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July 3, 2024


Limited supplies and strong demand over the lead up to the Fourth of July holiday has driven the market higher. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.


  • Production is slowly transitioning from Baja to Central Mexico; persistent heat stress has lowered yields by causing seeder and feathered tips, forcing growers to move to new fields sooner than scheduled
  • Tropical storm systems crossing over Central Mexico may lead to additional supply challenges next week
  • Sufficient supplies are expected in Central Mexico in August, but high prices and limited supplies are expected from mid- to late July

Other Regions

  • The Michigan and Canadian seasons have ended
  • Peruvian asparagus (shipped into Miami) remains available in the Eastern U.S.
    • Size is small amid cooler temperatures
    • Large, extra-large, and jumbo sizes are tight across all regions

Bell Peppers

Tight red bell pepper supplies are pushing up prices. Green bell peppers are more abundant; expect lower markets. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green Bell Peppers are available; MFC and ESS Red Bell Peppers are limited.

Red Bells

  • Extreme heat (+110F) will limit production crews to half days in Bakersfield, California this week, reducing overall supplies; current quality is very good; however, long-term effects are expected due to these high temperatures
  • Crops in Central Mexico are also being affected by hot weather; volume has fallen
  • East Coast/Canadian greenhouse stocks will remain snug over the next two weeks while West Coast yields recover
  • Expect elevated prices over the next two weeks

Green Bells

  • California growers are harvesting first picks in Fresno this week and second/third picks in Bakersfield
    • Quality is good
      • Recent high heat will accelerate the ripening process
      • Growers are monitoring fields closely
    • Expect production to start in the Hollister area on July 22
  • North Carolina stocks are ample
    • All sizes are available
    • Quality is good
  • Growers are harvesting in Kentucky and New Jersey; favorable growing conditions are resulting in good quality
  • Ohio and Michigan regional deals will start in mid-July
  • Expect markets to soften over the next two weeks


MFC Premium Broccoli is available in Salinas, California; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being packed in Central Mexico (loading in South Texas).

  • Markets are dropping as supplies increase across multiple growing regions
  • East Coast regions including Quebec, Ontario, Maine, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and the Carolinas will be harvested throughout the summer
  • Santa Maria and Salinas prices peaked last week and are expected to fall through the next two weeks; aesthetic defects like branchy crown structure, hollow cores, and yellowing are minor but set to increase due to pending heatwave conditions
  • Mexican-grown supplies (crossing into South Texas) are increasing as well
    • Prices are falling but remain higher than West Coast markets
    • Quality is below average but improving; recent abatement from high heat should decrease insect pressure, hollow core, and bruising
  • Expect markets to continue to decline as domestic/local yields pick up and cooler weather moves into the Central Mexico region

California’s San Joaquin Valley Heat Wave

High temperatures ranging from 110ºF to 120ºF may result in short-term and long-term supply disruptions. Reduced harvesting hours and quality issues (such as over ripeness, softness, shriveling, reduced sugar levels, small size, and sunburn) may reduce yields, tighten availability, and push markets higher over the next one to two weeks. Bloom drop from heat stress, pollination issues, and reduced planting hours for new fields, raises concerns for future gaps in supply.

Nighttime low temperatures are forecast in the 70ºF to 80ºF range which is expected to help reduce overall stress on plants and minimize issues, but Markon will be keeping a close eye on the following crops which are grown in the San Joaquin Valley this time of year:

  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe melons
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew melons
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelons

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg markets continue to decline steadily.

Salinas, California

  • MFC Premium Iceberg Lettuce is available; MBA is being substituted sporadically due to low weights
  • Quality is very good; some fields are uneven in density and size, but heads are being sorted in the fields
  • Heatwave conditions bring the possibility of increased quality concerns including
    • Growth cracks
    • Fluctuating head density
    • Sun scalding on outer leaves

Other Regions

  • Supplies have been limited in Central Mexico due to extended periods of dry, hot weather; recent cooling and rains have improved the short-term outlook
  • Regionally available product from across the U.S. including Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Eastern Canada will enter the market throughout July, supplementing industry availability and further easing prices
  • Expect markets to continue at low and steady levels through July

Live From the Fields: MFC Celery

Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video regarding quality and supply outlook for MFC Celery from California’s Salinas Valley.

  • Salinas celery production is in full swing
  • Quality, color, and flavor are all excellent
  • Supplies are plentiful and expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future
  • MFC Celery is available in 6-count, 40-pound medium, and 40-pound jumbo pack sizes

Live From the Fields: Salinas Valley Warming Trend

Forecasts are calling for a warming trend that will impact the Salinas and Santa Maria Valley’s beginning Monday, July 1 and lasting through the entire week. Coastal fields will reach the mid-70°s with inland fields reaching temperatures from the mid-80°s to as high as triple digits by the fourth of July weekend. Temperatures are expected to start cooling down on Tuesday, July 9. California’s Salinas and Santa Maria growing regions will be experiencing a heat wave this week lasting through the Fourth of July weekend. Fields near the coastline will reach temperatures in the low 80s with inland fields reaching triple digits by the weekend. The extreme heat is forecast to ease on Tuesday, July 9. Product challenges caused by the hot weather include:

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine

  • Dehydration/decreased case weights
  • Seeder/long core
  • Sunscald
  • Internal burn
  • Growth cracks
  • Weak tips
  • Fringe burn
  • Reduced shelf-life

Leafy Greens:  

  • Dehydration
  • Bolting/seeder
  • Brittle texture
  • Tip burn
  • Yellowing
  • Reduced shelf-life


  • Discoloration
  • Brown bead
  • Dehydration
  • Yellowing
  • Hollow core
  • Reduced shelf-life


  • Dark color/over ripeness
  • Soft fruit
  • Small size
  • Lower volume
  • Increased bruising
  • Reduced shelf-life

Onions (Severe Weather in PNW)

A severe thunderstorm swept through the onion growing regions of Nyssa, Oregon and Parma, Idaho yesterday, June 26, affecting early crops due to wind, water, and hail.

  • Heavy rain and hail resulted in flooding and damage to early onion crops in the Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho growing regions
  • Wind gusts exceeding 60-mph caused significant damage to some packing and storage facilities
  • Growers are currently assessing damages and the extent of crop damage is yet to be determined
  • Expect a much better assessment of the extent of crop damage later next week

Video taken from downtown Nyssa OR


Weather-related issues are lowering yields and slowing production in California and New Mexico. Overall demand has eased from the recent Fourth of July holiday demand. Yellow onion markets are unstable, but red and white prices remain steady to slightly lower.

Northern California

  • MFC Onions are available
  • Both Huron and Bakersfield continue to produce all three colors
  • Quality is good
    • Loose skins and flaking are typical of fresh-run onions
    • High heat will cause occasional sunburn/sun scalding, but internal quality remains very good
  • Yellow onions are dominated by jumbo supplies
  • Jumbo and medium red onion stocks are meeting demand
  • White onion supplies are adequate

New Mexico

  • MFC Onions are available
  • Quality is good; light sunburn and loose skins have been reported
  • Monsoon season is producing isolated thunderstorms, slowing production and causing delays
  • Super colossal and colossal yellows are limited; the size profile is leaning towards jumbo
  • Jumbo red onion supplies are tightening; medium-size stocks are increasing
  • White onions are meeting current demand


California small size Valencia supplies are tightening. Imported Navel volumes will increase over the next two to three weeks as the Chilean and South African fruit arrives into the USA.


  • MFC and ESS California Valencia Oranges are available
  • Supplies are dominated by large sizes (56- to 88-count packs); smaller sizes (113- to 138-count packs) are tightening
  • Prolonged heat in California’s San Joaquin Valley can cause what is called re-greening in oranges
    • If exposed to prolonged heat, Valencia oranges occasionally re-absorb chlorophyll, resulting in a green tint
    • The current crop will see multiple days of triple-digit temperatures
    • Most growers will expose harvested supplies to naturally occurring ethylene gas to return fruit to a deep orange color
    • Fruit remains fully ripe, sweet, and juicy
  • Quality is great; sugar levels range from 10-13 Brix
  • Expect increasing markets and tight supplies through September


  • Chilean fruit is being imported into both coasts
  • Expect low volume to start; supplies will increase week over week
  • Quality is great; sugar levels range from 12-13 Brix
  • Supplies will be dominated by larger packs

South Africa

  • South African fruit is being imported into the East Coast
  • Expect low volume to start; supplies will increase week over week
  • Quality is great; sugar levels range from 12-14 Brix
  • There is limited availability of 105- to 125-count packs


The strawberry market remains strong; yields are down. Temperatures are higher than normal, which could cause some overripening and light bruising. Quality remains good, but the upcoming heat could change that. Demand is rising due to Fourth of July retail ads.

Santa Maria, California

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Quality is good
  • Size ranges from 20-25 berries per 8/1-pound clamshell and 32-40 in 4/2-pound pack (small to medium)
  • Occasional overripening and a few white shoulders are being reported
  • Expect elevated markets

Salinas/Watsonville, California  

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Quality is good; expect full color and sweet flavor
  • Size is currently 15-19 berries per 8/1-pound clamshell and 31-38 in 4/2-pound pack (medium to large)
  • Fanning, misshaped berries, and wind bruising are being reported
  • Expect active prices for the week

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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