It is a good day to compare apples and oranges.

First of all, from the USDA's September crop production report

California navel orange production for the 2011-2012 season is forecast at 1.76 million tons (44.0 million boxes), down 8 percent from last season's revised production of 1.92 million tons (48.0 million boxes). This initial forecast is based on an objective measurement survey conducted in California's Central Valley during July and August. Survey results showed that the crop is about 3 weeks behind normal.

Check out the 2010 navel orange f.o.b. pricing season here.


The USDA national fruit and vegetable retail report  showed that apple retail prices continue much above last year while promotion activity is well below year ago levels.  The report showed that 368 retailers were promoting apples  from Sept. 3 to Sept. 15 at an average price of $1.40 per pound, compared with a year ago, when 848 retailers promoted red delicious apples at an average of $1.04 per pound.

With 2010 crop red delicious dwindling and the f.o.b. reported ended, the USDA market news office in Yakima reports that new crop red delicious may not be quoted until next week. New crop premium galas were quoted at $24-28 per carton Sept. 9 for size 100s, with premium Galas  80s and larger at $34-36 per carton. Golden delicious volume is increasing and the f.o.b. could begin by mid-September. Here ia a link to Washington apple pricing for the 2010 season.

Check out trends of U.S. apple and citrus imports here.

Also from the USDA crop production report, did you see the big jump in sweet potato acreage in 2011?. The USDA projects sweet potato area planted at 53,660 acres in 2011, up from 48,480 acres last year. Check out this story in the Seattle Times about the rising fortunes of sweet potato growers.


The USDA's retail report shows that inflation is at work in the produce department:

Of the major advertised items (3,000 plus stores) this week only 2 were lower in price than the same week last year: Mushrooms and Yellow Onions Marked Sweet. Mushrooms were 2% lower and Yellow Onions Marked Sweet down 14% over the same week last year. Tomatoes on-the-vine were up 18%, Peaches 17%, Plums at 14%, Baby  Carrots 10% with both Cantaloup and Bartlett Pears at 8% higher than the same week last year. Seedless Watermelon were up 7%, Strawberries 6%, Yellow Onions in a 3 lb bag 4% and Nectarines 2% higher than the same week last year.


Don't miss these headlines:

The Packer : Court reverses Del Monte award

The Packer: Produce cited in half of foodborne illness in 2008

Market Watch: Colorado lawyer urges transparency in listeria investigation

Wall Street Journal: Agriculture is the new golf: an apple tree grows in suburbia

Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Comments on FDA's prior notice rule

PMA comments on FDA preventive controls