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Cold, ice hits desert growers again

markon lettuce ice
Lettuce fields in the desert growing region suffered from freeze damage in early January 2022.

Below freezing temperatures hit the Arizona/California desert growing region again this week, which will cause production delays.

Markon Cooperative BB #:123315 reports that “recent ice events have caused epidermal blistering and peeling to develop in some lettuce crops.”

“This is the third consecutive morning with ice, and it is the most significant ice event of the winter season so far,” Markon reported Jan. 4.

“Harvesting delays of up to 3-5 hours have been reported as crews wait for plants to thaw sufficiently. Processing and loading delays can also be expected over the next few days, and the impact on desert row crop quality and yields may be felt throughout the month of January. Markon Best Available will be substituted when Markon First Crop specifications are not being met.”

The region saw similar conditions in late December.

So far, USDA reports prices have remained steady despite the weather problems.

Chart from Agtools


Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services