Produce Update – From the Fields

It’s been almost unnaturally warm this spring, and the heat waves running through the West are impacting large growing areas. All major Arizona and California growing regions were impacted this last week due to a large spike in temperature. Heat-related quality issues were quickly reported by Markon inspectors in iceberg and leaf lettuce supplies for the desert region. However, all western growing regions saw a decline in quality and or shelf-life due to the latest heat spike. Staying educated on this update is important, because it limits the availability of certain produce items.

Though it’s begun to cool back down to normal, with summer coming up, this may not be the last heat spike we hear of. The list below contains examples of heat-related quality issues that have been present and could be expected to develop during a heat spike.

Heat is not the only weather to watch out for either. Rain will slow strawberry production this week and increase quality and shelf-life concerns. We can expect prices to rise and availability to tighten. The seasons in Florida and Mexico have ended, therefore California will be the primary strawberry growing region through summer.


  • Dehydration
  • Hollow Core
  • Increased Mildew Pressure
  • Shortened Shelf-life

Commodity and Value-Added Lettuce & Tender Leaf Items

  • Dehydration
  • Elevated Insect Pressure
  • Growth Cracking
  • Higher Respiratin Rates
  • Inconsisten Texture/Chuncks
  • Internal Burn
  • Increased Mildew Pressure
  • Rib Blight, Varnish, or Decay
  • Shortened Shelf-life
  • Sunburn


  • Bruising/Bleeding
  • Decreased Size
  • Over-ripe Fruit
  • Shortened Shelf-Life
  • Soft Texture

Make sure to review our weekly Markon Fresh Crop reports.

Leave a Reply