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November 2, 2023


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 easing; supplies are abundant this week.

California – Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys

  • Brown bead and yellowing remain the primary quality concerns; hollow core with bracketed crown structures are also being observed in many lots due to unseasonable warmth
  • Despite recent drops, overall markets are expected to increase as available acreage diminishes and quality declines
  • Prices will vary as shippers with more product compete for market share or conversely those with lower volume finish the season

Arizona/California Desert – Yuma, Imperial, and Coachella

  • New crop production will begin by 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

  • Markon Best Available (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 low FOB pricing
  • Steady supplies and stable markets are forecast for November, likely resulting in a price advantage over West Coast stocks

California Orange Transition

The California Valencia season is coming to an end. California Navel season has begun in a limited manner.


  • California Valencia supplies are expected to ship through the second week of November
  • Current stocks are dominated by 56- and 72-count sizes; choice grade fruit is most prevalent
  • Small-size fruit (113- to 138-count oranges) will be limited for the rest of the Valencia season
  • Sugar levels are at 16 Brix; high sugar levels such as this typically result in a shorter shelf-life


  • California Navel harvest has begun; volume will ramp up over the next three to four weeks
  • Current stocks are dominated by 88- and 113-count sizes; fancy grade fruit is most prevalent
  • Sugar levels range from 10 to 12 Brix
  • The early variety fruit requires gassing for 72+ hours to degreen
  • Expect prices for small sizes to slowly decrease as Navel yields increase

From the Fields: Huron Lettuce Update

Please click here to view a Markon Live from the Fields video regarding the recent and upcoming quality of lettuce crops out of the Huron, California growing region.

  • Markon Frist Crop (MFC) Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are sporadically available in Huron, California; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed
  • Huron lettuce supplies were affected by a recent heat spike, causing quality challenges such as:
    • Internal burn
    • Insect damage
    • Inconsistent weights
    • Long core/seeder
    • Large ribs/misshapen heads
  • The weather has cooled significantly; growers are expecting better overall quality this week
  • Huron supplies will remain available for another two to three weeks
  • Markon inspectors will continue monitoring quality in Huron as well as other active growing regions such as Salinas, Oxnard, and the upcoming Arizona/California desert region

From the Fields: West Coast Weather and Supply Update

Following last week’s heat spike, California’s Salinas Valley will be cooling off significantly over the next few days. The coldest areas in Southern Salinas Valley are expecting lows in the mid-30°s which could cause lettuce ice Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29. Highs will range from the low 60°s to mid-70°s and will remain slightly below-average through next week.

The fall harvesting transition from the Salians Valley to Huron and Oxnard, California is underway with both growing regions in full production now.


  • Limited iceberg and leaf lettuce will be available for another two to three weeks
  • Remaining iceberg supplies are exhibiting a wide range of weight fluctuation, but quality is good
  • This weekend’s potential lettuce ice is not expected to significantly impact supplies
    • Minor harvesting delays may occur
    • Baby leaf items such as arugula and cilantro may develop frost damage and/or purple color
  • A chance for rain and gusty winds is forecast for Thursday, November 2


  • Quality and case weights fluctuate across the region
  • MFC Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are limited; Markon Best Available is being substituted as needed
  • Heat-related quality challenges include:
    • Growth cracks, long core/seeder, internal burn, and weak tip in iceberg lettuce
    • Long core/seeder, ribby/twisted heads, and elevated mechanical damage in some romaine and green leaf lettuce lots
    • Minor insect presence (gnats) and insect damage in iceberg and leaf lettuce items
  • A chance for scattered showers and gusty winds is forecast for Thursday, November 2
  • Iceberg and leaf lettuce will be available for two to three more weeks


  • A limited number of iceberg and romaine lettuce growers have begun shipping
  • Some Markon orders will be sourced from Oxnard starting Monday, October 30
  • Quality is very good, but a chance for rain and gusty winds is forecast for Thursday, November 2

Arizona/California Desert Region

  • Harvesting will begin ramping up the week of November 6
  • Most iceberg and leaf lettuce fields are expected to start slightly under MFC weight specifications, but quality will be very good
  • Case weights will increase as the season progresses
  • Supplies will be ample.


Lime markets are easing due to improved supplies and reduced demand. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Limes are available.

  • Mexico lime supplies are improving
  • New crop fruit is sizing up; small and medium sizes are abundant
  • Quality is average to good; scarring, blanching, and oil spotting are being graded during pack out
  • Veracruz is experiencing a cold front and strong winds this week, increasing scarring on future shipments
  • Expect lower prices over the next two weeks, barring no severe storms


The Salinas/Watsonville, California season is expected to end within the next two weeks; Santa Maria’s fall strawberry volume continues to decline. Production is underway in Oxnard, California  and Mexico (into South Texas). Expect markets to increase as overall yields fall.


  • MFC Strawberries are available  
  • Stocks continue to diminish as the season is coming to an end
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20 to 24 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is fair; some softness and early decay have been reported

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • The fall crop has passed its peak and continues to downtrend
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20 to 24 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; some softness and white shoulders have been reported
  • Expect markets to climb as yields fall


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Volume is increasing, helping fill the industry void from other growing regions
  • Size currently ranges from medium to large (14 to 18 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; color is estimated at 95% in early season harvests

Mexico (into South Texas)

  • Early season volume is low
  • Quality is good; some small size and white shoulders have been reported
  • Expect increasing volume (crossing into San Juan, Texas) week over week


  • Production will begin in a limited manner after Thanksgiving
  • Orders should begin shipping the week of December 4

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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