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November 9, 2023


Markets are lower for small- and standard-size asparagus and steady to slightly higher for extra-large and jumbo sizes. Peruvian imports are shipping into Miami, Florida, while West Coast product is focused in Baja, Mexico.


  • Mexico is North America’s primary growing region; supplies are being harvested in the MX states of Baja and Sonora
  • Size is dominated by small-diameter stalks; large and jumbo sizes are tighter
    • Seeder and feathery tips are reducing quality; packer brands are being substituted when stocks don’t meet Markon First Crop specifications
    • Quality will improve as newer fields are harvested in the southern end of the Baja Peninsula and on Mexico’s West Coast
  • Production will shift towards Central Mexico when the Sonora and Baja harvests wrap up for the year


  • Volume is close to the annual average in Southern Peru despite El Nino weather that lowered yields through the summer months
    • Heat in the short- and long-term forecast may increase seeding and spread defects over the next three to five weeks
    • The high likelihood of another El Nino pattern this winter is threatening to keep Peruvian volume low for next year as well
  • FOB pricing is comparable on both coasts


Markon First Crop (MFC) Broccoli Crowns are available on the West Coast; Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted in Mexico (crossing into South Texas). Markets are escalating; this week’s supplies are tight.

California – Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys

  • Brown bead, small size, and crown yellowing are the chief quality concerns
  • Markets are expected to remain elevated as available acreage diminishes and production transitions to desert regions

Arizona/California Desert – Yuma, Imperial, and Coachella

  • New crop production begins in mid-November
  • Growers report no significant issues as they prepare to harvest their first fields, but markets are expected to open higher than those for existing Salinas Valley stocks

Central Mexico

  • MBA is being packed due to the heavy presence of hollow core, but overall crown quality is good
  • Mexican product remains available in South Texas at lower FOB pricing; expect a healthy spread to develop ($8.00+ difference in FOB costs)
  • Steady supplies and relatively stable markets are forecast for November

Brussels Sprouts

The Brussels sprout market is inching down as supplies increase.

  • MFC and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Brussels Sprouts are available
  • Markets will continue to inch down over the next 7-10 days as supplies and acreage increase to meet holiday/seasonal demand
  • Prices are forecast to rise again in mid-November as Thanksgiving increases demand
  • Domestic supplies from the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys will be shipped until Mexican product comes online in mid-December


Cauliflower markets are poised to rise next week as the Salinas Valley season winds down.

  • Markon Essentials (ESS) Cauliflower is available; packer label may be substituted as needed
  • End of season quality challenges will reduce harvestable supplies
    • Appearance defects such as discoloration/spotting, ricing, leafy curds, and mold are prevalent and can worsen during transit
    • Cooler nights are slowing maturity and reducing yields
  • Ordering for short turns is advised for the next two to three weeks as shelf-life is decreased and aesthetic defects are prevalent
  • Suppliers will begin harvesting new crop supplies in the Arizona/California desert region starting the weeks of November 13 and 20


Celery markets are inching up as demand has shifted to the West Coast.

  • MFC Celery is available in Salinas, California
  • Demand has shifted to Salinas and Santa Maria, California as Michigan and East Coast regional production is finished for the season
  • Production is scheduled to start in Oxnard, California in early November; disease pressure is present in some young plantings
  • Salinas harvests will end in mid- to late November; Santa Maria production will continue year-round
  • Arizona/California desert harvests will start in mid- to late December
  • Expect markets to rise as the transition to Oxnard continues and holiday demand strengthens


California’s San Joaquin Valley and Southern California citrus growing districts are forecast to receive a series of rain events starting Wednesday, November 15 through Friday November 17. Expect harvesting delays, tight supplies, and higher markets next week.

  • MFC and ESS Lemons and Oranges are available
  • Growers cannot harvest fruit when orchards are wet
    • If picked when wet, the rind will break down and discoloration will develop
    • Mud and standing water may limit crews’ ability to get equipment into orchards
    • Markon has requested that suppliers pack ahead of this rain event
  • Current quality is excellent and supplies are adequate

From the Fields: Salinas Valley Rain

California’s Salinas Valley is expecting light rainfall starting Saturday evening, November 4 and continuing through Tuesday, November 7 due to a series of low-pressure systems passing through California. The Watsonville region may see up to a half inch, but most areas will only see one- to two-tenths. Many grower/shippers are wrapping up production in the Salinas Valley, but those that still have items such as broccoli, lettuce, and tender leaf items will work to keep boxes and product as clean and dry as possible.

Markon inspectors will be monitoring Salinas supplies for any rain-related delays or quality concerns in the days that follow. This system is not expected to bring rain to the Santa Maria, Oxnard, or Huron, California growing regions, but a more significant rain event forecast for next Friday, November 10 may have more widespread impact.

Iceberg, Romaine and Green Leaf Lettuces

The green leaf, iceberg, and romaine seasons are winding down in the Santa Maria and Salinas Valleys. Harvesting in Huron and Oxnard, California continues to supplement orders. Arizona/California desert production will begin in a limited capacity next week, with the majority of growers starting the new crop season the week of November 13.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are sporadic; MBA will be substituted, as needed due to low weights
  • Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) presence remains minimal, and will not impact supply levels, or the market, as the Salinas and Santa Maria 2023 seasons end
  • Light rainfall is forecast in Salinas over the weekend and into early next week, but is not expected to delay any harvests
  • The Arizona/California desert season will start next week; quality and supply reports are favorable
  • Many growers are finished harvesting for 2023 Salinas season; all Huron, Oxnard, Santa Maria, and Salinas production will end in mid- to late November as the Arizona/California desert region becomes the primary growing area for the winter months
  • Iceberg markets are expected to inch up through this transition period, until desert production is fully underway; green leaf and romaine prices will remain fairly steady through the move south

Mixed Berries

Blueberry supplies are increasing. Blackberries are limited due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Lidia in Mexico.


  • Baja production is past its fall peak and will continue to decline
  • Peruvian import supplies are expected to increase each week moving forward
  • Mexican harvesting is off to a slow start and not expected to produce significant volume until mid-November
  • Demand exceeds supply; the industry will remain in a production gap for the next two to three weeks
  • Expect high markets and pro-rated orders for the next two to three weeks


  • Central Mexico’s yields are lower than anticipated due to rain damage
  • The California season is past its fall peak; volume will continue to decline
  • Demand exceeds supply; the industry will remain this way for the next two to three weeks
  • Expect diminishing supplies and rising markets


  • The California growing season is past its peak and will continue to downtrend for the remainder of the season
  • Mexican production continues to increase and will reach its peak this week
  • Quality is good; no issues have been reported at this time
  • Expect sufficient supplies and stable markets


Onion markets are slowing inching up; demand for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is strengthening.

  • MFC Onions are being shipped out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Washington
  • Onions are exhibiting solid, globe-like shape and firm texture
    • Yellow onions have golden, cured skins
    • Red onion skins are setting nicely with a few paper layers
  • Both varieties are dominated by jumbo sizes; colossal and super colossal volume is sufficient


The California Bartlett pear season will end in late November. MFC Bartlett and D’Anjou Pears are available out of Washington.


  • MFC D’Anjou Pears will remain available through June; stocks are dominated by extremely large sizes (70- through 90-count fruit)
  • The season for MFC Bartlett Pears will run through early February; supplies are dominated by large sizes (90- and 100-count fruit); 110-count and smaller pears are tight
  • Washington growers use 44-pound cartons, thus shipping 6 to 10 more pieces of fruit per unit than California pear packs
  • Overall quality is excellent


Rain is expected in the Salinas/Watsonville, Santa Maria, and Oxnard growing regions starting Tuesday, November 14. Markon recommends loading out of the South Texas growing region next week to help fill the void from the West Coast.

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Forecast calls for rain starting Tuesday, November 14 through Saturday, November 18
  • Supplies are currently limited and with rainfall forecasted next week, supplies will become extremely tight
  • Expect an extreme demand-exceeds-supply market for the next two weeks
  • Quality is currently average at best; rain will decrease quality further
  • Maintaining the cold chain will be vital for shelf-life; Markon recommends ordering for quick turns


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Forecast calls for rain starting Tuesday, November 14 through Saturday, November 18
  • Supplies are currently limited and with rainfall forecasted next week, supplies will become extremely tight
  • Expect an extreme demand-exceeds-supply market for the next two weeks
  • Quality is currently good; rain will decrease overall quality
  • Maintaining the cold chain will be vital for shelf-life; Markon recommends ordering for quick turns

South Texas – Mexican grown

  • Volume is low as the season begins
  • Markon recommends loading out of South Texas to help fill the void out of California
  • Quality is currently good; small sizing and white shoulders have been reported
  • Expect increasing volume crossing into San Juan, Texas week over week
  • Expect high markets as South Texas helps fill the void from West Coast shortages


  • Season has come to an end


Tomato markets are climbing due to seasonally low volume. MFC Tomatoes are limited.

  • The California season is wrapping up this weekend
  • Production is past its peak in Baja, Mexico; round, Roma, and grape tomatoes are tight
    • New crop harvests will begin the week of November 13
    • Growers anticipate lower-than-normal volume as Hurricane Hilary disrupted early season plantings
  • Supplies from mainland Mexico (into Nogales, Arizona and South Texas) are limited following recent rains
    • Yields are sporadic with hit-or-miss quality due to weather disruptions and planting gaps
    • The season in Culiacan, Mexico will start in early January
  • Florida stocks are limited
    • The Roma variety is especially tight
    • Volume is steady in Quincy, Florida but will decrease over the next two to three weeks as supplies transition south
    • Production has begun in a limited manner in Ruskin and Palmetto, Florida; better volume is expected in two weeks
  • Expect limited supplies and strong markets for the next three weeks

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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