FROM THE FIELDS: DESERT LETTUCE & WEATHER UPDATE

February 9, 2022

The Arizona/California desert growing region has experienced a cycle of sustained, cold winds and freezing morning temperatures over the last two weeks. This created a dramatic slowdown in plant growth. Markon inspectors have seen a significant drop in iceberg lettuce case weights this week and are substituting Markon Best Available (MBA) for Markon First Crop (MFC) brand as a result. Some fields yielding weights as low as 37-40 lb. compared to weights of 47-50 lb. just a week ago.

The current forecast calls for a significant warming trend through Sunday, February 13 with temperatures in the upper 70°s F to upper 80°s F before cooling back down early next week. The sudden heat will promote plant growth, but Markon inspectors will also be watching for any negative effects such as internal burn, seeder, and sun scalding, as well as lingering defects created by the freezing temperatures experienced through January and early February. Arugula and other baby leaf items are particularly sensitive to dramatic temperature swings, so those will be monitored closely as well.

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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