News and Stories

FROM THE FIELDS: Quality Issues in the Desert Growing Region

November 10, 2016

Markon First Crop (MFC) Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuce packs are limited in the Arizona/California desert growing region; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed.


The desert growing region has experienced several days of near record high temperatures in the mid-90s (8 to 10 degrees above seasonal norms) that will persist through the next several days. Nighttime temperatures in the low to mid-60s (5 to 10 degrees above seasonal norms) are accelerating iceberg and leaf lettuce growth. Markon inspectors are seeing an increased amount of heat-related defects such as:

Raw product lettuce and tender leaf stocks are now being harvested; production will increase over the next two weeks. All value-added crops are also experiencing the above-mentioned quality concerns and will likely exhibit shortened shelf-life from heat stress. Harvesting and processing crews are trimming product to better detect and avoid serious defects, but will not be able to eliminate all issues completely. Cooler weather is expected the week of November 21 when temperatures drop to the low to mid-70s, but it’s possible that quality will remain fair, at best, through late November due to the heat wave.


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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