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October 6, 2022

Bell Peppers
Green bell peppers will transition south during the month of October. Overall markets are steady. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • California production is adequate in Hollister; the transition to the Imperial desert will start in mid-October
    • Quality is very good with extra-large sizes trending
    • Early quality reports out of the Imperial Valley are positive as they’ve seen good weather so far this season
  • North Carolina and Georgia avoided major damage from Hurricane Ian last week
    • Overall quality is good with all size options available
    • The Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania seasons should finish this weekend with low (near freezing) temperatures in the forecast
  • Florida growers continue to assess the damage from Hurricane Ian; expect snug supplies from southern regions of the state during the month of November/early December
  • Volume is low out of Eastern Mexico (crossing the South Texas border)
  • Expect production to start in Western Mexico (into Nogales, Arizona) by mid-October
  • Prices will hold steady this week

Red Bells

  • Supplies are sufficient from California’s coastal region of Hollister; the Imperial desert season is expected to start in mid-November
    • Quality is excellent
    • All sizes are available
  • Production is snug in Central Mexico due to inclement weather in September
  • The Canadian greenhouse season is slowing down; medium and large sizes are most abundant
  • Expect prices to remain steady over the next two weeks


  • MFC Broccoli is available in Salinas, California
  • Markets are high due to mediocre quality over the last 7-10 days; yields are reduced at the field level
  • Pin rot is prevalent in multiple growing regions, resulting in poor appearance and decreased shelf-life
  • The quality of Central Mexican broccoli (shipped into South Texas) has improved but insect pressure persists
  • Markon Best Available (MBA) Broccoli is available in South Texas
  • Expect continually high prices as growers selectively harvest available product until desert growing regions begin in mid- to late November

California Strawberries

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


  • Supplies are extremely limited
  • Remaining growers expect production to wrap up by mid- to late October
  • Quality is average

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Growers continue culling rain-damaged fruit, leading to slower production
  • Quality is good: some green shoulders and soft fruit have been reported
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20 to 22 per one-pound clamshell)


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Volume is low as the season is just starting
  • Early season quality is good: vibrant color is being reported
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (18 to 20 per one-pound clamshell)


  • ESS Cauliflower is available in Salinas, California
  • Quality is weak; many lots are exhibiting off-color and brown spotting following the recent heatwave
  • Supplies are tight as growers work through quality-challenged fields due to pest and disease pressure; heat wave conditions have stressed plants during growth cycles
  • Expect markets to drop off over the next 5-7 days after rising through the month of September
  • Markets will remain slightly elevated until desert growing regions begin in mid-to late November


Cilantro markets are easing.

  • Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Cilantro is available
  • Favorable growing conditions in southern California have led to increased yields and limited quality concerns
  • Temperate weather in the forecast will increase availability over the next 7-10 days
  • Expect lower markets through October, barring any major storm systems


Cucumber markets are lower. West Coast supplies are increasing as production picks back up following severe weather in Mexico.

  • MFC and ESS Cucumbers are available
  • The Baja, Mexico season is winding down; overall volume has increased since the wet weather in mid-September
  • Quality is average; No.1 grading is tight
  • The Nogales, Arizona season has begun in a limited manner
    • Stocks will increase during October
    • Central Mexico is providing limited supplies (crossing into south Texas)
  • Hurricane Orlene barely missed the Culiacan, Mexico growing region which typically starts production in November; replanting will not be required
  • The East Coast is transitioning south to Georgia and Northern Florida, escaping damage from Hurricane Ian
  • Quality is excellent; growers in Central and South Florida are evaluating fields this week and will replant if necessary
  • Expect prices to decrease over the next two weeks


The Southern California grapefruit season is winding down earlier than anticipated; expect remaining supplies to be depleted by the end of the week. California grapefruit is expected to gap for approximately two weeks until the California desert growing region begins in late October.

Southern California

  • Production is expected to wrap up at the end of this week, two weeks earlier than anticipated
  • Expect extremely tight supplies until the desert season begins in late October
  • Quality is average: excessive heat is causing soft fruit
  • Size is dominated by 23- and 27-count fruit; 56-count sizes are tight
  • Expect extremely low volume and high prices through the next five to seven days

Arizona/California Desert

  • The season is expected to start in late October
  • The Arizona/California growing regions consist of:
    • Brawley, CA
    • Yuma, AZ


  • The season expected to begin next week
  • Size will be dominated by 48- and 56-count fruit
  • Growers will only pack U.S. No. 1 grade fruit

South Texas

  • The season will start in early November

Green Leaf and Romaine

Green leaf supplies are scarce; romaine supplies are limited. Markets continue to rise as demand grows.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf is sporadic; MBA is being substituted due to low case weights and quality concerns
  • MFC Premium Romaine is being packed more consistently; MBA is being substituted as needed due to low weights
  • Quality is fair following the recent heatwave and rain events in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys; fringe burn, mildew pressure, seeder, and thrip damage are present
  • Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) continues to affect Salinas crops, forcing suppliers to cut ahead in light weight fields to minimize losses
  • Expect elevated markets and limited supplies until transitions to Yuma, Arizona and the Imperial Desert, California are completed in mid-November

Hurricane Orlene

Category Two, Hurricane Orlene downgraded (previously Category Four) as it traveled northeast towards Mexico’s southern tip of Sinaloa. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 85mph as it made landfall south of Mazatlán at 9AM PST this morning.

  • Hurricane Orlene will bring large destructive waves, heavy winds, and up to ten inches of rain
  • The Sinaloa growing region has very fertile agricultural land with a large allocation of crops used for export in the late fall/winter season
  • The main growing region of Culiacan is approximately 130 miles north of Mazatlán and should avoid a direct hit
  • A wide variety of late fall vegetables are grown in Sinaloa including bell peppers, chiles, corn, cucumber, squash, and tomatoes
    • Tomato plants are of greatest concern as they are further along than other crops
    • The majority of the other crops are already in the ground with the last plantings occurring last week
  • Mid-tech greenhouses and shade houses in the area are vulnerable to high winds and any fields saturated with rain might need to be replanted
  • Markon will continue to monitor and update as more information becomes available


Iceberg supplies are tight. Markets are quickly rising as growers manage supplies for the duration of the Salinas Valley season.

  • MFC Premium Iceberg is sporadic; MBA is being substituted due to low case weights and quality concerns
  • Erratic weather patterns of extreme heat followed by rain have compounded quality issues
    • Bottom rot, mildew pressure, seeder, and sun scald are present in current lots
    • Fluctuating densities and light weights are prevalent industrywide
  • Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) and Sclerotinia disease pressure has forced suppliers to cut ahead of their scheduled harvests to minimize crop loss
  • Expect elevated markets until transitions to Yuma, Arizona and the Imperial desert, California are completed in mid-November


California’s Valencia season is winding down earlier than anticipated; expect remaining supplies to be depleted by mid- to late October.


  • MFC and ESS California Valencia Oranges are available
  • Expect extremely limited Valencia supplies until the Navel season begins
  • Small-size fruit (113- to 138-count oranges) will be tight for the rest of the Valencia season; prices are elevated
  • Quality concerns include re-greening and decay due to above-normal temperatures through the summer months
  • The California Navel season will begin in late October, depending on weather


  • Offshore oranges from Chile, Morocco, South Africa, and Uruguay are available on the East Coast; Chilean supplies are also available on the West Coast
  • Imported stocks are dominated by 88-count and larger sizes, as well as fancy grade fruit
  • Delivered costs for offshore Navels will be roughly $4.00 to $5.00 higher per case than domestic Valencias
  • Expect the price spread between domestic and offshore fruit to become smaller as domestic supplies dwindle and markets rise


  • California’s Navel harvest is expected to begin the third week of October
  • Early variety fruit requires gassing, at the packing shed level, for a minimum of 72 hours to de-green fruit
  • Expect limited supplies to start the season but volume will ramp up week over week once underway


Fresh-run, new crop MFC Norkotah Potatoes are currently be shipped out of Idaho and Washington. Prices for large sizes remain elevated; markets for smaller sizes have eased.


  • Large-size Idaho and Washington Norkotah supplies (40- through 50-count) remain tight; small-size potatoes (70- through 100-count) are ample
  • Large-size order fulfillment is improving, but will remain sporadic
  • Norkotah quality remains good; skinning and excess moisture may be observed in fresh-run potatoes
  • MFC Norkotah Potatoes will begin to ship out of storage the week of October 17


  • New crop Burbank harvesting has begun; packer label cartons are available to ship
  • MFC Burbank Potatoes will be available once the sweat process is completed, approximately late October/early November

RSS & Hearts Blend

Markon must make a recipe change to RSS Hearts & Hearts Salad Blend due to challenges with raw product green leaf supplies. Green leaf is extremely limited due to the INSV virus, Sclerotinia disease, and fewer acres planted in the 2022 Salinas and Santa Maria, California seasons. The new blend will start shipping on the 10/04/22 pack date.

The original RSS Hearts & Hearts recipe specification is:

  • 50% Spring Mix
  • 25% Green Leaf Heart Material
  • 25% Romaine Heart Material

Moving forward, green leaf will be replaced with green gem heart material. Although green leaf and green gem leaf are two different varieties, they are very similar in color and texture. Taylor Farms has completed their shelf-life validation testing to ensure the gem leaf will coexist properly in the bag with the other varieties (shelf-life will not differ).

West Coast Fall Harvesting Transitions

Please click here to view a Markon presentation about West Coast fall harvesting transitions.

  • Although many produce items are available year-round, most are not harvested in the same regions the entire time
  • West Coast lettuce and leafy greens growers make seasonal moves in the fall and spring
  • Other high-use produce items that transition include broccoli, celery, and strawberries
  • Markon inspectors travel with the seasons, monitoring product daily to ensure quality and food safety standards are met

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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