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February 15, 2024

Arugula and Tender Leaf Varieties

Supplies of tender leaf/spring mix varieties are limited in the Arizona and California growing regions.

  • Low temperatures and rain in California’s Imperial Valley and Yuma, Arizona over the past two weeks have taken a toll on tender leaf items
  • Abnormally low temperatures have slowed plant maturity; yellowing leaves and product breakdown are the main quality challenges
  • Markon brand suppliers are meeting Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Spring Mix and RSS Heritage Blend demand but are struggling to cover 100% of RSS Arugula orders
  • Arugula supplies are the tightest within the tender leaf category due to sensitivity to abnormally low temperatures


Volume has risen dramatically, driving recently high prices down to low levels. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.


  • Northern Baja/Mexicali, Sonora, and the Caborca areas of Northern Mexico are the primary growing regions at this time
    • Peruvian growers are struggling to compete with low Mexican markets, significantly decreasing the number of imports shipped to the East Coast at this time
    • Small-diameter stalks dominate yields, but jumbo and extra-large sizes are readily available
    • Quality is very good; stalks are straight and size is consistent
  • Expect supplies and markets to stay relatively low through this month as temperate weather is aiding growth.

Bell Peppers

Green bell pepper prices are rising; demand exceeds supply. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • Mexican supplies are tightening; prices are moving higher
    • Cool daytime temperatures are hindering growth, pushing back new crop harvesting start dates in Sinaloa
    • Demand is strong
    • Quality is fair; bruising and decay are occasional issues
    • Expect limited supplies and rising markets for the next one to two weeks
  • Florida stocks remain extremely limited due to weather; prices are up
    • Rain-related quality issues are present in some lots following past storms
    • Quality ranges from fair to good; supplies are dominated by choice grade
  • Expect higher prices and limited supplies over the next 7 to 10 days

Red Bells

  • Mild daytime and cooler nighttime temperatures are impacting maturity
  • Quality is fair
  • Bruising, decay, and inconsistent color are occasional issues
  • Gold bells remain limited with less overall acreage planted
  • Expect elevated markets and lower volume for the next one to two weeks

Broccoli and Cauliflower

MFC Broccoli and ESS Cauliflower are available. Prices are weak in the Arizona-California desert and Mexican growing regions.


  • Domestic quality ranges from fair to good despite recent rains; precipitation followed by warmer weather next week will lead to increased occurrences of pin rot/brown bead, yellowing, and mildew pressure
  • Mexican-grown product is available for loading in South Texas at lower FOB costs;
    • Growers are shipping ample supplies from both Northern and Central Mexico
    • Quality is very good due to dry, temperate weather
  • Expect markets to remain relatively steady at low levels through February


  • Stocks are abundant despite cooler weather and some rain events in January
  • Quality issues may become more prevalent as higher temperatures follow last week’s rain
    • Expect to see increased dark spotting and mildew pressure as well as some inconsistently sized and off-color heads
  • Expect prices to continue to slide through this week before turning around within five to seven days

Green Onions

Supplies are tight, pushing up demand and prices. Harvests are limited in the primary growing region of Mexicali, Mexico.

  • RSS Washed & Trimmed Green Onions are available; packer label may be substituted when supplies do not meet Markon specifications
  • Prices are expected to continue climbing through next week
    • Rain and wind have wiped out some mature lots and led to power outages at some packing sheds
    • Muddy field conditions have prevented harvesting in some fields
    • Increased dirt and mud is expected in some final packs
  • Ordering for quick turns is recommended through the rest of February as stressed plants will have decreased shelf-life potential
  • Expect markets to pick up and then begin to deflate over the next 7-10 days as supplies rebound

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuces

Iceberg markets are up following reduced yields in the Arizona and California desert regions; green leaf and romaine prices are inching higher as well. MFC Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are limited; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed due to industry-wide low weights and diminished quality.

  • Alternating weeks of warm and cold weather, as well as rain and hail, have reduced supplies
    • Production crews are working slowly through poor field conditions, which has decreased overall yields and pushed markets higher
    • Elevated levels of bottom rot, dirt/mud, epidermal blistering/peeling with discoloration, mildew damage, pinking, and mechanical damage are affecting finished pack yields
  • Warmer weather is forecast for next week but additional adverse weather will hit the region in late February; expect active markets
  • Prices for all three lettuces will continue rising over the next 7 to 10 days


As the California lemon season progresses, small fruit (165- and 200-count supplies) will tighten. Size and grade substitutions may be requested to fill orders.

  • Districts 1 and 2 (the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California) are currently in production
    • 115- through 140-count sizes dominate crops
    • Quality is excellent
  • Production in District 3 (the Arizona-California desert region) will end next week
  • Expect a slow yet steady price climb as demand increases over the next six to eight weeks
  • Quality ranges from very good to excellent


Markets are on the rise as supplies reach seasonal lows; demand is moderate. MF) and ESS Limes are available.


  • Mexican supplies are lighter which is common for this time of year; prices are rising
  • Persistent rains and cold weather this fall/early winter led to bloom drop and reduced available supplies
  • Supplies are dominated by larger size 110-and 150-count limes
  • Quality is good; light color, scarring, and decay are minimal
  • Expect markets to continue rising over the next one to two weeks


  • Colombian stocks are shipping by boat into domestic ports in New Jersey and Florida
  • Quality is good; due to past rains, light stylar and oil spotting are having to be graded out
  • Markets are comparable to Mexico; prices are trailing slightly lower than Mexico FOB’s

Live from the Fields: MFC Artisan Romaine Quality

Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video highlighting the benefits of MFC Artisan Romaine during periods of erratic weather that impacts most other leafy greens.

  • MFC Romaine is available; Markon Best Available is being substituted in some lots due to quality challenges
  • Multiple recent weather events including freezing temperatures and above-normal rainfall have caused quality challenges for desert row crops
  • Commodity romaine has been one of the most heavily impacted with issues such as:
    • Bottom rot and/or decay
    • Decreased case weights
    • Epidermal blisters
    • Discolored epidermal peeling
  • Harvesting crews are working hard to remove or minimize defects, these are industry-wide problems
  • MFC Artisan Romaine has held up incredibly well to the erratic weather
    • This item can be a good substitution while we weather the romaine challenges in February
    • Color, size, and shape are very consistent
    • Quality is excellent with little or no weather-related defects in finished packs

Lettuce Ice in the Desert Region

  • The Arizona/California desert growing region is experiencing widespread lettuce ice today following a cold front that moved into the area over the weekend. Temperatures have dipped into the low-to mid-30°s and the forecast is calling for only slight warming through Wednesday, February 14. Harvesting and loading delays can be expected for most desert row crop items through mid-week.
  • Markon inspectors are actively monitoring supplies of commodity and value-added lettuce and tender leaf items that have already experienced multiple freeze and rain events over the past month. Quality and shelf-life challenges will be prolonged with this week’s freezing temperatures.
  • Ordering for quick turns is recommended and as always,

Mixed Berries

Temperatures are rising, aiding growth and increasing blueberry and blackberry supplies. Raspberry volume remains low, but should climb in two weeks.


  • Peruvian and Chilean imports are ample
  • Mexican production is returning to normal as weather warms in Central Mexico
  • Demand is steady; quality is very good
  • Prices are stabilizing


  • Yields are increasing in Central Mexico due to higher temperatures
  • Quality is very good; some softness and red cell has been reported
  • Markets are steady


  • The California season has ended
  • Mexican production is limited; expect higher volume in two weeks
  • Quality is average; leaky berries have been reported
  • Demand exceeds supply
  • Prices are elevated, but should start easing toward the end of the month

Navel Oranges

The California Navel crop is dominated by large sizes; small fruit (113- and 138-count oranges) continue to be extremely limited. Size and grade substitutions will soon be requested to fill orders; the Cara Cara and Mandarin varieties are options.


  • MFC and ESS Navel Oranges are available
  • Overall supplies of 113- and 138-count sizes will remain extremely limited through the Navel season and into the Valencia season this spring
  • California Cara Cara oranges and Mandarins are viable substitution options
  • Expect elevated markets and tight supplies

South Texas

  • This domestic crop is currently dominated by medium-size oranges (72- through 88-count fruit)
  • The Valencia orange variety is now available in Mission, Texas through late April
  • Steady prices and limited stocks are forecast, as Texas oranges will be used fill California shortages


  • The Valencia orange variety is available (crossing in Nogales, Arizona)
  • This crop is currently dominated by small-size oranges (113- through 138-count fruit)
  • Expect steady markets and tight supplies, as Mexican oranges will be used fill California shortages


  • Supplies are currently dominated by 80- to 100-count and larger packs
  • The Mid-Sweet variety is currently available
  • Valencia oranges will begin shipping in March
  • High prices and limited stocks are forecast, as Florida oranges will be used fill California shortages on the East Coast


Prices remain elevated; demand exceeds supply. Markets will remain high for the next four to six weeks as new crop onions are delayed. White onion supplies remain scarce; markets are extreme in all regions. MFC Onions are available out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Washington.

  • Pacific Northwest
    • Supplies will wind down over the next two months; some smaller sheds have potential to finish in March
    • Pack-outs in the Northwest are declining; some lots exhibiting internal browning will result in lower yields and diminishing storage supplies
  • Colorado
    • Expect supplies to be depleted by the end of February/early March
  • Utah
    • The season will finish mid-March
  • Canada
    • The season is coming to an end with very limited supply; pack-outs are low due to poor quality
  • Texas
    • The domestic season is slated to start mid-March; a normal crop is expected but demand will be stronger due to Mexican onion shortages
  • Mexico
    • Markets on the Mexico side of the border are keeping supplies from crossing into the U.S
    • At this time, there is no specific timeline for onions to cross at regular intervals; overall crop is 30-40% lower than last year

Parsley and Cilantro

RSS Washed & Trimmed Cilantro and Parsley are available; packer label is being substituted when supplies do not meet Markon specifications

  • Several low-pressure systems in both the Oxnard, California and Yuma, Arizona growing regions have caused frequent low temperatures and precipitation
  • Stocks are exhibiting minimal issues at time of harvest, but cumulative stress over the growth cycle is reducing shelf-life and lowering yields at the field level
    • Growers have increased sorting on value-added production lines to combat early breakdown and yellowing as well as avoiding certain lots, reducing overall available supplies
    • Ordering for quick turns is recommended for the next two to three weeks
  • Markets are expected to increase slightly next week but overall remain mostly steady


The Washington Bartlett pear season is winding down. MFC D’Anjou Pears are available out of Washington.

  • MFC D’Anjou Pears will remain available through June
  • Size profile is leaning towards the larger side (70-count through 90-count); 110-count and smaller are limited
  • Pricing is expected to rise with increased demand
  • Overall quality is excellent

Potatoes (Idaho)

MFC Idaho Burbank and Norkotah Potatoes are readily available.

Storage Crop

  • Potato size is currently dominated by 60- through 100-count supplies; larger, 40- through 50-count stocks have tightened
  • Quality is excellent for both varieties
  • Prices will remain weak through February

2024-25 New Crop Idaho Season

  • Growers are expecting to plant in the western areas near Boise in late March
  • The southern region near Twin Falls will be planted in early April
  • Planting on the eastern side normally gets underway in mid-April


Harvesting has been curtailed as California strawberry growers continue to recover from the last week’s rain. More precipitation is in forecast for Saturday, February 17 through Wednesday, February 21; expect further delays.

Oxnard, California

  • Up to three inches of rain is forecast for February 17 through February 21
  • Expect slow production during this time frame
  • Prices will climb due to stronger demand

Central Mexico (Loading in South Texas)

  • Quality is good; issues include white shoulders and occasional bruising
  • Expect to stocks tighten and markets to increase as demand shifts from California
  • Mexico’s growing season is scheduled to end in late March


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Rain is forecast for Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
  • Quality is good; issues include white shoulders and occasional over-ripening
  • Expect steady volume
  • The Florida growing season will end in early March


Round tomato supplies are tightening; markets are rising. Roma tomato supplies remain adequate with lower markets. MFC Tomatoes are available.

  • Florida volume is very light due to bloom loss following January’s unfavorable cold and rainy weather; demand has shifted to Mexico
    • Quality is good to fair with growers moving into second and third picks
    • Smaller (6×7) round tomatoes are more prevalent
    • Expect lighter supplies over the next two to three weeks with bloom drop in January and overall less acreage planted
  • Mexican Roma and round tomato production is limited following cold weather in Culiacan; demand is strong
    • Quality is good as growers move into new lots
    • Supplies are dominated by larger size rounds and Romas (4×4 and 4×5 packs)
    • Grape and cherry tomato supplies are adequate; prices are slightly lower
  • Expect Roma and round tomato prices to rise over the next two to three weeks

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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