view current print edition




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
Mushroom production growth continues to increase as a result of a strong industry focus on increasing the conversation and promotion around the uses and benefits of adding fresh mushrooms to the everyday diet for consumers.  According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service production report, the value of domestic mushroom production jumped... Read more
NY Apple Association ‘knocking on applewood’ for 2016 crop outlook
New York Apple Association’s board of directors met by telephone the end of July to discuss the status of the 2016 crop. NYAA President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Allen said while Mother Nature hasn’t been kind to every grower in the state this season, the New York state picture is framing up quite well.New York’s 2016 apple crop in bloom. “Some... Read more
Pennsylvania expects 2016 apple crop to be in range of its five-year average
A commodity marketing program, the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program is funded by apple growers and governed by a board of directors comprised of growers from various regions of the state and a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Julie Bancroft, executive director of PAMP, which is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, said the anticipated... Read more
2016 could bring Michigan’s largest fresh apple crop
Michigan apple growers this fall may produce their largest-ever fresh-market apple crop. While the state’s apple industry is rooted in the processed food business, Michigan growers increasingly planted fresh-market varieties over the last decade. As process trees aged and consumers demanded fresh foods, new, high-quality, flavorful varieties filled the... Read more
September could see promotional avocado volume
This has been a very interesting and unprecedented year for avocado prices as they dipped very low during the spring but have been riding high on the wave throughout the summer. August appears to be a relatively tight month, but September should bring promotable volumes of fruit and lower pricing as well. “It could start in August,” said Dana Thomas,... Read more
California apple producers set to have a great year
In 2016, California’s apple producers are expected to market 1.75 million boxes of apples, an increase from the previous season’s volume of 1.5 million boxes. “Everything is shaping up well,” said Alexander Ott, executive director of the California Apple Commission. “We are starting to see some plantings come online. The quality... Read more
Tomato suppliers expecting normal August intervention
While California, Florida and several Mexican regions provide this nation with the vast majority of its tomatoes throughout the year, the supply picture is altered a bit during the summer months. In fact, every state in the nation produces some tomatoes on an annual basis and about two dozen have a commercial tomato industry. Summer is the time most of those... Read more
Chilean avocado crop larger, but limited U.S. supplies expected
Over the past several years, Chile’s domestic market plus strong demand in Europe has greatly limited the exporting of that nation’s Hass avocado crop to the United States. While this year’s crop is predicted to be up about 10 percent, exports to the United States are not expected to grow tremendously, but there could be some marketing opportunities... Read more