News and Stories

FROM THE FIELDS: California Heat Spike

July 01, 2015


Weather forecasts for the Salinas and Santa Maria, California growing regions predict strong high pressure to push temperatures into the upper 70s near the coast and the upper 90s/100s inland by Wednesday, July 1. Gradual cooling will take place throughout the regions later in the week, but this brief heat spike could increase quality issues, reduce yields, and potentially elevate prices.


Markon suppliers have already adjusted harvesting start times to avoid packing in peak temperatures. They are taking additional measures at the field and processor levels to protect product from the effects of heat. Ordering for quick turns is highly recommended; maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is a critical part of maximizing quality and shelf-life for perishable produce items.


This week’s elevated temperatures will increase Markon inspections of the following commodity and value-added items:


Salinas and Santa Maria



  • Bracketing
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated insect pressure
  • Hollow core
  • Large crown diameter


Leafy Greens and Lettuce Items:

  • Dehydration
  • Elevated insect pressure
  • Fringe burn
  • Internal burn
  • Large size (iceberg lettuce)
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun scalding



  • Bleeding, bronzing, bruising, and soft texture
  • Decreased size in the coming days
  • Shortened shelf-life


Value-Added Salads and Tender Leaf Items:

  • Dehydration
  • Inconsistent texture
  • Internal burn
  • Paler-than-normal color due to extra trimming
  • Shortened shelf-life


San Joaquin Valley

  • Above-normal temperatures will peak on Wednesday, July 1 and Thursday, July 2 (as high as 106 to 111 degrees)
  • Possible showers are forecast through the end of this week
  • Reduced harvesting hours for green, red, and yellow bell peppers will further reduce already limited supplies
  • High temperatures will affect blooms that are scheduled to be harvested four weeks from now; expect fewer supplies in late July
  • Large-size cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are limited; high temperatures are causing melons to ripen before they grow to normal size

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


John Galvez

Quality Assurance


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