UPDATE SUMMARY: WEEK OF AUGUST 22, 2022

August 25, 2022

Apples- 2022/2023 Washington Crop Forecast is Down

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) predicts the 2022-2023 Washington State apple crop will be down as much as 11%, compared to the 2021-2022 season.   

Washington

  • The WSTFA projects approximately 108 million cases will be packed during the 2022-2023 season, down from nearly 120 million cases in 2021-2022; cold and rainy weather this past spring is the basis for lower predicted yields
  • Remaining Granny Smith and Red Delicious storage volume is adequate
  • Fuji and Golden Delicious storage supplies are winding down
    • Grade substitutions will be necessary for orders until new crop harvesting begins
    • Prices have increased
    • Remaining apple size is dominated by 88-count and larger fruit
  • New crop Gala apples hit the market this week

Michigan

  • Ideal weather conditions in spring and summer call for an excellent crop
  • Currently, Michigan apple growers are predicting well-above average yields; 29.5 million bushels are predicted, above the average annual crop of 24 million bushels
  • The Michigan season will get underway with varietals next week; Ginger Golds and Paul Reds, for instance
  • Core varieties such as Gala, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp apples will hit the market the week of September 12

Please see the grid below for a quick reference to Washington apple transitions and current size profiles, along with expected start dates for the Michigan crop:

Washington
Availability Fuji Gala Golden Delicious Granny Smith Red Delicious
Storage crop ends: Week of September 5 Done End of September End of September End of September
Current size profile: 72- to 80-count 72- to 88-count 80- to 100-count 80- to 125-count 64- to 100-count
Most limited supplies: 88-count and smaller 100-count and smaller 113-count and smaller 150-count and smaller 150-count and smaller
New crop starts: Week of September 19 Currently shipping Week of September 19 Week of September 26 Week of September 19
Michigan
Availability Fuji Gala Golden Delicious Granny Smith Red Delicious
New crop starts: Week of September 19 Week of September 12 Week of September 12 N/A Week of October 3
 

 

Broccoli

Broccoli markets are rising. Markon First Crop (MFC) Broccoli is available; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being packed where necessary due to quality concerns

  • Abnormally high temperatures continue to hamper Central Mexican growing regions and challenge quality
    • Issues like brown bead, yellow bead (shading), bracketed structure, hollow core and pest pressure are a concern this time of year
    • Increased observance of insects and insect larvae out of Mexico are of special concern and being monitored closely
  • Demand for West Coast broccoli is strong; poor quality and lower yields from Mexico are driving the market upwards
  • Regional deals are winding down as summer ends, further increasing demand in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys
  • Overall industry supplies are adequate, but will become tighter through early September

Cilantro

Cilantro markets are easing.

  • Ready-Set-Serve Cilantro is available
  • Temperature and humidity are dropping in the major growing regions of Oxnard, Salinas, Santa Maria, and Lompoc, California
  • Yields are increasing and quality concerns are less prevalent; shelf-life will be positively impacted
  • Industry volume fell significantly over the past 45 days
  • Availability will increase with temperate weather; no major storm systems are forecast through the end of August
  • Expect average markets through August; rising volume will drive markets lower in September

Cucumbers

Cucumber supplies are tight due to heavy rains in Mexico and reduced volume on the East Coast. Markets are higher.

  • MFC and Markon Essentials Cucumbers are limited; packer label may be substituted as necessary
  • Recent monsoon rains, disrupting harvest and supply routes, has limited Mexico supply from the Baja Peninsula
  • East Coast supply is tight; previous weather has affected quality
  • New Jersey will harvest new fields this week, assisting overall volume heading into the weekend
  • Michigan and Wisconsin stocks are limited as fields move past peak production
  • Washington growers are beginning production on ground-grown cucumbers with some concerns around yellow undersides and misshapen products
  • Expect higher prices over the next one to two weeks

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine

California green leaf, iceberg, and romaine supplies have been impacted by disease pressure and higher-than-normal temperatures, particularly in South Salinas Valley. Prices continue to climb.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf is available; MBA is being substituted due to low case weights and quality concerns
    • Warm weather, particularly in southern Salinas Valley, have resulted in dense heads, fringe burn, pest pressure, and weak tip, reducing harvestable yields and shelf-life
    • Mildew pressure, due to high humidity, has forced suppliers to cut ahead of their acreage, lowering case weights and overall yields
    • Markets are forecast to continue to climb over the next 7 to 14 days; stocks will remain adequate
  • MFC Premium Iceberg and Romaine are available; MBA is being substituted due to low case weights and quality concerns
    • Abnormal humidity has continued to cause varying levels of internal burn, growth crack, seeder, and salt and pepper; mildew and thrip damage are also prevalent due to persistently warm soil temperatures
      • INSV and Sclerotia are of special concern and have forced shippers ahead of their acres, particularly affecting Romaine Hearts markets/availability
    • Romaine prices will rise through August; regional/local deals are winding down, increasing demand for West Coast supplies
    • Iceberg markets appear to have plateaued for now, but remain highly elevated

Green Onions

The green onion market continues to rise rapidly. Persistently elevated temperatures are leading to low yields in the primary growing region of Mexicali, Mexico.

  • Hot weather without nighttime cooling relief has led to warmer-than-normal ground temperatures, increasing thrip/pest pressure and reduced yields
  • Extreme monsoonal pressure (hot, humid, stormy, and windy weather) has brought with it even tougher growing conditions
  • Increased inspections at the Southern U.S. border have caused delays in border crossing times, further hampering inbound supplies
  • Rapid growth combined with lower yields have limited harvestable onions; planting/cutting ahead risks affecting winter production
  • Expect elevated markets through mid-September

Onions

MFC Onions are being harvested in the Northwest. Expect prices to remain elevated over the next few weeks.

  • MFC Onions are being shipped out of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington  
    • Supplies are currently on the smaller side, dominated by medium and jumbo sizes
    • Limited super colossal onions are available
  • Utah-grown onions will hit the market in early September; Washington onions are being hauled in for consolidation and loading
    • Volume is dominated by medium and jumbo sizes; Washington onions are being used to fill orders
    • Super colossal supplies are limited
    • Utah-grown MFC Onions will begin to ship the first week of September
  • Packer label onions are available in Colorado
  • New crop onions will have a rounder, more globe-like shape than supplies shipped during the spring and summer months; early season supplies will still exhibit thin, light-colored skins until shipped out of storage

Potatoes

Potato supply challenges persist in the Northwest. The bulk of Idaho harvesting will not begin until next week. Expect highly elevated markets and tight supplies to persist into September.

  • As new crop potato harvesting begins in the Northwest, suppliers will start to fill potato cellars and pack “fresh-run” potatoes (potatoes that are harvested and packed right from the field, not a cellar)
  • Fresh-run quality will be good, with occasional skinning and excess moisture on skins
    • Early pack-outs will be on the small side, dominated by 80- to 100-count stocks
    • Potatoes will release moisture as they cool, resulting in a light white surface residue that can easily be brushed off
    • The white residue dissipates as potatoes dry, posing no quality concerns
  • New crop potatoes have not gone through the “sweat” process yet; this process allows field heat to leave potatoes, putting them in dormancy and preventing sprouting during early months of storage
  • U.S. No. 2 potato grade supplies will be tight
    • No. 2 supplies will increase as potatoes are shipped out of storage
    • Expect elevated prices
  • Expect new crop Idaho Burbank harvesting to begin in late September/early October; shipping out of storage will start in late October/early November
  • Limited quantities of Texas potatoes are now being gathered; early harvests remain inadequate in size
  • Colorado and Wisconsin production will begin in September

Tomatoes

Tomato markets continue to rise. Rain along the East Coast and Mexico has reduced overall supply, shifting demand towards California. MFC Tomatoes are available.

  • Alabama, Tennessee, and the Northeast region have seen significant rain this week, hampering the harvest of round and Roma tomatoes
    • Previous heatwaves and rain this season have reduced quality and yields
    • Virginia is seeing excellent grape tomato quality
  • Water restrictions led California growers to plant fewer Roma and mature green tomatoes this year
    • Demand has increased for California fruit
    • Lower priced Roma tomatoes are an attractive option
    • Overall quality is good
  • Mexican Roma, cherry, and grape tomatoes are very limited; farmers are assessing and recovering from monsoon rains and flooding this past weekend
    • Trucks dealing with delays and closed roads have posed transportation challenges
    • Quality is good, especially on grape varieties
    • Supplies will increase in mid-September when early fall production starts
  • Expect prices to continue rising over the next two weeks

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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