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March 16, 2023


Markets are low; mild weather has promoted abundant supplies of all sizes.

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available
  • Central Mexico and the Caborca region of Sonora are the primary growing regions; Caborca is moving through its seasonal peak
  • Spears are firm and quality is strong; all sizes are available
  • Warmer weather will increase soil temperatures and promote spear production
  • Markets are expected to remain steady through the last week of March before rising during the crop transition back to Baja and Mexicali

Bell Peppers

Prices are firm. Production will transition to spring regions during the month of March. MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • Mexican supplies are snug due to increased demand and spring production delays
    • Quality is average
    • Medium and small sizes are most common as growers are harvesting remnants of the winter crop
    • Expect new crop harvesting to start over the next 7-10 days
  • The East Coast is transitioning to spring crops this week in Florida; Georgia production will start April 1
  • Expect prices to remain elevated next week

Red Bells

  • Mexican stocks will remain snug until mid-March when new acreage is harvested in Culiacan
  • Overall quality is average; minor bruising and scarring is being observed during the grading process
  • Jumbo and extra-large sizes are tight
  • Expect prices to remain steady


Yuma, Arizona/Imperial and Santa Maria Valleys, California

  • MFC Broccoli is available.
  • Arizona/California desert supplies are tighter this week
  • Quality has decreased due to several factors
    • Suppliers have been forced to harvest ahead of schedule for most of the winter, reducing available yields through the rest of the Yuma season
    • High humidity has increased the occurrence of mildew and pin rot, tightening supplies further
    • The recent warming trend may lead to bracketed structure and hollow core problems
  • Temperatures rose last weekend, which will bring on additional supplies, easing upward pressure on markets by the end of this week
  • Santa Maria production is expected to be delayed by two to three weeks due to recent storms over the Central Coast; the season normally begins the first week of April, but is now estimated to start as late as the third week

Mexico (into South Texas)

  • MFC Broccoli is available
  • Prices are volatile, but lower
  • Demand is strong in the South Texas loading locations
  • Quality is very good; some mechanical damage has been noted along with occasional mildew

Overall industry supplies will not meet demand through the month of April, expect elevated prices through this time.


  • Markets are decreasing; abundant supplies are available in the Arizona/California desert region
  • Seasonal demand has dropped off; more stocks are coming online on the East Coast and in Texas
  • Expect markets to soften further throughout this week with mild weather in the forecast


  • Warmer weather has helped spur growth and increase stocks
    • Quality is average; mold/mildew, off-color, and inconsistent size are being observed in some lots
    • With transition around the corner, production is winding down in Imperial Valley, California; harvesting will finish in this region before moving to Salinas and Santa Maria, California in early to mid-April
    • Markon is anticipating a supply gap between when the desert season ends and the Salinas and Santa Maria growing areas begin production as fields are behind schedule

Green Leaf

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf is sporadic due to elevated levels of dirt following high winds and dust storms in the Arizona/California desert growing regions; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed
  • Quality, apart from elevated dirt, is very good
  • Supplies are abundant, holding markets steady at low levels
  • The spring harvesting transition will begin in three weeks
    • Grower-suppliers will move to Huron and Oxnard, California in late March and early April
    • Harvesting will begin in Salinas, California in early April
    • Production in the Arizona/California desert growing regions will be depleted by late April

Green Onions

  • Weaker-than-average demand combined with slightly warmer weather has led to a softening in the market
  • Supplies are increasing in the major Mexican growing regions of Baja and Mexicali
  • Expect slightly lower prices over the next five to seven days


  • MFC Iceberg is sporadic due light weights following low temperatures and strong winds in the Arizona/California desert growing regions; MBA is being substituted as necessary
  • Quality is good; growth crack and weak tip are being reported in some lots
  • Stocks will remain ample for the next two weeks, pushing markets lower
  • The spring transition will begin in three weeks and run through early May
    • Grower-suppliers will move to Huron and Oxnard, California in late March and early April
    • Harvesting will start in Salinas in early April; the latest start date in Salinas is the week of May 8 (roughly three weeks behind the typical latest start date)
    • Production in the Arizona/California desert growing regions will be depleted by mid- to late April

Idaho Potatoes

Sufficient supplies of MFC Idaho Burbank and Norkotah Potatoes are available.

Storage Crop

  • Size is currently dominated by 80- through 100-count supplies; larger sizes (40- through 70-count stocks) are limited
  • Quality is excellent for both varieties; pack-outs favor No. 1 quality, with limited No. 2 availability
  • Norkotahs are expected to ship through late May
  • After that, Burbanks will be the sole variety for the rest of the season
  • Currently stocks are expected to remain available through mid- to late July

New Crop

  • New crop planting typically gets underway in mid-April
  • Snow could delay plantings in some regions
  • Growers hope to see spring-like weather in April in order to plant the crop by May
  • Norkotah harvesting and packing would normally begin early to mid-August

Live From the Fields: Widespread Flooding in Salinas Valley

Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video regarding significant widespread flooding currently taking place in California’s Salinas Valley.

  • On Friday, March 10, the floor of the Salinas Valley received nearly three inches of rain, while as much as six inches fell in the mountains on both sides of the valley
  • Additional rains are forecast in the Salinas Valley on March 13 and 14; an additional one to three inches are expected
  • The Pajaro River levee, located in the Watsonville/Pajaro Valley, failed last Saturday, March 11, substantially flooding the northern side of the valley; the three main crops affected are iceberg, romaine, and strawberries
  • The Salinas River breached its levee in several areas of the Salinas Valley on Sunday, March 12
    • Previously planted crops projected for harvest from mid-April to mid-May, could experience significant yield losses
    • Plantings that were scheduled from late last week through this week must be postponed due to the oversaturated conditions
  • Monterey County records show the Salinas Valley has roughly 450,000 acres for planting vegetables
    • Salinas Valley accounts for roughly 80% of the nation’s vegetable production from April to early July
    • Delayed plantings and crops lost to flooding will ultimately lead to product shortages and high prices in the spring and into the summer months
  • Markon will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates as new information becomes available

Live From the Fields: Desert Region Rain

The Arizona/California desert region began receiving rainfall early this morning, which is expected to continue through mid-morning. Approximately .10”-.25” total may be recorded with this system.

Some grower/shippers of desert row crops are currently on standby and may cancel harvest operations. Those that continue with production will be working to keep boxes and product as clean and dry as possible. Loading delays can be expected today and possibly tomorrow.

Markon inspectors will be monitoring field conditions and any quality/shelf-life concerns that may develop in the wake of this storm and will update further as needed.

Live From the Fields: Oxnard Strawberries

Southern California, including the Oxnard growing region, received record amounts of rainfall over the past 36 hours due to the latest atmospheric river event. Rainfall totals of 3”-3.5” are being reported.

Strawberries are the most heavily impacted produce item by far, with growers reporting significant amounts of rain-damaged fruit that will need to be culled in the coming days. Additional mitigation steps will also need to be taken to reduce the potential for pin-rot/decay issues to develop in the saturated conditions.

Markon inspectors are monitoring the situation and will update further as needed.


Central American melon supplies remain tight; prices are elevated.


  • Imported honeydews are now shipping out of Guatemala into Florida and California
  • West Coast availability is limited due to higher freight costs
  • Shipments are dominated by small-size fruit (eight- and nine-count melons)
  • Mexican supplies are tight due to cool weather
    • Size is large (five- and six-count fruit)
    • Quality is fair with occasional overripened, soft fruit
  • Expect continued high markets for the next three to four weeks


  • Imported cantaloupes are mainly shipping out of Guatemala
  • Overall quality is good; small sizes dominate shipments
  • Prices are slightly lower this week and will continue the downward trend over the next month with increased availability


  • MFC Romaine is sporadic due to elevated levels of dirt and light weights following inclement weather; MBA is being substituted, as needed
  • Quality is good; epidermal blistering/peeling and wind damage are being observed in many lots
  • Volume is high, holding markets steady at low levels
  • The spring transition will begin in three weeks
    • Grower-suppliers will move to Huron and Oxnard, California in late March and early April
    • Harvesting will begin in Salinas in early April
    • Production in the Arizona/California desert growing regions will be depleted by late April


Rain is expected in all California growing regions starting Friday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 15. Production is winding down in Mexico (into South Texas) and Florida, as both regions are on the back half of their season. Expect strong demand and tight supplies through the month of March.

Santa Maria, California 

  • Growers continue culling rain-damaged fruit, leading to lower yields
  • Forecasted rain will heavily impact availability for the next 7-10 days
  • Quality concerns include soft skin, decay, white shoulders, and pin rot
  • Expect strong demand and elevated markets through the month of March

Oxnard, California

  • Growers continue culling rain-damaged fruit, leading to lower yields
  • Forecast rain will heavily impact availability for the next 7-10 days
  • Quality concerns include soft skin, decay, white shoulders, and pin rot
  • Expect strong demand and elevated markets through the month of March

Central Mexico (Loading in South Texas)

Yields continue to decline as Central Mexico’s growing season winds down. The harvest will run through March, weather pending.

  • Supplies are tightening; the season will wrap up in the next two to three weeks
  • Quality is fair; green shoulders and soft fruit have been reported
  • Size is small (approximately 24 to 26 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Markets will slowly decrease as production declines and quality becomes an issue


Volume continues to decrease the Florida growing season enters the tail end of the season. The harvest will run through March with the season coming to end in early April.

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Production is slowing down; the season will wind down over the next three to four weeks
  • Quality is good; white shoulders and bronzing are problems
  • Size is small (approximately 26 to 28 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Markets will slowly increase as production declines

Sweet Baby Broccoli

Sweet baby broccoli supplies remain extremely scarce; demand exceeds supply.

  • Salinas Valley stocks are extremely limited
  • Suppliers have cut back harvesting days due to wet fields, as well as to allow plantings to mature
  • This week’s heavy rain will again flood fields and keep harvesting at a minimum
  • Warmer day and nighttime temperatures will help plants mature and increase supplies for next two weeks
  • This week the least amount of product will be shipped; expect elevated markets into the middle of next week


Tomato markets have risen due to increased demand. MFC Tomatoes are readily available.

  • Mexican round, Roma, cherry and grape tomatoes supplies have tightened this week
    • Roma and round tomato size has gone down with medium and large being the most plentiful
    • Quality is very good
  • Florida volume is rising as new spring harvests are starting in Immokalee/Estero regions
    • Rain on Monday, March 13 briefly slowed production
    • Quality continues to be very good
  • The California tomato season is expected to start later than normal (approximately July 1) as many plantings were stunted by weather
  • Expect prices to stabilize heading into the weekend

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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