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October 20, 2022


Asparagus markets are rising as the Northern Baja region moves past peak production. Markon First Crop (MFC) Asparagus is available.


  • Large sizes are tight; Central Mexico’s season has ended, concentrating all demand on Northern Baja
  • Recent storms and poor field conditions are restricting machine access and slowing harvests
  • Southern Baja production has been delayed due to Tropical Storm Kay, leading to regreening of the crop
  • Warm, wet conditions in Northern Baja have increased spear production, forcing growers to cut ahead of their acreage schedules; expect a medium-to-high likelihood of a demand-exceeds-supply situation in December
  • Prices will inch higher through October as the Northern Baja season moves through their peak and volume begins to decline


  • Peruvian asparagus (shipped into Florida) is supplementing the East Coast market
  • Volume is strong as Peruvian growers are in peak production (September through December)
  • Market pricing is lower than Mexican-grown product; aging is a concern as most imports are arriving by boat due to limited air freight

Bell Peppers
Green bell pepper markets are rising due to strong demand. Cooler weather and growing region transitions are occurring on both coasts. Red bell pepper supplies are tight.

Green Bells

  • MFC and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green Bell Peppers are available
  • California production out of the Hollister/Gilroy area is winding down
    • Quality is good; all sizes are available
    • The California desert season (Coachella) will start late next week with limited supplies
  • The Georgia and North Florida growing regions are slightly behind schedule due to recent weather; volume is tight
    • Quality is good
    • North Carolina will experience cool weather next week, pushing their season to a close
  • Central Mexico has limited volume crossing through the south Texas border
  • Expect prices to continue rising

Red Bells

  • MFC and ESS Red Bell Peppers are available; packer label may be substituted during transition
  • The California regions of Hollister and Oxnard are experiencing cooler temperatures, slowing down the ripening process
    • Supplies are tight; some suppliers will skip harvesting on Saturday to help color deepen
    • Bell pepper quality remains strong
    • Central California’s Le Grande season will end early next week; the Coachella season will start in mid-November
  • Central Mexico has limited volume due to recent cool weather
  • Canadian greenhouses production is slowing down due to overcast weather
  • Expect prices to increase next week

Broccoli and Cauliflower



  • MFC Broccoli is available in Salinas, California
    • Packer label broccoli is available from both Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys
    • Markets continue to ease after a recent peak
    • Widespread quality issues, such as pin rot, are likely to remain through the transition to the Arizona/California desert growing region


  • Markon Best Available (MBA)  Broccoli is being shipped out of Central Mexico (into South Texas)
    • Quality has improved, but light insect pressure persists
    • A drop in demand is softening the market, but expect relatively elevated prices as growers continue to selectively harvest and remaining acres in ground decrease

Arizona and California Desert Growing Regions

  • Harvesting is scheduled to begin in mid-November



  • ESS Cauliflower is available in Salinas, California
  • Packer label cauliflower is available from both the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys
  • Supplies are increasing, but remain tight as growers work through quality-challenged fields
  • Quality is below average
  • Despite challenges, markets will continue declining over the next five to seven days amid average to weak demand

Arizona and California Desert Growing Regions

  • Production is scheduled to begin by mid- to late November
  • The Salinas Valley season scheduled to end by the first week of December

California Lettuce and Leafy Greens

Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine supplies remain extremely limited, at record high market levels. Suppliers of all three commodities have not been able to fulfill 100% of their weekly contract commitments or regular open market business over the past three weeks.

  • Supplies of all three commodities will slowly increase over the next two weeks as growers break into fields in Huron and Oxnard, California
  • Production in Salinas and Santa Maria, California will continue through early to mid-November
  • Suppliers are forecast to harvest their first fields in the desert regions of Yuma, Arizona and Imperial Valley, California the week of November 7
  • Quality and weights will vary depending on growing region, field location, and timing of harvest, as growers stretch their production schedule for harvestable product while also managing disease pressure to maximize yields
  • Expect lightweight commodity boxes and quality challenges in green leaf, iceberg, and romaine through mid-November
  • Lower markets are forecast in the coming weeks as more supplies become available through the transition to the desert regions
  • Additionally, supplies of value-added iceberg and romaine salads continue to be limited; Markon’s competition is not being filled to their current demand; Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Salads will be filled to 100% of averages at minimum

California Orange Transition

The California Valencia season is coming to an end. Supplies of 113- to 138-count fruit continue to tighten. California’s Navel season has begun in a limited manner.


  • California Valencia supplies are expected to ship through the week of October 24
  • Quality has deteriorated; heat from last summer, lack of water, and necessary gassing are taking a toll on fruit
  • Volume is dominated by 56- and 72-count packs; choice grade fruit is plentiful
  • Small-size fruit (113- to 138-count packs) will be extremely limited for the rest of the Valencia season
  • Sugar levels are at 13 to 16 Brix; high sugar levels can result in a shorter shelf-life
  • Expect prices for small-size packs to rise


  • The California Navel harvest has begun; volume will ramp up over the next three to four weeks
  • Current volume is dominated by 113- and 138-count packs; fancy grade fruit is plentiful
  • Sugar levels range from 10 to 12 Brix
  • The early variety fruit requires gassing for a minimum of 72 hours to de-green
  • Expect prices for large sizes (56- and 72-count packs) to increase

California Strawberries

Strong markets persist; strawberry plants are still recovering from last month’s heavy rainstorms in Oxnard and Santa Maria, California. Supplies are not expected to meet demand through the rest of October.

Demand far exceeds supply. Last month’s heavy rainstorms in Oxnard and Santa Maria, California have been more impactful on the strawberry crop than the early assessment revealed. Markon inspectors are predicting lower-than-normal volume through the month of November.


  • Volume is extremely low
  • Production will be completed by mid- to late October
  • Quality is average

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Stocks are extremely limited due to last month’s rainfall of 1.5 – 2”
  • Supplies will not meet demand through most of November
  • Quality will be average; problems include green to white shoulders, soft fruit, and some early decay


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Volume is limited as the season is just beginning
  • Early season quality is good; vibrant color is being reported
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (18 to 20 per one-pound clamshell)
  • Expect a demand-exceeds-supply market through most of November

South Texas

  • Volume is tight as the season begins
  • Expect volume to gradually increase over the next two to three weeks
  • Berries will begin to cross into San Juan, Texas this week


  • Production will begin after Thanksgiving in a limited manner
  • Orders are estimated to begin shipping the week of December 5

Expect strawberry supplies to remain tight and markets elevated over the next three weeks as fields recover from prior rainstorms.


Strong cucumber demand is forcing markets to rise. Cold weather has slowed overall production.

  • MFC and ESS Cucumbers are available
  • Production is underway in Northern Mexico
    • Cooler weather and low evening temperatures are limiting plant yields this week
    • Expect volume to increase in November when the Sinaloa season begins
  • Baja production is past its peak; extra grading is required
  • The Georgia growing region is experiencing cold evening temperatures (with potential frost advisories), slowing harvests
  • Florida will struggle with supply in November and December due to Hurricane Ian; many fields have been replanted
  • Expect elevated prices over the next two weeks

Green Leaf

Supplies remain extremely scarce; Salinas Valley fields are being further decimated by disease pressure this week.

  • Green leaf harvesting California is slowly ramping up in Huron and Oxnard; however, stocks are not sufficient to offset yield loss in the Salinas Valley
  • Suppliers are forecast to harvest their first fields in the desert regions of Yuma, Arizona and Imperial Valley, California the week of November 7
  • Quality and weights will vary depending on growing region, field location, and timing of harvest, as growers stretch their production schedule for harvestable product
  • Expect lightweight commodity boxes and quality challenges including INSV, mildew, and wind damage over the next two weeks
  • Supplies of lightly prepped value-added green leaf (Washed and Trimmed and Whole Fillets) will be limited for the duration of the Salinas season
  • Markets are expected to remain elevated until the  transition to the desert regions is complete

Green Onions

Demand remains strong, far exceeding supply. Industry volume is down 50-70% due to storm activity.

  • RSS Green Onions are limited; packer label is being substituted as necessary
  • Thunderstorms in Mexicali, Mexico (the primary growing region) slowed deliveries due to power outages, flooded fields, and hail-damaged crops
    • Muddy, wet fields have slowed harvesting; wet onions arriving over the weekend showed increased quality issues such as decay, softness, and early breakdown
    • Reports of entire ranches being completely lost due to hail damage and flooding have placed further stress on the market
  • Prices are climbing and will remain elevated through October

Idaho Potatoes: 2022-2023 Crop Outlook

Idaho potato suppliers anticipate another challenging crop year due to lower yields. High-quality potatoes, a smaller size profile, and fewer supplies are expected this season as compared to last year’s.

  • Growers estimate 8 to 10% fewer acres were planted in Idaho this year due to water restrictions and high input costs
  • The North American Potato Market News predicts growers will produce roughly 402.1 million cwt of potatoes this season, about 7.73 million cwt less than 2021 (cwt is the abbreviation for hundredweight, which is roughly 100 pounds)
  • Most growers harvested two weeks later than normal due to a cold, wet spring, that also delayed the growing cycle at the start of plant development
  • The warm summer months contributed to excellent quality and a high pack-out of No. 1 quality potatoes
  • Expect 40- through 50- count potatoes to remain limited, while 90- through 100-count stocks will be more readily available throughout the season
  • Suppliers will be managing this year’s crop much more conservatively than years past to avoid a supply gap, between this crop and next year’s season (2023-24)
    • Fewer straight, full load shipments of one particular count size
    • Fewer running days (for example, Burbanks will only be ran twice a week)
  • Higher-than-average price levels are expected this season

Live From the Fields: Salinas Fall Lettuce Challenges

Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video regarding significant yield loss in Salinas Valley lettuce crops caused by soil disease and plant virus issues.

  • Salinas Valley lettuce markets are hitting record highs as demand far exceeds supply levels
  • The Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) has been extremely aggressive in large swaths of the Salinas Valley for over three months
  • Diseases such as Sclerotinia, Fusarium Wilt, and others have also caused die-off in many crops
  • Suppliers are running out of fields to harvest and expect the season to end early
  • The aerial footage in this video shows just a small amount of the kind widespread crop loss currently being recorded
  • Expect elevated markets and tight supplies for lettuce items until the desert season is in full swing in approximately mid- to late November


Red and yellow onion harvesting is completed.  MFC Onions are being shipped out of storage from Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.   

  • MFC Red and Yellow Onion quality is excellent; solid, globe-like shape and firm texture has been reported
    • Yellow onions have golden and cured skins
    • Red onion skin is setting nicely with a few paper layers
  • Yellow onion size is dominated by medium and jumbo sizes; colossal and super colossal supply is adequate
    • A significant price gap of $8.00 to $10.00 remains between medium and jumbo sizes
    • Yellow medium size onions can be substituted for select No. 2 jumbo yellow onion applications with a strong price advantage
  • Red onion supply is dominated by heavy to medium sized onions; jumbo sized onions are available
  • Expect steady onion markets and high-quality pack-outs through the holiday season


East Coast squash demand will shift to Mexico this week as cooler temperatures in Georgia slow production. New crop Mexican squash quality is excellent.

  • MFC Zucchini and Yellow Squash are available
  • East Coast squash is being primarily harvested in Georgia; supplies are tightening as evening temperatures drop into the mid-30s
    • Growers are watching crops as frost advisories are expected early morning, Thursday, October 20
    • Quality is average due to past weather
  • Northern Florida squash harvests have begun in a light way
  • Production out of Santa Maria, California is quickly winding down over the next ten days
  • Western Mexico supplies (crossing through Nogales, Arizona) are increasing
    • Markets are lower to entice buyers
    • All grades are available
    • Quality is excellent (see attached photos)
  • Expect higher prices as demand shifts towards Mexico this week

Tomato Supply Challenges

Tomato volume is critically low due to a combination of transitioning growing areas and severe weather in multiple growing regions over the past month. Shortages and average quality are inevitable between November and January.

  • MFC Tomatoes are extremely limited; packer label may be substituted over the next two months
  • The North Carolina/Tennessee growing season has ended due to brisk autumn weather
  • The South Georgia and Northern Florida growing seasons have begun; however, supplies are limited this week due to cooler evening temperatures
  • Florida’s central and southern regions will struggle meeting supply needs through November and December due to Hurricane Ian
    • Growers still plan to harvest both round and Romas, but expectations are for fair quality, scarring, and a small size profile
    • Grape/cherry tomatoes are also heavily impacted; however, replants will be available by mid- to late December
  • The California tomato season is wrapping up this week due to past heatwaves that accelerated crop maturity and decreased quality
  • Mexico’s Baja Peninsula has limited supplies of Roma, round, and grape tomatoes due to the September monsoon season
  • Western Mexico (the Sinaloa region) expects a salvage crop (from Hurricane Orlene) in late November/December; normal/full replanted crops are expected to rebound the first week of January 2023
  • Eastern Mexico’s cherry, grape, round, and Roma supplies are tight this week due to rain and cooler temperatures
  • Expect growers/repack houses to enact Act of God clauses over the next 8-10 weeks; prices will escalate dramatically

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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