Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fresh From The Farm Produce Market Update

June 23, 2010

The market has started slipping this week. Availability still varies amongst all the suppliers and this is what has made possible the gap in pricing. Most suppliers will agree that overall production has improved moderately over previous weeks. Warm weather and foggy mornings has caused for irregular growth patterns, expect mildew and burn to be seen regularly. Suppliers are cleaning up product as best they can, but it is still best to expect some defects upon arrival. Other quality issues include pink ribbing, discoloration, and mechanical damage.

The romaine market continues to be steady with good supplies and competitive pricing. Green leaf is softer as growers have ramped up production in Salinas. Mildew and tip burn are still seen upon arrival sporadically. This is due to warm temperatures, mixed in with past rains. We are still seeing red discoloration in all leaf items due to the previous rains that we had here in Salinas.

This market is being called stable for now but could change towards the tail end of this week. Some suppliers are experiencing gaps in production on both bunched product as well as crowns. Good weather continues to exist in all of the growing regions. Mexico supplies will be moderate throughout the week. The quality is expected to be strong throughout the week in all of the growing areas.

The cauliflower market is steady to start the week. Early forecasts indicate this commodity will be tighter in availability later in the week. Pricing will be stronger. Some suppliers continue to have better availability and this has caused variations among the different growers in respect to pricing. Planting gaps are likely in the near future with this commodity. Santa Maria and Salinas are the two big growing regions at this time.

California carrots are coming out of Bakersfield with good supplies. Yield and quality are good and there should not be any gaps for the next couple of months. Look for Michigan to kick off very soon.

This market is getting stronger on all sizes, although 24’s continue to have the best availability. Oxnard is starting to fall to the way side and will be finished by the end of June, leaving only Salinas to fill all demand. Overall, the quality has been nice with good weights.


Expect the market to rise. Good demand this week is being met with lighter supplies. This is mostly due to cool weather slowing down harvest numbers, and good demand for the 4th of July. Quality is good with a few fair lots. Supplies are still be harvested out of Santa Maria, Salinas and Watsonville. Some of the growers in Santa Maria have switch their fields to the freezer market due to the weak market conditions. Quality is best out of the Salinas and Watsonville growing areas at this time.
Supplies are peaking this week out of Salinas and Watsonville areas. Quality is good and the increased supplies are pushing the market down.
Supplies are mostly from Mexico this week as California is just getting started. Most of the Mexican supplies will stop crossing as this week moves on due to low fobs and quality starting to go down. California supplies are slowly building with good quality. The market has been weak, but may it firm up over the next week.
Supplies are good out of both the east and west coasts the start of this week. Quality is good with a steady market. New Jersey growers have started with limited volume this week. The main pack size on both coasts is pints with a few 6oz being packed.
Idaho is still heavy to the smaller counts and limited on the larger. The larger counts are still premium-priced and will be for the balance of the season although there some deals out there. The market for all counts is steady to slightly lower. Most packers are still asking for 2-3 days lead-time for large orders of the bigger sizes. The quality in Idaho has been mostly good but internal black-spot and peeper-sprouts have been seen in some lots. Washington is steady on all counts and followed Idaho up in price on 70’s and larger. They continue to peak on 70/80’s and still have excellent quality but are limited on the smaller
sizes and consumer bags. They expect to have storage product available through June. Colorado is also steady to slightly lower on the larger counts. Their quality is still mostly good and they expect to be shipping storage potatoes into late July or longer. Wisconsin is still packing but they are very limited as they are almost finished. New crop Russets were expected to start this week in California but cooler than normal weather has pushed them back two weeks. California shippers are still packing all red, white, and Yukon-golds and have good availability from the Bakersfield area with good quality on all colors. Arizona is also packing reds and golds and still has darker colored reds. Florida continues to pack a few
reds and yukons and has good quality but limited supplies as they will only ship for two more weeks. Alabama and North Carolina will begin packing at the end of June.

California and New Mexico continue packing all sizes, and colors of onions. The availability is generally lower in California especially on mediums and pre-packs, because cooler than desired temperatures have delayed their maturity. There are plenty of onions in the field they just aren’t quite ready for packing so expect changes soon. Once dry, warmer weather settles in for any stretch of time, they should come along quickly. New Mexico has better availability on jumbo and larger yellows. The red market is steady in New Mexico and lower in California due to supplies. Whites are lower in both areas due to light demand. The quality has been good in both areas and the size has been large on yellows and reds, while the whites are smaller and producing more mediums.

Two tiered market exist right now between California fruit and Mexican fruit with California fruit going at a premium price. The overall quality is excellent out of both areas with good size and excellent eating quality. The color on the flames is excellent as a result of cooler than normal nights which helps bring on the color and allows the fruit to finish itself. The sugarones are starting to pick up in volume in Mexico and California and we are starting to see some very nice finished fruit that is eating better each day. We expect plenty of fruit and we should have a smooth transition from Mexico and the California desert , into the Central California Valley which will take us through December on fruit.

Washington fruit is still mostly large and heavy to the higher grades in the reds, golds, and granny-smith varieties. The smaller counts and lower grades are still in short supply in all varieties and will remain so for the rest of the storage season. The markets on all three varieties are mostly steady but deals remain on 48, 56, and 64 size fruit. Gala’s and Fuji’s are the only two varietals left and the Galas are very limited. Cameos, Jonagolds, Honeycrisp, Braeburns, Pink Lady’s, and Romes are all finished. D’Anjou pear supplies are lighter again and the market is higher and strong as we near the end of the season. Most shippers only have large size US#1 grade fruit left and expect to have supplies for the next two weeks.
The quality has been good. Expect domestic pear prices to continue to climb until the end of the season. New-crop green and Red Bartlett pears will be available in late July from California.

MEXICO- Growers continues at a much slower pace as their season is nearing the end of this year’s crop.

CALIFORNIA – Growers continue to harvest good supplies, and demand is very good. Most of the California fruit is still small, but with the warming weather, the size is coming.


Market steady to strong as demand has been very good, overall quality is fair as they are experiencing some re-greening and having to gas the fruit about 24 hours to bring back the color. The fruit is eating excellent and has good juice content, but you will see some softer fruit due to the gassing. The 88’s and smaller are the toughest sizes due to us peaking on 72’s and 88’s and not getting an overwhelming amount of 113’s and 138’s. We are packing out 70-80% fancy and the balance choice which is keeping the choice shorter in supply. We will have plenty of fruit through the summer and will hopefully have fruit until we start navels around the first of November, weather will be the deciding factor.

Market is steady to strong with fairly tight supplies out of dist. 2, we are peaking on 115’s and 140’s which is keeping the smaller fruit tight, the overall quality is good to fair depending on the ranch. The juice content is excellent and you will see some fruit with a light green tinge. Expect the market to stay steady and possibly try and inch it’s way for the next few weeks until we start to see some Chilean arrivals which should help keep prices a more stable and possibly ease off. We expect dist.2 fruit along with Chilean until we start the dist. 3 fruit around the first of September.

Better supplies this week on smaller fruit, but larger fruit is shorter in supply.


Market is fairly steady with good volume coming out of Arizona and lighter volume out of the California region, Mexico is also crossing minimal numbers. The overall quality has been good with mostly a green to light straw cast and some fairly smooth netting. Sizes are peaking on 9’s and 12’s fruit. Expect the desert regions to start to lighten up on volumes in the next week or two and then we will see the market begin to strengthen due to a later than normal start out of the Westside deal around the second week of July.

Market is steady with supplies out of Mexico, California and Arizona. We are seeing lighter volume out of California and increasing volume out of Mexico and Arizona, we should see similar transitions to the Westside as we are seeing in the Cantaloupe. The overall quality has been very good with excellent sugar and firm fruit. The overall scarring has been heavier than we would like to see, but overall quality is good. We are peaking on 4’s and 5’s keeping the market on smaller fruit stronger.

Supplies are falling off on both seeded and seedless watermelon out of Mexico. Quality remains good. Domestic fruit will become more available the end of this week with better volume next week. Better supplies on seedless product with seeded watermelon in light supply. Prices are still at the bottom. The mini seedless are in better supply and quality is good.

Georgia still has a few cucumbers but the quality out of those regions is questionable. Farther to the north, there is better quality but they do not have volume yet. The market will be two tiered for the next couple of weeks as small windows of product pop up and die down just as quickly. Michigan/Ohio will be into volume in another 2-3 weeks which should even everything out.

Western Cucumber:
Mainland Mexico production is dropping in volume as they are ending their season. There will be limited production through the month. Baja production has slowed as some cooler weather is holding production back. Demand is very good.

Western Green Bells and Colored Bells:
Except for a handful of clean up picks this week the California desert is finished. Bakersfield harvest is limited in volume as growers are cleaning crown pick and peaking on extra large and jumbo size. Volume will still be 10 days out. The California desert crop for colored bells is going with good supplies of red, but some growers are starting to finish, so tighter supplies are coming. Yellow bells are tight as supplies begin to drop.

Eastern Bells:
Since Georgia is just about the only real volume region in the southeast and the West is in short supply we could be looking at a continued upward trend in the pepper market. Small areas in Tennessee and the Carolinas will pop up with pepper in the next week or two but until Michigan and Ohio are ready in August, pepper will continue to be a struggle and quality will fluctuate.

Western Squash:
Mainland Mexico has finished for the season. Baja has slowed due to cooler weather. Fresno has good production, but will move into their mid summer gap in 2 weeks and Santa Maria is going on Italian and will pick up volume over the next 2 weeks, and yellow is starting this week with light production.

Eastern Squash:
Michigan and Ohio are working squash this week. All other states to the south are still into squash but the market is all over the place, depending on where it is loading. Quality is better the farther North you go and by the beginning of next week, Georgia will no longer be an option and the market should even out.

Ruskin area of Florida has finished harvest for the season. Tomatoes continue to be harvested in Quincy, Florida as well as South Carolina and Arkansas. All of these growing areas are ahead of harvest schedules due to the heat incurred during the growth of the plant. The supply of tomatoes has significantly decreased compared to the levels that have been harvested over the last month. Overall size has decreased also as the end of the growing season in these areas approaches. These factors are pushing the market upward and look to remain higher for the next few weeks while we await the start of the next growing areas. California and Tennessee are expected to begin harvest around the 4th of July and Virginia around the 2nd week of July.

Roma and vine ripe tomatoes continue to be imported from Mexico. The crop that is crossing through Nogales is now finished, leaving product still crossing from Baja and through McAllen. These two areas will continue to have fruit through November. The quality remains good on these crops and markets are still trading at low levels. As some of the demand now shifts from the southeast to these areas, the markets will firm up on the Mexican product also.

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