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ProduceIQ: May the weather odds be ever in your favor


Welcome to hurricane season. Tropical systems will have an easier time developing this year due to higher ocean temperatures in the Atlantic and the arrival of La Niña.

Even when growers aren’t in a direct storm path, produce supply chains are still at risk for volatility. The impacts of these storms can be widespread as warmer temps increase the storm’s intensity and push them further inland.

It’s out of the freezer and into the fire for Western growers. A marine layer off the coast of California has held temperatures a bit below average. This week, Western growers will face their first heat wave, with temps in parts of California forecasted to hit triple digits. Coachella is predicted to peak at 111 degrees on Friday

In Salinas, however, temperatures are mild and remain cool in the mid-50s at night. Areas south of Salinas/Watsonville are vulnerable to heat damage. Growers are bracing for impact on everything from mixed berries to lettuce, grapes, and cherries.

In the Pacific Northwest, a rare June atmospheric river is forecasted to bring a month’s worth of rain within 72 hours to parts of the region. Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, potatoes, and onions are some commodities at risk for damage.

ProduceIQ Index:  $1.16/pound, down -13.4 percentover prior week  

Week #22, ending May 31st

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.

Cherry prices, $46, typically start higher and fall faster; this year is abnormal and will be interesting to watch.


Eastern portions of the U.S. will experience more showers and storms this week. Throughout the rest of the month, temperatures across the U.S. are forecasted to trend above average.

Bell pepper prices rise as heat threatens yields in California. Mexico is winding down production, and next week’s yields out of Coachella and the Imperial Valley may be slightly lower due to high heat. Current prices are on the lower end of the historical spectrum but may rise quickly as pepper-growing regions transition Northward in search of cooler weather.

Bell Pepper prices rise; weather on both coasts has been less than ideal.


California’s heat wave is a Godsend for the struggling squash supply. Zucchini and yellow squash supplies are short, with average prices at a ten-year high. Rain in the East and cooler-than-average temperatures in the West keep week #22 yields at record lows. Shortages of both zucchini and yellow squash are expected to persist for a couple more weeks, but the situation should improve as the weather warms up.

Grape prices plummet as Mexican supply finds its swing and California kicks off production. Prices are down -35 percent over the prior week and may fall further as the last bit of Chilean grapes travels through the pipeline.

After months of record-high grape prices, markets are ripe for promotion, as strong supply allows for cheap prices.

Table Grape prices plummet from record highs down to $18, which is the lowest for this time of year.


Please visit our website to discover how our online tools can save time and expand your reach.

ProduceIQ is an online toolset designed to improve the produce trading process for buyers and suppliers. We save you time, expand your opportunities, and provide valuable information to increase your profits.

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 is an industry veteran with over 20 years of produce experience. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, he spent seven years as CFO for J&J Family of Farms. He 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 from trading with greater access and efficiency. This led him to cofound ProduceIQ.