to advocate women as teachers in public schools, the first to advocate day nurseries to assist working mothers, and the first to propose public playgrounds. She was also the author of two dozen books and hundreds of poems, including “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
While shipments for California Navels should be heavy, it will probably be short of a record. The record was hit in the 2010-11 season, when the Central Valley alone produced 93 million cartons, and up 6 percent from the 2011-12 loads.
The first shipments took place in early November.
Red potato shipments out of North Dakota and Minnesota are nearly 35 percent head of loadings through October than they were during he same fall period a year ago. Red River Valley fresh potato shipments are expected to be the largest since 2008.
The total USA potato volume is estimated to be at least 12 million hundredweight larger than a year ago.
The North American Potato Market news is reporting that average daily shipments of russets has dropped 0.6 percent compared to last year while daily red shipments increased 18 percent.
Texas citrus season is in full swing, and shipping has begun for grapefruit and oranges. The USDA forecast for the 2012 – 2013 Texas citrus season is 2.8 million cartons of oranges and 10.6 million cartons of grapefruit.
Moderate shipments of watermelons from Mexico will continue crossing the border into Nogales, AZ through the end of the year. Overall Mexican fruit and vegetable crossing at Nogales are seasonally light, but the will change in Janaury as a host of produce items will be increasing in volume.
Produce loading opportunities from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas are expected to increase in coming years as a new highway connecting West Mexico to south Texas opens in the new few months. Now another project is expected to increase produce loads from Mexico to markets in the USA and Canada.
A plan to change how millions of boxes of mangos are treated for the Mexican fruit fly and bacterial contaminants could be a boon Valley’s growing produce industry — and ultimately produce haulers.
The USDA has lifted a procedural barrier allowing construction along the U.S.-Mexico border of facilities that blast mangos and other fresh produce with a highly focused beam of electricity, eliminating pathogens and pests. McAllen, TX becomes the first city in the Southwest with the technology.
The E-beam facility will be built at 23rd Street and Military Highway on land owned by the Abasto Corp., directly across the street from the 42-acre Warehouse Kingdom development. The valley’s E-beam facility should create a competitive advantage for the McAllen metro area as it seeks to gain a larger share of the Mexican produce market. But consumers across the nation could also benefit from a larger array of high-quality fruits and vegetables that last longer on the shelf.
The high-tech procedure is supposed to virtually eliminate the chance of pests and pathogens such as fruit flies crossing the border.
The $22 million facility, which will eventually employ up to 200 people, will use a non-nuclear alternative to gamma-based irradiation to sterilize fruit and vegetables crossing the border in both directions.
To kill microorganisms, produce has traditionally been treated with a gas called ethylene oxide that is being phased out for health and environmental reasons. But a shift to treating produce in hot water baths created its own host of problems, among them a reduced shelf life and lower success in killing contaminants.
ScanTech’s technology eliminates both problems by essentially electrocuting the fruit without generating heat. The irradiation method uses less energy, does not involve dangerous radioactive materials and is supposed to be as safe to operate as a household microwave.
At least for some shippers in the Red River Valley, it was looking a little dim in September due to drought. However, October rains have increased yields — and loading opportunities have improved for those who haul red potatoes out of the region, located on the borders of North Dakota and Minnesota.
The last of the spuds are now being dug. It’s looking like valley potato shipments for the 2012-13 season will be quite close to the five-year average. Currently, only about 250 truckloads a week or being shipped, but loadings are still increasing as the focus moves from harvest, and storage to shipping.
From central Wisconsin, russet potato loads are averaging around 500 truckloads per week…..Peak shipments of cranberries for the Thanksgiving holidays are now underway from central Wisconsin.
Nebraska continues light loadings of potatoes. In the southwestern part of the state potatoes are being shipped from the Imperial, Neb area. The other most active part of the state is around O’Neill in the northeastern part of the Nebraska.
In the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, grapefruit and orange shipments have been slowly ramping up. Because California’s season ended early, there’s been good demand for Texas citrus, although loadings have been limited and there’s not much citrus yet to be found in the retail stores.
If you are loading grapefruit or oranges in South Texas, it should be a little more simple than 20 years ago when there were at least two dozen citrus companies. That number has shank to only four, primarily due to mergers and acquisitions. This should be reducing the number pick ups required for some hauls.
Central Wisconsin potatoes – grossing about $3400 to Houston.
Red River Valley red potatoes – about $4300 to Orlando.
In South Texas, avocados from Mexico are providing over 600 truckload equivalents per week and the volume will be increasing in the weeks ahead….South Texas grapefruit loadings are very light, but have started, and will hit good volume around mid- November….In West Texas in the Hereford area, as well as in nearby Eastern New Mexico, there is light volume with potatoes.
Looking at the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado, about 500 truckloads of russett potatoes are being shipped weekly.
Idaho has another huge crop of russet potatoes. While the railroads move a significant amount of the state’s spuds, the majority of the volume still is shipped by truck. Nearly 1,700 truckload equivalents of potatoes are providing loads on a weekly basis.
California’s San Joaquin Valley is shipping everything from grapes to carrots and tomatoes, among other items. Over 2,000 truckloads of grapes are being shipped weekly from vineyards spread between the Bakersfield area to Merced. Decent volume with tomatoes also are available, but a seasonal decline will continue in coming weeks.
In Washington state, apples from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys may be providing the single largest amounts of fruit volume in the country. A huge apple crop is averaging about 2,500 truckload equipments on a weekly basis.
Overall orange shipments in Florida, which goes primarily to processors, is expected to increase four percent, from 206.2 million boxes to 214.9 million boxes.
The USDA predicts Florida loads to see only a slight increase, with the differnce coming in white grapefruit. However, a majority of grapefruit is for the fresh market.
Florida’s speciality citrus production is predicted to fall by seven percent for early-season and the later-season honey tangerines.
Overall Florida fresh produce shipments are entering the slowest time of the year. Good volume normally doesn’t return until late March or April when the spring mixed vegetable season cranks up.
As for USA citrus loading opportunities, the USDA sees a national increase for the fast approaching season. Overall USA citrus shipments are forecast to increase this upcoming season on all varieties except for Florida tangerines, California valencias and Texas oranges, which all are predicted to see slight declines. California’s main citrus volume is with navel oranges, while Texas typically ships a lot more grapefruit than oranges from the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
The USDA predicts the USA will increase overall citrus volume from last season’s 272.4 million equivalent cartons to 284.3 million equivalent cartons this year, a 4.2 percent hike.
Early, midseason and navel oranges are forecast to remain the same from last season, and late-season valencias are expected to increase from last season’s 73 million boxes to 80 million boxes this year.