News and Stories

UPDATE: Week of July 25, 2016

July 28, 2016

Iceberg lettuce prices will rise as demand increases and quality issues persist. The Idaho Burbank storage potato season is nearly finished. New crop Norkotahs are available; supplies will ramp up the first week of August. Markon First Crop (MFC) Onions are available in California and New Mexico. Harvesting will end in both regions by mid-August; production will transition to Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The California Valencia orange season will continue until California Navels are harvested in October. Strawberry supplies are starting to decrease as growers move past the mid-season point. Prices will rise until the Santa Maria fall crop begins in mid-August. California’s San Joaquin Valley is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures in the triple digits. Limited harvesting hours are anticipated for bell pepper, grape, melon, and orange crops. The Sobranes Wild Fire, located north of Big Sur, California, continues to burn. As smoke and ash funnels into the Salinas Valley, items such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, strawberries, tender leaf, and lightly processed value-added products may require additional rinsing.  



  • Washington storage stocks are tightening as growers transition from existing supplies to new crop fruit
  • The seasons for MFC Gala and Golden Delicious Apples are ending; sufficient storage supplies of MFC Granny Smith, Fuji, and Red Delicious Apples remain available
  • Packer label California Gala apples are on the market
    • Volume will increase the week of August 1
    • The season will run through September
  • Expect prices to remain firm as growers transition from storage to new crop fruit

High Temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley

  • Temperatures are reaching as high as 110°
  • Potential production delays and heat-related defects are expected due to the sustained heat wave
  • Hot weather is forecast through Sunday, July 31

Iceberg Lettuce

  • Production levels will remain steady, but strong demand and quality problems are lowering yields
  • MFC Premium Iceberg Lettuce is sporadic due to low carton weights; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed
  • Regional stocks are declining due to seasonality and inclement weather, strengthening West Coast demand
  • Expect limited stocks and active prices for the next several weeks

Idaho Potatoes

  • Idaho storage crop Burbank potatoes will be nearly depleted by next week
  • New crop, fresh-run Norkotahs are available; supplies will increase to normal levels the week of August 1
  • Expect new crop cartons to be higher than storage crop stocks
  • MFC Norkotah Potatoes will be available the week of August 15


  • MFC Onions are available in California and New Mexico; both seasons will end by mid-August
  • Limited supplies of Washington MFC Red and Yellow Onions are on the market now; production will be fully underway the week of August 22
  • MFC Red and Yellow Onions will be available from the following regions in August
    • Idaho/Oregon: week of August 8
    • Colorado: week of August 15
    • Utah: week of August 22
  • Demand is moderate; prices should hold steady or dip slightly lower


  • MFC and Markon Essentials Oranges are available
  • The California Navel season is nearly finished; the California Valencia harvest is in full swing
  • Chilean Navels are available for loading on the West Coast; South African Navels can be loaded on the East Coast
  • Expect prices to inch up through the summer, easing once new crop California Navels become available in late October

Salinas Valley Lettuce and Tender Leaf Items

  • MFC Premium Iceberg Lettuce is sporadic due to low carton weights; MBA is being substituted as needed
  • MFC Premium Green Leaf and Romaine are available; MBA may be substituted as necessary due to heat-related issues
  • Tender leaf supplies are sufficient, but high temperatures are resulting in inconsistent quality and lower yields
  • Expect steady to slightly higher prices for lettuce and tender leaf commodity items

Soberanes Wildfire

  • The Sobranes Wildfire began July 22 north of Big Sur, California; as of July 28, the fire has burned over 27,000 acres and is only 10% contained
  • Many crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, commodity lettuces, strawberries, tender leaf items, and lightly processed value-added products may exhibit ash
  • Ash deposited by wild fires is non-toxic and not considered a food safety hazard; additional rinsing at the end-user level may be required
  • Salinas Valley air quality is currently classified as good; if it worsens and conditions become a health hazard for crews, harvesting could be curtailed


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Supplies in Salinas and Watsonville are beginning to decrease as growers move past mid-season
  • Volume will increase when Santa Maria, California’s fall crop starts in mid-August; a limited supply of Santa Maria MFC Strawberries is expected on the market the week of August 15
  • Expect prices to slowly rise until the Santa Maria fall crop moves into full production

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.


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