The Arizona/California desert growing regions are experiencing another wave of widespread lettuce ice this morning, as lows dropped into the low 30’s. Harvesting delays of up to 4 hours are being reported with most shippers; crews will be on stand-by until lettuce, tender leaf, and other crops thaw completely before handling.
Markon inspectors have already been observing frost-related defects from the season’s first freeze event, late November through the first week of December. These defects are being found in most lettuce items and include, but are not limited to the following (see attached pictures):
- Dull appearance
- Epidermal Blistering
- Epidermal Peeling
The cold air currently passing through is much colder, and is forecast to stay longer than the first wave of lettuce ice we received. Forecasts are calling for widespread, severe lettuce ice for the remainder of the week, with daytime highs in the 50s-to low 60s. This new round of freezing temperatures will only compound the freeze related issues we are already observing, as well as slow plant maturity potentially increasing a stronger demand exceeds supply market on all items.
Markon inspectors are monitoring supplies and working with growers to select the best available lots, but are expecting freeze-related issues to be present in most crops for the next several weeks.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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