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Fresh from the Field

This week’s fresh update

October 16, 2018 | Volume 5, Issue 46

Conventional Vegetables

Peru and Mexico volumes are increasing and there is sufficient volume coming from all open growing regions as well. Overall product quality is good. Promote NOW and in the coming weeks!

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Mexican product is still a few weeks out. California bells are available, but volume has decreased slightly while ramping up for the supply transition to Mexico.
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Broccoli & Cauliflower

John.Tillman@robinsonfresh.com

Broccoli – Supply is scattered throughout California, with some shippers reporting heavy volume and others in shortage. The Indianapolis crop is steady. Georgia should start in the next few weeks.
Cauliflower – California supply is steady and there are no major shifts projected in the near future. Mexican supply is limited.

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Markets remain tight across all loading regions as demand exceeds supply. Midwest deals have finished up much earlier than expected due to excessive rain. Later plantings in cooler temperatures have decreased product quality to some extent. We expect the market to remain tight until Southeast product is ready to harvest around November 10th.

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Celery off the west coast remains excellent with quality reports showing nice green color, crisp texture and clean overall appearance. Most growers in California have promotable volume available and there are some deals on the larger end of the sizing spectrum. Salinas, Santa Maria and Oxnard are the primary loading locations off the west coast.
*updated 10/2/18

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No major market changes this week. We are seeing good volumes out of northern Mexico, but due to tropical storm Sergio, there will be minor quality issues.

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Georgia greens were minimally impacted by Hurricane Michael. Supply should be steady for the coming weeks on all varieties.
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With the relatively mild weather over the last week, iceberg lettuce quality is excellent and supply has stabilized. Quality reports show large frame heads with occasional misshaping. There are still some reports of mildew and light color due to harvesters removing mildew affected outer caps leaves. Weather forecasts call for near-normal temperature ranges and the possibility of showers on Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Salinas and Santa Maria are the primary shipping points for iceberg lettuce off the west coast.

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Weather forecasts for this week call for colder temperatures and soil temperatures have just begun to drop which will slow growth. Romaine supply should meet demand this week, although decreasing yields and less overall acreage planted could lead to possible shortages over the next few weeks. Close trim, mixed sizing and occasional seeders are reported. Demand for green leaf continues to be strong this week while red leaf is near normal levels. Salinas and Santa Maria are the primary shipping points for leaf lettuces off the west coast.

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Russet Potatoes.
Idaho had a large crop and has been dealing on all sizes for several weeks with FOB prices dropping nearly 50%. However, overall planted acreage of russets is down nationwide (including Canada), which should firm up pricing once all regions have harvested. Look for Northern Canada to finish harvesting by early November. Colorado’s crop is seeing a large percentage of their harvest come out as big potatoes (40 count-60 count). Deals can be found on large size carton packs.
Red Potatoes.
Most regions have finished harvesting the round red potatoes, with the exception of Wisconsin which saw excessive rains which put a large portion of acreage underwater. We’re waiting to hear final reports of any loss of acreage which would affect pricing.
Yellow Potatoes.
Prices are a bit higher than normal in all areas due more to demand than light supply. Prices should come down by late October as additional fields are harvested. This will continue to be a firm market overall as this variety leads consumer purchasing decisions nationwide.
Specialty Potatoes.
Albert Bartlett Rooster potatoes are available in both Washington and Colorado, with Canadian regions harvesting in a couple weeks. Initial sizing is on the low end of the USDA A-size, but will size-up as harvests are completed. Washington has the highest quality and price, while Colorado quality is very good, and pricing is in-line with the round red market. Albert Bartlett Perfect Potatoes look to be ready to ship October 15th (Patterson, CA). Pricing is likely more attractive to Western receivers, and is available in 1lb trays, 1.5 lb pouches, and 5 lb bags. We should also have this product available from Prince Edward Island, CN by early November.

*updated 10/9/18

Good supply coming out of northern Mexico. Market pricing has been on a steady rise. Tropical storm Sergio has affected some production and short term problems will include quality.

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Hurricane Michael did considerable damage to sweet corn. Many of the fields are laid over and it is doubtful that they will stand back up as they sometimes do after a storm. California has small volumes of white corn, and Florida will not start until mid-November. It could be a very tight market until then.

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Conventional Fruits

Washington- A new October 1st storage report came out showing an 11% reduced crop compared to the August 1 apple estimate. A couple notables; Reds and grannies show a much smaller crop than originally estimated. Fujis also show 14% less than the August 1st report. We will see prices firm up as the season progresses.

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Mexico
Mexico inbound volumes reported on the Hass Avocado Boards came in just under 1,000 loads. This week is projected to consist of over 750 loads of avocados crossing into the United States (Hass Avocado Board). Sizing is expected to be heavy on 48’s and 60’s. Transit temperatures range 40-42 degrees.
California
California supply came in at 50 loads harvested. There are only a few growers in northern region of California that are currently harvesting.
Peru
Under 50 loads were received into the United States last week as projected by Hass Avocado Board. The Peruvian supply is wrapping up for the season. We should expect to see first arrivals of next season in the spring of 2019.
Chile
Under 100 loads were received last week. 100 – 150 loads are anticipated to be received this week according to Hass Avocado Board. Load volume is available and the size curve is mainly 40’s, 50’s.
Colombia

Sporadic shipments are being made to the United States west coast.

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Blueberry supply is starting to open up a bit as more fruit is coming up from Argentina and Peru. Some of this is due to lower expected orders from PMA this weekend, as well as with an increase in production.
Blackberries continue with heavy promotional volumes for October!!! Quality is fair-to-good as both blackberries and raspberries continue to recover from the heavy rains last week.
Mexican Raspberries continue to cross steadily from Mexico as well with promotable supplies. Please reach out if you have any mix berry need, we appreciate your support and business!

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Cantaloupe demand exceeds supply and the market has risen drastically. The Mendota area will be finished by next week and recent rains in Phoenix have slowed production out of Central Arizona. Look for light supplies to prevail in the short term and for the market to remain strong.

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Update on California 2018-2019 season
The California navels Cass estimate came out last week and looks like about 77 million carton of navels for the 2018-2019 season. The navels are looking pretty green still, but over the past 7 days we have had some great weather and the cool nights are helping with color break. The size structure was looking pretty small with all the heat we had, but the cool temps have helped the fruit to start growing again. The size structure is looking like 113, 88, 138, 72 to start the season and most shippers are starting with the Fukumoto variety.
Update on California Valencia’s Crop
The California Valencia season is about 83% harvested and demand has picked up because of schools starting up again. Most shippers have ramped up harvest of Valencia’s hoping to get as much harvest done before the navels start. The fruit is still at about 72 to 84 hrs. of gas time. The size structure is 88, 72, 113, 138, 56 and the eating quality is great. Brix readings around 14.0 to 16.0 and the fruit condition on Valencia’s is still pliable.
Update on D-3 Lemon Crop
The D-3 lemon season harvest has started to increase every week. The gas time is about 84 hours and size structure is running 115, 140, 95, 165. The weather has not been kind to the D-3 lemons. It is still very hot right now with temperatures in 105 plus during the day and mid 70 degrees at night. These temps do not help color up fruit so gas duration will be long. The quality of the lemons has been great and the eating quality excellent.
Update on California Grapefruit
The California grapefruit season is 94% harvested and the demand for grapefruit has been strong. We are seeing changes in condition of the fruit because of hot temperatures, the fruit is getting pliable, but eating quality is still great. The size structure of the grapefruit is 48, 40, 36, 56, 32 and brix around 14.5 to 15.0.
Update on Chilean Lemons
The Chilean lemon season is starting to wrap up with only a few containers of lemons that arrived last week. The quality and condition of fruit is holding up well. The lemons are still in very good condition and are firm and solid, but we starting to see a little more decay in the last arrivals and having to repack most of the lots to make sure to get good arrivals to the customers. The size structure on lemons is 140, 165, 115, 95.
Update Chile Navels
The Chilean navel shipment from Chile to the US has slowed down and is near the end. There are still plenty of navels around, but shipments are getting less and less every week. Looks like week 40 will be the last shipment from Chile to the US. We should have Chilean navels until right when the California navel season begins. The quality has been good with a few minor issues, but we are repacking fruit to assure we make good arrivals to our customers. The size structure is starting to change with most of varieties coming in are Washington’s and Late Lanes. The size structure right now is 72, 88, 64, 56 and seeing less 113s. The grade defects on the Chilean navels is scar, mechanical injuries and sun burn.
Update Mexico Lemons
The Mexico lemon season has already started with some growers starting to bring lemons into Texas. The Mexico growers are very anxious to start shipping fruit into the US because of the great demand and high prices. The Mexico lemons are taking about 72 hours of gas time. Reports out Mexico is that fruit is very small with 200, 165, 235 and not much big fruit available, but should be of good quality.
*Updated 9/11

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Grape harvest out of the Central Valley is in full swing, with a plethora of both red and green seedless varieties still available. Scarlett Royals will remain the dominant red variety over the next few months, with Magenta, Krissy, Passion Fire, Timco and Sweet Celebrations varieties also available in smaller volumes. In regards to green seedless grapes, we will see the large late season Autumn King variety continue to be harvested in greater numbers each week. Outside of the Autumn King, the Pristine, Stella Bella and Princess varieties will also be harvested with good volume. Black seedless grapes have transitioned to Autumn Royals, with availability on seeded globe grapes that should increase through the month. Organic red, green and black grapes will also remain available in all colors for the next 4-6 weeks to complete the grape category. We are now in the heart of the California grape season, and promotable volume will remain available for the next 2-3 months, with quality and sizing expected to remain outstanding.

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Supply and demand is steady. Honeydews are peaking on larger sized fruit, J5s and 5s, with lighter supplies on 6s. Overall quality is very good with good sugar levels. Nogales has begun as several shippers are crossing dews out of Northern Mexico.

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Our limes are grown in eastern Mexico, and the current crop shows excellent quality with good green color. Sizing is currently peaking on 230s with very good supplies of 200s. There is fairly good availability on 175s while 110s and 150s remain very light. With recent rains in the regions we see better size profile in the next 2 weeks.
*Updated 9/18

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Mangos are currently arriving from Brazil and the first containers of Ecuador are beginning to arrive as well. The Brazilian mangos are peaking on 9’s and 10’s and showing good overall quality. The Ecuadorian fruit is peaking on 12’s and 10’s and also showing a good overall appearance. The volume of Brazilian mangos is now at the peak for the season, which will continue for the next 3 to 4 weeks before volume starts dropping. The Ecuadorian volume is still very limited but will be increasing in the next 3 week. Look for peak production during November.

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High volume of papayas with additional acreage being harvested. The weather in growing regions is ideal for growth and harvesting with warm days and cooler nights. Current volume is 12 loads per week with an anticipated 14 loads per week by mid-month. Sizing is distributed fairly evenly between 8s, 9s, and 12s. Additional sales are needed to keep up with the supplies. Promotions are welcomed and this is a good time to start thinking about holiday ads.

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Pears – California is in cleanup mode on pears. Plenty of promotable volumes for all Washington Pears. According to the NW pear Bureau, consumers buying 74% of USA pears are 25-45 years old, with the majority under 34.

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Pineapple

Pineapple (Offshore)
Gustavo.Lora@robinsonfresh.com

Heavy rain predicted the week. Some flooding has occurred in the Pacific region with roadway damage reported. The Union strike is winding down with almost all syndicates returning to work last week. The government is confident that the new Tax reform will be voted favorably. Yields continue to improve with tighter supply around 7s and 8s. Quality is reported as good, shell color at 0.5 – 1.00 and solid 14+ brixs reported at all our farms. USDA updated the crossing report with a significant increase showing for week 40 at 820 loads vs week 39 at 650 loads for Costa Rica inbounds. USDA is reporting fairly light demand.

Pineapple (Mexican)
Jiovani.Guevara@robinsonfresh.com

High temperatures in Isla, Veracruz are forecasted to be in the low 80’s with high chance of rain during the week. Please check with CM/CS before committing volume, volume from Mexico is increasing weekly. At the time 70% of our fruit is arriving between 6 and 7ct followed by 8ct with limited supplies of 5ct. Quality is reported as good, shell color at 0.5 – 1.00 and brix over 13%. Market conditions are a little weaker than what we have seen in the last 2-3 weeks and demand is stable. Supplies from Mexico will be increasing week after week and continue without interruptions until May/June 2019. Demand for Mexican pineapples is GOOD on all sizes, with moderate inventories on all sizes in the marketplace.

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As Salinas/Watsonville winds down for the season, more buyers are looking for new crop fruit in the Santa Maria and Oxnard growing areas, which causes markets to firm up. Salinas/Watsonville is forecasted for mostly sunny skies, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Santa Maria, California growing areas should see sunny skies, with highs in the 70s increasing to the 80s on Friday and lows in the 50s. Salinas/Watsonville fruit has occasional bruising, white shoulder, overripe and decay with an average count of 24 to 26, occasional smaller. Santa Maria fruit has occasional bruising, soft shoulder, misshapen and overripe. The average count is 20 to 24, occasional smaller.

Supplies are a little tight on seedless. Tropical storm Sergio slowed production in Sonora, Mexico. Crossings are going to be light this week in Edinburg, Texas and Nogales Arizona. South Carolina and Florida will have limited supplies. There are more 60ct around. Minis are tight as well until northern Mexico picks up volume in the next week two weeks after the rain.

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Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Washington state is looking to set a record crop of organic apples this fall. Volume looks to be up 30% from last year. We are expecting excellent quality as this summer has had ideal growing conditions in Washington.
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Organic Consolidation

Bob.Stone@chrobinson.com

The days continue to shorten yet the fields are still producing strongly in the Central and Salinas Valleys. There is plenty of product but it is getting spread further and further apart with each passing day as the growers focus in on what they do best and the inevitability of end of season insect infestation takes hold. One needs to purchase product with an eye towards these facts in order to insure that the best product is procured. Here at the LASC sourcing office we take great pride in reaching out to as many growers as possible to properly fill our customers’ needs. At the LASC, we can not only find you the best organic buys out there, we can come to your aid by consolidating your order into one easy PO which you can pick up FOB, if you have minimal pickups, or we can bring it into the LASC. The LASC can receive your product, store it in our 6 climate controlled storage areas, organize the order, and load it on your outbound truck for minimal cost and none of the headaches that go with multi pick loads at this time of year. Additionally the product that we have to ship direct from the LASC is replenished on a steady basis. We have now added organic carrots to the mix of product which you can load at the LASC, along with organic potatoes, instead of having to load at the farms in the Northwest and/or Colorado. Allow the sourcing/consolidation team at the LASC to take on the job of getting everything you need in a timely fashion so that you are able to have complete representation of the continually growing, profit driving, and customer attracting organic bounty in your businesses.

Organic Dry Vegetables

John.Pursel@robinsonfresh.com

Organic green and yellow squash are now available loading out of Georgia. Green bell peppers will start by the end of next week. Minimal product is starting to cross in Nogales as well.

Organic lemons are in high demand with pricing continuing to increase. Peak sizing is on the 140/165 count with most of the demand on 165/200 count. Eating quality is great with minimal quality issues.
*Updated 8/14/18
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Organic minis supply should continue out of Nogales, Arizona after the rain.

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The new crop of red onions are now available in Hollister, California. The crop is peaking with Jumbo followed by Medium with stickers in the box. Ask for promotional opportunities. Shallots have just started but are limited. Pack sizes available are 20lb box and 4×5 sack.
*Updated 10/2/18

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Organic Oranges

Tom.Ashcroft@chrobinson.com

Organic oranges are in very limited supply right now. Valencias will finish up within the week and pricing is high. Peak sizing is small on the 72/88ct size. Quality has been fair with minimal issues. Organic navels are expected to start at the end of October.
*Updated 9/25/18

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Domestic organic Bartletts, D’anjou and Bosc have started and quality is excellent. The crop looks significantly larger than last year.

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Organic Russets: Organic Russet potatoes are in full swing now out of Center Colorado. Quality is looking very nice right now as we are packing Norkotahs. Sizing is ideal for 3# and 5# bags and there are a few cartons available in the 80ct & 90ct sizes.
Organic Red & Yellow Potatoes: Organic Red potatoes like the russets are looking good. Skins have set well now are we are seeing very little skinning during packing. Market remains good as we see demand remaining strong. Organic Yellow potatoes are still on the tight side going into this week and next. Most yellows out of Colorado are still going through their sweat right now keeping this market strong on price.
Organic Rooster Potatoes: Organic Rooster Potatoes have gone through the sweat and are now available out of Center Colorado. This great eating potato is ideal for promotions going into the holidays.
Organic Fingerling Potatoes: Organic Fingerling potatoes are looking very good out of Colorado and we are currently packing Chef Blend, Russian Banana, and French Fingerlings. We also have inventory available at our facility in San Bernardino California.

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Lighter supply out of Mexico. Northern California producing steady volume. Quality has been fair to good. Market prices on the rise on Mexican product and California pricing holding same from the previous week.

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Organic Sweet Potatoes

Chris.Lemmon@robinsonfresh.com

Organic sweet potatoes are currently shipping from the new crop out of California. Skin sets are looking great on all sizes available. Our pack sizes available are 2 lb – 10lb bags, Mediums, US#1 and Jumbos.

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Transportation

Capacity and rates are stable for loads with lead time.

Northeast: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Northeast
Southeast: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Southeast
Midwest: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in Midwest
South: Recommend 24-48 hours lead-time in South Texas
Northwest: Recommend 48 hours lead-time in Northwest
West: Recommended 24 hours lead-time in West
Benjamin.Thompson@chrobinson.com

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Fresh from the kitchen

TURNIP GREENS WITH POTATOES & MUSHROOMS

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Glory Foods Turnip Greens
  • 3/4 lb. redskin potatoes cooked and cut in quarters
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground

… More at Turnip Greens with Potatoes & Mushrooms

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