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February 16, 2023


Markets are rising; cold weather has reduced spear production in Mexico.

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available
  • Carborca is currently the primary growing region in Mexico
  • Cold weather, with nighttime lows in the mid- to upper 30s, will continue through this Friday before warming into the upper 40s to low 50s next week
  • The warmer weather will increase soil temperatures and promote spear production
  • Markets are expected to remain elevated through February; supplies will increase significantly in early to mid-March

Bell Peppers

Increased demand and cold Mexican weather have increased red bell pepper prices. Green bell markets are steady. MFC and ESS Green and Red Bell Peppers are readily available.

Red Bells

  • Mexico is experiencing cold evenings (mid-40s Fahrenheit) which is slowing the ripening process
    • Supplies are tightening due to increased demand
    • Quality is varied with the best lots coming from high-tech greenhouses
  • Expect markets to climb this week

Green Bells

  • Mexican production is steady
    • New crop harvesting underway
    • A wide range of sizes are available
    • Overall quality is good; some minor bruising has been observed during grading
  • South Florida volume has risen; growers are harvesting a mix of new and old fields
  • Markets are steady at low levels this week


    • Supplies are slowly increasing in the AZ/CA desert growing regions
    • Quality is good; mold, off-color, and small size are being observed in some lots
    • Prices are expected to continue inching down; however, cold weather will slow growth and keep markets elevated this week

From the Fields: Desert Region Rain

The Arizona and California desert growing region received rainfall early this morning, Monday, February 13. Today’s forecast calls for continual rain fall through late morning, with possible totals reaching .04”. Future forecast calls for more rain Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19.

Minimal harvesting delays are expected. Harvesting crews will work to cover loads and keep boxes as dry and clean as possible. Markon inspectors will continue to monitor field conditions and weather forecast closely, updating you with the latest.

From the Fields: Desert Cold Snap

A cold front that passed through the Arizona/California desert growing region Tuesday evening, February 14, brought cold wind gusts of up to 40 mph and a few light sprinkles of rain in isolated areas. Winds have subsided and caused morning temperatures to dip into the mid-upper 30°s, resulting in light lettuce ice that will delay harvest for 2-3 hours.

Much colder temperatures are expected Thursday through Saturday, February 17-19, with morning lows in the upper 20°s-to mid-30s°. Widespread, severe lettuce ice will cause significant production and loading delays over the next several days. Markon inspectors will be monitoring quality following the high winds and cold temperatures, anticipating some dehydration, epidermal blister, wind damage, and possibly elevated levels of dirt in some lettuce and tender leaf crops.

From the Fields: Significant Desert Region Lettuce Ice

Morning temperatures in the Arizona/California desert growing region ranged from the upper 20°s to 30°s, causing widespread lettuce ice. Harvesting and loading delays can be expected over the next few days with more ice in the forecast, but temperatures will increase throughout the weekend.

The quality of lettuce items has been very good overall despite some light case weights due to the recent cold temperatures. Markon inspectors will be monitoring supplies closely and will update further with any developments.

Green Cabbage

Cabbage markets are up amid tightening supplies and increased demand.

  • The recent cold temperatures, rain, and morning frosts experienced in the AZ/CA desert and Oxnard, California throughout late January and February have reduced West Coast supplies
  • Weaker quality and lower yields per acre have significantly reduced availability for processors, driving the general market higher
  • AZ/CA desert and Oxnard suppliers are delaying or skipping harvests to allow current size to increase, as well as balling down what is harvested to remove damaged outer leaves
  • Expect elevated prices and lower case weights through February
  • Volume is also down in Florida and Texas amid unseasonably cold weather and storms
  • Demand is strong due to the Catholic Lent and St. Patrick’s Day holidays; prices will rise over the next 10-14 days


Current supplies are plentiful, but upcoming spring weather and strong Lenten season demand are expected to push up prices.

  • The District 3 season (California/Arizona desert region) will end next week
  • District 1 (Central Valley region) is currently in production
    • 95- through 140-count sizes dominate crops
    • Quality is excellent
  • Harvesting will begin in District 2 (Southern Coastal region) by mid- to late March
  • Expect a slow and steady price climb as demand increases over the next six to eight weeks
  • Quality is expected to range from very good to excellent


Prices continue to climb due to limited new crop supplies. MFC and ESS Limes are limited; packer label is being substituted as needed.

  • Mexican lime supplies continue to tighten, which is typical for this time of year
  • Overall quality and color is good; new crop supplies are dominated by 200- to 250-count sizes
  • Expect the market to continue climbing into March
  • Markon recommends sending orders with ample lead time to maximize fulfillment


Abnormally cool weather is starting to impact daily yields in the Oxnard and Santa Maria, California growing regions. Supplies are becoming more plentiful in Florida, as temperatures are rising. Mexican stocks (into South Texas) are tightening; the region is experiencing heat-related quality issues.

Oxnard, California

  • Yields have decreased due to freezing overnight temperatures; some areas are reporting as low as 31 degrees
  • Fields are running wind machines to help avoid freeze damage; bloom and flower damage have been reported
  • Quality is good; coloring is at 95-100 percent
  • Size is currently medium (12 to 14 pieces per one-pound clamshell)
  • Expect lower-than-anticipated yields due to freezing temperatures

Santa Maria, California

  • Minimal harvesting is expected to take place this week
  • Crews did experience early morning frost, delaying harvests
  • Size ranges from small to medium (18 to 22 pieces per one-pound clamshell)
  • Expect lower-than-anticipated yields due to freezing temperatures

Central Mexico (Loading in South Texas)

  • Expect to see yields decline due to heat-related quality issues
  • Quality is average; soft fruit and bruising have been reported
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (18 to 20 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Expect tight supplies and steady markets


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Expect to see yields increase daily as the season approaches its peak
  • Quality is fair
    • White shoulders are being reported
    • Expect small- to medium-size fruit

Sweet Baby Broccoli

Supplies of sweet baby broccoli remain limited. MFC and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Sweet Baby Broccoli are limited; packer label is being substituted as needed.

  • The majority of sweet baby broccoli is grown year-round in the Salinas Valley; a small amount is grown in the Arizona/California desert during the winter months
  • Salinas Valley yields are below normal as a result of low temperatures and heavy rainfall in December and January
  • Quality is good despite growing condition challenges; some lots are exhibiting purple shade due to sustained cold weather
  • Stocks are expected to remain tight through the end of February, at minimum

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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