News and Stories


September 17, 2020

Bell Peppers

  • East Coast volume is extremely limited
    • The Michigan season is winding down
    • North Carolina volume is below normal
    • The Georgia season will begin the first week of October, followed by harvests in Florida by early November
  • West Coast supplies continue to tighten
    • East Coast demand has shifted west, pushing prices upward
    • Crops will transition to the Southern California desert region in mid-October
    • Harvesting will begin in Western Mexico by late October/early November
  • Red bell pepper prices are fairly steady; expect adequate California stocks for the foreseeable future

Green Leaf and Romaine

  • Erratic weather, including two recent heatwaves over the past four weeks, followed by periods of cooler-than-normal temperatures, have greatly reduced carton weights and overall yields
  • Heat-related defects, such as internal and fringe burn, seeder, and sun scalding are limiting harvestable acres
  • Soil-borne diseases, including Sclerotinia and Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus, continue to be detected in fields at a greater rate as the Salinas Valley season progresses
  • Markets will remain elevated through the balance of the Salinas Valley season

Iceberg Lettuce

  • Erratic weather, including two recent heatwaves over the past four weeks, followed by periods of cooler-than-normal temperatures, have greatly reduced carton weights and overall yields
  • Volume is also being impacted by the soil-borne diseases Sclerotinia and Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus, that are reducing harvestable heads at the field level
  • Lighter field weights will have a dramatic effect on processors, as they now have to utilize additional acreage to achieve the same output, further straining industry supplies
  • Markets will remain elevated through the rest of the Salinas Valley season

Idaho Potatoes

  • Norkotah quality remains very good: minor skinning and excess moisture may be observed in fresh-run potatoes
  • New crop potatoes have not gone through the sweat process yet
    • Potatoes may release moisture as they cool, causing very light, white surface residue that can be easily brushed off
    • The white residue will dissipate as potatoes dry and does not pose any quality problems
  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Norkotahs will begin to ship out of storage in mid-October


  • New crop Burbank harvesting will begin in late September; packer label cartons will be available to ship
  • MFC Burbank Potatoes will be available once the sweat process is completed (approximately late October/early November)


  • MFC Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons are on the market
  • Expect sporadic size availability for the next 14 days as heavy smoke is reducing sunlight and delaying plant maturity/uniformity
  • Late August’s hot weather has impacted early growth and slowed the maturity of fields
  • Growers in the Arizona desert region will begin harvesting in mid-October


  • MFC and Markon Essentials Valencia Oranges are available
  • Small-size fruit (113- to 138-count oranges) will be extremely limited for the rest of the season
  • Substituting larger sizes (88-count stocks) may be necessary
  • Valencia quality concerns include re-greening and softness
  • California Navels will start shipping in late October


  • MFC Strawberries are available out of Salinas/Watsonville and Santa Maria
  • The Salinas/Watsonville season is past peak production with Santa Maria expected to ramp up in the next five to seven days
  • Due to recent heat, expect fruit size to be smaller than normal for the next 10 to 14 days
  • Quality concerns include bleeding, bruising, pin rot, small size, softness, and reduced shelf-life
  • Cold-chain management remains a vital component of maximizing shelf-life

West Coast

  • Santa Maria volume is down due to the heatwave earlier this month
  • The Mexican season (into Nogales, Arizona) will start in a limited manner in late September
  • Expect elevated markets for the next two weeks

East Coast

  • Michigan production will go for one to two more weeks
  • New crop supplies are ramping up in Georgia
  • Expect higher prices and limited stocks for the next two weeks


  • High temperatures have limited the production of field-grown tomatoes in California’s San Joaquin Valley
  • Unfavorable weather in Baja, Mexico as well as the northeastern mainland have reduced yields
  • East Coast regional harvesting is winding down
  • Florida’s season is forecast to start at the end of October/early November

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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