Posts Tagged “heat wave”

West Coast Heat Wave Affecting Lettuce, Vegetable Quality

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(The following press release was issued July 9 by Markon of Salinas, CA. Lettuce and vegetable haulers are urged to use caution in loading to help reduce chances of claims at destination, by working closely with your brokers and receivers.)

Much of the West Coast, including California’s Salinas and Santa Maria Valleys, have been experiencing an extended heat spike over the past week with temperatures ranging from the 70°s to 80°s near the coast to as high as 110° in the southern end of the Salinas Valley.

All row crop vegetables that have been exposed to these temperatures are expected to exhibit varying levels of heat-related quality and shelf-life concerns over the next two weeks.

In general, most commodity and value-added supplies have faired better than expected thus far, but some lettuce and tender leaf crops are showing defects such as:

• Dehydration
• Increased insect pressure
• Internal burn/tip burn
• Reduced shelf-life potential
• Weakened texture
• Yellowing leaves

Markon inspectors are aggressively monitoring quality through pre-harvest inspections and finished product evaluations of commodity and value-added items. Fields that are exhibiting elevated issues are being rejected and harvesting/processing crews are taking steps to remove damaged leaves and minimize defects.

Ordering for quick turns is recommended. It remains critical to adhere to strict cold chain management throughout distribution to the end-user level in order to maximize quality and shelf-life of perishable produce items.

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Midwest “Frying Pan” Helps California Shipments

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California continues to work its way through the peak summer shipping season as much of the middle part of the country stays in the weather’s frying pan.  While this may not be good for crops and livestock in the Mid-west, it is contributing to strong, steady shipments off of the West Coast.

For example, tomato shipments from USA areas such as Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina have been hit hard by the heat wave.  This is resulting in more demand and better California loadings, whether it is tomatoes from the San Joaquin Valley, Ventura County, San Diego County, or even from Mexico’s Baja California.

Meanwhile, California should be shipping  4 to 5 million trays of strawberries weekly right on through August — mostly from the Watsonville District.  During September, loading are still expected to remain strong — in the 3.5 to 4 million-tray range.  While quality of strawberries has been a little up and down this year, some observers are predicing the berries will be much better the latter part of the season.  That would be great not only for strawberry lovers, but for the guys and gals hauling them.  Better quality should mean fewer claims or rejected loads.

There also remains mostly steady shipments of Salinas Valley vegetables, plus fruits and vegetables from throughout much of the San Joaquin Valley.

Salinas Valley produce grossing – about $7500 to New York City.


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