Inside this Food Report
Peak harvest time in the United States is now well under way. Green peas are in the barn and sweet corn is being harvested from the Northwest to the Midwest. The warm weather in the Pacific Northwest is bringing on the sweet corn rather quickly and to date over 50% of the corn has been harvested. Last year the extreme heat and lack of rain in the Midwest region resulted in lower yields, however this season we are hearing reports of a good harvest with lower insect counts.
Oregon and Washington: Pea season is completed and while some pea processors experienced between 10 – 15% lower yields, there were some suppliers whose yields were on budget or slightly above budget. However with current demand from Midwest suppliers who experience almost a 40% yield reduction on peas the market is firm. Some suppliers in the U.S are sold out and looking to buy peas to cover contracts.
Sweet corn harvest has begun and the weather has been very warm. This has brought on the corn sooner than later so most suppliers began the harvest one to two weeks earlier than usual. Harvest is now halfway completed and to date it is reported that yields are normal compared to the 10 year average and quality is good with no adverse affects from the hot and dry weather.
It has been reported that early crop potatoes in the Columbia Basin have done well and yields are good. Extreme heat in the Pasco and Moses Lake area of Washington State may impact potato yields and quality for the later Russet Burbank variety.
Rapsberry harvest completed in the Northwest. Blueberry harvest is moving at a very fast pace and first pick was completed by middle August. Overall quality has been good although some rain in mid August resulted in some split fruit. Harvest is expected to be fully completed by first week September.
Harvesting of early variety apples has begun in Washington State. It is expected to be a bumper apple crop with a 8.5% increase in production over last season.
Hawaii: Tropical Storm Iselle wrecked havoc on Hawaii’s papaya crop. Damage reports are still forthcoming.
California: Strawberry harvest is now completed. Good production and quality in May lead to a decent crop. However the heat in July triggered plants to stop producing.
Bell Pepper season now underway in California with quality and yields reported as good.
Midwest Area: More recent reports on Pea yields now have the numbers down to a reduced harvest by 40 – 50% in this area. Processors there are scrambling to buy peas.
Corn production has begun and although some fields were lost in June due to heavy rain the cooler conditions and more mild weather in July and August has resulted in a good crop with yields above average and excellent quality. To date the recent rains in the Midwest area have been very beneficial for the corn.
Mexico: Rainy season continues in Mexico. In fact this season there has been more rain than in the previous two years. The rain and high humidity has resulted in some poor quality broccoli and low yields. Most factories are not running at capacity. Raw material is now coming from the Northern part of Guanajuato and Puebla area.
Guatemala: Lack of rain back in July has resulted in reduced broccoli yields in August . Yields are reported down by almost 60% during the first part of August.
Edamame yields are slightly off due to lack of rain in the Monjas area, while our fields on the West Coast are doing very well and yields are high. Edamame production will continue through September.
Okra is also being harvested and produced in Guatemala now. Yields and quality are good.
Peru: Asparagus harvest is expected to begin late September. Due to El Nino, it is anticipated that raw material yields will be down drastically. Some suppliers are reporting up to a 65% drop in yields with most raw materials coming in small. This will result in more availability of small spears compared to medium spears. Contracts are being finalized now.
Chile: Asparagus harvest will begin late September, with pricing being announced early/mid September. El Nino seems to be having less of an impact on Chilean asparagus but continued high raw material prices have been keeping finished product prices high.
Fujian Province: Rains have seriously affected the edamame crop in this region. Many blemishes and yellow pods caused by rain led to a sharp decline of yields . Factories in this area stopped processing the crop and it is reported that yields are down more than 30%. Prices have gone up.
Broccoli and Cauliflower planting will begin this month.
Zhejiang Province: Edamame crop in this region is stable and harvest and processing is completed. Prices are higher compared to last season due to the poor performance of the harvest in Fujian Province.
Broccoli and Cauliflower being planted for fall harvest. To date weather conditions are okay and seedling quality is good.
Shangdong Province: Processing of edamame still underway and will go through the end of September. Quality and yields are reported as good in this region.
Western Food Chains At Risk In China
The latest food safety scandal to hit China involves some of the top fast food brands from the US, which has caused consumers to lose confidence in Western chains. News broke last month that Shanghai Husi Food Co, part of the Illinois-based OSI Group, was supplying clients with expired meat. Chains believed to have received expired meat include McDonalds, KFC, and Starbucks, in addition to six others.
Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?
Over the past few years, organic foods have gone from a health food store novelty to a grocery store staple. Produce aisles are dotted with organic options, most of which cost significantly more than conventionally grown counterparts. For families trying to decide if the cost increase is worth every penny the most important question is whether organic foods can deliver on the promise of being healthier than other options. Are organic foods more nutritious? Well, it’s complicated.
Cook With Frozen And Canned Foods To Cut Back On Food Waste
Last month we discussed food waste and what governments are doing to help combat this growing problem, which results in tons of food being thrown away each year. This month we’re bringing the fight against food waste to your kitchen with an easy and cost-effective way to cut back on waste at home. What’s the trick? Next time you’re in the grocery store, opt for canned or frozen foods.
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