Posts Tagged “Yuma vegetable shipments”

Loadings for St. Patrick’s Day; Plus Yuma Vegetable Shipments

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DSCN8840Here’s a look at loading opportunities for two favorite St. Patrick’s Day vegetables.  We also take a look at Yuma vegetable shipments, and California asparagus.

Cabbage and potato volume should be very good for shipments leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, which is March 17th.

South Florida cabbage shipments have started and will be in good volume heading into March.  Shipments will continue through May.

Potato Shipments

There will be plenty of  spuds available for the holiday with new crops of red potatoes and white potatoes from South Florida as well as late season storage red potatoes from the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota.  Idaho continues to heavily ship russet potatoes, but reds and whites are an Irish favorite.

Yuma Vegetable Shipments

Winter Yuma vegetables shipments are always a roll of the dice and this season seems no different, except maybe the issues are different.  Many of the same shippers out of Salinas also farm in Yuma, AZ.  In Salinas they are used to dealing with mildew.  The problem is rare in the desert, but has been a major problem this season, especially with head lettuce and romaine.  Mildew is caused by rain, warm temperatures and humidity.  The result has been a lot of fields have been disced.

The result will be lighter volume for the last month or so with Yuma vegetable shipments.  There’s also growing concerns with Yuma tending to finish up a few weeks early, that Salinas may get off to a slow start this season and there could be major shipping gaps from late March, through April and perhaps into May.

Yuma vegetable shipments – grossing about $3800 to Chicago.

Asparagus Shipments

California asparagus shipments should get underway in early to mid-March, from the Stockton-Delta area.  It is estimated the state has 9,000 to 10,000 acres of “grass” and volume is expected to be similar to last season.  There also is good news in that water supplies have improved a lot over a year ago with reservoirs continuing to rise.

Asparagus shipments typically get a boost from the Easter observance (April 16th), which is one of the most popular times of year for the vegetable.

Last week in our report on the growing volume from Mexico with many vegetables, we noted it often comes at the expense of California.  An excellent example of this is labor costs.

California’s minimum wage is headed to $15 per hour by 2023. A new law also requires agricultural workers to be paid overtime after eight hours, down from 10 hours previously.  Asparagus is cut by hand and is one of the most labor intensive crops in the produce industry.



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California Vegetables are Facing Shipping Gaps

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IMG_6577+1Salinas Valley vegetable shipments will be transitioning this week to the Huron district in the San Joaquin Valley, while shipments from the desert will start in early November.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Salinas veggies this season, with periods of heavy shipments, followed by shipping gaps, primarily due to hot weather affecting everything from Iceberg lettuce, to  broccoli, cauliflower, celery and other crops.  It’s unclear when, but shipping gaps are being predicted right into the Thanksgiving pull for product by receivers next month.

The Salinas Valley has had warmer than normal temperature since the first of August, resulting in early harvests, followed by shipping gaps.

The transition for Huron vegetable shipments in Central California is taking place this week, while the initial harvest from Yuma, AZ, in the desert begins next week. Yuma vegetable shipments will be increasing in the weeks to follow.

California’s Santa Maria Valley has experienced many of the same challenges found in Salinas.

With frost hitting eastern Canada and excessive rains on the east coast of the U.S., California is about the only place shipping vegetables now.

Central San Joaquin Valley produce items – grossing about $7000 to Boston.

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Quality Problems, Shipping Gaps Hit Desert Vegetables

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DSCN3546+1Desert vegetable shipments out the Arizona and California deserts continue to be lower than normal, but if you do load any product check the quality of what is being put in the truck.

Supply and quality issues will complicate the remainder of the California and Arizona lettuce deals, and prices should stay high as a result, because of shipping gaps.

You also are paying more for lettuce at the supermarket.  Cartons of lettuce at shipping point are more than triple what they were this time last year (now $25.50-28.50 for cartons of film-lined 24-count iceberg).

The shipping gaps are hard to predict because some shippers are harvesting, while others may be in a gap due to when they planted, etc.  Gaps also are affecting romaine, head lettuce, etc. at different times.

This problem is expected to last weeks, if not months.  For example there are about 12 weeks left for shipping lettuce out of Yuma.  It is beginning to look like the shipping gaps, and quality problems will be around until the seasonal shift takes the harvest back to Huron, Santa Maria and Salinas.

If colder than normal weather is prevelant in the coming weeks it could further delay or reduce lettuce volume – and shipments.

Yuma vegetable shipments – grossing about $7200 to New York City.


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