KEEP AS DRAFT Fresh From the Field

KEEP AS DRAFT Fresh From the Field

June 26, 2018

This week’s fresh update

October 12, 2021 | Volume 8, Issue 41

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Conventional Vegetables


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The roller coaster ride that is the asparagus market is now operational. Mexico has started shipping good volume and that has affected the FOB market. Peruvian imports will continue to come in with good volume as well. The market dropped significantly over the weekend and the beginning of this week. In my opinion, we have not seen the floor yet. The containers arriving from Peru this week are delayed and will not be available to load until next week. We will continue to have good volume for the remainder of the season.
^ Back to Conventional Vegetables

Bell Peppers

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It looks like Michigan doesn’t want to go away and they will be harvesting for another week. Pepper seems to be in available across all regions, with Georgia leading the way. We expect Georgia to have decent volume for the next two weeks. Don’t be shy and push peppers for the next two weeks! California has seen a drop in their volume, but Coachella is set to start by the end of the week.
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Broccoli is fairly limited in volume in both Texas and California, mainly due to weather in Mexico. Georgia will start producing in late October.
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There are still supplies of cabbage in the northern areas of the country. Texas will be starting in the next weeks.
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Celery supplies in Santa Maria and the Salinas Valley are steady with good volume available. Oxnard is set to start mid-October. Quality reports are showing very good quality with no major issues reported. The weather forecast calls for cooler temperatures with cloud cover this week. Please reach out to your Robinson Fresh representative for updates and information regarding availability and promotions.
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Supply exceeds demand but buyer beware on quality. We are seeing a surplus of product in Georgia, but quality can be unpredictable. Mexico is still not quite producing the volume, so we are still two weeks out from seeing any decent volume.
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Georgia has begun! Good supply and quality on all varieties. Start planning holiday volume now!
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Leaf Lettuce

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Iceberg and leaf lettuces continue to be in short supply this week. Higher demand combined with lower yields are the primary factors. The weather forecast calls for slightly warmer temperatures into the weekend. Overall quality is fair with some reports of mildew and lightweights in both areas. The primary shipping points on the West Coast are in Santa Maria and Salinas. Please reach out to your Robinson Fresh representative for any additional information and promotional opportunities.
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We have availability of crop from a large network of growers from across the country this season. Most locations are now shipping as harvest comes to a close, with all standard items available. Quality is looking good overall; reds may be a little shorter this season with plenty of availability on yellows. It’s a good time to quote customers ahead of Thanksgiving supplies. There is now an opportunity to supply seasoned 1-pound trays out of the Canadian Northeast, with shipper label available the start of November (samples available now) and Robinson Fresh label opportunity with customer commitment.
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Nogales continues to increase their presence and we expect volume to improve. Initial quality reports show great quality on both green and yellow. Nogales is where we need to be loading. Georgia season is quickly coming to an end, and we are waiting for Florida to get going.
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Sweet Corn

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Northern farms are finishing for the season as cooler weather moves in. Georgia has started but volume is very limited, and prices are high. Expect to see this continue for the next couple of weeks.
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Conventional Fruits

The apple market remains firm this week as demand remains good. Most of the varieties have now started to harvest on the new crop apples out of Washington, and the rest will start up in the next couple of weeks. It is too early to predict the size of the new crop but the impact of the heat wave in Washington will certainly be a negative on the overall size and storability. We will keep you updated as more accurate information is provided. Expectations at this point are for a crop less than last season but it is still very early to get any accurate read on the size and condition of the new crop. The quality of the fruit so far looks good.
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Peru and California avocado supply is now mostly finished, and Mexico is the main source of supply. Avocado inventory has been reduced and the price spread between sizes 48s and 60s has narrowed to more typical levels. Size 32/36s continue to be in short supply and prices are at higher levels.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Bush Berries

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Blueberries are expected to start coming in with volume this week, but this is very much dependent on boats being unloaded. The current market is in decline based on this information, but we could see delays in loading/unloading at ports due do struggles to get fruit out of Peru and Argentina due to weather, vessel delays, and import delays due to lower staffing and COVID restrictions.
Mexico is ramping up quickly, with good volume this week out of Texas or California on new crop Mexican blackberries!
Less supply again this week on raspberries as we end the summer crop and move into new crop from Mexico for the 2021-2022 season. Volumes should turn in a few weeks.
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Cantaloupe production is winding down in California as we transition to Arizona. Sizing in California is mostly 9/12 counts, with a few jumbos. With shorter days and cooler weather, expect to see a green cast to cantaloupe and brix will be slightly lower. Volume is expected around October 15th in Arizona with one grower already packing.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Chilean navels have been reporting strong quality all season, peaking on 56/64/72s. In the coming weeks, expect prices to settle in as more and more containers arrive on the West Coast if ports stop having delay issues. There have been reports of a lot of vessels being stuck at port for up to a few weeks, causing a lot of supply issues. This is forcing shippers to repack after they receive product to make sure it is clean. All sizes are currently tight, especially 56 count and larger. Some shippers will be shipping California navels as soon as next week, but most will be starting the week of October 25th or later. California Valencias are starting to wind down and pricing is now starting to increase a bit across the board, but mainly on 88s and smaller. The season will be over in the next few weeks, peaking on 48s/56s. Fruit is firm and eating well. 88s and smaller will be very tight all season long.
Some fruit is still coming out of District 2, but the crop is mainly choice fruit, with very little fancy fruit. District 3 has just started so the expectation is that quality will improve. We are seeing more and more shippers with lemons loading in Texas, but supply is on the lighter side currently, but will be picking up as we head into the peak of the season. Peaking on 140s/165s. Chilean lemons are peaking on 140s/165s as well. Argentinian and Chilean quality has been strong all season. We have seen some blowers here and there as there have been some delays at ports, but most shippers are saying they are focusing on repacking those containers that experienced delays. Dozens of containers are sitting on vessels waiting to unload so supplies are tough on the West Coast.
The overall grapefruit market has remained pretty steady. Supplies are keeping up with demand at this point. Quality is excellent with no issues being reported at this time. We have transitioned into Marsh Ruby variety, peaking on 36/40/48s. Large size pricing has remained steady for the last month with very little movement. Small sizes are where the deals are! Mexican grapefruit will be starting in Texas in the next week or two.
Mandarins are very tight! Quality and brix have been pretty good, but we hear they are not eating great right now. California is done now. Mandarins have been delayed at ports as well causing some supply issues. Expect this issue to continue for the near future.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

The focus is now on late-season varieties that will carry us to the end of the year. We anticipate some increased markets in the month of November and December. This past weekend, limited rain passed through with little to no impact; much of our vineyards this time of year have the canopies covered with plastic. Currently, overall markets are positioned to continue moving volume with quality fruit supporting ads with good quality fruit. This year’s Scarlet Royal crop has been excellent! Expect to see aggressive pricing for the next 2 weeks on red and green seedless, with markets moving up in November and December…late-season red and green volume will be snug! Black seedless, red globes and specialty varieties are moving along with demand. Organics will start to trend down on volume with quality being a factor in November.
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Honeydew are extremely tight in California and are expected to stay that way throughout the rest of the California season. Demand is exceeding supply at this point. Sizing has been an even split between 5/6 counts, followed by jumbo 5 count, although limited supplies. Sizing is peaking on 8 count. Quality and sugar have been good with some scarring present. We are currently transitioning to Arizona as one grower has already started. We are still about a week away from any kind of domestic volume. Mexico has also started slowly with volume expected mid-October.
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Region: Veracruz, Mexico
Currently, the crop is peaking on 200/175/230s. The weather forecast is showing rain at the end of the week; however, it will not impact harvesting this week. The demand for limes has been moderate to low. Because of the holiday on Monday, the crossing report was not available. Sizing profile is peaking on sizes 200/175/230. Size distribution: 110-9%, 150-14%, 175-21%, 200-21%, 230-18%, and 250-16%. Quality issues being reported: oil spots and blanching. Expect to see these quality concerns for the next few weeks. Looking ahead, we expect a little decrease of the available fruit in October; however, quality could improve a little.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Brazilian Update: Due to a shortage of vessels there was no vessels that arrived last week, which will create a short supply gap this week 42 (week of October 10th). We have already started communicating with certain programs; if you have any potential or pending orders, please reach out to us to coordinate coverage. In anticipation for this decrease, we are bringing in additional fruit arriving this week (week 42).
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

Historically, we have seen volume increases from May to July. This year, we noticed this high volume got pushed back to the last couple weeks of May. As a result, we had plenty of supply. Warmer weather helped the growers to harvest more fruit at farm level so we’re now noticing more availability in the market with good supplies. Shippers are offering extra papaya, mostly pallet quantity for now, but close for that availability to become load volume.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits

We have new crop Bartletts, Anjou, red pears and Bosc shipping out of Washington State and Oregon this week. The crop in the Northwest is looking a little smaller in volume this year and the fruit will run one to two sizes smaller than last season. Overall, there will be plenty of fruit to promote and advertise!
^ Back to Conventional Fruits


Pineapple (Offshore)

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Tropical Wave #41 is affecting the Pacific region with isolated thunderstorms. The Caribbean and Northern regions expect scattered rainfall for the remainder of the week. Quality is reported as good at 14+ brix, with some water spotting issues possible due to the additional rainfall. USDA crossing report for week 39 is showing a deep drop to just below 900 loads of pineapples crossing for the entire continental USA. USDA is reporting demand as moderate and market as steady. Delays at Texas ports have again become an issue with as much as 10-12 days after release for fruit to leave ports of arrival.

Pineapple (Mexican)

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Main growing regions in Mexico are Veracruz, Tabasco, and Colima, and most fruit crosses through border entries in Texas and Arizona. Demand is up on all sizes with good supplies arriving from both Mexico and Costa Rica. Mexico is in full production, but domestic Mexican demand is as high and coveting for supplies. Markets are up as we see lower volumes arriving. We currently have GOOD supplies of our fruit from Mexico and quality is reported as very good, with brix over 13%. Most shippers are peaking on 7 and 8 counts, with limited supplies of 5/6 counts in the market. Please contact your Robinson Fresh sales representative with any questions and to discuss promotional planning.
^ Back to Conventional Fruits


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The conventional strawberry market has a three-tiered pricing structure with a range in prices and quality depending on the growing area and whether it is new or old crop. Santa Maria, California is forecast to be sunny but breezy in the afternoon on Wednesday; Thursday and Friday will have plenty of sun and then become mostly sunny for the weekend. Highs are expected in the 60s on Wednesday, increasing to the 70s for the balance of the week, with lows in the 40s. Salinas/Watsonville, California is forecast to be mostly sunny and cool on Wednesday, becoming sunnier and warmer for the balance of the week. Highs are forecast in the 60s on Wednesday, increasing to the 70s on Thursday, and then the 80s on Friday and Saturday, decreasing to the 70s on Sunday with lows in the 40s. Oxnard, California is forecast for sunny skies with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Oxnard, California new crop fruit has good color and size with occasional misshapen; the old crop fruit has bruising, dark color, soft shoulders and overripe with much smaller fruit.
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Supplies are a little tight on seedless and very tight on minis! North Carolina and Florida are going with small fall crops and limited supplies. We have a fall crop in Walnut Grove, California and we have good supplies on 60-count seedless. Mexico has started into Edinburg, Texas, and Nogales. Mini watermelons are tight and 8/9-count minis are very tight. Most customers are starting to switch over to cartons for the winter.
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Organic Fruits & Vegetables

Organic Apples

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We are now shipping new crop organic Honeycrisp, organic Galas, organic Granny, and organic Fuji apples. So far, the quality is good on all these new crop varieties. The pricing will start off higher in the beginning and settle down in a few weeks as more apples are harvested. Expect to see the new crop Pink Lady apples start around October 13th, as this variety is one of the last to be harvested each season.
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Organic Dry Vegetables

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Nogales, Arizona
Steady supply on organic, colored bells peppers. 12-count Euro cucumbers and 36-count slicer cucumbers have limited supplies but are available. Soft squash, zucchini, and yellow and Roma tomatoes have started with limited availability as well.
Texas Valley
Organic tomatoes are starting this week! There should be limited supplies of Romas and grape tomatoes. Most organic hot house pepper deals have ended until late November. Product is now going through Nogales or San Diego. Canadian hot houses are still transitioning to new sets, so supply is short. There are very limited supplies of organic zucchini and yellow squash.
San Diego, California
Colored bell peppers (red/yellow/orange) 11 and 25 pounds, 12/1-poound mini-sweet peppers, and slicer cucumbers are all available in limited supplies.
Salinas, California
Jalapenos and Serranos are in good supply this week, while eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and Heirloom tomatoes are available with limited supply.
Fresno, California
Green bells are available in all sizes in good volumes.
Oxnard, California
Butternut squash is available in good supply.
Colonial Beach, Virginia
Yellow squash, zucchini, and green bells are available in very limited supplies.
Green bells, yellow squash, zucchini, and 36-count cucumbers are ramping up with good volumes.

No quality issues to speak of in any region.
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Organic Melons

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Organic minis are done until next season.
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Organic Onions

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Organic red onions out of Hollister, California are in full swing again. We have both jumbo and mediums available right now and the quality is outstanding! The market remains steady this week as supply and demand seems to have leveled. We will start to see more demand as we get further into the fall and the holidays arrive.
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Organic Pears

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We are now shipping organic Bartletts and organic Anjou out of Washington. The new crop of organic pears seems to be running a little smaller than last year’s crop which should provide a lot of bagging fruit and a little less of the large fruit. Most growers feel that this is a result of the extended heat wave that hit the Northwest region during the summer months. Overall, the crop still looks like a good one and there should be plenty of fruit to get us into December. Organic Anjous will have availability into early 2022.
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Organic Potatoes

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Colorado Potato Season! Organic russets are in very good supply now and sizing is good. We are still seeing more potatoes that are perfect for bags, but there are some cartons available in 80 and 90 counts right now. We are currently using a Canela variety that is perfect for this time of year. Organic red potatoes continue to be on the tighter side this season. Quality is good but there continues to be a little skinning happening. This will get better over the next month as the skins will set in storage and they won’t be as easily skinned. Organic yellow potatoes are looking great, and supply is outstanding! We have been doing 3#, 5#, and cartons so far this season with great success. If you are looking to promote a great potato, yellows would be a great choice right now! Fingerling potatoes are close to starting for us this season. We should have our new packaging arriving any day now and we will have fingerling potatoes for you.
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Organic Squash

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We are in full swing on our hard squash program in October! The quality is outstanding on all 5 varieties! We have butternut, spaghetti, acorn, Delicata, and Kabocha. Market remains steady and we are looking to promote squash now.
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Organic Sweet Potatoes

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As we continue to harvest organic sweet potatoes out in the fields, we are starting to be able to ship sweet potatoes that have now cured and will store very nicely. Quality on the sweet potatoes we have harvested is outstanding and the potatoes coming out of the fields are looking good. Now is the time to get your sweet potato ads for Thanksgiving set so give us a call and let’s move some sweet potatoes!
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Temperature-Controlled Shipping
Expect markets and products of regional produce to surge in Quarter 4. Regional pressures associated with seasonal harvest, production, and inventory stocking put additional strain on the broader truckload market. Expect increased pressure to pull dry and refrigerated capacity to support several commodities in the coming months:
• Soup season continues. There is cyclical demand for capacity in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast from the annual build of inventory to support fall and winter soup ingredients. It starts with demand for refrigerated trucks hauling produce inbound for manufacturing and continues with both refrigerated and dry vans needed for outbound shipments of fresh and canned soups.
• Fall harvest season. Autumn continues to create high demand for refrigerated and dry van capacity for apples, cherries, and Christmas trees in the Pacific Northwest. Additional fall harvest regions include the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest for sweet corn, apples, pumpkins, and other late-season vegetables. Thanksgiving turkeys are a specific protein that also moves in high volumes after the grilling season tapers off.

Imbalance of Refrigerated Trucks
Throughout the year, 2021 has brought a unique imbalance for refrigerated trucks. With the exceptional demand and pricing for van freight, there is enthusiasm in the reefer community to run some reefers dry, save on the fuel and use of the reefer unit and make similar money, thus effectively decreasing the reefer capacity. Work with your C.H. Robinson account manager to discuss the state of regional markets, timing of events, route guide strategies, and how capacity and price can be aided through amended business processes.

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Fresh from the kitchen

Balsamic Watermelon with Prosciutto

Try watermelon in a whole new way—grilled! Easy to make, this appetizer is sure to wow guests and leave them craving more.


  • 1 seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Fresh basil leaves


  1. Remove watermelon rind.
  2. Cut watermelon into large, 1-inch-thick slices for easier grilling. Place cut slices onto stacks of paper towels for 10–15 minutes to absorb excess moisture.
  3. Cut prosciutto into long, thin strips (20–25 total).
  4. Brush extra virgin olive oil on both sides of watermelon slices and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  5. Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Place watermelon slices on grill for 3–4 minutes. You can flip and grill both sides if desired. You should see significant grill marks when done.
  6. Cut slices of watermelon into triangles. One small watermelon should yield 20–25 pieces, depending on desired size of appetizers.
  7. Transfer watermelon to a serving platter. Roll or stack prosciutto on top of watermelon. Sprinkle feta cheese and drizzle balsamic glaze over all pieces. Garnish with basil leaves.
  8. Serve immediately.

Read more here.

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Liz Erickson Monson

Liz Erickson Monson - Senior Communications Manager

With expertise in communications and agriculture, Liz is on the Robinson Fresh marketing team as a senior communications manager. In her role, she is focused on media relations, social media and other external communication channels. She is also an editor for Freshspective. When Liz is not at work, she’s spending time outside with her husband and dog. 

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