Leafy Greens Market Condition Update

We have begun preparation for the transition from Salinas to Yuma for leafy greens. Following is an update of the status of crops in both areas, as well as information about when the transition will occur.

We will begin transitioning iceberg lettuce to Yuma November 2, 2015. Remaining acres in the Salinas growing region are not sufficient to meet demand. In addition, ongoing heat-related quality issues, including large seeder and internal burn, have further reduced yields.

Immature Romaine Plants
Immature Romaine Plants

The first blocks of iceberg in Yuma are showing cores, with some Christmas tree core being seen in the fields. 30-count size is more prevalent.

Romaine is projected to transition to Yuma November 6, 2015. There is limited acreage of romaine remaining in the Salinas Valley. High temperatures during the growing season have caused significant quality issues, including fringe and internal burn, and seeder.

Romaine will be harvested early out of Yuma to prevent loss to cores and burn. Product in the field is not cupping yet, as it is only 56 days from wet date. We are already seeing some issues with cores. Product is currently 10-12 inches tall with at least 7 more days to harvest.

High temperatures continue to have an impact on all leafy greens. Daytime temperatures in Salinas this week were up to 82°F, and daytime temperatures in Yuma were over 90°F. As a result, we do not expect to see significant yield relief until the first weeks of December.

Yuma Romaine
Yuma Romaine

We will continue to monitor the situation in both Salinas and Yuma, and will notify you if any significant changes to quality or availability are expected. Please know we value your business and trust that we will be diligent in our efforts to secure, produce and supply you with a quality product.

Please contact your Freshway Foods sales representative with further questions.




Lettuce Market Conditions

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.