Stay informed on how the weather and other conditions across the country and the globe affect the quality, availability, and price of you fresh fruits and vegetables.
The big question is what will Tropical Storm Franklin do to the growing regions of Mexico. If there is significant rainfall, the short term impact will be from increased demand on supplies of broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, and iceberg out of California. Delayed harvesting would force us to make adjustments to move out to California with not only value added items but core row crop commodities as well. Currently supplies are plentiful and the markets are competitive in California. But that can change very quickly with any disruption from Mexico.
Mexico's summer crop is small and limited. Harvest is slowing down to get us through August and into September. Mexican growers continue to raised field prices as US importers push to a share of this limited amount of fruit. Demand is exceeding the supplies and the US market is still pushing upward quickly. This looks to be the trend for a while. No relief to this shortage looks to come until we see the first of the Chilean imports toward the end of the month. These early arrivals will be light volume with better volume by mid September. Mexico's new main crop is expected to start mid-September if maturity level of the fruit is there to harvest.
BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER:
Growing regions are experiencing optimal conditions. Abundant supplies; excellent quality.
ALERT! LIMES: It is reported tropical storm Franklin hit land last night about midnight. They are projecting over 15 inches of rain over the next 24 hours. Rain is also forecasted for next week also. Winds are 70 mph. Limes are not being harvested and the supplies that had been harvested are no longer available. We will have a gap in supplies which has yet to be determined. Quality when harvesting resumes will suffer with stylar from the rains and scarring from the winds. The market is higher.
RASPBERRIES: Supplies continue to improve as most shippers are increasing production this week. The Salinas and Watsonville areas are expected to come on quicker than initially expected due to the recent warm weather. Quality is good; prices are starting to gradually drop.
ALERT! STRAWBERRIES: Strawberry supplies remain steady this week. However, quality will be the main concern. The recent warm nights in the Salinas and Watsonville, California growing regions have kept the plants active and the fruit continues to grow around the clock. In these conditions, strawberries will ripen rapidly and can lead to darker fruit and soft berries. Unfortunately, due to the sensitivity of the berries in this weather, the soft spots and bruising are not always apparent in the field. Even with careful evaluation and packing, the fruit may show signs of the heat by the time it arrives. Yields are being effected and supplies are not as heavy as the have been. Market prices have firmed up. We recommend ordering conservatively for the next couple weeks as you may not get the shelf-life you normally expect.
ALERT! ORANGES: Demand for California Valencia oranges remains very strong and is getting stronger. school demand paired with the retail juice demand, is now exceeding supplies for 113s which will last through the Valencia season. Even with packers moderating their pack weekly to stretch the crop, some packers will finished by the end of the month and others expect to see their crop finish sometime in September. The excessive hot weather in the growing area this summer, we are seeing heavier than normal re-greening of fruit.
(What is Re-Greening? Warm weather can cause the skin of Valencia oranges to reabsorb chlorophyll. Yes, it may make Valencias look a little less appealing, but it does not affect the flavor. We recommend educating you clientele of this phenomenon.)