Supplies are increasing quickly in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys, as transition from the Arizona/California desert is nearly finished.
- Markon First Crop (MFC) Broccoli is available in Salinas and South Texas loading locations
- Recent favorable weather has helped broccoli size increase after West Coast regions started behind schedule due to:
- Cold weather slowing maturity after germination
- Delayed plantings due to winter flooding
- Expect prices to continue to ease through mid-May
- Mexican stocks are available in South Texas at a lower FOB price than in California
- Overall quality in all regions is strong, with consistent head size, good color, and minimal defects
The market is elevated. Mexico is the primary growing region this time of year; supplies have decreased significantly. MFC and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Brussels Sprouts are extremely limited; packer label is being substituted.
- Late-season quality issues, including yellowing/off color, bolting, and higher insect pressure, have significantly reduced yields in Mexico
- Product will continue to cross from Mexico until California production begins
- The Oxnard start date has been pushed from early May to the end of the month as the cold winter limited growth
- Salinas Valley production is slated to begin in July but could also be delayed one to two weeks if there isn’t a significant warming trend
- Expect firm markets and tight supplies for the next 14-21 days as demand remains strong and production is in transition
The cauliflower market has peaked and is falling fast as supplies ramp up in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys. Markon Essentials (ESS) Cauliflower is available.
- Abnormally low temperatures and intense rainfall this winter created supply gaps during the transition from the Arizona/California desert growing regions to Salinas and Santa Maria in mid-April
- Recent favorable weather, specifically warmer nighttime temperatures, has helped push supplies along
- Expect prices to continue trending lower through the month of May, as mild weather promotes good growth and strong quality
- Good color and consistent size has been noted in recent packs
Prices are rising. The current size profile is small; 24-count celery is especially tight.
- MFC Celery is available
- Oxnard and Santa Maria, California are the primary growing regions; seeder is present is some lots, reducing yields
- Salinas production will start two weeks later than normal
- Excessive rains disrupted plantings and cold temperatures slowed growth
- Harvests are forecast to begin in mid-June
- The Michigan season will start in early to mid-July
- Markets are expected to remain active until Salinas production is underway
- Markets rose sharply as demand refocused on the Oxnard and Southern California regions after the Arizona/California desert season ended
- Mild tip burn and increased dirt in final packs are being reported due to strong winds
- Overall quality outlook is positive, though a rain event this week may increase occurrence of yellowing and early breakdown
- Expect markets to fall a bit more before the end of this week
From the Fields: Salinas Valley Lettuce Update
Iceberg and leaf lettuce supplies have nearly fully transitioned to California’s Salinas Valley from the desert and other transitional growing regions. Quality is good apart from sporadic insect pressure. Supplies are tight, and most crops are far off from ideal maturity or very inconsistent, causing case weights to be light. Weight ranges for 24-count iceberg have ranged from 33 to 41 pounds. Markon First Crop (MFC) Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuce packs are limited; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed.
The industry is currently experiencing the inevitable results of missed plantings and lost crop acres from heavy rains/flooding in January through March, combined with extended periods of below-normal temperatures that hindered growth.
Temperatures are much higher this week, reaching into the upper 70°s to low 80°s, promoting growth. However, a low-pressure system moves into the area Monday, May 1, bringing back cooler weather and a chance for rain on Tuesday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 3.
Markon inspectors will be monitoring weather and the supply outlook closely and will update further as needed.
The Chilean/Peruvian offshore season will wrap up in the next two weeks. Grapes will transition to Mexican-grown product in mid- to late May. Expect pricing to increase as the offshore season continues to wind down.
- The Peruvian/Chilean green and red grape season will end in early May
- MFC Lunch Bunch Grapes will stop shipping in mid-May and resume shipping with Mexican product in late May
- Expect tight supplies and rising markets through this transition
- MFC and ESS Grapes will be available soon
- Mexican green and red grapes are expected to begin shipping in mid-May
- Mexican portioned grapes will hit the market in late May
- Expect elevated pricing to begin the season then markets will gradually decrease
Markets are active due to recent weather in Florida and Mexico. RSS Trimmed Green Beans are limited; packer label is being substituted as needed.
- Central Florida supplies are tight due to recent cool weather and rain
- The Northern Florida season was slightly delayed but growers will start harvesting this week
- Georgia spring production will begin as scheduled next week
- Recent poor weather in Mexico has lowered that region’s overall volume
- The California desert season is expected to start May 10
- Expect elevated markets over the next two weeks
Green Leaf Lettuce
- The Arizona and California desert growing regions have finished for the season
- Huron, California harvests are finished for the season; production in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys is ongoing
- Insect pressure is higher compared to prior weeks; fringe and internal burn are found in some lots
- Expect elevated markets through mid- to late May; supplies will be inconsistent week to week as growers work through planting disruptions caused by rainfall in January and March
Sufficient supplies of MFC Idaho Burbank and Norkotah Potatoes are available.
- Large sizes (40- through 70-count stocks) are limited; 80- through 100-count sizes are readily available
- Quality remains great for both varieties
- Norkotah stocks will wind down throughout this month; Burbanks will be the sole variety for the remainder of the season
- Daily production schedules have been reduced in order to extend storage supplies
- Advanced order lead time is highly recommended for order fulfillment
- Limited Burbank stocks are expected to ship through mid- to late July
- Growers have begun planting this week on the eastern side near Blackfoot (one week later than their normal start date in late April)
- Norkotah harvesting and packing would normally begin in early to mid-August
Cantaloupe and honeydew markets are rising. Overall supplies are expected to be tight for the month of May as the offshore season ends and the domestic season begins.
- Imported cantaloupes from Central America will ship through the week of May 15
- New crop Mexican supplies have started to cross into Nogales, Arizona; supplies are extremely limited
- Florida growers are shipping Athena variety cantaloupes; these stocks could help bridge the gap between the offshore and California seasons
- The Arizona/California desert season is expected to begin in a limited manner the week of May 15
- Cool weather and rain have delayed the start of the season
- Adequate supplies are not expected until the week of May 22
- Expect rising markets and elevated prices during the month of May while supplies transition growing regions
- Imported honeydews from Central America will ship through the week of May 15
- Mexican honeydew supplies are crossing into Nogales, Arizona; supplies are limited but increasing
- The Arizona/California desert season is expected to begin the week of May 22
- Cool weather and rain have delayed the start of the season
- Adequate supplies are not expected until the week of May 29
- Expect elevated markets for the month of May while supplies transition growing regions
California’s mid-season Navel supplies are nearly depleted. Late-season Navel varieties will enter the market next week. Expect limited quantities of California Valencia supplies to become available the first week of May; harvesting will be in full swing by mid-May. Texas Valencia production is finishing up this week. The Mexican Valencia season (into South Texas and Nogales, Arizona) will wind down in early to mid-June.
- MFC and ESS Navel Oranges are available
- Large sizes (48- and 56-count fruit) remain limited; smaller sizes (113- and 138-count fruit) are also tightening
- Late Navel varieties are expected to become available next week; the season will run through June
- Quality is very good; Brix levels are high
- The Texas domestic Valencia season will wind down the last week of April
- Mexican Valencias (crossing into South Texas and Nogales, Arizona) will remain on the market through early to mid-June
- Limited quantities of California Valencias will become available the first week of May
- California Valencia crops will be dominated by small sizes (113- and 138-count fruit)
Strawberry supplies are ample; demand remains strong. Forecasted rain in all California growing regions this week could cause supplies to tighten.
Oxnard/Santa Maria, California
- MFC Strawberries are available
- The forecast calls for rain on Tuesday, May 2 into Wednesday, May 3
- MFC plastic clamshells may need to be substituted for corrugated clamshells
- Quality is good; some green shoulders have been reported
- Expect volume to slightly decline as markets rise
- As a result of historical early season rains, no harvesting has begun in this growing region as the season is still four to five weeks behind schedule
- The season is not expected to ramp up until mid-May
Current stable squash markets are expected to rise mid-May due to transition delays in the west. MFC Zucchini and Yellow Squash are available.
- Northern Mexico production will taper off mid-May; Scarring has been observed due to recent high winds
- The California Santa Maria season will be delayed two weeks due to past weather conditions; June 1st start
- Florida production in Plant City is adequate with good quality
- Georgia has starting with light harvests with increased yields over the next two weeks
- Zucchini and yellow squash quality is excellent
- Expect steady pricing over the next two weeks
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
©2023 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.