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October 5, 2023


Blueberry supplies remain extremely limited; the domestic season has ended and imported shipments have been delayed.


  • The Pacific Northwest and Michigan seasons have ended
  • Peruvian import shipments are delayed; supplies are expected to increase over the next month
  • Mexican production is off to a slow start; the season typically does not start until late October
  • Demand far exceeds supply; the industry will remain in a production gap for the next month
  • Expect high markets and pro-rated orders for the next three to four weeks


  • California will continue to supply a large share of volume though mid-October despite declining yields
  • Central Mexico’s yields are increasing week over week, helping to alleviate the declining California supplies
  • Quality is good; some softness and red cell has been reported
  • Expect declining supplies and rising markets


  • The California growing season is past its peak and will continue to downtrend over the next two to three weeks
  • Mexican production continues to increase, helping to fill the void from declining California supplies
  • Quality is good; no issues have been reported at this time
  • Expect good supplies and stable markets


Prices are slightly elevated. Industry-wide quality challenges are hindering yields at the field level. Markon First Crop (MFC) Broccoli Crowns are limited in Salinas, California and South Texas; Markon Best Available (MBA) and packer label may be substituted as needed.

California – Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys

  • Brown bead and yellowing remain the primary quality concerns as we approach the end of the 2023 Salinas and Santa Maria seasons
  • Hollow cores with bracketed crown structures are being observed in many lots
  • This year’s West Coast plantings were lighter due to spring flooding; industry supplies are lean and pricing remains elevated as acreage begins to dwindle

Central Mexico

  • Mexican product remains available in South Texas at lower FOB pricing
  • Heat related quality challenges being reported by Markon inspectors include heavy presence of hollow core, bracketed crown structure, and cat eye


Cauliflower markets are quickly rising. Supplies are significantly lower as quality challenges reduce yields at the field level.

  • Markon Essentials (ESS) Cauliflower is available in Salinas, California; packer label will be substituted as needed to fill orders
  • Quality is fair; discoloration, dark spotting, bracketed heads, and insect pressure are affecting many lots and reducing yields
  • Prices are expected to be elevated for the next two to three weeks as fields are cleaned up and product transitions to desert growing regions


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


  • MFC and ESS Lemons are available  
  • Smaller sizes (165- through 235-count) remain limited
  • Size or country of origin changes may be needed to help fill orders
  • New crop California lemons will begin shipping in mid-October
  • Expect tight stocks and elevated markets through the mid-October


  • MFC and ESS Valencia Oranges are available
  • Overall supplies will be the limited during the first three weeks of October
  • Smaller sizes (113- through 138-count) are extremely tight
  • Expect to make size and grade substitutions in order to fill orders
  • New crop California Navels will begin shipping in late October
  • Expect increasing markets and scarce supplies through mid-October


Expect tight supplies over the next five to seven days as harvest begins on the Southern California Desert Ruby grapefruit variety.

Southern California

  • The Southern California Marsh Ruby grapefruit season is winding down.
  • Marsh Ruby production is expected to wrap up by the end of the week
  • Harvest for the Desert Rio variety is expected to begin by the middle of next week
  • Expect tight supplies until the desert season begins in late October
  • Expect low volume and elevated prices the next five to seven days

Arizona/California Desert

  • The season is expected to start in late October
  • The Arizona/California growing regions include Brawley, California and Yuma, Arizona


  • The season is expected to begin in two weeks
  • Expect sizing to be dominated by 48- and 56-count fruit
  • Suppliers will only pack U.S. No. 1 grade fruit

South Texas

  • The season will start in early November

From the Fields: California Growing Region Rain and Warm Temperatures

The California growing region experienced light showers and winds late Friday evening, September 29 through Sunday morning, October 1; recorded rainfall totals under .25”. The forecast is calling for warmer weather starting Tuesday, October 3, with coastal temperatures reaching the mid-70⁰s to mid-80⁰s and inland temperatures reaching into the high 90⁰s.

Markon inspectors will be monitoring field conditions in the coming days and will continue to update as needed on any rain and heat related quality or shelf-life challenges such as:

Iceberg, Leaf, and Tender Leaf

  • Bottom rot
  • Decay
  • Dehydration
  • Fog burn in romaine
  • Increased dirt and mud in product
  • Increased soil disease and plant virus pressure
  • Internal burn
  • Mildew pressure
  • Premature pinking

Broccoli and Cauliflower

  • Pin rot and yellow/brown bead in broccoli
  • Hollow core
  • Discoloration in cauliflower

Value-added Shred, Salads, and Blends

  • Premature pinking
  • Shred, salad, and blends not achieving stated shelf-life


  • Soft texture and increased bruising


Grape markets remain elevated. The California grape crop will be lighter this year due to quality challenges caused by rain from Tropical Storm Hilary.


  • California-grown MFC Lunch Bunch Grapes and ESS Grapes are available
  • Red and green seedless grape prices remain elevated; expect markets to continue rising in November
  • Tropical Storm Hilary’s rain damaged crops; California’s crop is estimated to incur a 20-25% loss
  • Quality issues include bursting skins and fungus within the clusters, causing grapes to rot and decreasing available supply dramatically
  • Markets are expected to be steady in October; extremely low volume is anticipated in November which will elevate pricing once again


  • Offshore grapes are expected to arrive in the U.S. by early December
  • Export demand will be higher than past years due to limited supply from California
  • Markets are expected to be higher than previous seasons

Green leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine lettuces

Green leaf, iceberg, and romaine supplies will fluctuate week to week as suppliers manage remaining acreage. Supply challenges, caused by planting schedule deviations due to heavy rainfall this past winter, are varying availability by supplier. Despite planting schedule challenges experienced this season, industry supplies will be sufficient as the Salinas Valley and Santa Maria wind down prior to the transition to Huron and the Arizona/California desert growing regions.

  • MFC Premium Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine are being packed regularly; MBA will be substituted as needed due to low weights
  • Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) presence is lower this year compared to prior years and is not expected to significantly impact supplies as the Salinas season winds down
  • Markets are expected to fluctuate at moderate levels as suppliers manage remaining acreage ahead of transition; iceberg is slightly lower this week while green leaf and romaine are steady
  • Price spikes experienced the last two seasons are not anticipated as the 2023 Salinas season comes to an end
  • Huron harvests will begin in mid-October
  • The Arizona and California desert season will start in early to mid-November

Green Onions

The green onion market is falling. Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Green Onions are readily available.

  • The impacts from Hurricane Hilary in August have subsided, decreasing prices
  • Cooler temperatures have allowed for daytime harvesting; production out of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico is slightly higher
  • Additional growing regions in the Southeastern US will further supplement markets, and help with increase Canadian demand through the winter
  • Expect lower markets and ample supplies over the next seven to ten days at minimum


Melon markets are rising. California’s Central Valley production has begun to decline as the season wraps up. MFC Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons are available.


  • California’s westside district supplies are declining, creating a demand-exceeds-supply situation
  • Quality is fair to good; fall melon characteristics of green casting, thin netting, and occasional ground spotting will be observed at pack out
  • Small sizes (12- and 15-count melons) are most abundant
  • Arizona is expected to start production in a limited manner on October 16
  • Expect higher prices over the next two weeks


  • Central California’s supply is light as the season will come to an end over the next two weeks
  • Quality is good; ground spotting and wind scar are being observed in some lots
  • Sizes are evenly distributed; sugar levels range from 14-16 Brix
  • The Arizona/California desert season is expected start October 16
  • Prices will continue to escalate until the desert season is well established in late October


Markon First Crop (MFC) Fresh-Run Onions are being shipped out of Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Washington.

  • MFC Red and Yellow Onion quality is excellent
  • Onions are exhibiting solid, globe-like shape and firm texture
    • Yellow onions have golden and cured skins
    • Red onion skins are setting nicely with a few paper layers
  • Both varieties are dominated by jumbo sizes; colossal and super colossal supply is sufficient
  • Suppliers will begin to pack and ship onions out of storage in mid-October
  • Expect onion markets to inch up within the next few weeks with high quality pack-outs through the holiday season


New crop, fresh-run MFC Norkotah Potatoes are currently being shipped out of Idaho and Washington. 


  • New crop harvesting is expected to finish next week
  • Current fresh-run product is producing small size potatoes (90- through 120-count); larger size potatoes (40- through 80-count) are limited
  • Quality remains excellent; skinning and excess moisture may be observed in fresh-run potatoes
  • New crop potatoes have not gone through the “sweat” process yet
    • Potatoes may release moisture as they cool, causing a very light, white surface residue that can easily be brushed off and poses no quality problems
  • MFC Norkotahs will begin to ship out of storage the week of October 16


  • New crop Burbank harvesting will finish next week; all potatoes will come out of storage by the week of October 16
  • Fresh-run Burbanks are currently available; small sizes dominate availability
  • Limited supplies of storage Burbanks will be available as late harvests go through the “sweat” process
  • MFC Burbank Potatoes will be available once the “sweat” process is completed (approximately late October/early November)


Yellow squash and zucchini supplies are ample with fall growing regions now in play; markets are lower.

West Coast

  • Santa Maria supplies are adequate; expect volume to taper off as the season winds down
  • Quality is very good
  • Expect steady volume and lower markets for the next two weeks

East Coast

  • Yellow squash and zucchini production is winding down in Northeast growing regions as fall weather sets in
  • New crop fall production is ramping up in Georgia and North Carolina; current volume is strong
  • Expect lower markets for the next two to three weeks as new crop supplies enter the market


  • Baja California, Mexico production is lighter as the season nears its end
  • New crop production has begun in a limited manner in Sonora, Mexico
  • Expect steady markets as the transition to mainland Mexico occurs over the next two to three weeks


Production continues to decline in Salinas/Watsonville. Santa Maria’s new fall strawberry crop is in full swing; Oxnard production has begun in a limited manner.


  • 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
  • Size currently ranges from small to medium (18 to 20 berries per one-pound clamshell)
  • Quality is good; some softness and white shoulders have been reported
  • Expect steady markets and strong demand for the next two weeks


  • MFC Strawberries are available
  • The season has started in a limited manner and is expected to increase week over week
  • 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 harvest

South Texas – Mexican grown

  • Volume is tight as the season begins
  • Current volume is being used for local markets or being kept in Mexico
  • Expect steady volume crossing into San Juan, Texas by mid-October


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

Stringless Sugar Snap Peas

Prices are elevated. Supplies are limited due to industry wide quality challenges.

California – Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys

  • End of season quality issues have arisen; cooler temperatures, shorter days, wind, and increased precipitation has reduced yields
  • Culling product is hindering yields at the field level, reducing industry wide supplies
  • External pitting, russeting, scarring, water damage, and bloom drop have become increasingly prevalent
  • Limited supplies will continue as the season winds down over the next three to four weeks

Mexico – Mexicali/Sonora

  • Product grown in Northern Mexico is set to enter the market near the end of October
  • Expect elevated markets until production ramps up in mid-November

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.

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