News and Stories

UPDATE SUMMARY: Week of December 14, 2015

December 17, 2015


Cold temperatures and rain in Florida and Mexico have further tightened bell pepper, cucumber, and squash supplies; expect low volume and elevated markets for the next two to three weeks. The Arizona/California desert growing regions are experiencing a wave of widespread ice; temperatures dropped into the low 30s. Expect harvesting and loading delays as well as potential product shortages as a result of limited production this week. The Santa Maria, California growing regions are also experiencing freezing temperatures, bringing the strawberry season to an end for some suppliers; expect California stocks to remain tight as the Oxnard season slowly ramps up.



  • Large sizes are tight; the market is elevated
  • Consecutive days of freezing temperatures in the California desert growing region, Castroville, and Oxnard have caused frost-related defects in many artichokes
  • Freezing temperatures cause the outside layer of the leaves to blister, then eventually turn brown, flake, and peel
  • Expect this cosmetic defect for the next several weeks or longer, depending on weather

Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, and Squash

  • Prices will rise next week as low temperatures and rain move through growing regions in Florida and Mexico, further tightening supplies
  • Florida production will be limited; growers will struggle to meet demand
  • Expect elevated prices until volume increases in two to three weeks

East Coast Weather

  • Heavy rains in Central Florida over the last several weeks have reduced yields and damaged plants
  • Quality issues may include discoloration and scarring on cucumbers, eggplant, and squash; bell peppers may exhibit bruising and stem decay
  • Expect tight bell pepper, cucumber, eggplant, green bean, and tomato supplies; prices will remain elevated for the next four to six weeks 

More Ice in the Desert Growing Region

  • The Arizona/California desert growing regions are experiencing another wave of widespread lettuce ice; temperatures dropped into the low 30s
  • Harvesting delays of up to four hours are being reported; crews will be on stand-by until lettuce, tender leaf, and other crops thaw completely
  • Frost-related defects include: dehydration, dull appearance, epidermal blistering and peeling, and yellowing
  • Expect significant harvesting and loading delays as well as potential product shortages

Ready-Set-Serve Fresh-Cut Grape Products

  • Markon’s supplier of fresh-cut grapes will transition from domestic Crimson grapes to the Chilean Flame red seedless variety starting the week of December 21; during this transition there may be some variability in finished products
  • Color will be comparable: rose to dark red; flavor will be sweet
  • The Chilean Flame red seedless variety will be packed through early spring; at that point growers will transition back into domestic red seedless supplies


  • The Santa Maria, California growing region experienced freezing temperatures and wet weather this week, ending the fall season for some suppliers; stocks in Oxnard, California remain extremely limited, but the season is ramping up
  • Prices are steady, but poised to rise
  • Markon First Crop Strawberries are not available; Markon Best Available (in one-pound clamshells and/or packer label) are being substituted

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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