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MARKETS AND TRENDS

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
Second wave of California figs brings more volume
The California fig season started strong with great sizing and quality. While bigger sizing brought optimism to retailers looking for a premium at checkout, a lack of volume kept figs from being promotable. The second season is also sizing well with the bonus of more volume, according to Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager for Stellar Distributing, based in Madera,... Read more
On July 6, the f.o.b. price on a carton of 48 size California avocados was as high as $56 with many different factors entered into that demand-exceeds-supply equation, which is expected to prevail through July. In this early July marketing period, among the many reasons for that very strong market were a history-making heat wave in California in June, Peru’s... Read more
Some fairly high temperatures in June were followed by lower-than-normal daily averages in early July causing California’s lettuce production to be light and prices high. The hot weather hit in mid-June, causing some quality issues as well as lighter heads resulting in less yields by the end of the month. The market began to tighten the last week of June... Read more
From potatoes to tomatoes the North Carolina summer produce season is in full swing with ample volume and great quality across a variety of crops. In fact, one could say North Carolina is in the midst of a perfect summer produce season. With tomatoes, potatoes, beans, squash, corn, sweet potatoes, watermelons, cantaloupe and greens all coming into full flush,... Read more
Farmers in the Garden State have been growing peaches since the early 1600s. This proud heritage has been providing ripe locally grown peaches long before Jersey Fresh or “food miles” ever came along. Today, Jersey Fresh peaches are grown within 250 miles of 45 million consumers. This is significant because peaches grown closer to their market have... Read more
Strong summer citrus season expected in 2016
Southern Hemisphere citrus continues to increase in the United States as consumers are becoming more accustomed to purchasing citrus year-round and the quality and taste continue to improve. Kathy Hearl, marketing promotions manager for DNE World Fruit LLC, headquartered in Fort Pierce, FL, said that as Navel oranges, minneolas and clementines all increase in... Read more
Garlic industry on the rebound from El Niño year
Following a year that saw all kinds of El Niño-related weather events — from floods to droughts to tornados — that wreaked havoc on a number of crops, members of the U.S. garlic industry are anxious to move forward with more predictable weather and production. “Harvest has begun and the crop is looking much better than last year,”... Read more
Mother Nature was kind to Michigan’s produce industry this spring. Approaching the first days of summer, vegetable growers reported a bright outlook for all crops. The fruit industry, of course, also benefited from great weather. Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc., a fruit grower-packer-shipper in Sparta, MI, reported, “Pollination, with the help of... Read more
This may be the one time having the blues is healthy for you. Sweet, succulent and juicy. Blueberries from the Pacific Northwest are nature’s answer to what may ail you. The region’s blueberry harvest is already under way, and Oregon and Washington are fully prepared to meet ever-growing consumer demand for this perfect superfruit. Bryan Ostlund,... Read more
With temperatures expected to reach as high as 126 degrees today, Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella, CA, is keeping its workers out of the fields. “It’s just too hot. It’s dangerous,” said John Burton, the firm’s general manager. He said it is expected to be 10 degrees cooler on Tuesday. “We’ll send the crews out at daybreak... Read more
California grape production continues to set the bar high
Fresh grape production in California continues to supply global consumers with a premium standard that has set the bar high. Looking at production during 2015, Barry Bedwell, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association told The Produce News, “We had 110.5 million boxes of grapes.” This bodes well for an industry, which set a record for 2014... Read more