Cancel OK

VIDEO: Low temps, ice hit desert crops, causing damage and delays

markon lettuce ice 1-10-24
Romaine lettuce showed ice in early January. Photos by Markon.

Markon Cooperative BB #:123315 released this crop update on the Arizona/California desert region January 10, 2024:

Cold temperatures and lettuce ice are developing in the Arizona/California desert growing region.

Markon First Crop (MFC) Green Leaf, Iceberg, and Romaine packs are available. Markon Best Available (MBA) is being substituted as needed.

The desert region is experiencing its coldest temperatures and largest ice events of the season, as morning temperatures have dipped into the low 30°s.

Short term affects of lettuce ice include:

  • Delayed harvest and loading
  • Dehydration
  • Slowed plant growth

Markon inspectors will be monitoring supplies for long term affects in the coming days, such as:

  • Discoloration
  • Epidermal blistering and peeling
  • Reduced case weights
  • Shortened shelf-life

Markon inspectors are working with suppliers to provide the best product for Markon orders.

Prices are weak yet poised to climb following several days of lettuce ice. Volume is high, but head weights are low as harvesting crews must trim damaged leaves. Quality is good: epidermal blistering and peeling are slight problems. MFC Premium Iceberg Lettuce is available; MBA will be shipped when weights don’t meet specifications.

Although prices are low and current supplies are ample, recent consistent freezing temperatures will slow growth and increase quality issues. Expect higher markets in the coming weeks. Quality is good; leaves with epidermal
blistering and peeling are being trimmed in the field. MFC Premium Romaine Lettuce is available; MBA will be substituted when weights don’t meet specifications.