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August 31, 2023


Tight supplies and elevated markets persist. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.


  • Northern Baja is the the primary growing region at this time
  • Strong winds and flooding caused by Hurricane Hilary have affected yields
    • Fields along the coast were hardest hit
    • Growers are working to cull scarred and bent stalks with damaged tips, further reducing volume
  • Expect markets to remain elevated for the next three to four weeks, at minimum; Central Mexican product will become more available at that time


  • Volume remains lower than normal due to an early onset of El Nino weather patterns
    • Supply levels are down as much as 40% year over year
    • A warm, dry winter preceded record heat, delaying or destroying crops
    • Massive precipitation events delivering annual totals in a matter of days forced many fields into regrowth and prevented marketability while also affecting logistics routes
  • Pricing is comparable to Mexican markets


Mexican volume is increasing slowly; markets are softening. The California and Peruvian seasons are ending. Once production ends in these regions, pricing is expected to stabilize and possibly increase.


  • Large sizes (32- to 48-count supplies) are increasing, but remain limited
  • Smaller sizes (60- to 70-count fruit) are becoming more plentiful; these supplies are being substituted for larger sizes as needed
  • There continues to be a substantial price savings when ordering small sizes (70- to 84-count stocks) as compared to large-size fruit
  • Expect declining markets over the next two to three weeks


  • Yields continue to diminish week over week, as these seasons are expected to come to an end in the next ten to twelve days
  • Remaining quality is good; checkerboarding (uneven ripening) has been reported
  • Expect stable pricing through the end of these seasons

Bell Peppers

California bell pepper production is increasing following Hurricane Hilary. Markets are steady to slightly lower. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • California
    • The Oxnard and Newhall, California growing regions were the most affected by Hurricane Hilary; some flooding has been reported
    • Growers were able to pack ahead in anticipation of the storm, limiting shortages
    • Production is returning to normal in West Coast growing regions following improved weather
    • Quality is good; scarring and mechanical damage are occasional issues
    • Markets are slightly lower as production increases
  • Central Mexico/East Coast   
    • Central Mexican supplies crossing through Texas remain steady with decent quality
    • East Coast markets are steady; North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan are all seeing sufficient volume
    • North Carolina may see lighter production this week as Tropical Storm Idalia makes its way across the southeastern states
    • The Pennsylvania season has started in a light way; volume is expected to increase over the next three weeks
    • East Coast markets are steady but may become active this week as a result of the approaching storm

Red Bells

  • California
    • Oxnard and Bakersfield harvests were hampered by the storm last week
    • Markets are steady but should soften in the next 7-10 days as production returns to normal
    • Quality is faring better than anticipated; light scarring has been reported
    • Despite heavy rains and flooding last week, Coachella growers are not extremely concerned with the fall desert crop plantings; some replanting may be needed in affected fields
  • Central Mexico/Canada  
    • Central Mexican supplies crossing through Texas are steady; quality ranges from good to fair
    • Canadian greenhouses are seeing steady volume and decent quality


Prices are elevated. Industry-wide quality challenges are limiting yields at the field level.

  • MFC Broccoli Crowns are tight in Salinas, California and South Texas; Markon Best Available (MBA) and packer label will be substituted as needed to maintain quality
  • Warm weather and high humidity across the Santa Maria and Salinas Valleys has helped promote growth but introduced several quality challenges
    • Brown bead remains the primary concern but yellowing is also being reported in most lots
    • Hollow cores with bracketed crown structures are being observed in many lots where heat has been extreme
    • This year’s West Coast plantings were lighter due to spring flooding, keeping industry supplies lean and prices elevated
  • Mexican product remains available in South Texas at slightly lower pricing; however, defects like cat eye, yellowing, and bracketed structure are being reported by Markon inspectors

California Stone Fruit

Due to the heavy rains and winds brought on by Hurricane Hilary the California peach and nectarine season has ended abruptly.


  • The season has wrapped up early due to rain and winds from Hurricane Hilary
  • Suppliers continue culling rain-damaged fruit, leading to heavy losses
  • The industry is in a demand-exceeds-supply situation
  • Remaining fruit quality will be a challenge; concerns include excessive bruising and early decay
  • Expect elevated markets and extremely minimal supplies


  • The California season is past its peak
  • California supplies are expected to run through the first week of October
  • Size is dominated by small fruit (60- and 64-count stocks)
  • Expect very good quality; sugar levels typically range from 14 to 17 Brix
  • After the California season wraps up, plums will be sourced from Chile until mid-January

California Strawberries

Markets are stabilizing as Labor Day demand slows. Supplies are expected to increase over the next two to three weeks as Santa Maria’s fall crop ramps up. Markon recommends ordering for quick turns due to shorter shelf-life.

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • The spring/summer season continues to wind down
    • Growers are culling poor-quality fruit caused by high temperatures
    • Fruit size is small (20 to 24 berries per one-pound clamshell)
    • Softness, bruising, and bleeding are occasional issues
  • Fall stocks are increasing
    • Early season volume is low but will steadily increase over the next two to three weeks
    • Fruit size is larger with counts in the mid- to upper teens per one-pound clamshell
    • Overall quality continues to improve


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Stocks continue to diminish as the season is past its peak
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20- to 24-count per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; some softness and early decay have been reported
  • Suppliers will begin transitioning to the Santa Maria growing region in mid-September


Grape markets are on the rise as damages from Tropical Storm Hilary have created a shortage in this year’s California crop.


  • California-grown MFC Lunch Bunch Grapes and ESS Grapes are available
  • Red and green seedless grape prices are rising
  • Many crops were damaged by Tropical Storm Hilary
  • Rain damage such as burst skins and potential fungus, and/or rot will decrease available supply
  • California’s crop is estimated to incur a 30-50% loss
  • Markets are expected to climb steadily throughout the California season; extremely low volume is anticipated by November


  • Offshore grapes are expected to arrive in the U.S. mid- to late November
  • Prices will be higher than last year due to California shortages and strong demand

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuces

Iceberg markets are inching down as West Coast supplies continue to increase. Romaine volume remains stable despite sporadic quality challenges. Green leaf markets are steady at low levels; supplies are ample.

Green Leaf

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf is readily available
  • Harvesting crews are trimming heads to avoid insect damage, mildew, and wind damage
  • Green leaf markets are expected to remain steady at low levels through mid-September, at minimum


  • MFC Premium Iceberg is sporadic; MBA is being substituted as needed when weights do not meet specifications
  • Harvesting crews are culling heads with bottom rot, mildew, and sclerotinia
  • Iceberg demand remains focused strongly on the West Coast; supplies from Mexico into South Texas are increasing though they remain limited
  • Market declines are expected to flatten out next week; prices should remain fairly steady through mid-September


  • MFC Premium Romaine is limited; MBA is being substituted due to quality defects and/or light weights
  • Harvesting crews are trimming heads to avoid insect damage, mildew, and wind damage; many lots are exhibiting fog and/or internal burn and seeder
  • Romaine markets are expected to remain at steady at low levels through mid-September despite wide-spread quality issues as stocks are abundant

Green Onions

The green onion market is elevated. Supplies are limited after Hurricane Hilary passed over the Baja peninsula of Mexico.

  • Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding from Hurricane Hilary have greatly reduced supplies
    • Some ranches in harder hit areas lost upwards of 90% of their crops
    • Power remained unavailable across most of the region after the storm, delaying the packing and transfer of harvestable product into this past weekend
    • Supplies will remain limited through the month of September
  • Large size packs will be limited for the next two to three weeks; expect especially tight supplies of ‘longtop’ green onions during this time
  • Elevated markets will persist for the next three to four weeks, at minimum

Hurricane Idalia

Hurricane Idalia is projected to intensify into a category three hurricane and poses a danger to the Southeastern United States, especially Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas over the upcoming week. Current projections predict landfall on the west side of Florida by late morning Wednesday, August 30, then continuing northeast towards Georgia and the Atlantic coastline.

  • Southeast coastal bean, eggplant, and tomato growers are expected to harvest as much as possible during the first part of this week in preparation for inclement weather
  • Potentially heavy rainfall may delay the start of some fall harvests, damaging crops already planted (and currently seedlings) such as bell pepper, cabbage, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes
  • Expect road closures and freight delays later this wee


Lime prices are extremely active due to recent stormy weather. MFC and ESS Limes are available.

  • Supplies are tight due rain over the last two weeks in Veracruz, Mexico which slowed harvesting and downgraded quality
  • Growers are slowing packing lines to increase grading; suppliers are rerunning fruit in South Texas facilities
  • Very large (110-count) and very small (250-count) limes are limited
  • Overall quality is average
    • Skin breakdown, oil spotting, stylar, and light color fruit are being observed
    • Shelf-life is diminished
  • Markon recommends increased stock rotation at this time
  • Expect higher prices over the next two weeks

Mixed Berries

Blueberry volume continues to decrease causing rapidly rising markets. Blackberry and raspberry supplies are slowly increasing and will meet and/or exceed demand in September.


  • The main growing regions of the Pacific Northwest and Michigan are winding down for the season
  • Peruvian production has been delayed
    • El Nino conditions have caused warmer weather and poor fruit set
    • Volume will rise in late September/early October
  • The Mexican season is slow to ramp up
    • Smaller growing regions are just getting started
    • Adequate volume isn’t expected until October
  • Elevated markets and limited stocks are forecast through the month of September


  • Supply continues to exceed demand
  • Improved weather has encouraged rapid growth and higher yields in both Watsonville, California and Mexico
  • Quality is very good; red cell and bruising are minimal
  • Expect rising volume into September


  • Watsonville is shipping adequate volume but humidity has lowered harvesting estimates; expect deep red color with occasional over ripe berries
  • Mexican production will slowly increase into September; expect some soft tips and broken fruit
  • Ample supplies with relatively stable markets are forecast


New crop MFC Onions are readily available in the Northwest. The California season is ending. Expect markets to ease over the next few weeks as the Northwest season builds; production will be fully underway next week.

Summer Crop

  • California onions are the last of the summer crops remaining
  • Most California growers have finished shipping for the season; a small number of sheds will continue to pack through next week

New Crop

  • MFC Onion harvesting continues to ramp up in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
  • Colorado-grown onions are now on the market
  • The Utah season will get underway after Labor Day weekend
  • Early pack-out size is dominated by medium and jumbo sizes; adequate stocks of colossal and super colossal are available
  • 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
  • While growers send new crop onions to production for packing, they will also begin to fill storage facilities; onions will begin to ship out of storage in early October
  • Healthy onion crops and strong yields are expected this upcoming storage season; weather has been excellent for growing up to this point


Abundant supplies of California Bartlett pears are available.  New crop Washington pears will hit the market next week.


  • Bartlett pears will ship well into October
  • Sizing favors 90- through 110-count; 120-count and smaller stocks are adequate
  • Growers pack and sell by the count as opposed to the volume-fill method used in Washington
    • California suppliers ship 40-pound packs (36-pounds net); Washington growers use 48-pound cartons (44-pounds net)
    • Due to this pack difference, California ships approximately 6 to 10 fewer pieces of fruit per unit compared to Washington
    • The attached photos show Washington and California pear packs

2023-2024 Washington New Crop

  • The Bartlett season will get underway next week
    • Excellent quality is expected
    • Size will be dominated by 90- to 110-count pears in early pack-outs; sufficient supplies of 120- count and smaller fruit will be available
  • D’Anjou production is expected to get started the week of September 11


Squash and zucchini stocks remain limited in all current growing regions; markets are elevated.

West Coast  

  • California yellow squash and zucchini supplies are limited
    • Prices are elevated
    • Demand is strong
  • Warm weather, humidity, and strong winds are resulting in shorter shelf-life out of the Santa Maria region; scarring, dehydration, and soft/overripe texture are occasional issues
  • Expect high markets for the next two weeks

East Coast

  • Yellow squash and zucchini supplies remain limited in North Carolina, New Jersey, and Michigan
  • Hurricane Idalia is expected to impact North Carolina squash production as it travels up the coast starting Wednesday
  • East Coast demand is shifting to the West Coast where supplies are more abundant
  • Expect markets to strengthen over the next one to two weeks


  • Production is ramping back up in Baja, Mexico following flooding caused by Hurricane Hilary
  • New crop volume is low but will increase in the coming weeks
  • Quality ranges from fair to good

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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