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August 23, 2023

California’s Salinas Valley received only trace amounts of rain from Tropical Storm Hilary, but the area has experienced above-normal temperatures and humidity over the past several days. Supplies of broccoli, lettuces, strawberries, and tender leaf items are rapidly developing quality issues in response to the weather. These challenges include, but are not limited to:

  • Dehydration
  • Soft texture & increased bruising in strawberries
  • Pin rot & yellow/brown bead in broccoli
  • Fog burn & decay in romaine
  • Internal burn & mildew pressure in lettuce items
  • Increased soil disease & plant virus pressure in lettuce items
  • Shortened shelf-life performance

Markon First Crop (MFC) Lettuce items are limited; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed. Harvesting crews are trimming lettuce items more than normal to detect and avoid as many defects as possible, which is causing case weights to fluctuate as well.

Although soil disease and plant virus issues are being observed, it is far less than what has been recorded over the past two years for this timeframe. However, Markon inspectors will be closely monitoring and will update further if significant supply concerns arise.

As always, maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing the quality and shelf-life of perishable produce items.

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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