Excessive heat early in the west coast growing season, coupled with above-average night time temperatures all season long, have resulted in significant supply and quality issues on iceberg lettuce. Quality issues that have been reported include internal burn, puffiness, insect damage and lighter weights. The ongoing warm temperatures and high humidity are resulting in thinner textures and shorter shelf life of product.
Many west coast shippers are pro-rating shipments, and demand continues to exceed supply. This has driven up pricing to over $20 per carton. This is an industry-wide problem, and the market is expected to stay in the $20-24 range until transition to the desert growing regions later this year.
Stay tuned for updates as this situation develops.