Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

California Pear Shipments Expected to be Down this Season

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California pear growers began harvest in the River growing district this week with bartlett and red bartlett being the first varieties to be picked this year.

Harvest in the River District will be followed in early August with Mendocino district starting harvest on Aug. 5 and Lake County district starting on Aug. 12.

In comparison to last year’s crop, bartletts are expected to see an 18% decrease in production, while other pear varieties are projected to be down by 16%, Zanobini said.

“The total anticipated production for all varieties is estimated at 2,004,350 boxes,” said Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Pear Advisory Board in a press release. “This volume includes organic bartlett pears and red pear varieties that are growing in popularity, as well as over 510,000 boxes of golden russet bosc pears.

The River growing district, which produces 66% of California’s pears, represents the largest volume of California grown pears, according to the release. The Lake County region is the second largest at 22%, followed by the Mendocino growing region which produced 12% of California’s 2023 pear crop.

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Oceanside Pole Tomato Shipments are Underway

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Oceanside, CA — As the only pole-grown tomato operation west of the Mississippi, Oceanside Pole’s premium tomatoes started the week of June 24. The vine-ripe tomatoes are produced on a 700-acre farm in California and an additional 160 acres in Mexico. Product is exclusively marketed by Oppy.

Favorable weather conditions and an excellent season outlook set the expectation for 2.1 million cases of rounds and 1.2 million romas. The unique growing method raises the tomatoes off the ground to improve airflow — and therefore tomato quality — to ripen to their juicy, robust taste, naturally on the vine, then harvested at retail specifications to arrive at precise perfection. Each plant is harvested an average of 22 to 24 times, ensuring tomatoes are hand-selected at optimal ripeness.

“Our method ensures that we only deliver fruit with unmatched brix levels, robust flavor, extended shelf life and a clean-slicing texture,” said Director of Sales and Strategy, and Sales Executive Mark Smith. “Picking, packing, shipping and delivering to retailers within 24 hours, Oceanside Pole tomatoes are truly one-of-a-kind.”

Peak volume is expected from late August through October, culminating around the Thanksgiving season. Packaging options include 22-pound two-layer, 25-pound volume fill, 15-pound single-layer boxes, RPCs and a 5-pound club pack, catering to the diverse needs of retailers, including custom pack styles.

Senior Sales Representative James Galindo has been documenting the entire season through Oppy’s video series: Reports from the field. These monthly updates, which began in January, provide an inside look at the meticulous efforts involved in growing Oceanside Pole tomatoes.A

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Summer Fruit and Vegetable Shipments from the Carolinas are Looking Good

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The South Carolina Specialty Crop Growers Association reports
it has been a favorable beginning to the season in South Carolina.

Unlike recent seasons, blueberries and peaches have not been hit with late freezes. The result has been increased volume and better quality.

South Carolina growers are hit a peak in the strawberry season nearly a month ago, and blueberries and blackberries followedsuit.

Peach shipments have ramped entering the summer months alongside other summer crops like peppers, watermelon and squash.

In North Carolina it is a similar situation.

Jackson Farming Co. in Autryville, N.C., wrapped up its spring broccoli season early in part to a warmer-than-normal spring growing season.

Cantaloupe loadings got underway in late June. The company’s
honeydew loading started in early July, which followed seedless and watermelon with seeds the last week of June.

The farm is still using shipping sweet potatoes from storage and crews are planting this fall’s crop. Harvest should begin in late August or early September.

An increase in watermelon production is expected for North Carolina growers this year, with cantaloupe remaining level. Spring broccoli production remained the same.

 Many growers in North Carolina plant both tobacco and sweet potatoes as the seasons are complementary. However, many growers opted to expand sweet potato acres as the tobacco market waned. It is estimated that 2021 was the largest sweet potato acreage of about 130,000. Since then, the acreage has started to drop to 85,000 in 2022 and 80,000 in 2023. 

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West Coast Heat Wave Affecting Lettuce, Vegetable Quality

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(The following press release was issued July 9 by Markon of Salinas, CA. Lettuce and vegetable haulers are urged to use caution in loading to help reduce chances of claims at destination, by working closely with your brokers and receivers.)

Much of the West Coast, including California’s Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys, have been experiencing an extended heat spike over the past week with temperatures ranging from the 70°s to 80°s near the coast to as high as 110° in the southern end of the Salinas Valley.

All row crop vegetables that have been exposed to these temperatures are expected to exhibit varying levels of heat-related quality and shelf-life concerns over the next two weeks.

In general, most commodity and value-added supplies have faired better than expected thus far, but some lettuce and tender leaf crops are showing defects such as:

• Dehydration
• Increased insect pressure
• Internal burn/tip burn
• Reduced shelf-life potential
• Weakened texture
• Yellowing leaves

Markon inspectors are aggressively monitoring quality through pre-harvest inspections and finished product evaluations of commodity and value-added items. Fields that are exhibiting elevated issues are being rejected and harvesting/processing crews are taking steps to remove damaged leaves and minimize defects.

Ordering for quick turns is recommended. It remains critical to adhere to strict cold chain management throughout distribution to the end-user level in order to maximize quality and shelf-life of perishable produce items.

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Ohio Vegetable Loadings are Underway with Good Volume

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Good-quality Ohio vegetables are being predicted thanks to good weather and timely rains, which had vegetable shipments starting right on time at the end of June, according to growers and shippers.

Buurma Farms Inc. of Willard, OH notes there has good growing weather and rains.

The grower/shipper grows about 35 commodities, including radishes, greens, green onions, several kinds of lettuce items, beets, cucumbers and green and yellow squash.

Because of volume and the number of different veggies grown, the company notes it results in fewer multiple pickups for truckers.

All the commodities were being shipped by the end of June except sweet corn, which gets underway in mid-July.

The company ships to customers up and down the Eastern Seaboard, as far south as Florida, into the New England area and west to Chicago, Wisconsin and Memphis.

Buurma reports it has a freight rate advantage over growers in the West with loads that originate east of the Mississippi.

Sirna & Sons Produce of Ravenna, OH, was acquired by FreshEdge of Indianapolis last July and has added new computer and phone systems, upgraded GPS systems in trucks, conducted training programs and is preparing to implement a warehouse management system.

Sirna & Sons offers a variety of local products, such as peppers, squash, tomatoes and greenhouse lettuces.

Holthouse Farms of Ohio Inc., Willard, is shipping squash, bell peppers, chili peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, Ohio green beans, hard squash, sweet corn and cabbage and will have all commodities moving by mid-July,

Holthouse Farms ships to a number of retail, foodservice and wholesale customers in the Ohio Valley and in western Pennsylvania to New Jersey, New York City and into Detroit, Chicago and Kentucky.

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Strong Melon Shipments are Expected During July and Beyond

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The Organic Produce Network reports that warm weather and a smooth transition from spring to summer in production areas have resulted in a good supply of several organic melon varieties.

Creekside Organics Inc. of Bakersfield, CA reports strong demand for watermelons, including both organic mini watermelons (also called personal watermelons) and large-sized fruit, typically referred to as bin melons, are being shipped. There are also good supplies of organic honeydew and cantaloupes.

Creekside notes there are still organic melon supplies coming from Mexico, and the company is also sourcing significant volumes from farming operations in Holtville in California’s Imperial Valley.

The company moves up the Joaquin Valley as the summer continues, with both the Bakersfield area in Southern San Joaquin Valley and Firebaugh on the west side of the valley producing various melon varieties.

The grower/shipper reports good supplies of cantaloupes, honeydew, and mini watermelons through September. 

Pacific Trellis Fruit of Los Angeles states the company expects to have a good supply of organic mini and bin watermelons throughout the summer.

The company has finished up production in Hermosillo, Mexico, and is winding down Yuma, AZ. In July the operation will transition to California, providing good supplies of minis through the summer.

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Lemon Exports from Peru Rise 10% in First Quarter

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Since the start of the calendar year, Peru’s fresh lemon exports have maintained a good pace, with monthly shipments above $5 million.

At the end of the first quarter of 2024, Peruvian citrus shipments totaled 15,540 tons for $15.7 million, which meant 10 percent more in volume and 5 percent more in value compared to the same period last year, as reported by AgroPeru Informa.

In this same period, Peruvian lemons reached 15 countries, of which the three that stood out the most were the U.S., with 54 percent of the volume; Chile, with 11.5 percent; and the Dominican Republic, with 11.4 percent.

Exports to the U.S. totaled 8,077 tons for $8.5 million, which was 9 percent more in volume, but 4 percent less in value than in 2023. This is due to the drop in the price in this market (12 percent lower), which went from $1.19 to $1.05 per kilogram.

As for Peruvian exporters, the leaders were Procesadora Laran S.A.C., with 18 percent participation, and Ecosac Agrícola S.A.C., with 15 perce

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Peak Imports of Peruvian Avocados to Come in July, August

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Imports of Peruvian avocados by the U.S. occurred from May through October 2023. USDA shipment numbers reveal the peak supply of Peruvian fruit arrived in July and August, with 27% of the yearly supply of conventional fruit arriving in July and 39% in August.

The USDA reported total U.S. import shipments of conventional Peruvian avocados totaled 154.9 million pounds in 2023, with shipments of organic avocados from Peru rated at 9.2 million pounds.

In 2022, the USDA reported Peru shipped 250 million pounds of conventional avocados to the U.S., with shipments arriving from March through October.

The USDA reported Peruvian organic avocado shipments in 2022 totaled 18.8 million pounds.

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California Giant Expects Strong Pacific Northwest Blueberry Shipments

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California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville, CA forecasts good volume shipments of high-quality conventional and organic blueberries from its Pacific Northwest growing region in the coming months.

The Pacific Northwest blueberry season has officially begun, with strong conventional harvests out of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia with all regions reporting excellent flavor and size.

Likewise, organic harvests are underway and ramping up stateside — with premium fruit being reported. Peak volumes of conventional and organic fruit will be available throughout the month of July, with an abundance of blueberries available through early-September.

“We’re excited to share our abundance of conventional and organic blueberries from the Pacific Northwest,” said Markus Duran, Director of Bushberry at California Giant Berry Farms. “We had strong pollination from the start, and barring any major weather events, we look forward to a steady supply of nutritious berries to meet the ever-growing demand from our consumers.”

California Giant continues to drive increases in blueberry consumption through consumer marketing to drive purchase intent for fresh blueberries and share the smiles and health benefits that they deliver.

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Imported South African Grapefruit Arriving Earlier than Normal

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Importer LGS Specialty Sales of New Rochelle, NY says it is now receiving South African Star ruby grapefruit ahead of schedule.

The company’s volumes of early summer star ruby grapefruit are now available for shipment out of New Jersey, according to a news release.

“Our customers continue to partner with LGS Specialty Sales because we work to secure fresh produce, like grapefruit, when the market is in need,” Luke Sears, president and founder of LGS Specialty Sales, said in the release. “If a retailer is having a hard time sourcing import grapefruit right now, look no further.”

LGS Specialty Sales sources grapefruit from the company’s farms in the fruitful Mediterranean-like climate of South Africa, where the weather is optimal for high-quality citrus, the release said. South African Star Ruby grapefruit will be available through October.

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