Skip to main content


January 18, 2024

Arugula and Tender Leaf Varieties

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

  • Freezing temperatures 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


Supplies remain tight, but will increase through the month. After weeks of elevated levels, prices are starting to inch down. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.


  • Northern Baja, Sonora, and Caborca are the primary growing regions
  • Small-diameter stalks continue to dominate yields, but jumbo and extra-large sizes are increasingly obtainable
  • Expect supplies to increase and prices to ease further through the rest January as more Caborca growers begin harvesting


  • Minimal volume is being imported into the U.S. (via Miami, Florida)
  • FOB costs remain comparable from both regions, though some freight savings are available for Eastern DCs
  • Expect high prices and extremely tight supplies into early February

Bell Peppers

Orange, red, and yellow bell pepper supplies are extremely limited; demand exceeds supply. Green bell pepper volume is improving; supplies are ample. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green Bell Peppers are available.

Orange/Red/Yellow Bells

  • Mexico’s cold weather and frost last week has slowed fruit ripening; demand exceeds supply
    • Quality is good; green cast is the primary concern
    • Supply is tight this week; warmer weather in the forecast will help ripen fruit
  • Yellow and orange pepper supplies are tight; suppliers are struggling to meet demand
  • Some suppliers in Mexico have enacted disaster clauses on contracts
  • Expect higher prices this week

Green Bells

  • Florida supply remains light due to consistent inclement weather affecting harvest schedules and yields; quality is average and all sizes are available
  • Mexico production is increasing and warmer weather this week will further improve supply; quality is good
  • Expect slightly lower markets over the next two weeks; overall supplies are ample


  • RSS Washed & Trimmed Cilantro is available
  • The previous month has brought several low-pressure systems to both the Oxnard, California and the Yuma, Arizona growing regions
  • Persistently low temperatures and precipitation have compromised current plantings and drastically reduced the shelf-life of current shipments
  • Stocks are exhibiting minimal issues at time of harvest, but cumulative stress over the growth cycle is greatly reducing shelf-life
    • Growers have increased sorting on value-added production lines to combat early breakdown and yellowing
    • Ordering for quicker turns is highly recommended to reduce the age of product for the next two to three weeks
  • Markets are expected to remain relatively steady but quality challenges will continue to develop during transport as additional precipitation is in the forecast


The California season is wrapping up. Loading delays are being reported in offshore arrivals; expect elevated markets and tight supplies through the month of January.


  • Green and red grape harvesting has ended for the season
  • Portioned grapes are forecast to ship until January 22
  • Quality is good; some early decay has been reported
  • Expect pricing to increase as the industry transitions out of California and into offshore product


  • Peruvian/Chilean green and red grapes are now available
  • Portioned grapes are expected to start shipping the week of January 22
  • Loading delays have been reportedly caused by the fumigation process
  • Expect elevated markets and tight supplies through January

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine

Iceberg markets are higher; supplies are tightening following multiple lettuce ice events last week. Green leaf and romaine prices are fairly steady; stocks remain ample.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are available in the Arizona-California desert region; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed due to low weights
  • Average field weights have decreased after several days of severe lettuce ice; epidermal blistering and peeling are becoming more widespread
  • Warmer weather is forecast this week; lettuce ice is not anticipated
  • Production crews are trimming damaged outer leaves as much as possible during harvests; however, some heads in the final pack may exhibit epidermal blistering and peeling
  • Iceberg markets will remain moderately active for the next 7 to 10 days, pending additional ice events; green leaf and romaine markets are expected to remain fairly steady through January

Green Onions

Green onion volume remains limited but is increasing. Freezing temperatures hindered growth and limited production in Mexicali, Mexico.

  • RSS Washed & Trimmed Green Onions are available
  • Prices rose sharply at the beginning of January, but are now starting to taper off
  • Labor availability is returning to normal
    • Slightly warmer weather will aid growth, increasing supplies
    • Ordering for quick turns is recommended through the rest of January
  • Expect markets to continue easing over the next 7-10 days


Central American cantaloupe and honeydew supplies are limited; prices are climbing.


  • Imported supplies are shipping out of Guatemala and Honduras; the Costa Rican season will start soon
  • Yields are lower than normal as a result of cool, wet weather in October
  • Overall quality is good; bruising, green casts, and softness are occasional issues
  • Supplies are dominated by jumbo and regular 9-count sizes
    • Smaller 12- and 15-count sizes are extremely limited
    • Substituting with larger melons may be necessary to avoid supply gaps
  • Expect tight supplies and elevated markets for the next three to four weeks


  • Import shipments are now coming out of Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico
  • Quality ranges from fair to good; ground spotting, discoloration, and bruising are concerns in some lots
  • Supplies are dominated by jumbo and regular 5- and 6-count sizes
    • Smaller 8- and 9-count fruit is extremely limited
    • Substituting with larger melons may be necessary to avoid supply gaps
  • Markets are elevated; expect limited stocks over the next three to four weeks

Mixed Berries

Low temperatures have reduced mixed berry volume in Central Mexico. Prices are climbing.


  • Peruvian import shipments have been delayed; supplies are expected to increase over the next month
  • Mexican production is being hindered by cold weather in Central Mexico
  • Demand is steady
  • Expect high markets until the weather warms in Central Mexico and offshore shipments arrive more regularly


  • Central Mexico’s yields are lower due to the cold weather
  • Quality is good; some softness and red cell has been reported
  • Demand is moderate
  • Expect higher prices until Central Mexico’s temperatures rise


  • The California season has ended
  • Mexican production has been slowed by low temperatures
  • Quality is good; no issues have been reported at this time
  • Demand exceeds supply
  • Expect higher markets and limited supplies


Onion prices remain elevated; demand for Mexican exports is strong. Markets are expected to remain active over the next three to four weeks until Mexico begins shipping onions into Texas.

  • MFC Onions are available out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Washington
  • White onion supplies are scarce industry-wide; demand is shifting to jumbo yellow stocks
  • Red onion markets continue to hold steady
  • Pacific Northwest quality remains solid; defects are minimal
  • Mexican-grown onions are expected to begin crossing into South Texas by early to mid-February; expect overall volume to be 30% to 40% lower due to water shortages
  • Texas domestic supplies are slated to start the first week of March; a normal crop is expected but demand will be stronger due to Mexican onion shortages


Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video regarding the 2023/2024 California Navel orange crop that is yielding mostly large size fruit.

  • Small-size Navel oranges (113- and 138-count) will be extremely limited throughout the 2023/2024 season
  • Last winter’s heavy rainfall was followed by a 30% bloom drop, causing large sizing to dominate the crop
  • 113- and 138-count supplies are the most popular for schools and operators that use juicing machines, which cannot accommodate larger sizes
  • The 2024 Valencia crop will become available in April/May; size is currently dominated by 88-count fruit
  • Small-size California oranges are not expected to become more readily available until the 2024/2025 season that kicks off in October/November
  • In order to ensure 100% order fulfillment, Markon is urging the membership to substitute 113- and 138-count Navels with the below options
    • 88-count Navel oranges
    • 113- or 138-count Cara Cara oranges
    • 113- or 138-count Mexican-grown juice oranges
    • 113 or 138 count Texas-grown juice oranges


The weather forecast calls for low temperatures and snowfall in Eastern Idaho through this week. If temperatures drop enough, the weather will hinder potato production and delay loading times. Other concerns include potential road closures and packed ice on trailers leading to smaller payloads in order to maintain legal weights.

  • Temperatures need to be 18°F or higher for five to seven hours to haul potatoes from cellars to packing sheds
  • Growers do not ship potatoes to packing sheds when temperatures are below 18°F because that can cause internal and external bruising as well as black skins and flesh (located on the outer edges of potatoes and just under their skins)
  • Loading delays are likely due to short production windows; advanced lead-time is highly recommended for order fulfillment
  • Many suppliers will utilize onsite storage to cover orders; some sizes may become limited


Poor weather on the coasts have limited supply for zucchini and yellow squash; demand is strong. MFC Zucchini and Yellow Squash are limited; packer label is being substituted as needed.

  • Florida’s supply is extremely limited due to cold and rainy weather over the last three weeks; quality is hit or miss (especially on yellow squash)
  • Mexico production is suffering from frost damage and low yields due to last week’s cold temperatures; quality is average, scarring and misshape are primary concerns
  • Some suppliers in Mexico and Florida have enacted disaster clauses on contracts
  • Expect very high prices and limited availability over the next two weeks


California winter volume has been rising, but more rain is forecast to begin Friday, January 19. Mexican-grown strawberries (crossing into South Texas) are increasing due to improved weather. Persistent rain and cold weather are tightening Florida supplies.

Santa Maria/Oxnard, California

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Rain is forecast for Friday, January 19 through Monday, January 22
  • Quality is good; pin rot and uneven ripening have been reported
  • Expect strong demand and elevated markets through the month of January
  • Plastic clamshells may need to be substituted for corrugated packs due to rain


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Rain is forecast for Friday; temperatures continue to drop
  • Quality is good; white shoulders and bruising have been reported
  • Expect steady prices and limited supplies over the next two weeks

Central Mexico (loading in South Texas)

  • Markon members are advised to load out of South Texas due the continued rain and cold weather in other growing regions
  • Quality is average; issues include white shoulders and over ripening
  • Mexican fruit continues to help fill the void from California and Florida shortages
  • Markets will inch down as stocks increase over the next two weeks


Tomato growing regions in Florida and Mexico have been impacted by poor weather this week. Markets remain firm. MFC Tomatoes are available.

  • Florida round, Roma, cherry, and grape tomatoes are limited this due to overlapping rain events and low temperatures that slowed production
    • Production is winding down in Labelle, making Naples the primary growing region
    • Expect snug supplies through February
      • Fewer acres were planted for the winter season
      • Many plants experienced bloom drop, further reducing yields
  • Cold weather is slowing production in the new crop region of Sinaloa, Mexico
    • Large sizes (4×5 rounds and extra-large Romas) are the most abundant; quality is very good
    • Mexico planted fewer round tomatoes this season which could cause higher-than-normal prices in February
    • Production is wrapping up in Eastern Mexico and Baja
  • The elevated grape tomato market is slowly falling as the Western Mexico season gets started
  • Expect slightly higher round and Roma prices over the next week as growing regions rebound from cold weather conditions

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

©2024 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.