New Jersey agriculture officials will be in Canada this week to promote "Jersey Fresh" with one of our strongest customers.

Jersey Fresh produce heads to Canada. (Jupiterimages, ThinkStock)

Assistant State Agriculture Secretary Al Murray says they will attend the 90th annual Canadian Produce Marketing Association's trade show in Montreal. The trade show and convention runs this Wednesday through Friday. According to Murray, our northern neighbor is a major Jersey Fresh consumer.

"Blueberries are a huge market, particularly in Canada. Probably about a third of everything that we grow," Murray said. "A lot of people have asked why we go north, and it is largely because the seasons are compatible. While we are shipping our early spring greens, Canada is still under snow. And then when we move out of the spring and go into the summer, that is when they are getting started. So we don't really compete with each other."

In terms of exports, New Jersey is number two in agricultural exports into Quebec. And we are number six in agriculturual exports into Ontario. Both are very, very important markets for New Jersey products, Murray said.

"The Jersey Fresh brand is just known so well throughout Canada, particularly because so many of the Canadians come to the Jersey Shore during the summer.  So they recognize the Jersey Fresh brand and they request it," Murray said.

He said overall, New Jersey exports roughly 37 percent of its Jersey Fresh produce to other states and countries, "eastern Canada, and as far west as the Mississippi, and as far south as Florida." Aside from Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey, Boston and New England are our second-largest market. Eastern Canada is our third-largest market for New Jersey farm products.

Agriculture in New Jersey produces a total of 150 different fruits and vegetables annually.

"Dandelions, certainly, all of those spring greens that come in, that would probably be one of our more interesting varieties," Murray said.