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Disease pressure limits California romaine supplies

markon romaine anthracnose
Photos courtesy Markon

This is a Markon Cooperative BB #:123315 From The Fields report from April 23, 2024:

Growers in California’s Salinas Valley continue to deal with lingering Anthracnose pressure, which is the primary reason romaine supplies are limited. Anthracnose is a soil-borne disease that is mainly found during the spring months when California is experiencing rain. Rain splashes soil containing the fungal spores up onto the plant base.

Most problems can be detected and avoided by harvesting crews, but some damage that is not as easily detected is being seen in finished packs of commodity and value-added romaine items. More importantly, field yields have been dropping, with some lots experiencing as much as 20-30 percent loss.

Fortunately, the situation is expected to improve. Warmer conditions and very limited-to-no rainfall over the next week will help slow the spread of Anthracnose. While inspectors may still see fields with sporadic damage, we anticipate that quality and yields will start to improve by the first week of May.

Please contact your Markon customer service representative for further information.