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The Michigan Apple industry set new shipment records 11 weeks in a row in from Oct. 15 through Christmas, according to the USDA Specialty Crop Market News Service. “These record numbers come as no surprise after the Michigan Apple industry reported an estimated record crop of 31 million bushels for 2016. Growers, packers and shippers have been working... Read more
Florida strawberries remain a hot commodity for the winter
Plant City, FL, is the self-proclaimed “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World,” a moniker that was thrust upon the city more than a century ago, when innovator Henry Plant decided to build a railroad to Tampa, which allowed growers the perfect opportunity to market their strawberries to the East Coast. Today, strawberries from Plant City go from... Read more
Cold weather blanketed California's Central Valley this weekend, but for local citrus growers sub-freezing temperatures were a welcomed change from the unseasonably warm December weather to-date. Temperatures ranged in the high 20s to low 30s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, which is ideal for most citrus varieties at this point in the season. Navel oranges... Read more
Texas citrus moving into prime marketing season
The Texas citrus season usually gets under way in early October and can linger through the winter, but its prime marketing season is a 70-day window encompassing both fall holidays and blasting into the new year. Led by its famous grapefruit and true to form, Texas fruit started hitting the market during the first few days of October. Trent Bishop, who is vice... Read more
Record-setting summer temperatures that continue into the fall have affected mushroom yields, resulting in shortages across the country. With the main impact being felt by growers in southeastern Pennsylvania, where 64 percent of the nation’s mushrooms are grown, it is likely that every region of the country will be affected. Shortages are already being... Read more
Vegetable production shifts to Western deserts
A couple of good late October storms helped hasten the shift of vegetable production from coastal California to the deserts of Arizona and California, with a stop in the San Joaquin Valley along the way. The Huron district on the Westside of California’s Central Valley was in full swing in early November just as desert production was getting under way.... Read more
With a final production of about 94 million cartons, the 2015/16 California navel crop was the second largest on record. This year’s crop is expected to be 10-15 percent smaller topping out near the 84 million carton mark. “With a smaller crop, we are expecting the market structure to be better with better returns to the grower,” said Joel... Read more
Though the shipping of Mexican avocados began in a big way in mid-October after about a two-week supply stoppage over in-the-grove prices, there was still a lot of uncertainty as U.S. distributors discussed the situation within several days of the resumption of picking and shipments. In early October, growers and others in a handful of Michoacán avocado... Read more
Red River Valley has plenty of potatoes this fall
ORLANDO, FL — Mother Nature took a while, but she smiled upon the Red River Valley this fall. Rain in the growing months and at the start of harvest hurt production for Red River Valley red potato growers, but on Oct. 15, as Ted Kreis worked from the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association booth at the PMA Fresh Summit, he indicated that the valley’s... Read more
2016 Red River Valley red potato crop looks red on paper too
The 2016 red potato crop damage may be the greatest suffered by the Red River Valley industry since 2001, according to Ted Kreis, marketing director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association. The association is based in E. Grand Forks, MN. “I think we possibly lost a third, if not more of the crop,” Kreis estimated as his growers began harvesting... Read more
Blackville, SC — In 2015, heavy rains and flooding hit low country South Carolina at peanut harvest-time in October, ruining peanuts already dug and spread out to dry, and making many other fields too muddy to harvest. The “1,000-year flood” left 19 dead, caused almost $1.5 billion in damages and closed 400 roads and bridges. Nathan Smith,... Read more
Summer Citrus from South Africa season finishing strong
Summer Citrus from South Africa approaches the end of a strong growing season with steady volumes of navels and Midknights available until the end of October. The last conventional vessel will arrive to the port of Philadelphia the week of Sept. 26, concluding this season’s shipments for SCSA. “Each year, our goal is to provide superior quality citrus... Read more
In 2015, the U.S. imported more than 431 million pounds of fresh-market asparagus, of which Peruvian asparagus represented more than 46 percent of the Total World Supply, according to the Peruvian Asparagus Importer’s Association’s 2016-17 Fresh Asparagus Category Statistics & Trends report. “Peru remains to be the consistent, quality supplier... Read more
Growing consumer demand supports increasing berry imports
The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, based in Folsom, CA, reports that consumers who crave the taste of fresh blueberries in winter are in luck. Nowadays, fresh blueberries are in the market almost every day of the year. Native to North America, blueberries flourish here from April through October. Thanks to industrious farmers in the Southern Hemisphere, the... Read more
California date shippers have reported that this year’s timing is back to normal after last year’s early start, and they are expecting a significant bump in volume. In fact, several shippers indicated that there could be as much as 20 percent more volume this year as the result of increased production from previously planted date palm trees. Most... Read more
San Luis Valley crop looking good, acreage down slightly
Monte Vista, CO — The general consensus on the 2016 San Luis Valley potato crop is that after a cool and somewhat slow start, most of the acreage caught up, and both quality and sizing look good. Valley wide, planted and potato harvest acreage for the year is down, according to Colorado Potato Administrative Committee Executive Director Jim Ehrlich, who... Read more
Banner Vidalia season sets the stage for dynamic run for Peruvian sweet onions
Vidalia set the bar high for the sweet onion deal with a banner season that went so well most growers delayed shipping early season Peruvian sweets until the rest of the Georgia crop could be cleared out. Not only did Vidalia have great quality and volume, there was also a solid market. Most players in the deal expect Peruvian onions will hitch a ride on those... Read more
Wisconsin potato crop to be very strong
All signs are positive for another strong season for the Wisconsin potato industry. Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, said all potato types, including reds, are thriving in Wisconsin fields. In a mid-August interview, Houlihan said, “We have had adequate rainfall and a great growing season.... Read more
Competition from improved Peruvian agronomy and economy puts a twist on onion future
It’s been about 40 years since south Georgia Vidalia onion growers took what was once just a local favorite and turned it into an international food star. In fact, those farmers were so successful they created an entirely new category at the supermarket: The sweet onion deal that now goes around the calendar. Vidalia still wears the crown in that category.... Read more
The Washington State Tree Fruit Association forecasts that a total of 132.9 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples will be produced during the 2016-17 season. “This is up 15 percent over 2015’s 115 million box crop, but still down 6 percent from the 2014 record crop of 141.8 million boxes,” the association said earlier in August. “Weather... Read more