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May 19, 2023

Brussels Sprouts

The market is elevated. Mexico is the primary growing region this time of year; supplies have decreased significantly.

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Brussels Sprouts are extremely limited; packer label is being substituted, as needed
  • Late-season quality issues, including yellowing/off color, bolting, and higher insect pressure, have significantly reduced yields in Mexico
  • Size profile is heavily skewed to smaller sprouts as growers must harvest immature fields to meet current demand
  • Expect firm markets and tight supplies through mid-June amid strong demand and continued delays in the new crop from California growing regions

California Strawberries

Strawberry supplies are increasing; demand remains strong. Expect steady markets for the next seven to ten days.

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Warm weather will increase stocks next week
  • Fruit size is medium (18 to 20 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is great; some green shoulders have been reported


  • Volume will increase weekly as favorable growing conditions are forecast
  • Fruit size is large (12 to 18 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is great; firm fruit with 90-95% color


  • Supplies are extremely limited; most suppliers are expected to wrap up the season in the next two weeks
  • Remaining quality is fair


Celery markets are extremely active.

  • MFC Celery is available
  • Oxnard and Santa Maria, California are the primary growing regions
    • Seeder is present is some lots, reducing yields
    • Oxnard production is forecast to end in early to mid-June
    • Santa Maria production will continue year-round
  • The Salinas season will start two weeks later than normal, in mid-June, due to planting delays and cold weather
  • Michigan harvests will begin in early to mid-July
  • Prices are expected to remain active until Salinas production is underway

Chipping Potatoes

Chipping potato storage supplies continue to wind down. Suppliers will ration remaining stocks.

Storage crop

  • Current demand far exceeds available supply levels; growers are allocating limited storage stocks until new crop production starts
  • Quality continues to weaken in finished packs
    • External defects exceeding the USDA standard tolerance of 10 percent will be seen
    • Internal defects surpassing 5 percent the USDA tolerance may also be present
  • Suppliers are sorting through product that would normally be culled out in order to fulfill orders
  • Operators may consider shifting to gold/yellow or Russet potatoes until new crop chipping potatoes become available
  • Remaining stocks will exhibit multiple quality concerns including discoloration, thin skins, pressure and shoulder bruising, and mixed sizing

New Crop

  • California harvesting is expected to begin June 14
  • Arizona’s production will start by early July
  • New Mexico will harvest in mid-August

From the Fields: Baby/Tender leaf and Specialty Salads

Certain Salinas Valley-grown baby leaf items such as Baby Spinach and Arugula are currently experiencing quality and shelf-life challenges related to the recent rain and cooler temperatures followed by a significant heat spike. These items are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations and excess moisture which can cause brittleness, yellowing, inconsistent leaf size, and in some cases, early breakdown. Suppliers expect to experience quality challenges through the end of May on tender leaf items.


Additionally, Markon inspectors have observed specialty salad items as Kale Color Crunch with substandard shelf-life performance. The carrot and red cabbage components are still being sourced from the desert region which has been receiving abnormally high temperatures, stressing the crops and reducing shelf-life. The reduced shelf-life will likely continue until we make the jump from the desert to the Salinas Valley for the raw product source utilized to make Kale Color Crunch sometime in early-to mid-June. Until then, Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Kale Color Crunch will not be available; packer brand will be substituted.

From the Fields: Salinas Valley Heatwave

Heat wave conditions will be in effect in the Salinas Valley and other California growing regions today through mid-next week due to a lingering high pressure system over California. Temperatures will range from the low-to upper 70°s near the coast and the 80°s-90°s further inland.

Although the warmer weather will help to promote plant growth in crops that have been largely behind schedule from two to three weeks, it will also cause heat-related quality and shelf-life concerns in commodity and value-added lettuce and tender leaf items.

Markon inspectors will be monitoring supplies closely and will update further as needed. Maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life of perishable produce items.


Supplies will be extremely limited on red and green grape packs for the next two weeks as the offshore storage season ends, and Mexican volume is unable to meet demand.


  • MFC Lunch Bunch Grapes will be available until early June
  • The Chilean/Peruvian green and red grape storage season will end late next week
  • Overall supplies are extremely tight as stocks diminish
  • Expect limited supplies and rising markets through this transition


  • MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Grapes will be available in mid-June
  • Mexican green grapes are expected to begin shipping May 25
  • Mexican red grapes are expected to begin shipping the week of May 29
  • Portioned grapes from Mexico are expected to begin June 6
  • Expect elevated pricing to begin the season followed by gradually decreasing markets

Green leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuce

Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine markets continue to weaken.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf and Romaine are readily available
  • MFC Premium Iceberg is sporadic due to low weights; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed
  • Favorable weather is promoting growth and increasing supplies
  • Availability has stabilized but may be inconsistent in June and July, as growers navigate delayed and/or missed plantings due to excessive rains and abnormally low temperatures this past winter
  • Markets are expected to remain low through the end of May, at minimum


The lime market continues to ease; supplies are ample in Veracruz, Mexico. MFC and ESS Limes are available.

  • Size continues to increase; stocks are now dominated by 175- and 200-count fruit
  • Larger 110- and 150-count size supplies are slowly becoming more plentiful
  • Quality remains good; oil spotting, blanching, and scarring are occasional issues
  • Expect markets to continue to inch down over the next two to three weeks


The domestic season has started in a limited manner; expect supplies to rise over the next two weeks.


  • Offshore supplies have finished; Mexican supplies will continue shipping through May
  • Florida suppliers are shipping Athena variety cantaloupes which mostly remain on the East Coast
  • A limited supply of MFC California/Arizona Cantaloupe will become available Friday, May 19
  • The domestic Arizona/California desert season has begun in a limited manner
  • Sizing will be dominated by smaller, 12- and 15-count, fruit for the first few weeks, then shift to peaking on 9-count
  • Expect higher markets for Mexican and domestic cantaloupe as the Mexican season closes and the domestic season begins


  • Offshore supplies have been exhausted on the West Coast; Mexican honeydew will remain available on the West Coast market
  • The Arizona/California desert season is expected to begin in a limited manner the week of May 22
  • Expect sizing to peak on larger, 5- and 6-count, fruit for the first two to three weeks
  • MFC Honeydew will become available Friday, May 26
  • Expect domestic melon prices to be slightly higher than Mexican melons as the domestic season ramps up in late May

Mixed Berries

Raspberries supplies are tight; markets remain elevated.


  • Volume is falling in Central Mexico
  • Stocks are slowly increasing in Baja, Mexico and Oxnard, California; expect yields in both regions to reach peak season in early June
  • Pricing will increase as the Central Mexican season winds down


  • Central Mexico, the primary growing region, is winding down; stocks are tightening
  • Volume is climbing in Baja, Mexico; expect ample supplies in two weeks
  • The Florida season has ended
  • Georgia growers have begun limited production this week; supplies will increase as the season progresses
  • The California season will begin next week; expect low volume to start
  • Prices will remain steady


  • Yields are gradually declining in Central Mexico
  • Other Mexican growing regions are in peak production
  • North Carolina is expected to begin harvesting in two weeks
  • Supplies will slowly decrease through the month until the California season begins in late May


The Texas onion season has ended. MFC Onions are being shipped out of California and Washington.         


  • Steady rain throughout the season, coupled with high heat, have decreased remaining onion acreage


  • With Texas growers calling an end to their season, demand has shifted to California’s Imperial Valley
  • Prices will begin to increase
  • Yields are low at the beginning of the season
    • Colossal and super colossal onions are tight
    • Size will increase as the season progresses


  • Washington-grown MFC Onions are expected to ship through the end of May  
  • Sufficient supplies of red and yellow onions are available
    • Remaining stocks are small in size, favoring mediums and jumbos
    • Yellow colossal onions are limited; super colossals stocks have been depleted
  • Prices remain steady despite low volume; quality is average

New Mexico

  • Limited MFC Onion harvesting will start the week of May 29
  • Full onion production and order coverage will commence the week of June 5


California Navel season is projected to wrap up in late June. Valencia Oranges from Mexico, crossing into Nogales, Arizona, have approximately four weeks left in the season. California Valencia production has started; expect good volume come late May/early June.


  • MFC and ESS Navel Oranges are available
  • Large sizes (48 and 56-count), as well as small sizes (113 and 138-count), remain limited; volume is peaking on 72 and 88-count fruit.
  • Late Navel varieties are expected to be available until mid-to-late June
  • Quality is very good; Brix levels are high


  • Expect the Mexican Valencia season to finish mid-June
  • California MFC and ESS Valencia Oranges are available
  • California Valencia Oranges are ramping up; expect excellent volume by early June
  • The overall crop is down six percent from last year; samples gathered indicate this crop has the smallest diameter in the last 10 years
  • Early production will require no gassing as color is ideal; expect gassing to be required in July/August when Valencias start to regreen from heat


Sufficient supplies of MFC Burbank and Norkotah Potatoes are available.

Storage Crop

  • Size is currently dominated by 80- through 90-count supplies; larger sizes (40- through 50-count potatoes) are adequate
  • Quality remains great for both varieties; pack-outs favor No. 1 quality, with limited No. 2 availability
  • Norkotah stocks are winding down throughout this month; Burbanks will be the sole variety for the remainder of the season
  • Daily production schedules have been reduced to extend storage supplies until the new crop season (2023-2024) begins
  • Limited Idaho Burbank stocks are expected to ship through late July/early August
  • Washington supplies will be depleted by mid-July
  • Advanced order lead-time is highly recommended for order fulfillment

New Crop

  • Idaho will wrap up planting by the end of next week (one week behind normal schedule); Norkotah harvesting and packing would normally begin in mid- to late August
  • Washington will finish planting by the end of this week (one week behind normal schedule); Norkotah harvesting and packing would normally begin the last week of July


Tomato markets are elevated due to light supplies and increased demand. MFC Tomatoes are readily available.

  • West Mexican round, Roma, cherry, and grape tomato supplies are decreasing
    • Quality is mixed as mostly older fields are in production
  • East Mexico and Baja Peninsula spring production will increase heading into early June
  • Florida’s Ruskin/Palmetto region flushed earlier this year and is past peak production; limited harvests will continue through late May
    • Good quality and large sizes prevail but are expected to notch down over the next two weeks
  • North Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are expected to start the first week of June
  • Northern California is delayed by two weeks due to severe winter rain/late plantings; expect the season to begin in early July
  • Expect elevated markets from late May to late June due to disrupted transitions and tight supplies

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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