UPDATE SUMMARY: WEEK OF AUGUST 29, 2022

September 1, 2022

Strawberries

Supplies remain tight; markets are elevated. Expect stocks to continue to decline over the next two to three weeks as the Salinas/Watsonville season is past peak production.

Salinas/Watsonville

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Strawberries are available
  • Stocks continue to diminish as the season moves past its peak
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20-to 24-count per 1-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good: some green shoulders and soft fruit have been reported
  • Suppliers will begin transitioning to the Santa Maria growing region in early September
  • Expect markets to slightly decrease but remain elevated

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Stocks are declining as fields move past peak production and into the fall season over the next two weeks
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20-to 24-count per 1-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good: some green shoulders and soft fruit have been reported
  • The fall crop is expected to begin the week of September 5; low numbers are being reported now, but the crop is expected to come on quickly and steadily increase over the next month
  • Expect markets to slightly decrease but remain elevated

Central Valley Heat

Excessive heat in California’s San Joaquin Valley (ten to fifteen degrees above average) from Friday, September 2 through Tuesday, September 6 will impact multiple commodities.

High temperatures (ranging from 106ºF to 112ºF) will reduce harvesting hours, and may cause softness, reduced sugar, shrivel, and sunburn in the below crops:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Markon recommends ordering for quick turns and maintaining the cold chain to maximize quality and shelf-life.

From The Fields: Significant Salinas Heat Spike Approaching

The Salinas Valley is bracing for another significant heat spike.

Abnormally high temperatures are forecast to start this Thursday, September 1 and last through the middle of next week with low temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s. Daytime highs will reach into the 80s near the coast and upwards of 110°F in Southern Salinas Valley. Quality and shelf-life on iceberg and other leafy items have already been impacted by heat stress and decreased yields due to soil borne diseases and virus pressure (INSV).

Markon inspectors expect to see the following challenges continue and worsen over the next two weeks or longer.

Lettuce Items:

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Dehydration
  • Decreased yields due to disease/virus pressure
  • Internal burn
  • Insect pressure
  • Mildew pressure
  • Inconsistent growth/fluctuating density
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun scald/sun burn

Tender Leaf Items:

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Decreased volume/yield
  • Inconsistent growth
  • Insect pressure
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun scald/sun burn

Strawberries:

  • Bruising
  • Decreased size
  • Soft texture
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun scald/sun burn

Maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life. Markon inspectors will be monitoring quality and working with suppliers to select the best product available.

Oranges

Supplies of 113- and 138-count oranges are expected to diminish further as a result of the approaching heatwave in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Markets are firming.

California Valencia:

  • Markon First Crop and Markon Essentials Valencia Oranges are available
  • Remaining supplies are dominated by 88-count and larger sizes
  • Smaller sizes (113- and 138-count packs) will further tighten until the new crop Navel harvest begins in late October/early November
  • Quality concerns include softness and re-greening

Imported Oranges:

  • Chilean fruit is being shipped into the West Coast while South African stocks are available on the East Coast
  • 113-count and larger pack sizes dominate availability; supply is meeting demand
  • Chilean imports are expected to be on the market through late October/early November
  • The South African season will run through early to mid-October
  • Quality is good

Potatoes- Challenges Persist

Potato supply challenges persist in the Northwest. Demand outpaces harvest yields and pack-outs. Expect highly elevated markets and tight supplies to persist for the next several weeks.

  • Current new crop harvests in the Northwest are dominated by small-size potatoes (80- thru 120-count supplies)
  • The ample amount of small-size potatoes currently being harvested are filling production facilities, causing space issues in warehouses and limiting many supplier’s ability to continue to produce
  • Supply will also be affected by the upcoming Labor Day weekend
    • Suppliers will not produce Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (Labor Day)
    • Next week’s loading will start off slow
  • U.S. No. 2 supplies will remain tight
    • The majority of fresh-run Norkotahs are being packed in U.S. No. 1 cartons, as supplies look their best straight out of the field
    • Expect elevated prices for U.S. No. 2 packs

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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