MARKETS AND TRENDS

Newer, bigger and better varieties that have extended the California grape season are key to its success, according to many different members of the industry recently interviewed by The Produce News. “Autumn King, which is a good green seedless; Scarlet Royal, which is a good red seedless; and Autumn Royal, which is a black grape, are later in the deal and really... Read more
Producers poised to move onions from Pacific Northwest
Northwest Farm Credit Services has released its Onions Market Snapshot, which provides some insights about the coming 2015 onion crop from the Pacific Northwest. The association said that Northwest onion producers may face a more positive new crop marketplace, with key drivers including the following: Flat to lower acreage. Northwest onion acres are estimated... Read more
The 2015 Michigan apple crop “will be very similar in size to last year with a change in varietal mix,” said Don Armock, who is a partner and the president of Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc., based in Sparta, MI. The Michigan apple crop of 2012 was eliminated by a springtime freeze. Michigan’s apple trees made a huge rebound with a very large 2013 crop. Then,... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its final tally for the 2014-15 Florida orange crop at 96.7 million boxes. The figure represents a slight increase from the June estimate. "It's nice to have a bit of stability on this final number from the USDA," Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said... Read more
Brutally cold winter perfectly wonderful for New Jersey peaches
Few will forget the nearly unrelenting past winter that delivered storm after storm across the Northeast. For some, however, those frigid temperatures were a blessing, notably the New Jersey peach crop. Pegi Adam, director of communications for the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, told The Produce News that the cold put the trees into a sound dormant stage,... Read more
California pear crop for 2015 anticipated at 170,197 tons
Volume estimates released by the California Pear Advisory Board on June 12 show that the state’s fresh pear volume is expected to be down when compared to the last crop year. According to the report, California fresh pear producers are expected to move approximately 2.894 million 36-pound boxes this season, a decrease of 6 percent compared to 2014. The total... Read more
2015 Jersey peach season  continues a 400-year tradition
For 400 years, New Jersey family farmers have been growing peaches, making Jersey Fresh peaches the original locally grown fruit. The best peaches are grown next door to our markets and have a definitive advantage in that Jersey Fresh peaches can be picked closer to full tree ripeness, providing a high sugar-acid ratio making for a better quality and taste. New... Read more
SLV potato acreage down slightly but crop looks good
Like nearly every other crop region in Colorado, the San Luis Valley had more precipitation in May than it had in months, and Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee in Monte Vista, said this year’s crop is looking good. “In fact, we got more rain in May than we ever have,” Ehrlich said. “The river is very high, and it’s... Read more
Good growing conditions launch Michigan produce deal
The springtime brought good growing conditions for Michigan’s produce industry. The Michigan deal started four days earlier than a year ago, and the outlook going into July is great, said Loren Buurma, a partner in the Willard, OH-based Buurma Farms Inc. Talbert Nething, the sales manager of Van Solkema Produce Inc., based in Byron Center, MI, said his firm... Read more
Summer citrus variety demand follows North American consumer trends
The demand for sweet and easy-peel citrus with no or few seeds is apparent when one considers the varieties currently being imported for the summer months. While there are exceptions, such as the continued demand for traditional oranges and lemons, U.S. distributors report that the demand for clementines, Mandarins and Minneolas and other sweet and easy-peel... Read more
Blues gaining rock star status in Pacific Northwest
Signs point to a bright future for blueberry production in the Pacific Northwest. Looking forward, Alan Schreiber, administrator of the Washington Blueberry Commission, said, “Production will continue to climb, both conventional and organic, both processing and fresh. I see the West Coast of North America dominating the blueberry market in the next five to 10... Read more
Mexican grape deal coming to an early end
Except for Red Globes, the Mexican grape deal will finish by the end of June, according to Jerry Havel, director of sales and marketing for Fresh Farms, based in Rio Rico, AZ. “The California grape deal is a little early and we are finishing a little early, so the timing is about perfect,” Havel said June 16. “The deal was good for us, the market was good and... Read more
LIMA, Peru — Since gaining access to the U.S. market four years ago, Peruvian avocados have made great strides in becoming an important source of the popular fruit. “That first year it was a very humble beginning, with 32 million pounds,” said Xavier Equihua, president and chief executive officer of the Peruvian Avocado Commission, which is part of the federal... Read more
San Joaquin Valley onion growers infusing national onion pipeline
On June 5, information in the National Potato and Onion Report was updated with data from the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The following data were provided regarding the 2015 onion season in California’s San Joaquin Valley. According to the report, demand for yellow mediums was moderate, and demand for other varieties... Read more
New Jersey blueberries expected to arrive the week of June 15
As millions of people along the East Coast shivered their way through a cold and brutal winter, blueberry bushes throughout Southern New Jersey enjoyed a long and deep slumber. The winter of 2015 was devoid of any temperature spikes that would have interrupted the blueberry plant’s dormant stage, and consequently, the region received the perfect amount of chill... Read more
2015 Jersey Fresh produce season under way with good quantities of high-quality crops
The 2015 Jersey Fresh produce season is underway and should be highlighted by good quantities of high-quality produce. According to the New Jersey state climatologist, this winter was a cold and snowy season with below-average temperatures. March temperatures averaged 35.8 degrees, which is 5.3 degrees below normal and ranks as the 14th coldest winter since 1895.... Read more
Mexican mango crop could be record breaker
All indications are that the 2015 spring-summer mango season is shaping up to be a record breaker. The short supplies of 2014 are long forgotten as suppliers are reporting a flood of mangos in the marketplace and unbelievable volumes shipping each week. The Mexican season began at the end of January and will run until September with a projection of approximately... Read more
With some warmer weather in the forecast as California steamed toward early June, vegetable supplies might start to pick up, which could mean more predictability in the marketplace. Though that could be the case, some are not so quick to concede that, as predictability has been the enemy for the past few months. Mark McBride, who sits on the sales desk for... Read more
Northwest cherries up to two weeks early
For the most part, Mother Nature has cherry picked just the kind of conditions that growers in the Pacific Northwest need to produce the quality cherry crop the region is known for. In 2015, these conditions will translate to good volume, impressive size and high quality. Some shift in the marketing window for Rainier cherries, whose popularity continues to... Read more
Large mango volume an opportunity for retailer promotions
The National Mango Board is encouraging retailers and suppliers to act quickly to move more mangos due to the higher-than-normal import volume. This year’s mango volume has already seen weekly shipments of more than 4 million boxes, an 18 percent increase compared to the largest week in 2014.  Volumes are expected to remain steady through Q2 of 2015. Mexican... Read more