Posts Tagged “vegetable shipments”

West Coast Heat Wave Affecting Lettuce, Vegetable Quality

By |

(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.

Read more »

Vegetable Grower/Shipper Live Oak Farms to Import Bell Peppers from Mexico

By |

Starting in November, Live Oak Farms of Le Grand, CA began importing product from its farming operations in Mexico to help complete a 52-week cycle of availability on green and red bell peppers, according to a news release.

“The message has been loud and clear from both our retail and foodservice customers, we need you to be in the game year-round,” Damon Barkdull, vice president pepper sales for the fourth-generation grower-packer-shipper, said in the release. “We’re excited to begin this next chapter in Live Oak’s history.”

Historically, Live Oak has focused on its crops close to Le Grand in the San Joaquin Valley, from July through October. Those crops included mature green tomatoes — round and Roma — along with chili peppers and green, red and yellow bell peppers. With Live Oak’s hire of Pete Aiello, vice president pepper programs, came the addition of programs in Coachella and Bakersfield to help extend that California window.

With its program in Sinaloa, Mexico, Live Oak says it now has bell pepper coverage 52 weeks a year. Live Oak is expecting green bells to begin crossing in late November and red bell peppers as early as the second week of December into Nogales, AZ.

In addition to bringing Mexico peppers to its customers, Live Oak says it plans to expand its portfolio of product in both conventional and organic vegetables, including but not limited to Italian squash, yellow squash, cucumbers and an expanded array of chili peppers.

Live Oak expects the Mexico pepper program to carry it into May for a smooth transition into its California crop.

Read more »

New Jersey Summer Produce Volume Expected to be Up from a Year Ago

By |

New Jersey fruit and vegetable volume over 2022 due in large part to more favorable weather.

“Last year, New Jersey saw a late-spring freeze that affected the harvest of blueberries, peaches and some apple varieties that were in bloom when the cold hit,” said Joe Atchison III, assistant secretary and director of marketing for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. “This year, we are seeing heavy blossoms and fruit set and expect full crops with good availability throughout the season.”

New Jersey grows more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables on about 70,000 acres, Atchison said.

Some of the primary spring vegetables are asparagus, spinach, leafy greens, herbs and lettuces. Jersey also is known for blueberries, peaches, peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, squashes and, especially, Jersey tomatoes in summer.

The state had a mild winter with little to no snowfall across much of the state. Mild temperatures continued into spring, and there were no damaging frosts.

Consalo Family Farms of Egg Harbor City, NJ was able to begin harvesting two to three weeks ahead of schedule because of the warmer weather. Full production of lettuce started in early May, and an early start on blueberries also is expected.

The company also ships Little Smoochies items, including grapefruit, clementines, lemons and limes.

Good quality is reported for radish, parsley, cilantro, spinach and kale.

The company’s volume should be up compared to 2022.

The operation offers a full line of New Jersey produce, which also includes herbs, cooking greens and wet vegetables.

Read more »

AppHarvest is Now Shipping from New Richmond, KY, 60-Acre High-Tech Indoor Farm

By |

MOREHEAD, Ky. — AppHarvest, Inc. (NASDAQ: APPH, APPHW), a sustainable food company, public benefit corporation and Certified B Corp building some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms to grow affordable, nutritious fruits and vegetables at scale while providing good jobs in Appalachia, today announced it has started commercial shipments from its first harvest of tomatoes at its new 60-acre high-tech indoor farm in Richmond, Ky. This marks the first time ever that all facilities in the AppHarvest four-farm network are shipping to top national grocery store chains, restaurants and foodservice outlets under a variety of brands for Mastronardi Produce.

The opening of AppHarvest Richmond last December delivered on the company’s commitment to quadruple the number of farms operating in its network by the end of 2022, in what the company believes is the largest simultaneous build out of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) infrastructure in U.S. history. With this milestone, the company is moving from a focus on construction and development to the next phase of the business focused on operations. On January 3, 2023, AppHarvest named CEA industry veteran and AppHarvest Board Member Tony Martin as Chief Operating Officer to leverage his extensive background in CEA.  Martin is working to optimize production, revenue and costs across the AppHarvest four-farm network totaling 165 acres under glass. 

AppHarvest Richmond

AppHarvest Richmond, the 60-acre high-tech indoor farm growing tomatoes in Richmond, Ky., is harvesting and shipping from its first growing season of Campari and Maranice varieties of “Tomatoes on the Vine.” Opening in a two-phased approach, the second 30-acres in Richmond is expected to be planted later in 2023. With AppHarvest Morehead, the company expects to grow nearly 1.5 million tomato plants across the combined 120 acres. 

AppHarvest Berea

Located in Berea, Ky., this 15-acre salad greens farm is believed to be the world’s largest high-tech indoor farm for autonomously harvested salad greens featuring a “touchless growing system.” AppHarvest Berea is designed to grow about 35 million lettuce plants at a time and is a supplier of the “Queen of Greens®” washed-and-ready-to-eat salad greens. On December 27, 2022, AppHarvest announced the completion of a $127 million sale-leaseback of the Berea farm to Mastronardi Berea LLC, a joint venture between Mastronardi Produce and COFRA Holding. Mastronardi Produce is AppHarvest’s exclusive marketing and distribution partner.

AppHarvest Somerset 

The 30-acre high-tech indoor farm in Somerset, Ky., is shipping strawberries under the “WOW® Berries” brand for AppHarvest customer, Mastronardi Produce. AppHarvest Somerset is designed to grow nearly one million strawberry plants at a time, which are expected to produce for about eight months of the year. The crop is expected to alternate seasonally with long English cucumbers. In advance of the seasonal summer refresh for strawberries, the Somerset farm is expected to plant multiple acres of cucumbers to kick off its initial cucumber crop. 

AppHarvest Morehead

AppHarvest Morehead, the 60-acre flagship farm in Morehead, Ky., kicked off its third season of harvesting ahead of schedule and is growing beefsteak tomatoes, Tomatoes on the Vine and snacking tomatoes. The Morehead farm has further diversified its crop set adding new varietals of premium snacking tomatoes sold under the Sunset brand as “Flavor Bombs®” and “Sugar Bombs®.” 

About AppHarvest  

AppHarvest is a sustainable food company in Appalachia developing and operating some of the world’s largest hightech indoor farms with robotics and artificial intelligence to build a reliable, climate-resilient food system. AppHarvest’s farms are designed to grow produce using sunshine, rainwater and up to 90% less water than openfield growing, all while producing yields up to 30 times that of traditional agriculture and preventing pollution from agricultural runoff. AppHarvest currently operates its 60-acre flagship farm in Morehead, Ky., producing tomatoes, a 15-acre indoor farm for salad greens in Berea, Ky., a 30-acre farm for strawberries and cucumbers in Somerset, Ky., and a 60-acre farm in Richmond, Ky., for tomatoes. The four-farm network consists of 165 acres under glass. For more information, visit

Read more »

Hapco Farms is Now Shipping Domestic Broccoli Year Around

By |

Hapco Farms of Westhampton Beach, NY, has tripled its broccoli acreage on the East Coast this year and now ships domestically grown broccoli 12 months a year.

With new acreage in Florida and North Carolina, Hapco Farms reports it is now the largest grower of broccoli on the East Coast.

The company’s goal is to grow product as close to its customers as possible. It is moving acreage from Mexico to the United States, specifically the East Coast, which allows delivery of product fresher, faster and cheaper.

Since Hapco Farms already had acreage in these areas, expanding growing operations there was the natural next step, and it now has the ability to supply U.S.-grown product on a year-round basis.

Hapco’s broccoli season in Florida runs from December through March. It transitions to North Carolina for a small window in mid-May to early June before moving to Maine for the summer. North Carolina production resumes in late October and runs until Florida picks up again in December.

Having expanded acreage also will provide opportunities to grow and ship other commodities, such as cauliflower and sweet corn. 

Read more »

California Weather Issues Could Affect Vegetable Shipments Well into Spring

By |

While excessive rains and flooding has temporarily disrupted normal shipments of winter vegetables out of California, there could be longer term affects if current plantings for the spring crops keep being interrupted.

Boskovich Farms in Oxnard, CA,  reports heavy rains and cooler weather has adversely affected celery loadings. Located in Ventura County, more rains are coming this week and will dampen volume on leafy greens, Romaine, parsley and some of the other vegetables.

Boskovich has ben sourcing leeks, green onions and radishes from Mexico, but supplies there are short as well.

Gold Coast Packing Inc. of Santa Maria, CA also has been dealing with heavy rains and notes their cauliflower shipments have been affected the most.

/The grower/shipper sources most of its value added vegetables from the desert this time of the year. The product is trucked to Santa Maria, and packed before nationwide distribution. However, desert supplies have been lighter than usual.

Gold Coast reports a bigger impact from January rains will probably result in supply gaps in supply in March, April and May when the transition from the desert production areas to coastal California growing districts take place.

Church Bros. Farms in Salinas, CA, agrees the biggest potential impact from California’s current unrelenting rains is lack of shipments in the spring. Rains will prevent most growers from planting for the next week or two. Those fields currently being planted won’t be ready for harvest for about three months, which gives growers a chance to “catch up” if the weather cooperates. The company is currently planting for the start of the Salinas vegetable season.

Read more »

Fewer Vegetable Shipments Seen Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

By |

Fewer plantings of California leafy greens are expected to result in less shipments during the next few months. This is because of declines in foodservice demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RaboResearch conversations with vegetable shippers reveal they are likely to cut acreage by 10 to 15 percent over the next 60 days.

Because of reduced demand over the past six weeks, growers for foodservice have walked away from fields. Many are hoping to redirect shipments to retailers.

The acreage not being used now represents 50 to 85 percent of the land normally planted for product destined to restaurants, schools and other foodservice accounts. Vegetables generally are directed to foodservice accounts more than fruits. Tomatoes and lettuce are two of the higher volume vegetables going to foodservice.

About 15 percent of fresh fruit is shipped for foodservice.

Retail performance

Increased shipments to retail have helped compensate for lagging foodservice demand.

Retail statistics for the four weeks ending April 12 reveal fresh produce sales increased 17 percent compared with the same period last year.

Fresh fruit sales were up about 9 percent for the four-week period, while fresh vegetable sales were up 25 percent.

Orange sales for the period were up 55 percent, but sales of grapes, melons and pears were down.

The 25 percent overall increase in vegetables was highlighted by gains in potatoes and sweet potatoes, at 80 percent and 55 increases, respectively.

Packaged salad sales for the four-week period ending April 12 were up only 7 percent.

On the plus side foodservice shipments are likely to increase when states end lockdowns.

Read more »

Kern County Vegetable Shipments are Underway

By |

Grower-shippers in California’s Kern County say they started on-time start with this season’s vegetable shipments, in spite of heavy rainfall.

Danny Andrews Farms of Bakersfield, CA reports minor delays due to rain on the start of lettuce and cabbage, but harvest of those items began April 13.

Andrews started vegetable shipments with iceberg lettuce, green and red cabbage. The company will have carrots in June and melons in July.

It remains to be seen whether the rains will adverse affect quality and yields of melons.

Johnston Farms of Edison, CA wrapped up citrus shipments in mid-April and started its potato season nearly a week ago, with peppers expected by June 1.

Kirschenman Enterprises Inc. of Edison, CA started its potato season with shipments from the Coachella Valley, and now is focusing on its Bakersfield crop which includes white, red and yellow spuds.

The company expects to launch its table grape season in Kern County at the end of June. Kirshenman reports the grape industry expects to have 10 percent less volume this year, not because of COVID-19, but due to overproduction, declining markets, and some grape varieties being pulled in favor of new varieties.

TD Produce Sales of Bakersfield started shipping white potatoes in late April and red and yellow potatoes in early May.

Read more »

Grimmway Southeast is Shipping Carrots, Organic Veggies Through Spring

By |

By Grimmway Farms

BAKERSFIELD, CA — Grimmway Farms, a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots, is shipping regionally through its Lake Park, GA processing facility. It is currently loading carrots and organic vegetables across the Southeast region and Eastern Seaboard. The California-based company is offering conventional and organic carrot products in addition to almost 20 varieties of organic vegetables.

“Cal-Organic is trialing a host of commodities in limited volumes from our Southeast growing region. For the first time, we’re offering an array of premium quality organic leafy greens, herbs, root vegetables and carrots and we plan to expand this regional planting next fall,” said Bob Borda, Vice President of Organic Sales at Grimmway Farms.

In addition to Cal-Organic vegetables, Grimmway is offering conventional and organic baby carrots as well as conventional and organic fresh, cello and jumbo carrots in a full range of pack sizes. The company is also offering conventional and organic industrial peeled chunk carrots. Grimmway expects supply of organic vegetables and carrots to run through April with conventional carrot products loading through May.

Grimmway’s Lake Park facility provides a great option for regional customers. “We are pleased to provide our partners with faster shipping times and fresh, local produce during this season of regional availability,” added Eric Proffitt, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Grimmway.

Grimmway is loading carrots and organic vegetables from the Lake Park facility Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 11:30 pm and on Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm (EST) by appointment only. To book a loading appointment, please call 866-328-6867.

About Grimmway Farms

Family-owned and headquartered in Bakersfield, California, Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a produce stand opened by the Grimm brothers in the early 1960s. Grimmway is a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots. Grimmway supplies more than 65 organic, USA-grown crops and brands include Cal-Organic Farms and Bunny-Luv. For more information, visit

Read more »

New Jersey Produce Shipments Increase During June

By |

While New Jersey produce shipments start in May with items ranging from asparagus to greens, some root vegetables, spring onions and strawberries, volume increases with a longer list of items moving into June, July, August and September, which are the peak shipping months.

Jersey has had a good growing season for fresh produce and now two of its largest volume makers, blueberries and peaches, are coming on.

Nationally, New Jersey is one of the top 10 shippers of blueberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, spinach, squash and asparagus.

Peach Shipments

New Jersey peach shipments, which start in late June, occur primarily from July through September. The Garden State has about 80 orchards comprising about 5,000 acres with production values at about $30 million annually. Most commercial orchards are in Southern Jersey.

New Jersey is the 4th largest peach shipping state in the U.S., with about 55 orchards on 5,000 acres, producing 22,000-25,000 tons.

Sunny Valley International has been marketing peaches and blueberries since 1995, representing the Jersey Fruit Cooperative, which produces over l million cases of blueberries, yellow peaches, white peaches and nectarines a year. Peaches used to be the main crop, but\the co-op has shifted mostly to blueberries, while the peach industry is consolidating into fewer growers, but bigger growers. 

Sunny Valley’s growers produce about 1.2 million boxes, or 30 million pounds, of peaches — the majority yellow peaches. Volume for peaches is expected to be about 10 percent more this year. Sunny Valley will be shipping peaches from July to mid September.

Blueberry Shipments

From June 11 to July 31, New Jersey blueberries shipments have just started from what some refer to as the “blueberry capital of the world,” Hammonton, NJ, with loadings continuing through July.

Sunny Valley’s 11 blueberry growers are reporting great growing conditions. In a normal season, the company ships about 1 million cases, or about 9 million pounds, of blueberries. 

Consalo Family Farms of Vineland, NJ has announced an additional 50 acres for growing and packing capabilities from 8 million to 9.5 million pounds during the New Jersey blueberry season.

Vegetable Shipments 

New Jersey sweet corn and tomato loadings start the third week of June, with volume coming on by the Fourth of July.

Read more »