Much of the West Coast, including California’s Salinas Valley, is experiencing temperatures that are well above seasonal norms this week. Coastal highs remain in the upper 70°s to low 80°s, but inland temperatures will reach upper 80°s to over 100° through the rest of this week.
Heat-related quality issues are now showing up in commodity and value-added lettuce items. The most notable defects are internal burn and increased insect pressure, but some tender leaf items such as arugula, which is highly sensitive to abrupt temperature swings, are exhibiting yellowing. Shelf life will be a challenge over the next few weeks for many Salinas Valley crops.
Markon inspectors are working with suppliers and harvesting crews to secure the best available product, and taking steps to minimize serious defects, but we will not be able to eliminate them completely. Ordering for quick turns is highly recommended, and maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution will be critical for maximizing quality and shelf life.
The graph below illustrates current temperatures in the mid-Salinas Valley area compared to seasonal averages.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
©2021 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.