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Another Salinas heat wave approaching

markon lettuce seeder
This iceberg lettuce shows seeder. (Photos by Markon)

From Markon Cooperative BB #:123315

July 14, 2022 — After a short respite from high temperatures, the Salinas Valley will once again experience a heatwave starting Thursday, July 14 and continuing through the middle of next week.

Morning lows will range from the upper 40°s to low 60°s and daytime highs for inland areas will be in the 80°s to low 100°s; coastal areas should remain in the 70°s.

This cycle of rising high pressure and heat spikes every two weeks has been going on since early June and is not typical of Salinas Valley weather patterns. Many crops have reacted poorly to the heat and elevated humidity levels, causing widespread quality and shelf-life concerns in commodity and value-added crops.

As a result, Markon First Crop (MFC) and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) specifications have been harder to meet. Due to crops not meeting MFC specifications, we are currently substituting a higher percentage of Markon Best Available (MBA).

The most common heat-related defects observed:

Baby Leaf and Other Lettuces:

  • Bolting/seeder
  • Growth cracks
  • Inconsistent growth/fluctuating density
  • Increased insect pressure
  • Internal burn/tip burn
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Sun burn/sun scalding

markon internal burn
Leaf lettuce showing internal burn and decay.


  • Accelerated growth/oversized crowns
  • Dehydration
  • Hollow core
  • Pin rot
  • Shortened shelf-life
  • Yellowing


  • Decreased size
  • Lower volume
  • Increased bruising
  • Soft texture
  • Shortened shelf-life

markon strawberry sizing small
Berries sizing smaller due to the heat.

Markon inspectors continue to work with suppliers to allocate the best product for our orders. Maintaining the cold chain throughout distribution is critical for maximizing quality and shelf-life.