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MARKETS AND TRENDS

The Peruvian sweet onion is characterized by a having a very mild flavor and good shelf life, and it comes at the perfect time for most, when the Vidalia program is just winding down. Some U.S. companies have partnered with local growers while others have invested in infrastructure and control their own crop. Miguel Ognio Gomez, chief executive office of KeyPeru,... Read more
Tight avocado supplies to continue through summer
The demand exceeds supply situation that has defined the avocado market continuously since late spring of 2016 is expected to continue through the summer before loosening up this fall. Interviews with several grower-shippers revealed the same facts. Production from California and Peru will be winding down to a trickle by the end of August and Mexico is not expected... Read more
What to expect from California apples
While the California apple deal is just a blip in the industry when you consider that the state of Washington harvests more of the fruit in a week than the Golden State does over the course of a year, Alexander Ott, executive director of the California Apple Commission, noted apples from his state couldn’t be fresher since once they are harvested, the industry... Read more
‘It’s shaping up to be a good year’ for Washington potatoes
Last winter’s heavy snowfall and a wet 2017 spring put Washington potato growers in the fields later than the 2016 season, but reports from the Washington State Potato Commission indicate a good crop is coming in. Chris Voigt, executive director of the Moses Lake, WA-headquartered organization, told The Produce News on July 25 all signs are positive. “We... Read more
Florida orange production is projected to come in at 68.7 million boxes this year, down nearly 30 percent from the 2014-15 crop. The 2015-16 Florida orange crop comprised 81.5 million boxes, a 16 percent decrease from the 2014-15 crop of 96.8 million boxes of oranges. While there has been a sharp decrease in production, the latest forecast increased slightly... Read more
Inferno-type weather hit California in late June with temperatures as high as 122 degrees scorching the Coachella Valley, and temperatures near 110 degrees visiting the San Joaquin Valley. The result was a drop in July grape production from Coachella and a slow start to the San Joaquin Valley deal. “The high temperatures have played havoc with color and... Read more
Big things expected for California pears
At the end of June the California Pear Advisory Board, located in Sacramento, CA, released estimates that this year’s California pear crop will come in at around 3.27 million 36-pound boxes, an increase of 36 percent from last year’s 2.4 million. This impressive increase can be attributed to more favorable weather in just about all the growing districts,... Read more
As the summer solstice hit on June 21, California’s weather heated up with record temperatures noted in many different communities. At the same time, the market for red potatoes also heated up and a strong market is expected throughout July. Gary Askenaizer, who handles bulk potato sales for Progressive Produce Corp. in Los Angeles, told The Produce News... Read more
Garlic producers upbeat about domestic garlic crop
Hopes were high for the 2016 domestic garlic crop as it followed a 2015 crop that saw numerous El Niño-related weather events, from floods to droughts to tornados, which wreaked havoc on many garlic fields. Unfortunately, the 2016 crop was also down by 15-20 percent of normal, also due to inclement weather condition. Domestic garlic producers tend to... Read more
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Market Specialist, Butch Nottingham, told The Produce News that the Eastern Shore’s potato harvest would be earlier than normal this year. “The Eastern Shore has enjoyed ideal weather, and it’s warmer than it was this time last year,” Nottingham said. “By June 20, all sheds... Read more
Tomato market settles in as supplies start to increase
With the California mature green deal not expected to start until the week of June 19 and rain continuing to pepper the Southeast, in early June the tomato market was fairly strong and it is expected to last at least throughout the month. “We have a very good market right now for everyone involved,” said Joe Bernardi on June 6. “At the current... Read more
For the past couple of weeks, tomato prices have been rising as supplies from Mexico and Florida decline. But as the price hit $20 per carton for some sizes and varieties, demand has waned. "As supplies dwindle, the price goes up and that tends to lessen demand, just as it is supposed to," Joe Bernardi told The Produce News May 26. "I expect it to continue to... Read more
Other than a mild February, which forced apricots and some plum varieties to bloom early, most New Jersey peaches experienced a cool and relatively normal winter, with growers expecting a large crop in 2017. "While our peaches and nectarines bloomed about 10 days early, we have not had sub-freezing temperatures to injure peach flowers and fruit," said Santo... Read more
Today, May 18, shippers throughout California are getting $52-$56 per carton on any size celery that they can ship, and the expectation is that this strong market will continue for at least four more weeks. Russell Widerburg, sales manager for Boskovich Farms Inc. in Oxnard, CA, said the market has been strong since early April and he sees no chance for change... Read more
With a bit less acreage than last year and an expected rain-related supply gap in late May, the new crop of potatoes from Kern County in California should have a relatively strong marketing position even as they hit their peak in June. The season typically lasts around two months beginning in late April or early May. This year, the first potatoes were dug and... Read more
California stone fruit on target for good season
California does not appear to have an especially big crop of stone fruits this year, and combined with production problems in the Southeast, that very well could make for a tighter-than-usual marketing situation. It has been reported that 90 percent of the South Carolina peach crop was destroyed by a devastating freeze, and other production areas in the Southeast... Read more
The number of potato acres that will be planted in North Dakota in 2017 is more difficult to project than in most years as several factors figure into making it the tough call. “Coming off a difficult year when 30 percent of the fresh crop was lost to over-land flooding, the fresh potato landscape looks much different this spring,” Ted Kreis, marketing... Read more
Texas onion deal should have strong finish
The Texas sweet onion deal hasn’t gotten started yet but it appears to be poised for a very good second half. Acreage is down an estimated 10 percent and the crop is trending two weeks to three weeks early, with a mid-March start expected. That could mean that by mid- to late April, supplies will be short and a very good market could be the result. Don... Read more
Consumers in northern Europe are seeing extremely limited availability of a number of vegetables, according to a Feb. 8 story in The Wall Street Journal. The shortages started in December, when severe flooding and snow hit Spain’s Murcia region along the Mediterranean Sea, damaging crops and preventing farmers from planting. Spain is the primary source... Read more
After a three-year trend of declining acreage, the California Strawberry Commission Acreage Survey for 2017 showed that, at least for this year, the trend for decreased acreage has abated, with an estimate of a bit more than 36,000, on par with 2016 numbers. The acreage report is published two times annually with acreage information voluntarily provided by California... Read more