Skip to main content


March 23, 2023

Bell Peppers

Green bell pepper markets are higher due to tight supplies. Red bell peppers are increasing. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • Mexican stocks are tightening as older fields struggle to produce adequate yields
    • Larger sizes are extremely snug
    • Some new crop harvesting will start this week; however, Mexico’s spring volume is typically lower
  • The East Coast is harvesting new spring crops in South Florida however recent winds will affect quality
  • The California season will be delayed up to two weeks due to recent strong winds and rainstorms
  • Expect elevated prices to persist until spring crops are well established

Red Bells

  • Mexican supplies are starting to increase due to new crop production in the Culiacan region
  • Overall quality is mixed, with the best quality coming from high-tech growers
  • Steady volume is expected to continue in Canada through early April
  • Prices should remain fairly steady


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

Yuma, Arizona/Imperial and Santa Maria Valleys, California

  • MFC Broccoli is available.
  • While supplies are sufficient to meet current demand, quality has decreased due to several factors:
    • Yesterday’s high humidity and light rains will increase mildew and pin rot, tightening supplies further
    • The recent warming trend may lead to bracketed structure and hollow core defects
  • Milder temperatures have increased volume
  • Expect lower markets through next week, before rising again as transition back to Salinas and Santa Maria Valley regions
  • Production in Santa Maria 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
  • Salinas production is forecast to be less delayed, though some growers are preparing for a five-to-seven day harvesting gap in mid-April

Mexico (into South Texas)

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


  • Warmer weather has helped spur growth and vastly increased available supplies
  • Markets have plummeted over the last 7-10 days and will continue to do so through this week
    • Quality is average; mold/mildew, off-color, and inconsistent size are being observed in some lots
    • With the seasonal harvesting 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 the end of the desert season and when the Salinas and Santa Maria growing areas begin production; fields are behind schedule due to higher-than-average precipitation and lower-than-average temperatures impacting immature plantings


Production remains slow due to wet and muddy conditions. Forecasts call for more rain which will continue delaying harvests.  Lemon markets are expected to climb as Lent and spring-seasonal demand increase. Advanced ordering is recommended.


  • MFC and Essentials ESS Lemons are available  
  • Production continues in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California
  • Wet and muddy conditions along with more rain in the forecast will slow production
  • Due to increased demand and a larger size profile in current crops, markets for 140- through 200-count stocks are climbing
  • Quality remains excellent


  • MFC and ESS Navel Oranges are available
  • California rain will limit crews’ ability to harvest next week; orchards need at least two days without rain to harvest
  • Prices for larger size fruit are rising
  • Markets for smaller oranges are expected to follow suit as retail shifts into bagged fruit containing these sizes
  • Current quality is excellent; sugar levels are high
  • Limited supplies of Texas domestic Valencias are available
  • Mexican Valencia volume is adequate (crossing into Texas)
  • Florida Valencias are also available


Cucumber markets have eased; supplies are plentiful. MFC and Markon ESS Cucumbers are available.

  • Mexican supplies are increasing with new Sonora regions in production
    • Quality is strong
    • The Baja Peninsula has started light production; however, production will peak in May/June
  • The Honduran import season is ending; expect average quality on any remaining lots
  • Florida spring harvesting is increasing in Immokalee and the East Coast region despite recent inclement weather
    • Quality is good
    • Color is dark green and consistent
  • Prices continue to fall into promotable levels

From the Fields: Increased Insect Pressure

Effective immediately, some Markon Ready-Set-Serve Washed & Trimmed Green Leaf and Romaine packs will contain the attached Quality-Alert Flyer (English only). Spanish and French versions are attached for reference.

The Arizona/California desert growing region is seeing a spike in insect pressure, particularly in leaf lettuce items. It is not uncommon to see insect activity increase toward the tail end of the desert growing season due to warming temperatures and increased cover crops, which grow adjacent to lettuce acreage and attracts insects.

Harvesting and processing crews are working to reduce the number of insects in finished packs, but in some leaf lettuce crops that have open frames, it will be impossible to completely eliminate them.

All RSS products are table-ready and generally do not need to be rinsed. However, under certain conditions such as these, our lightly processed items (such as RSS Washed & Trimmed products) may require an additional on-site rinse under clean running water before use.

Green leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuces

Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine markets are steady at low levels with ample product in the Arizona and California desert growing regions.

  • MFC Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are available; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed due to elevated insect pressure
  • Growers will make their initial transitions to Huron and Oxnard, California in early April
  • The majority of harvests in the Salinas Valley will begin in mid-April; some growers will start iceberg as late as the second week of May due to inclement weather delaying the season
  • Initial lots in Huron, Oxnard, and Salinas, California are expected to be packed in MBA due to low weights as temperatures continue to be unseasonably cool
  • The Arizona and California desert season will continue through late April, pending weather
  • Markets are expected to remain depressed through next week; prices are poised to rise as transition to Huron, Oxnard, and Salinas, California growing regions commences


Lime pricing remains elevated; demand is strong out of the main growing region of Veracruz, Mexico. ESS Limes are sporadic.

  • Supplies remain limited in Veracruz
    • Demand is strong
    • Production is tight in other growing regions as well
  • Crops are currently dominated by 200- to 250-count sizes; due to increased quality, No. 2-grade limes remain snug
  • Expect elevated markets to persist into April; Holy Week will reduce labor and harvesting
  • Markon recommends ample lead time to ensure order fulfillment


Increased Guatemalan cantaloupe and honeydew supplies are pushing down markets this week.


  • Imported honeydews are now shipping out of Guatemala into Florida and California
  • West Coast volume is slightly higher this week; prices have eased
  • The size profile is shifting to larger melons (5- and 6-count fruit)
  • Mexican supplies remain snug due to cool weather and rain in the Sonoran growing region; quality is good out of both growing regions
  • Expect lower markets as stocks increase over the next 10 days


  • Imported cantaloupes continue to ship out of Guatemala
  • Overall quality is good
  • Size is shifting to larger fruit (9- to 12-count melons)
  • Prices are slightly lower this week as West Coast shipments increase


The Northwest storage onion season continues to wind down. Fresh-run, Texas-grown stocks are beginning to ramp up. Sufficient supplies of Mexican fresh-run onions are crossing into South Texas.

Storage Crop

  • Idaho/Oregon-grown MFC Onions are expected to be available through April 15; many suppliers have already depleted storage supplies
  • Washington-grown MFC Onions will ship through the end of April  
  • Although stocks are diminishing, pricing has eased due to increased production in Texas
  • Quality continues to be strong

New Crop

  • Texas-grown MFC Red and Yellow Onion supplies are readily available; markets have eased as volume has risen
  • Mexican onions are readily available; markets are flat as steady supplies continue to cross into South Texas
  • The Southern California desert season is still not expected to get started until the week of April 24, with limited supplies to start
  • New Mexican onions will hit the market in early June
  • Central and Northern California onions are also slated to become available by early June


Costa Rican and Mexican pineapple supplies are tightening. Expect low volume and high markets for the next three to four weeks.

  • Texas and West Coast supplies are tight; expect limited stocks through late April
  • East Coast volume is low and will remain so through late April
  • Multiple cold fronts triggered plants to flower early, causing shortages and smaller size distribution
  • Expect increased pricing until volume starts to climb in late April


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

Storage Crop

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

New Crop

  • Ideally growers would like to start new crop planting by mid-April
  • Current snow pack levels across Idaho could potentially delay planting
  • Growers are hoping for spring-like weather in April to get the crop planted by May
  • Norkotah harvesting and packing would normally begin in early to mid-August


Rain is expected in all California growing regions starting Tuesday, March 21 through Wednesday, March 22. Production is winding down in Mexico (into South Texas) and Florida, as both regions are entering the end of their season. Expect strong demand and tight supplies.

Santa Maria, California 

  • Growers continue culling rain-damaged fruit, lowering yields; 50-70% of fruit has been lost due to water damage
  • 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

Oxnard, California

  • Growers continue culling rain-damaged fruit, lowering 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 volume to increase as the weather dries up
  • Expect strong demand and elevated markets

Central Mexico (Loading in South Texas)

  • 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 increase as production declines and quality becomes an issue


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Production continues to decrease; the season will wind down over the next two to three 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
  • Continued heavy rains, high wind, and lower-than-average temperatures have reduced yields in February and March
  • Suppliers have cut back harvesting days due to wet fields, as well as to allow plantings to mature, further reducing available cases
  • Markon inspectors are seeing more product from the fields week over week, starting with this week (March 20)
  • The revised expectation for shipping all orders at 100% fill rate is now the week of April 3
  • Expect elevated markets into the middle of next week, with one more rain event on the horizon before drier spring weather arrives and aids growth

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

©2023 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.