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ProduceIQ: Heat dome is on the move

produceiq potatoes soccer players

Like the opening line of a science fiction book, this week’s headline brings us more news of an extraordinary and unending heat wave. And what’s more, this real-life sci-fi villain is on the move. This week, record temperatures will spread from the South and Southwest into the Midwest, Northern plains, and Northeast.

However, growers in the Southeast can rejoice over the news that they will get a brief reprieve from the higher-than-average temperatures.

Up +47 percent over the previous week, increasing strawberry prices are catching us by surprise. If you, like us, feel like the end of California’s summer season came sooner than usual, remember that the summer season was delayed for a few weeks at the beginning of June.

Unfortunately, a late start does not translate to an extended season end. Markets are at their second highest in the last ten years for week #29 and will likely continue to climb as supply fades.

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.15/pound, flat over prior week

Week #29, ending July 21

Blue Book has teamed with ProduceIQ BB #:368175 to bring the ProduceIQ Index to its readers. The index provides a produce industry price benchmark using 40 top commodities to provide data for decision making.

Strawberry prices spike earlier than their typical ascent.

produceiq strawberry prices 2023

Fading cucumber production in Georgia is putting pressure on prices. Markets are up +14 percent over the previous week and are expected to rise as growers in the Northeast and Midwest ramp up production. Cucumber production is scattered throughout Northern states this time of year as the ‘backyard deals’ enter full swing.

Cucumber prices reach a new high, reflecting the stress from heat-challenged supply.

produceiq cucumber prices 2023

It’s no secret that potato prices have operated in their own economic sphere for the past few years. While fresh produce prices have been relatively unaffected by inflation compared to their grocery store counterparts, potatoes, including potatoes flagged for processors, have not.

Consecutively low yields, high demand, and increasing energy costs are inducing potato prices’ historic rise. For example, while the Big Mac is up +7 percent over the previous year, McDonald’s fries have jumped over +20 percent in price.

Although potato prices are down -4 percent over the previous week, at $26, potatoes are still holding tight to a ten-year high streak. Expect prices to rise over the next few weeks as Washington’s storage crop finishes and the new-crop transition begins.

This week, we are making a big pitcher of ice-cold lemonade out of some sour news. Reports of short shelf life and sizing issues are bumming out the lemon supply chain. But here comes the bitter-sweet info, despite the troubling reports, at $29, lemon prices remain unmoved. In summary, lemon markets are ripe for promotion!

Except for last year (2022), lemon prices are at a 10-year low

produceiq lemon prices july 2023

Please visit Stores to learn more about our qualified group of suppliers, and our online marketplace, here.

ProduceIQ Index

The ProduceIQ Index is the fresh produce industry’s only shipping point price index. It represents the industry-wide price per pound at the location of packing for domestic produce, and at the port of U.S. entry for imported produce. 

ProduceIQ uses 40 top commodities to represent the industry. The Index weights each commodity dynamically, by season, as a function of the weekly 5-year rolling average Sales. Sales are calculated using the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for movement and price data. The Index serves as a fair benchmark for industry price performance.


Mark Campbell was introduced to the fresh produce industry as a lender for Farm Credit. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, he spent seven years as CFO for J&J Family of Farms and later served as CFO advisor to several produce growers, shippers, and distributors. In this role, Mark saw the impediments that prevent produce growers and buyers to trade with greater access and efficiency. This led him to cofound ProduceIQ.