News and Stories

FROM THE FIELDS: West Coast Weather & Quality Update

April 01, 2016

The West Coast seasonal transition for lettuces, strawberries, tender leaf items, and other row crops is in full swing. Markon inspectors are monitoring weather and quality in all major growing regions and observing the following:


Central and Southern California Strawberry Growing Regions

  • Favorable growing conditions are expected over the next several days with temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s in the Oxnard and Santa Maria regions
  • In Oxnard, minor bleeding, soft texture, white shoulders, and white tips are being found, but overall quality remains good
  • The initial lots in Santa Maria have sufficient size and quality with few white shoulders
  • Fruit from both regions is exhibiting mildly sweet flavor
  • A small number of strawberries are now being harvested in the Salinas/Watsonville areas; initial quality is good, but a slight chance of rain could affect quality later next week

Huron, California

  • Dry weather and a warming trend are forecast; temperatures will reach the upper 70s/low 80s over the next several days
  • Elevated insect counts persist, although green leaf and romaine harvesting will end by Saturday, April 2
  • Iceberg quality is strong with minimal defects, but case weights are inconsistent

Salinas, California

  • Ideal conditions are forecast; temperatures will reach the mid-60s to low 70s over the next several days
  • The harvesting transition to the Salinas Valley has begun
    • A limited number of growers have started moving
    • More will make the move in the upcoming days
  • Initial lettuce quality is very good with only minimal mildew present on outer leaves
  • Many suppliers are several days ahead of the planting schedule, which will bring some growers into the area sooner than expected
  • A small quantity of MFC Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuce will be available in Salinas next week

Desert Growing Region

  • High temperatures are expected over the next several days, peaking in the low 90s with strong winds up to 35-40 mph
  • Most growers have already begun the transition north, but a small percentage of commodity and value-added suppliers will stay in the area until approximately April 18
  • Minor insect pressure is present in leaf items as well as a limited amount of internal burn, long core/seeder, and wind damage
  • Large-size heads dominate iceberg supplies; some heat-related defects are being reported such as growth cracks, insect pressure, internal burn, long core/seeder, rib blight, and sun scalding

Please contact your Markon customer support representative for more information.


Blake Anderson

Quality Assurance


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