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December 1, 2022

Apples – Washington Crop Is Down

With Washington apple harvests now complete, suppliers will work to stretch volume in a short crop season. Michigan apple growers will continue to see well-above average yields.


  • In August, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) reported the 2022-2023 Washington State apple crop would be down as much as 11%, compared to the 2021-2022 season
  • Approximately 108 million cases will be packed during this season, down from nearly 120 million cases from last season   
  • Cold, rainy and snowy weather this past spring hampered apple development at the start of the growth process
  • Expect higher-than-average pricing this season as suppliers work to extend supply through August and September
  • Although fruit growth was delayed, quality is strong in storage supplies


  • Ideal weather conditions in spring and summer have produced an abundant crop
  • Michigan apple growers are seeing well-above average yields; 29.5 million bushels are expected to be picked, above the average annual crop of 24 million bushels
  • Quality is excellent in all varieties
  • Markets have eased in recent weeks

Bell Peppers

Green bell peppers are transitioning south on both coasts. Supplies are snug from past storms and recent cold weather. California’s cool evenings are hindering red bell pepper ripening.

Green Bells

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green Bell Peppers are available
  • The California desert season is winding down; volume is low due to cold evening temperatures as the transition to Mexico begins
  • Mexican stocks are adequate in Sonora; however, cool evenings in Culiacan, Sinaloa are hindering fruit growth
  • The Georgia season is ending this week; quality is average
  • Central/South Florida growers are harvesting limited supplies from hurricane-affected crops; quality is hit or miss
  • Expect markets to increase over the next two weeks

Red Bells

  • MFC and ESS Red Bell Peppers are available
  • Cool evening temperatures in the California desert are slowing the ripening process
  • Quality has improved; large sizes are most abundant
  • Mexico’s primary red bell season is expected to start in late December
  • Prices will remain steady this week

Broccoli and Cauliflower


  • Supplies from the Arizona and California desert region are exhibiting better quality than late-season Salinas Valley and Santa Maria crops
  • Cooler weather, especially low nighttime temperatures, has slowed head maturation and reduced yields, keeping markets relatively high
  • Markets appear to have plateaued and will be steady to slightly lower over the next 7-10 days
  • South Texas prices continue to boast a large price spread, with fair to average quality being reported – Markon continues to recommend DCs that are able take advantage


  • Cauliflower markets remain elevated as supplies are limited
  • Similar to broccoli, the quality is better in Arizona and California desert regions but low temperatures will slow growth and reduce yields this week
  • Suppliers are cutting ahead of scheduled acreage to compensate:
    • 12-count packs are extremely limited on the open market; contracts are being prorated for the next one to two weeks as supplies ramp up
      • Orders are being covered at open market where possible
      • Substituting 16-count packs will help to increase order fill rate as growers are forced to harvest and pack product from immature fields
  • Some growers continue to clean up Salinas Valley supplies, but will be consolidated to the desert by the first week of December


Markets are elevated due to increased demand and lower industry supplies.

  • Oxnard is the primary growing region; fusarium is reducing harvestable yields in some lots; however, disease pressure is lower compared to prior seasons
  • Minimal harvesting continues in Salinas; supplies are expected to be depleted by the end of next week
  • Santa Maria production will continue year-round
  • Arizona and California desert production will start mid- to late December
  • Expect elevated markets and strong demand through the holiday season

From The Fields: Widespread Lettuce Ice

The Arizona/California desert region forecast is calling for widespread lettuce ice over the next few days. The coldest morning temperatures will arrive Wednesday, November 30. Expect significant ice that will impact harvesting, processing, and loading times in addition to further hindering plant growth and causing freeze-related quality issues in lettuce items.

Markon inspectors are monitoring commodity and value-added items closely and will update further as needed.

Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine

Green leaf and romaine supplies are increasing as production in the Arizona and California desert continues to ramp up. Iceberg supplies remain extremely limited, but orders are being covered in full.

Green Leaf and Romaine

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf is readily available; MFC Premium Romaine is being packed regularly with Markon Best Available (MBA) being substituted as needed due to light weights
  • Quality is very good; fringe burn and epidermal blister/peel are present in some lots following high winds and cool temperatures
  • Markets are weaker and are anticipated to continue to decline in the coming weeks, pending a severe lettuce ice event


  • MFC Premium Iceberg is not available; MBA is being substituted due to continued light weights
  • Quality is good; light weights, epidermal blister/peel, and fluctuating densities are present in most lots
  • Markets have plateaued and are expected to remain steady for the next two weeks at minimum

Idaho Potatoes – Cold Weather

Extremely low temperatures and snow showers are forecast in Eastern Idaho over the next few weeks.

  • Temperatures need to be 18 degrees F or higher for five to seven hours to haul potatoes from cellars to packing sheds
  • Growers do not haul potatoes to packing sheds when temperatures are below 18 degrees F to avoid freezing raw product
  • Reduced production and delayed loading are expected
  • Snow showers will affect outbound trucks
  • Advanced order lead time is highly recommended for order fulfillment
December 2022   Idaho Falls, ID  –  Local Weather
Dec 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Hi:  38° Hi:  25° Hi:  27° Hi:  33° Hi:  29° Hi:  28° Hi:  24° Hi:  21° Hi:  21° Hi:  20° Hi:  19° Hi:  25° Hi:  24° Hi:  24°
Lo:   17° Lo:   7° Lo:   13° Lo:  26° Lo:   23° Lo:  17° Lo:   11° Lo:  10° Lo:   9° Lo:   7° Lo:   9° Lo:    9° Lo:   7° Lo:   8°


The market has started to inch up as suppliers move into new crop supplies. Stocks are currently adequate but are expected to trend downward in December. MFC and ESS Limes are available.

  • Expect medium- and large-size limes to be limited going into December (until new crop sizes increases)
  • Many growers not expected to harvest the week of Christmas; Markon recommends placing orders well in advance to avoid gaps in supply during this time
  • Overall quality is good; however, suppliers are still reporting lighter colored limes and occasional oil spotting
  • Prices are expected to climb throughout the month of December


MFC Onions are being shipped out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.     

  • Northwest onion quality is excellent; supplies possess solid, globe-like shape, and firm texture
    • Yellow onions have golden, cured skins
    • Red onion skins have set nicely with occasional papery layers
  • Current demand has eased after the Thanksgiving holiday week; however, markets remain firm
  • Expect steady pricing through December followed by an increase after the New Year as suppliers assess remaining volume
  • Currently, Mexican onions are expected to start shipping in February, while the Texas domestic season is on track to begin in March
  • California/Imperial Valley onions are estimated to start shipping in late April
  • The New Mexico season is forecast to begin in early June

Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Arugula

The market continues to escalate. Supplies are tight due to slowed plant maturity following cooler temperatures in Yuma, Arizona.

  • RSS Arugula is limited
  • Demand far exceeds supply due to cooler temperatures that have slowed plant maturity
  • Expect strong demand and limited supplies over the next 10-12 days


Expect supplies to remain tight and markets elevated; the forecast calls for rain in the back half of the week in the Santa Maria and Oxnard, California growing regions.

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Limited availability continues persists as production slows in California
  • The industry is in a demand-exceeds-supply situation
  • The forecast calls for rain Thursday, December 1 into Sunday, December 4
  • MFC plastic clamshells may need to be substituted for the corrugated clamshells


  • Limited availability continues persists as production slows in California
  • The industry is in a demand-exceeds-supply situation
  • The forecast calls for rain Thursday, December 1 into Sunday, December 4
  • MFC plastic clamshells may need to be substituted for the corrugated clamshells

South Texas

  • Mexican production is increasing
  • Mexican fruit is being used to supplement the California shortage at this time
  • Quality is good; white shoulders and occasional overripening are issues


  • Production has started in a limited manner
  • Harvesting will increase over time and is expected to reach its peak by mid-December
  • Early quality is good; expect small to medium fruit size

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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