Many California growing regions, including Salinas, Santa Maria, and Oxnard, are currently experiencing a significant heat spike with daytime highs rising into the upper 80s to low 100s; nearly 20 degrees above normal. The elevated temperatures and dry conditions are the result of strong high pressure and offshore flow, that is expected to reverse back to onshore flow by mid-week and start a cool down period leading into the weekend. Click here for a photo of bruised strawberries caused by the heat spike.
Markon inspectors have just started to observe heat-related quality issues such as dehydration, elevated insect pressure, and a small amount of internal burn and long core/seeder in lettuce items such as green leaf, iceberg, and romaine. Strawberries and tender leaf items like arugula, spinach, and spring mix are especially sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuations and may also begin to develop quality and shelf-life concerns in the coming days. To view a photo of a green aphid on iceberg lettuce, click here; for a photo of dehydration of iceberg, click here.
Cold-chain management throughout distribution is a critical part of maximizing the quality and shelf-life of perishable produce items. Ordering for quick turns is also recommended. Markon inspectors will be monitoring commodity and value-added items very closely and will update further as needed. To view a photo of seeder in iceberg lettuce, click here; for iceberg with weak tips, click here.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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