Crop News

California Fires Damage Avocado Crop


United States

California’s recent wild fires have hurt all agriculture, especially the avocado and lemon crops. The Thomas fire which spread from Ventura County into Santa Barbara county hit the largest avocado and lemon producing region in the U.S.A. Avocado trees were particularly damaged as they line hillsides which were in the direct path of the fires. The high winds also dropped fruit on the ground which then makes the fruit unavailable for human consumptions. Some growers lost 80% of their crops.

It was a sweet corn struggle for both the Midwest and Northwest regions this season due to climatic conditions and reports now coming in are that it will be a tight corn market. While some suppliers came in on budget, others did not. Most likely if you do not have your bookings already confirmed, it will be very difficult this year to purchase on the open market.

Potato yields in the Colombia basin have been reported as improved from last season, however variable. Potatoes are going into storage and the processing crop is completed. Solids are reported as above average which has helped with recovery rates. Contract negotiations are underway for Colombia Basin potatoes for season 2018. Based on additional capacity here in the Northwest we are expecting contract volumes may be increased and prices to the grower a bit higher than this past season.

Maine’s wild blueberry harvest fell this season to below 100 million pounds for the first time in 4 years. Initial figures show the crop at 65 million pounds.


The past summer season broccoli output in Mexico was disappointing. Fresh market diversions continue to hurt the industry. California’s unseasonal hot weather sent suppliers to Mexico for fresh broccoli and as a result there was less product for the freezers. Processors in Mexico are offering up higher prices for raw material by approx.. 30% in order to support their programs. Broccoli and cauliflower transplantations were ramped up in an effort to be in peak production during this very busy holiday season, however recent cold fronts during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has slowed growth and the harvest down considerably. December weather warmed up a bit which boosted the growth and volumes going into the factories.


Heavy rain in September/October has diminished the broccoli harvest and yields have been decreased. Currently, Broccoli volumes in Guatemala are very low. The current weather has been colder than usual and in fact in some areas processors suffered frost. However fields that will be ready to harvest in January are looking very healthy and we expect the situation to improve commencing middle January with improved broccoli volumes.

Europe: Northern Poland has advised about a 30% to 40% drop in their corn yields this season. Due to cool weather and rain the season has not been a good one. As well Poland’s raspberry crop suffered losses due to the heavy summer rain and cooler weather. Much of Poland’s raspberries have gone to crumbles.

Hot weather and lack of rain have taken a negative toll on Hungary’s potato crop . As well Hungary’s corn crop is projected to be 10% below normal due to extreme heat and bunching during the summer months.

Spain’s broccoli crop has commenced, however their summer crop did not come in on budget due to the high heat and this coupled with increased domestic demand for broccoli will make for a tight market in this region, although the winter broccoli season looks more promising than last year.

Italy’s Kiwi production overall will be 40% down this season due to frost in the spring and drought in the summer.


Blueberry season is ongoing and should run through January. Quality is being reported as good with prices higher due to U.S. fresh market demand.


Mango season has begun in Northern Peru. The season began a bit late due to cooler temperatures during spring


Shandong Province

Taro season is underway. Reports are for a bumper crop with good yields and quality and stable prices.
Broccoli harvest is underway. Good yields and quality are expected. Now is a favorable time to make your broccoli bookings.
Factories in Shandong are now processing burdock. Quality is reported as favorable with slight increases in raw material prices.

Zhejiang Province

To date growth conditions look good for both broccoli and cauliflower in this region. Raw material has been going to the fresh market due to domestic demand so processing has been delayed until middle of January and prices are expected to go up for both broccoli and cauliflower.
To date the growing conditions look good for both pea pods and sugar snap peas.

Lotus root harvest now underway. Planting areas have increased and due to favorable weather conditions the yields and quality are good and prices are stable.

Shiitake mushroom yields declined sharply due to the decrease in plantings. Yields of this crop are about 1/3 of past yields. Prices are higher than last season. Quality is stable.

Fujian Province

Autumn edamame season is underway and based on high demand prices have gone up.

Water chestnut season is underway. Due to the enormous demand from domestic and foreign markets the raw material prices rose sharply this season by over 15%. Along with freight, labor and packaging increases expect to pay more for your water chestnuts this season.




























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