Skip to main content


February 8, 2024

Arugula and Tender Leaf Varieties

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

  • Low temps and rain in California’s Imperial Valley and Yuma, Arizona the past two weeks has taken a toll on tender leaf items
  • Abnormally low temperatures have slowed plant maturity; yellowing leaves and product breakdown are 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

From the Fields: More Desert Rain

Yesterday evening about .50” of rain fell with heavy raindrops and even hail in some areas. The combination of already present epidermal peel and heavy raindrops/hail resulted in heavy damage to outer leaves. Harvesting crews are working with extra caution to fully trim outer leaves while struggling with muddy conditions. Extra tractors are being using to help pull harvesting equipment through the fields today.

Markon inspectors are actively monitoring field conditions and quality/shelf-life challenges that are developing after the most recent rain event. Lettuce and tender leaf will be most impacted by the following issues:

  • Bottom rot
  • Decreased case weights for commodity lettuce items
  • Discoloration and/or decay on epidermal blistering and peeling
  • Dirt/mud on the product
  • Increased mildew pressure
  • Premature pinking in some value-added salads or Washed & Trimmed leaf lettuce packs
  • Reduced shelf-life potential
  • Yellowing leaves/discoloration

Harvesting and processing crews will work to keep boxes as clean and dry as possible and will take steps to minimize defects but cannot avoid all these issues completely. Ordering for quick turns is recommended and maintaining the cold chain is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life.


Lime markets are reacting to lighter demand; prices are lower. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Limes are available.


  • Overall supplies into South Texas are still limited following a weather-related bloom drop in November
  • Supplies are dominated by larger size 110-and 150-count limes
  • Quality is good; oil spotting, scarring, and light-colored limes are occasional issues
  • Expect steady to lower markets over the next week


  • Columbian limes are arriving by boat into domestic ports in New Jersey and Florida
  • Quality and color are good with a range of available sizing
  • Markets are slightly higher compared to Mexico
  • Columbian limes may become advantageous when Mexican markets reach elevated levels


Supplies remain extremely limited in all California growing regions; rainfall swept through the Oxnard, California growing region over the weekend. Florida yields remain low due to inconsistent weather. South Texas supplies are tightening as the region continues to help fill shortages out of California and Florida.

Oxnard, California 

  • The Oxnard growing region received two to three inches of rain in the last 72 hours; most suppliers have canceled harvests for today
  • Production is scheduled to begin this week; expect yields to be extremely low due to rains
  • The Oxnard growing region is not expected to meet Valentine’s Day demand
  • Suppliers will be relying on transfers of Mexican-grown fruit to supplement California shipments

Central Mexico (Loading in South Texas)

  • Expect to see stocks tighten as Mexico fills shortages from California and Florida
  • Quality is good; issues include white shoulders with small to medium size fruit
  • Expect tight supplies and markets to strengthen the next 10 to 14 days


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Expect lower yields this week due to previous inconsistent weather and forecasted rain
  • Quality is good; issues include white shoulders with small to medium size fruit
  • Expect supplies to tighten and prices to increase


Roma and round tomato volume is increasing in Mexico; markets are falling rapidly. Florida crops remain snug due to January’s inclement weather. MFC Tomatoes are available.

  • Mexican Roma and round tomato production is ramping up quickly in Culiacan, Sinaloa due to favorable weather
    • Growers are breaking into new fields planted after fall hurricanes
    • Large rounds and Romas (4×4 and 4×5 packs) dominate availability
    • Grape and cherry tomatoes are slowly increasing as supplies recover from prior crop damage and plant disease; elevated prices are inching down
  • Florida’s tomato volume is low due to January’s poor cyclical weather; demand has shifted to the West Coast
    • Growers are mainly harvesting crown picks in new fields as previous crops were heavily damaged and being sent to processors
    • Small round tomatoes (6x7s) are tight
    • February stocks will be extremely limited due to January bloom drops and fewer acres planted for this timeframe
  • Expect Roma and round tomato prices to decrease significantly this week

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

©2024 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.