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July 13, 2023


Markets are elevated; industry volume is down as domestic crops have been fully depleted and demand exceeds supply out of Mexico and Peru. Expect pricing to remain elevated through July until volume rises.


  • Central Mexico and Southern Baja are the primary growing regions
    • Full production out of Central Mexico is expected slightly later than normal (late July)
    • Recent heavy rains followed by a warming trend will help spur spear production in Central Mexican fields
    • Harvesting has begun to wind down in Southern Baja, with about half of this season’s fields closing
    • Northern Baja (regarded as a premium asparagus growing region) will begin to open fields in 14-21 days, easing supply pressure somewhat


  • Peru’s volume is increasing week over week but remains lower than normal due to cyclonic weather patterns

Bell Peppers

California red bell peppers are transitioning north to the San Joaquin Valley growing region. Green bell supplies are increasing as the San Joaquin Valley season continues to ramp up. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Red Bells

  • The California desert season is wrapping up this week
  • Central Valley harvests have started in a limited way; expect supplies to increase over the next two to three weeks
  • Canadian greenhouses continue to ship consistent volume and good quality
  • Central Mexican red bells (crossing into South Texas) are limited
  • Expect elevated markets over the next one to two weeks as the San Joaquin Valley season ramps up

Green Bells

  • The San Joaquin Valley season is continuing to ramp up
    • Supplies are ample
    • Quality and color are very good
    • All sizes are available
  • Georgia stocks are diminishing as East Coast suppliers transition to North Carolina for better quality
  • New Jersey and Michigan supplies are expected to come online July 15
  • Expect markets to soften as we move into peak July production


Markets are sliding on the West Coast and in Mexico; favorable weather is aiding growth.

Salinas/Santa Maria, California

  • MFC Broccoli is available in Salinas, California
  • Quality is good; minimal cat eye, brown bead, and bracketed structure are being observed in some lots
  • Prices will fall during the current warming trend, but inch back up next week


  • Stocks are available for loading in South Texas
  • Yields historically tighten through the monsoon season (June through August), but recent reports have been positive
  • Quality issues such as pin rot, yellowing, and elevated insect pressure are less frequent than past years
  • Overall markets are expected stay relatively flat over the next two to three weeks, barring any heavy storm activity

Brussels Sprouts

Domestic Brussels sprout volume is rising, although demand still far exceeds available supply.

  • MFC and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Brussels Sprouts are extremely limited; packer label is being substituted to fill orders
  • Late-season quality issues are tightening Mexican stocks while scattered rains are hampering harvests
  • Moderate production is ongoing in Oxnard, California
  • Most Salinas Valley fields are well behind schedule due to cooler weather during the spring planting period; small sprouts dominate availability as growers must harvest immature fields to fill orders
  • Expect elevated markets and limited supplies to persist until Salinas production ramps towards the end of July


Prices are expected to begin inching down later this week; however, higher-than-normal markets will persist until late July when the California and Michigan seasons are in full swing.


  • The season in Oxnard, California has ended
  • Santa Maria production continues year-round; the current size profile is dominated by large-size/24-count stalks
  • The Salinas season continues to ramp up; this week’s warm weather will promote growth


  • Early harvesting is scheduled to begin in mid-July; the majority of production will start the week of July 24


Cilantro markets are lower after an increase in available product out of the Central Coast growing regions of California.

  • RSS Cilantro is available
  • Quality has improved from prior weeks; yellowing, breakdown, and seeder are less prevalent
  • Markets are expected to remain relatively flat and low for the next two to three weeks

From the Fields: Salinas Valley Heat Wave

Weather forecasts are calling for parts of the Salinas Valley to begin experiencing a heat wave starting Tuesday, July 11. Coastal areas such as Salinas, Castroville, and Watsonville will remain at or slightly below seasonal averages with temperatures in the mid-60°s-to low 70°s, but inland temperatures between Soledad and King City will see mid-80°s-to mid-90°s by Friday, July 14.

High pressure dwindles over the weekend, allowing inland temperatures to cool slightly, but it will remain warmer than normal through the middle of next week. Markon inspectors will pay close attention to lettuce and other row crops that will be harvested from the warmer regions this week. Potential concerns that could develop include:

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Dehydration/wilting
  • Increased insect pressure
  • Internal burn
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun scalding

As always, maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life of perishable produce items.

San Joaquin Valley Heat Wave

Excessive heat is forecast for California’s San Joaquin Valley this weekend, Saturday, July 15 through Tuesday, July 18. This extreme weather may negatively impact multiple commodities.

Temperatures ranging from 105ºF to 115ºF will prevent crews from harvesting normal hours as well as cause potential quality issues such as softness, shrivel, reduced sugar levels, and sunburn to develop. Nighttime lows will range from 70ºF to 80ºF, reducing overall stress on plants and minimizing quality issues.

Markon will be closely monitoring the following crops grown in the San Joaquin Valley at this time:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Markon recommends ordering for quick turns and maintaining the cold chain to maximize quality and shelf-life.


The Mexican grape season will wrap up over the next two weeks. The California season will start approximately July 19.


  • California-grown MFC Lunch Bunch Grapes will start shipping when the Mexico Lunch Bunch season comes to an end July 24
  • Green seedless supplies are expected to begin shipping on July 24; red seedless stocks will start shipping approximately July 19
  • Expect higher prices at the start of the season but markets will ease once California volume ramps up in late July
  • Good quality is anticipated


  • The Mexican season will end the week of July 24
  • Steady demand and good quality are anticipated until that time

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuce

Ample supplies and weak post-holiday demand are keeping green leaf and romaine markets are fairly steady. Iceberg prices will continue to ease as supplies increase in Salinas and Santa Maria, California.

Green Leaf and Romaine

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf and Romaine are readily available
  • Quality is good; fringe burn, internal burn, and insect pressure are present in some lots
  • Markets are expected to remain steady at low levels through July


  • MFC Premium Iceberg is currently being packed; Markon Best Available (MBA) may be substituted if necessary
  • Weights have increased following a recent warming trend; high temperatures are forecast again later this week
  • Markets are expected to continue falling into next week and remain low through July


The 165- through 200-count lemon market remains elevated due to limited supplies and strong demand. Offshore and Mexican lemons will help fill any ordering gaps.


  • MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Lemons are available  
  • Small-size lemons (165- through 235-count fruit) will be extremely limited
  • Expect to make size and/or country or origin changes to help fill orders for small sizes
  • Elevated pricing and tight supplies are forecast for the next four to six weeks


  • Offshore fruit will begin shipping in mid-July and run through early December
  • The size profile will start off large (95-through 140-count fruit) but smaller sizes will be available
  • The crop is estimated to be comprised of 80% fancy grade and 20% choice grade lemons
  • Early season quality is excellent
  • Expect higher pricing compared to domestic and Mexican fruit due to high quality


  • Mexican fruit will begin shipping in mid- to late July and run through late November
  • The size profile will start off small (165-through 235-count fruit) but larger sizes will be available
  • The crop is estimated to be comprised of 60% fancy grade and 40% choice grade lemons
  • Early season quality is expected to be good (especially strong choice-grade fruit)
  • Expect similar pricing to domestic fruit until supplies increase


The lime market has lost momentum; overall demand is lighter after the fourth of July holiday. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Limes are available.

  • The Mexican growing region of Veracruz has experienced extreme heat and humidity, lowering yields
  • South Texas crossings are lighter this week
  • Quality is average; overall shelf life is diminished
  • Extra attention will be required during the grading process to remove skin breakdown and stylar
  • Sizing is dominated by 175- through 250-count fruit
  • Expect prices to fluctuate through the month of July


MFC Idaho and Washington Potatoes are available.  

Storage Crop  

  • Idaho
    • MFC Burbank Potatoes are the sole variety shipping out Eastern Idaho; MFC Norkotah Potatoes are available in the southern part of Idaho
    • Supplies will run through mid- to late August
  • Washington
    • MFC Norkotah Potatoes will continue to ship from storage
    • Supplies will begin to run out in mid-July, pushing demand toward sheds with remaining stocks in the area
  • Sizing in Idaho and Washington:
  • 40- through 70-count supplies are limited
  • 90– through 120-count potatoes are readily available
  • Quality is good in both regions: air checks and pressure/shoulder bruising will be seen sporadically in remaining storage supplies (both Norkotahs and Burbanks)
  • Air checks are tiny thumbnail-like cracks caused by stress due to abrupt temperature changes
  • Pressure and shoulder bruising (soft, external indents) result from constant contact with adjacent potatoes, or the floor, while raw product sits in storage piles

New Crop 

  • Idaho
    • Norkotah harvesting will begin in the western part of the state by early August
    • Harvests in the southern and eastern areas of Idaho will start in mid- to late August
    • New crop Burbanks will enter the market in late September/early October
  • Washington:
    • Norkotah production will start in late July


Markets are rising as the Santa Maria spring crop winds down. Forecasts show slightly warmer weather over the weekend; expect weather to fall back into the cool and wet mornings by the middle of next week, keeping production low.

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Fruit size is small (20 to 24 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; occasional white shoulder, wind damage, and soft texture has been reported in some lots
  • Spring crops are winding down; the fall crop is expected to begin in late July to early August


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Fruit size is gradually becoming smaller (18 to 22 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; green shoulders and occasional mildew has been reported
  • Cool and wet mornings in coastal regions is keeping production low

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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