News and Stories

UPDATE: High Temperatures Return to the Salinas Valley

June 30, 2016

High temperatures over the last 10 to 14 days have caused quality and shelf-life issues in most lettuce and tender leaf items grown in the Salinas Valley. Fringe burn, high insect pressure, premature pinking, and reduced shelf-life have been the most prevalent problems. Temperatures are expected to ease into the high 60s/low 70s for the next 7 to 10 days before more heat returns to the Salinas Valley.


Temperatures are forecast in the mid-80s/low 90s and possibly triple digits in the hottest areas across the valley from July 9 through July 13. A tropical storm moving north from the Baja peninsula is expected to bring the warm weather and moisture. High temperatures and rain will prolong current quality problems for the rest of the month


Issues to be expected include:


Leafy Greens and Lettuces:

  • Dehydration
  • Fringe burn
  • Growth cracking
  • Inconsistent/dense texture
  • Increased mildew
  • Insect pressure
  • Long core/seeder
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Pale color in iceberg 
  • Sun scalding

Value-Added Salads and Tender Leaf Items:

  • Brittle texture
  • Core material
  • Dehydration
  • Dense texture/chunks
  • Higher respiration rates
  • Possibility of insects in finished packs
  • Mechanical damage
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Yellowing

Markon recommends that operators thoroughly rinse and inspect commodity and value-added lettuce and tender leaf products during this time to make sure all insects have been removed.


Markon inspectors are working with suppliers to select the best lots available for Markon orders. Maintaining the cold chain is critical to maximizing the quality and shelf-life of commodity and value-added produce items. Markon will continue to report on prices, supply levels, and quality as more information becomes available.


Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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