UPDATE: Salinas Valley Insect Pressure
June 22, 2016
Insect pressure is an ongoing problem this year in the Salinas Valley, especially in finished packs of green leaf, iceberg, romaine, and tender leaf items. The current heat wave that California is experiencing will prolong this issue, as hot weather increases insect reproduction and other heat-related defects. Temperatures are forecast to remain elevated in the high 80s/low 90s in the hottest areas of the Salinas Valley over the next 7 to 10 days.
- Most growers are reporting more insect pressure this year than in previous years
- Heavier rains this winter and spring aided brush and weed growth on the surrounding hills, attracting insects
- In the summer, the brush and weeds turn brown and dry out
- The lush, green vegetation on the valley floor attracts insects such as black flies, lygyus bugs, thrips, and aphids
- Higher insect counts tend to be found in leaf lettuce items such as green leaf and romaine due to their open frames
- Markon recommends that operators thoroughly rinse and inspect commodity and value-added lettuce and tender leaf products to make sure all insects have been removed
- Operators can cut farther up the lettuce ends to make sure all insects are removed before washing and using the product
- Insect populations will vary in fields throughout the summer, but they generally increase late summer/early fall
Markon inspectors are working with suppliers to select the best lots available for Markon orders to minimize insect counts as much as possible.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
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