Over the past eight weeks, California’s Salinas Valley has experienced intermittent heat spikes with near-triple digit temperatures, followed by a series of storms that have brought approximately three and a half inches of rain to the region.
Row crop products such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, strawberries, and tender leaf items rely on a stable, mild climate for optimum growth and ideal quality. The most recent weather patterns have put tremendous stress on commodity items and raw product supplies for value-added salads. As a result, Markon inspectors have recently observed an uptick in shelf-life concerns such as early breakdown/decay, premature pinking, and occasional off-odor in some value-added salad items.
With more rain in the forecast for October 29 and 30, it is likely that there will be an overall decline in the quality and shelf-life of value-added items throughout the industry. Quality will improve once growers make the transition to the Arizona/California desert growing region where current weather conditions are more favorable for upcoming harvests.
Markon recommends ordering for quick turns. As always, maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is a critical part of maximizing the quality and shelf-life of all perishable produce items.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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