Spring rains result in downward estimate for Chilean cherries
A cold spring, occasional frosts and rains that have been both heavier and later than previous years have resulted in a revised estimate from the Chilean Cherry Committee. The committee, which represents 84 percent of the industry’s export volume, has released a new update and estimate based on field data and early shipments. As of Week 46, Chile has exported... Read more
 Florida orange crop estimate drops again
The U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its estimate of the 2015-16 Florida orange crop by 7.5 percent, or 6 million boxes, to 74 million boxes. The final 2014-15 Florida orange crop tallied 96.7 million boxes. The USDA dropped 3 million boxes off early-mid varieties, now pegging them at 37 million boxes and 3 million boxes off Valencias, which put that variety... Read more
Chilean citrus reaches new heights in 2015
With strong retail and consumer demand, Chile shipped nearly 204,000 tons of Navels, lemons and easy peelers (clementines and Mandarins) globally, with 165,000 tons, or 81 percent, coming to the United States and Canada between May and October. Total citrus exports from Chile climbed 30 percent over the previous season. Looking at global Chilean citrus export... Read more
ATLANTA — The Chilean fruit industry has seen challenges in recent years ranging from untimely freezes to strikes at shipping ports to a less-than-favorable exchange rate with its trading partners, which have in one way or another hampered its important fresh fruit exports. But this season officials are optimistic that the fresh fruit export season is shaping... Read more
Citrus industry at crossroads dealing with greening issues
Citrus greening disease has left Florida with its smallest crop of oranges in more than 50 years and is now threatening both Texas and California, as well as other parts of the world.   Joel Nelsen, president of California Citrus Mutual in Exeter, said the entire U.S. citrus industry is at a crossroads with the future of the industry on the line. Already... Read more
Mexican produce largely unscathed by Hurricane Patricia, with the exception of papayas
ATLANTA — Mexico’s produce industry dodged a bullet Oct. 23-24 when Hurricane Patricia dissipated upon landfall after fear that there would be widespread damage from the powerful Category 5 storm. Weather reports indicated that Patricia was one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded, with sustained winds of 200 mph. But the winds decreased to 165 mph... Read more
Western veg prices rising with tighter supplies expected in November
An early-October supply-exceeds-demand situation for Iceberg lettuce and other vegetable crops has righted itself and western grower-shippers are expecting shorter supplies and higher prices as the Thanksgiving holiday pull begins to materialize. Already on Oct. 14, cauliflower was selling in the high teens while broccoli was in the mid-teens and Iceberg lettuce... Read more
Weather wreaks havoc on Ontario’s apple crop
Consumers can expect fewer Ontario apples on the market this fall and it’s all due to unfavorable weather during this past growing season. A spring frost the night of May 22-23 that affected many of the province’s apple-growing regions is responsible for much of the decline in this year’s apple crop, which is estimated to be down about 50 percent from normal... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its initial 2015-16 Florida orange forecast, pegging the crop at 80 million boxes, down 17 percent from last season's total of 96.7 million boxes. The USDA estimated early to mid varieties at 40 million, down from 47.4 million at the end of last season, while the Valencia orange total is 40 million boxes compared to... Read more
Wisconsin seeing one of its best potato crops ever
“This is one of the best crops ever,” Tamas Houlihan was recently told by a potato grower-member of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association.  “He told me it was the best crop he’d ever seen. It is a beautiful crop. There are no problems in any aspect.” Houlihan, executive director of the Antigo-based association, said Wisconsin “yields... Read more
Markets expected to pick up as Red River Valley moves into potato harvesting season
“A very nice crop” is the simple description the Red River Valley’s 2015 red potato crop. Ted Kreis, marketing director of Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, said the potatoes coming from the red soil of the valley are “really good quality. We had plenty of rain this summer, which is a good thing.” Ninety percent of this crop will be harvested in October.... Read more
Imports may affect California kiwifruit prices
Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager at Stellar Distributing Inc. in Madera, CA, is concerned that kiwifruit imported from Chile and Italy may affect pricing for domestically produced fruit. Stellar is a year-round marketer of kiwifruit, and its California season runs from October through April 1. “We have a large oversupply in North America,” he stated.According... Read more
Torrential rains could push back start of Sonora deal
RIO RICO, AZ — A torrential rain storm struck vegetable fields in Sonora, Mexico, Sept. 20-22, with the largest volume of rain falling on fields near the Gulf of California, west of Hermosillo. Mexican produce distributors here indicate that the significance of the damage would not reveal itself until a week or 10 days after the storm in early October. Jerry... Read more
The California date industry is booming and production is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future as many new date palms have been planted in recent years. “We are increasing our volume significantly,” said D.J. Ryan, sales and operations manager of SunDate LLC, headquartered in Coachella, CA. SunDate is a partnership between the date growing... Read more
Wisconsin potato outlook is strong
“The crop is currently fantastic,” Mike Carter, the chief executive officer of Bushman’s Inc., said of Wisconsin’s potato crop on Aug. 19. “The size profile is excellent. We’ve had near-perfect growing conditions in the fields. It was a temperate summer. There was no long period of heat. The rains have been timely. It’s all positive.” Carter said that Wisconsin’s... Read more
Washington apple producers set to harvest third-largest crop
This season Washington's apple producers are slated to harvest their third-largest crop. According to the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, 125.2 million standard 40-pound boxes of fresh apples are expected to be harvested. While this would be down approximately 10.5 percent from the 2014 record crop of 140 million boxes, it is just behind the state's... Read more
Abnormal weather causes surge in Iceberg lettuce market
California is seemingly bereft of a normal weather pattern with this summer’s oddities leading to reduced yields of Iceberg and other lettuce varieties resulting in high prices, which may well stretch far into fall. “I don’t know if there is a normal anymore,” Mark McBride, a sales representative of Salinas, CA-based Coastline, said in mid-August. “I’m about... Read more
Pear movement resumes following Hwy. 20 closure
The California Fresh Fruit Association commended the California Department of Food and Agriculture for its efforts to reopen State Route 20, impacted by the devastating Rocky Fire. President Barry Bedwell spoke with The Produce News on Aug. 6 about the diversion of traffic to U.S. Hwy. 101, which had a decided effect on the movement of fresh pears from Lake County. “It’s... Read more
Chilean avocados on up cycle; more volume expected to U.S.
One of the challenges and wonders of most avocado trees is that they produce on somewhat of an alternate-year bases. A light crop one year is often followed by a much heavier one. “Fortunately for avocados from Chile, since last year was a light year, we expect much more fruit in the pipeline for 2015-16,” said Karen Brux, managing director North America of... Read more
Bill Brewer, executive director of the Oregon Potato Commission, said the industry is expecting fresh production this season to be comparable to 2014-15. “Oregon fresh production is 17 percent of total state production,” he told The Produce News. Fresh acreage, he added, is approximately 7,000 acres this season. As is true for other commodities, this season’s... Read more