Significant heat wave expected this week

California produce volumes growing

In the western US this week -mostly California- a significant heat wave will develop, with temperatures cracking the 100°F mark in some places. California has the largest economy of all 50 states, and is the number one producer of summer crops like strawberries. The fruit is the state's fourth-largest commodity, as it grows nearly 90 percent of total US production. For growers, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel after an excessively wet winter that delayed plantings, as well as severe spring storms that destroyed approximately three million cases of cherries.

According to FreightWaves Market Expert Dean Croke, produce volumes have been growing recently with the arrival of more summer-like weather, especially in the major northern California agricultural regions.

The avocado crop is not doing quite as well as others in California. The city of Fallbrook in San Diego County claims the title of "Avocado Capital of the World" and holds an Avocado Festival each year. However, an intense heat wave in July 2018 took a steep toll on the popular summer fruit.

Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, puts early estimates of the 2019 harvest at 175 million pounds. That's down considerably from 337.8 million pounds harvested in the 2017-18 crop year.


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