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Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers’ pears to start first week of August

A new crop of pears is coming on in the Northwest, and Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers will soon be shipping exceptional fruit in all varieties. OSRG Marketing Director Scott Marboe said Bartlett harvest will start the first week of August, with first loads going out the week of Aug. 8.SR-Bartlett

“The Bartletts are beautiful this year,” Marboe said in a press release. “They’re clean, with great size, and we have lots of 90 and larger fruit. Also, our Starkrimson will start close to the same harvest window, giving consumers a great selection of snack-perfect pears.”

 In addition to the earlier varieties, Marboe said the Anjous are exceptionally clean this year.  “We did have a drop during the spring heat, so volume will be down in the Hood River area,” he said. “However, the great size and clean crop will make up for that.”

The Bosc crop, which is expected to start shipping the first week of September, “looks great,” Marboe said. “Comice are down in volume, but the fruit look to have excellent size, and they will start Aug. 29.”

Red and Green Anjous will start Sept. 12, followed by Seckels and Forelles Sept. 19. For the Seckel variety, a new two-pound pouch bag is being offered this year.

“A number of people were asking for additional varieties in pouch bags to add to displays,” Marboe said. “Pouch is proving to be a great impulse buy in the pear category, and many of our top retail customers are seeing added sales and category increases when displayed,” he added.

“We’re looking forward to a great pear season, and we have some exciting promotions lined up for this fall,” Marboe said.








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U.S.: Stable start for Chilean orange season despite higher volume

While recent reports suggest quality problems have set back pricing for Chilean lemons and easy peelers, the first weeks of the season showed a strong footing for the country’s oranges in the U.S.

According to figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Chilean orange prices stood at US$ 22/15kg (33lbs) box last week, which is similar to the level they were at for the same period in 2015.

South African orange prices were also within the historic two-year average at US$ 24/15kg (33lbs) box.

Chilean orange shipments started in June and until the first week of July they reached 7,483 metric tons (MT), representing a rise of 11% year-on-year, according to Chilean statistics agency Odepa.

As has been the trend at this time of year, the U.S. has accounted for 85% of Chile’s shipments.

In 2015, Chile finished the orange season with 69,170MT exported, recovering from a low of 57,445MT in 2014.

In terms of easy peelers, a representative from the Chilean Citrus Committee has told the local press there has been a lot of fruit with seeds this year due to cross-pollination.


US (GA): Late start to watermelon season

US (GA): Late start to watermelon season

Unusual weather during the growing season delayed the start of Georgia’s watermelon harvest this month. While growers typically begin harvesting fruit at the beginning of the month, growers reported delays of up to two weeks.

“Harvesting started about two weeks later than in the past,” said Greg Leger, owner of Leger and Son, Inc. He cited cold weather that delayed planting as the reason for the late start, and further delays came as a result of rain and cold temperatures throughout the Spring. In addition to delaying this year’s harvest, the weather disrupted pollination, which could result in less fruit this year.

“Volume is not going to be as heavy as it has been the last few years,” said Leger. “Volume will likely be moderate, and we’re probably not going to have fruit as large as we’ve had in the past.” Aside from that, Leger anticipates quality fruit with high sugar content.

A delayed start has brought less fruit to the market. Last week, as harvesting began, prices were higher than usual due to low volumes of fruit. While prices are usually around 17 cents per pound, noted Border Melons East’s Mark Paulk, the start of this season has brought prices closer to 22 cents per pound.

“The market is above-average right now,” said Paulk. “It’s been a slow start in Georgia.” Leger said that the slow start has made for high prices, but, more worrisome, it will likely mean that less of this year’s crop will be in stores before the Fourth of July. That could be a problem for growers because prices for watermelons typically drop after the holiday.

“Normally, Georgia is about 80 percent done with watermelons after the Fourth of July,” said Leger. “But this year, I’m looking at about 60 percent done by that time.” But Leger also noted that prices tend to drop after the holiday because the market has been saturated by that point. With volumes of fruit being slow to come in this year, he hopes summer demand will remain strong throughout the prolonged season. While the season started late, it’s also expected to last a little longer than usual, and Leger believes consumers will still buy melons as long as it’s warm out.

“It seems demand follows the weather,” said Leger, “because people like to go out and picnic when it’s nice out, and they’ll buy watermelons. So if the weather’s good, demand will be good.”

Publication date: 6/28/2013
Author: Carlos Nunez

Bad start yet again for Israeli bell pepper

Bad start yet again for Israeli bell pepper

After a number of bad years, this season was looking to be better for Israeli bell pepper growers. The Russian boycott was to give the sector good export opportunities. But nothing could be further from the truth, says Frank Mosterd of Gilad. “It’s as if they switched to eating potatoes and carrots instead of bell peppers.”

Risky market
“Everyone thought it would be exceptional, but the opposite is true. Instead of being a very good market, the Russian market is very risky.” That’s what Frank Mosterd of Gilad says about the Israeli bell pepper export to Russia, which doesn’t seem to get off the ground. “The Russian economy isn’t going well, the rouble isn’t working in our favour, and demand is limited,” he explains. “Perhaps the period between the boycott and the Israeli season was too long.” Until a few weeks ago, prices were still reasonable in Russia, but meanwhile a lot of Israeli produce has been shipped. “The market is saturated.” The organic market is having a tough time as well at the moment. “We started out with reasonable prices, but currently the prices are also too low for the time of year.”

Third bad year in a row
For the Israeli bell pepper sector, this is the third, downright bad year in a row. “I was there last week,” Mosterd says, “and I haven’t spoken to a single optimistic grower.” Just like in the Netherlands, many cultivation companies are under water. “Quite a lot of growers are going bankrupt, and instead of those greenhouses being emptied, they’re bought by other growers.” Cultivation companies also rent out their greenhouses to other growers, or to export companies, and the acreage remains constant. “November and December have already been bad in recent years – we have to make our money in January, February and March. If that turns out badly, even more growers will have to quit.”

For the coming weeks, Mosterd is expecting improvements. “The market is slowly starting to recover again. Also because of the holidays, we are shipping more now.” Since Friday, there’s been a bit more demand. That means prices of around 7.00 Euro for red and yellow, and 8.5 Euro for orange, per 5 kg box. “From Spain, not a lot of oranges are coming. That’s when you see buyers switching to Israeli produce.” But if there aren’t any shortages, it’s hard for Israel to gain a foothold in Europe. “Just like last year, you see the programmes for packaged bell peppers in Spain, which is the main reason for the limited demand for Israeli bell peppers in the Netherlands.” A pity, actually, Mosterd remarks. “Because the upside is that the quality is really top notch this year.”

For more information:
Gilad Produce
Tel: +31 174 518 530
Fax : +31 174 528 502 
Frank Mosterd
Mob: +316-2255 6700

Publication date: 12/17/2014