UPDATE SUMMARY: WEEK OF MARCH 7, 2022

March 10, 2022

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Broccoli prices are steady at low levels; supplies are ample. Cauliflower markets remain elevated due to limited availability.

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Broccoli Crowns and Markon Essentials (ESS) Cauliflower are available

Broccoli

    • Markets are expected to remain low in all regions through March at minimum
    • Demand is weak
    • Quality is very good
    • Size is consistent

Cauliflower

    • Pricing is anticipated to be elevated until growers fully transition to the Salinas Valley by mid- April
    • Demand is strong
    • Quality is good but head size is inconsistent at the field level as a result of weather fluctuations
  • Some growers started harvesting broccoli and cauliflower in the Salinas Valley this week; supplies will remain available in the Arizona/California desert through early to mid-April

Cucumbers

The East Coast transition from Honduran fruit to Florida spring crops is behind schedule by two weeks, tightening overall volume. Prices are rising. MFC and ESS Cucumbers are available.

  • Mexican supplies are snug due to strong demand
  • All sizes are available; No. 1 grade stocks are tight
  • Quality is good
    • Expect firm, dark skinned cucumbers
    • Wind scarring an occasional concern
  • Imported Honduran supplies have declined significantly
  • A wide range in quality is observed in most lots
  • The import season is expected to end over the next 7 to 10 days
  • Florida’s spring production is slightly delayed due to February frost; expect extremely limited supplies over the next two weeks

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine

Iceberg and romaine supplies continue to tighten throughout the industry due to inconsistent weather patterns in the Arizona/California desert region. Green leaf supplies are more readily available, although industry volume is lower compared to recent weeks. Strong demand is pushing up prices.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf and Romaine are available
    • Green leaf quality is above average with minimal defects; insect pressure has increased
    • Romaine lots are being affected with varying levels of epidermal blistering and peeling; harvesting crews must trim heads significantly in order to pack the cleanest boxes possible
  • MFC Premium Iceberg is sporadic; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed due to low weights
    • Quality is average
    • Below-normal weights and small size are industry issues
  • Low volume will persist until Huron production begins in mid- to late March; the Salinas season is forecast to start in early to mid-April
  • Expect elevated prices until the transitions to Huron and Salinas are completed

Idaho Potatotes

Markon First Crop (MFC) Idaho Burbank Potatoes are available. Storage crop MFC Norkotah Potatoes are expected to be depleted by mid-April.  

 

Storage Crop

  • Quality is good: pressure bruising and hollow heart will be seen sporadically in remaining storage stocks
  • Size profile is currently dominated by large sizes (40- to 50-count supplies); small-size potatoes (70- to 90-count stocks) are tighter
  • Prices will remain relatively steady over the next few weeks, but will begin to inch up once Norkotahs are depleted

2022-23 Season

  • 2022/2023 new crop potato planting will begin in April
  • New crop Norkotah harvesting is expected to start in late July

Onions

Texas-grown MFC Onions are on the market. Northwest storage supplies remain on pace to be depleted sooner than normal.

 

  • Texas-grown MFC Yellow Onions are available
    • Fresh-run onions will have feathery skins and light color/exterior compared to Northwest storage onions
    • Sizing is small to start the season; medium onions dominate harvests
    • No. 2 jumbo yellow onions are not available out of Texas due to a marketing order; No. 1 onions will be shipped
    • Texas MFC Red Onions are expected to become available at the end of next week
  • Mexican onions (crossings into South Texas)
    • Supplies remain limited
    • Pricing is elevated
    • The Mexican domestic market remains strong; the bulk of supplies will be sold in Mexico
  • MFC Washington Onions will be depleted in early April
    • Supplies ordinarily run through May
    • Internal defects such as translucency, dryness, and watery scale are quality problems
  • Idaho/Oregon-grown MFC Onions will ship into April, however some suppliers will run out of supplies in late March
    • Stocks typically ship into May
    • Quality is declining; internal defects such as translucency, dryness, and watery scale will be present

Strawberries 

Supplies are decreasing in the regions of Central Mexico and Florida as these seasons wind down. Oxnard production is ramping up.

Oxnard, California

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Sunny, rain-free weather is forecast for the week of March 7
  • Quality is excellent: some scarring is being reported due to the strong Santa Ana winds
  • Volume will continue to increase over the next 10-14 days
  • Berry size is medium (14-18 per 1-pound clamshell)

Santa Maria, California

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Forecasts calls for cooler temperatures the week of March 7
  • Expect volume to fall next week as colder weather will inhibit growth
  • Fruit is large (14-18 per 1-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good: green shoulders are being seen occasionally

Central Mexico (Loading in South Texas)

  • Supplies are declining Central Mexico; the season will wrap up in the next two to three weeks
  • Pack counts range from 17 to 21 berries
  • Quality is fair: green shoulders are being seen occasionally

 Florida

  • Production is slowing down; the season will wind down over the next two to three weeks
  • Quality is good: expect occasional overripening due to high overnight temperatures
  • Pack counts range from 16-20 berries
  • The season for Utah-grown MFC Onions will end next week as is typical in recent years (mid-march)

Yellow Onions

  • Abnormally high temperatures received in the Northwest during last summer’s growing season reduced the onion crop size profile; leaving fewer of the size required to peel onions efficiently
    • The heat also reduced the quality of the overall crop, reducing the amount of time the onions would maintain their quality in storage
  • Northwest storage supplies are on pace to be depleted sooner than normal, early- to mid-April vs. late April to early May
  • Markets are expected to remain elevated into May until the California desert growing region begins its harvest

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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