FROM THE FIELDS: ANOTHER SALINAS HEAT WAVE APPROACHING

July 14, 2022

After a short respite from high temperatures, the Salinas Valley will once again experience a heatwave starting Thursday, July 14 and continuing through the middle of next week. Morning lows will range from the upper 40°s to low 60°s and daytime highs for inland areas will be in the 80°s to low 100°s; coastal areas should remain in the 70°s.

This cycle of rising high pressure and heat spikes every two weeks has been going on since early June and is not typical of Salinas Valley weather patterns. Many crops have reacted poorly to the heat and elevated humidity levels, causing widespread quality and shelf-life concerns in commodity and value-added crops. As a result, Markon First Crop (MFC) and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) specifications have been harder to meet. Due to crops not meeting MFC specifications, we are currently substituting a higher percentage of Markon Best Available (MBA).

The most common heat-related defects observed:

Baby Leaf and Other Lettuces:  

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Growth cracks
  • Inconsistent growth/fluctuating density
  • Increased insect pressure
  • Internal burn/tip burn
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun burn/sun scalding

Broccoli:

  • Accelerated growth/oversized crowns
  • Dehydration
  • Hollow core
  • Pin rot
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Yellowing

Strawberries:

  • Decreased size
  • Lower volume
  • Increased bruising
  • Soft texture
  • Shortened shelf-life

Markon inspectors continue to work with suppliers to allocate the best product for our orders. Maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life.

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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