FROM THE FIELDS: DESERT WEATHER & QUALITY

December 22, 2021

The Arizona/California desert growing region has experienced cold morning temperatures and lettuce ice over the last few days, and the effects of the freezing temperatures are beginning to be found in lettuce and leaf crops.

Quality challenges showing up include:

  • Dehydration
  • Epidermal blister and peeling
  • Shortened shelf life potential
  • Yellowing leaves and/or dull appearance
  • Lighter case weights

The Current forecast is calling for potential rain in the Yuma and Imperial Valley/Coachella growing regions starting the evening of Thursday, December 23 and continuing through Saturday, December 25. Imperial Valley/Coachella is expected to receive up to .50” of total rainfall and Yuma is estimating upwards of .25”. Although the chances for more lettuce ice are low for the remainder of this week, the rainfall will bring new challenges such as:

  • Bottom rot and/or decay
  • Harvesting & production delays due to wet fields
  • Premature pinking in commodity and value-added items

Markon is having all branded suppliers pack ahead to ensure all PO’s are covered through the Holiday weekend. 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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