Widespread lettuce ice will be causing continued harvesting and loading delays for leafy green items in the Arizona/California desert growing region. Temperatures have dipped into the low-to upper 30°s in many production areas after winds subsided overnight. Similar icing conditions expected for Thursday, December 14 before dissipating by Saturday, December 16.
After multiple mornings of freezing temperatures this week, Markon inspectors will be watching for the following ice-related challenges in lettuce and tender leaf items in the days ahead:
- Dehydration and/or loss of vibrancy
- Epidermal blistering and peeling
- Stalled plant growth and decreased case weights for some lettuce packs
- Yellowing leaves, especially in Arugula and other tender leaf items
- Weakened texture and shortened shelf-life
Weather has been mild up to this point in the desert season and supplies are plentiful, but if the cold trend continues beyond this week and plant growth slows significantly, the industry may be heading toward a supply gap sometime in January.
Markon inspectors will continue monitoring weather and product quality closely and will update further as needed.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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