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VIDEO: More desert rain and quality problems

This field shot was taken in late January 2024. Courtesy Markon.

January 23, 2024 — Some of Markon Cooperative’s BB #:123315 Markon First Crop (MFC) Iceberg and Leaf Lettuce items are not available this week with Markon Best Available or packer brand are being substituted as needed.

The desert region received ¾” – 1+” of rain between Sunday, January 21 and Monday, January 22. Many growers were forced to cancel harvesting operations due to extremely muddy field conditions.

Over the past three weeks, the region has experienced freezing morning temperatures followed by above-normal humidity, and now significant rainfall. The erratic weather has caused many quality and shelf-life concerns to develop which will last for two to three weeks at minimum.

Markon inspectors are working with suppliers to minimize some of the following issues in lettuce and tender leaf items, but many cannot be avoided completely:

  • Bottom rot
  • Decreased case weights for commodity lettuce items
  • Discoloration and/or decay on epidermal blistering and peeling
  • Dirt/mud on the product
  • Increased mildew pressure
  • Premature pinking in some commodity and/or value-added salads or Washed & Trimmed leaf lettuce packs
  • Reduced shelf-life potential
  • Yellowing leaves/discoloration
  • Ordering for quick turns is highly recommended

Expect markets to continue rising this week, before leveling off next week once production returns to normal.

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.