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September 24, 2023

Bell Peppers

California bell pepper markets are steady. East Coast markets are becoming active. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Green and Red Bell Peppers are available.

Green Bells

  • California
    • The Oxnard, Newhall, and Hollister, California growing regions are seeing steady volume
    • Overall quality is good; scarring, thin walls, and mechanical damage are occasional issues
    • Production is expected to start in Thermal, California in late October
    • Markets are steady
  • Central Mexico/East Coast   
    • Central Mexican supplies (crossing through Texas) are tight
    • Rainfall is impacting new crop production in New York, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
    • Georgia production is expected to be delayed until late October as a result of Hurricane Idalia
      • First new crop volume will be low
      • Expect increased volume by the second week of November
    • East Coast markets will rise over the next five weeks

Red Bells

  • California
    • The Hollister, Oxnard, and Newhall, California growing regions are seeing steady volume
    • Oxnard red bell production was the most impacted by Hurricane Hilary; production has since begun to rebound as growers move into new crop fields
    • Quality is improving; scarring, thin walls, and mechanical damage are occasional issues
    • Markets remain elevated


  • Central Mexico/Canada  
    • Central Mexican supplies (crossing through Texas) are tight; quality ranges from good to fair
    • Eastern Canada production is low due to poor fall weather


Blueberry supplies continue to be extremely limited as domestic production ends and import volume is delayed. Expect elevated markets and limited supplies for the next four to six weeks.

United States and Canada

  • Oregon growers are winding down rapidly with minimal volume of organic fruit
  • British Columbia, Canada harvest will end this week; cool weather and rain has slowed production


  • The new crop season is getting a slow start
  • Baja volume is slowly increasing; consistent rain has delayed harvests
  • Adequate stocks aren’t expected until October


  • Shipments are slowly arriving in the U.S.
  • El Nino conditions have raised temperatures and caused poor fruit set
  • Consistent volume is not expected until mid-October

Argentina and Uruguay

  • Argentina and Uruguay shipments are expected to arrive in Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California in mid- to late October

Brussels Sprouts

The market for Brussels Sprouts remains stubbornly high. Supplies are very light and insufficient to meet current demand, driving markets higher.

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Brussels Sprouts remain limited; packer label is being substituted to fill orders
  • After beginning the Salinas, California season late due to heavy precipitation this winter and cool weather this spring, suppliers were forced to harvest ahead of schedule through much of the summer
  • Harvesting immature fields to keep up with strong demand has kept size profile skewed heavily towards the smaller side
  • Prices are expected to remain elevated through October, at minimum, with additional growing regions from Mexico set to enter the market by mid-December


Small-size oranges (113- through 138-count fruit) remain limited due to scarce supplies and strong demand. Prices for small lemons remain elevated due to tight stocks and strong demand.


  • Markon First Crop (MFC) and Markon Essentials (ESS) Valencia Oranges are available
  • Overall supplies will be the most limited during the first two weeks of October
  • Small-size oranges (113- through 138-count fruit) are extremely tight
  • Expect to make size and grade substitutions to fill orders
  • New crop California Navels will begin shipping in late October
  • Expect increasing markets and scarce supplies through mid-October


  • MFC and ESS Lemons are available  
  • Small-size lemons (165- through 235-count supplies) remain limited
  • Size and/or country of origin changes may be needed to help fill orders
  • Offshore and Mexican supplies continue to help fill small-size shortages on the West Coast
  • New crop California lemons will begin shipping in mid-October
  • Expect tight stocks and elevated markets through the mid-October

Green leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine Lettuces

Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine markets are slowly rising as the Salinas season begins to wind down.

  • Markon First Crop (MFC) Premium Green Leaf is readily available; MFC Premium Iceberg and Romaine are being packed regularly, with Markon Best Available (MBA) being substituted as needed due to low weights
  • Harvesting crews are trimming heads to minimize insect damage, mildew, and wind damage
  • Impatiens Spot Necrotic Virus (INSV) presence is markedly lower compared to prior years
  • Expect prices to continue to inch up as growers manage remaining acreage ahead of transition
    • Market spikes experienced the last two seasons are not anticipated as the current Salinas season comes to an end
    • Huron harvests are expected to start in mid- to late October
    • The Arizona and California desert season will start in early to mid-November

Green Onions

The green onion market remains extremely elevated. Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Green Onions are available; packer label green onions are being supplemented as needed to ensure order fulfillment.

  • Impacts from the strong winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding from Hurricane Hilary greatly reduced supplies out of the primary growing regions on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico
  • Additional rain and infrastructure repairs have proven to be lingering effects of the storm and are further impacting volume
  • Large-size packs remain limited; ‘longtop’ green onions are especially tight
  • Elevated markets will persist through mid-October


California’s San Joaquin Valley season is past peak production; markets are increasing. Markon First Crop (MFC) Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons are available.


  • Volume is falling due to lower temperatures and reduced autumn daylight in the San Joaquin Valley
    • Quality is good with occasional ground spotting
    • Small sizes (12- and 15-count melons) are most abundant
  • The Arizona/California desert season is expected to start in mid-October
  • Expect higher prices over the next two weeks


  • California’s San Joaquin Valley season is slowing down
    • Quality is very good with reports of wind scarring and discoloration in some lots
    • All sizes are available
  • The Arizona/California desert season swill start in mid-October
  • Expect prices to increase as this transition approaches over the next month

Strawberries (California)

Production continues to decline in Salinas/Watsonville. Santa Maria’s new fall strawberry crop harvesting is in full swing.


  • Markon Frist Crop (MFC) Strawberries are available
  • Stocks continue to diminish as the season is past its peak and is expected to finish in late October
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (20 to 24 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; some softness and early decay have been reported

Santa Maria

  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • Fruit size is 16 to 24 berries per one-pound clamshell; recent warmer temperatures are producing uneven sizing in clamshells
  • Quality is good; some softness and white shoulders have been reported
  • Expect steady markets and strong demand for the next two weeks

Sweet Baby Broccoli

Industry wide quality challenges have reduced available supplies of Baby Broccoli. Markon First Crop (MFC) and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Sweet Baby Broccoli is available.

  • Higher than average humidity has contributed to higher levels of bottom rot and brown bead, reducing yields at the field level
  • Lower nighttime temperatures and shorter days will keep yields lighter than for the next two to three weeks
  • Expect elevated prices on the open market and limited supplies industry wide as shippers look to hold customers to 6-week averages
  • Supplies are set to increase again as newer plantings come online in mid-October

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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