News and Stories

FROM THE FIELDS: Heat Wave in Desert Growing Regions

February 09, 2016


Markon First Crop (MFC) Green Leaf and Romaine are available. MFC Iceberg Lettuce is limited; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed.


A recent strong, high-pressure system moving through the South-West has caused temperatures to rise to the low to mid-80s in the desert growing regions, with elevated wind gusts up to 35 mph. The temperature spike is expected to continue for the next 12-14 days.  


This warming comes on the heels of an extended period of cool temperatures that resulted in lettuce ice, which stunted growth and tightened supplies. The increased temperatures will stimulate growth; ample supplies can be expected over the next two weeks. Heat-related defects which may develop are:

  • Decay
  • Dehydration
  • Growth cracks
  • Inconsistent or dense texture
  • Insect pressure
  • Internal burn
  • Mildew pressure
  • Protruding ribs
  • Ribby shape
  • Rib blight
  • Sun scalding

Some value-added leaf lettuce and tender leaf crops are also experiencing several of the above-mentioned quality concerns and will likely exhibit shortened shelf-life from heat stress. Harvesting and processing crews are heavily trimming product in order to better detect and avoid serious defects, but will not be able to eliminate all issues completely.


Ordering for quick turns is recommended; maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical to maximizing the quality and shelf-life of commodity and value-added produce items.


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


Blake Anderson

Quality Assurance


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