Conventional Items
Production in the Desert has accelerated as weather has been ideal to start the Desert growing district. We will start to see some changes on the horizon that will likely impact supplies. This weekend forecasts call for much cooler temperatures and possible rain early next week. The Market has mostly settled at current levels but could spike with interruptions in production due to impending expected change in weather.  Quality remains fair to good with most defects related to rapid growth.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine and Romaine Hearts  Romaine production continues steady with good demand especially Hearts resulting in continued elevated pricing. Quality is improving although twist and varied color and texture as a result of accelerated growth remains common. Cooler , more seasonal temperatures this weekend will help texture although in the colder microclimates could result in the first frost of the season.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  Demand on Leaf continues to mirror Romaine especially Green with Redleaf lagging behind
As we move closer to the Christmas pull we will start to see an uptick in activity surrounding celery. In fact we are already starting to get more interest as we write this letter. Expect markets and demand to increase going into next week. There will be good availability out of Santa Maria, Oxnard and the Desert growing regions. Book and load your orders as early as possible to get the price advantage.
Limited production window on the Heirloom Variety is closing as most Thornless production transitions to the South Coast with predominantly large sizes. Limited supplies in the Deserts as most will be transferred from Coastal production areas , significantly increasing cost. So far quality has been good although potential for frost this weekend could impact overall quality.
Market is trending downward. The cheapest pricing is coming out of Central Mexico loading in McAllen,TX. California prices are coming down but are still $5.00 – $6.00 higher than what is being quoted out of Mexico. Overall quality out of Mexico and California is very nice. Good green color and tight domes.
Good availability out of the Desert growing regions and shippers are looking to make deals. Supplies are a little lighter coming out of the Santa Maria area. If you are looking for a price buy the Desert is the place to load. Weather has been perfect during the growing season in the Yuma Valley and the product looks very nice. Good white domes with nice green jackets.
Brussels Sprouts
Northern California continues with full production as demand ramps up for The Christmas Holiday. Quality has slowly degraded as temperatures have been mostly well above normal resulting in significant insect pressure and damage. Cooler weather this weekend should reduce insect pressure but possible heavy Rains next week could have a net negative overall impact on quality and supplies. Production will remain mostly in Northern California through the end of the year with most product being transferred for loading in the Desert at Significant cost
Green Onions
Mexico production has slowly improved and supplies have finally begun to improve as well as quality although ( EARLY Reminder) expect supplies to recede towards the end of the year as many laborers take off for The Christmas and New Year Holidays
Post holiday lower demand is causing markets to soften slightly. We will see an increase in demand out of California, Mexico, and Florida as we near the Holidays. California fruit has shown lite bruising, misshapen fruit and white shoulders. The forecast in this area is for a few storms coming in early next week.
Good supplies are crossing from Mexico and the market is steady with some lower tones.
Quality is improving with numbers increasing from Mexico.
Multiple Countries of origin will keep the market flat for the next few weeks.
Stone Fruit
Red and black plums are finished for the season. #2 Utility plums are available in good numbers. #2 Utility red plums available in 40’s, 50’s & 60’s. These are rock solid and clean. There’s just some external scarring. These are the only option for plums currently available in the country.
Markets continue to strengthen this week as domestic volumes decrease. Large sized reds are much harder to come by and markets are beginning to reflect the shortages. Green grapes, however, have been trending towards larger sizes this week and this will likely continue through the end of the season. Blacks are still available in light volumes. Shippers are holding onto inventories they have to carry them into the new year. Expect markets to continue rising through January. Overall quality has been good, although quality on storage fruit will diminish over time. Import red, greens and black supplies will start to pick up in the coming weeks.
California navels are in full production. Peak sizing is on 72 count and smaller, but with larger volume in certain fields coming on with larger fruit. Larger fruit will likely increase in numbers as the season progresses. Quality is excellent with high brix and color reported.
Plenty of product available and shippers are looking to move inventory. Good availability on all sizes. Districts 1 and 3 are now in production. Current harvest is peaking on 165s. Mexican lemon production is starting to wind down with fewer crossings coming into Mcallen Texas. Quality is very nice with very few problems to report.
Better weather reported in Mexican production areas this week and next. Sizes are peaking on 175 – 200 count fruit. Demand is lackluster, although we expect markets to improve by next week as the Christmas pull commences. Still some quality issues reported as a result of poor weather conditions over the past few weeks. Plan ahead as harvests will dramatically decrease over the holidays.
Dry Onions
Jumbo Yellow onions are fast becoming an endangered species. There is nothing that’s going to change that until Mexico, Texas etc. start their spring crops. My best advice is “get used to It” …mediums and large mediums are around and that’s the most you can hope far. Mixer volume only and you better have a “great” relationship with your shipper to get what you need.
The Asparagus picture is finally changing for the better, at least if you’re a grower. We are seeing the end of the line for this season’s Mexican deal in the areas that we’ve been pulling from. The next big deal will start to show in mid-January and into February…with the 28/1’s on the horizon.
Nogales is mostly finished. Off shore supplies have been up and down this year and is on the upswing as of this writing. This looks to continue into next week. Most fruit is arriving either in SO Florida or mid-Atlantic states, with few on the West Coast. But with supply chain and staffing problems timely unloading and processing remains a problem. Quality has been generally good and sizing peaking on reg 9s and 12s with fewer jbo sizes. Demand has been slow and few promotions beyond contracts are in place leading to steady pricing with some discounts. Next week supplies should increase and we don’t look for much increase in activities, leading to a moderately lower market. Christmas and New Year’s should bring more supplies as new areas start with some new supplier joining the fray.
As with cantaloupes Nogales is winding down but is expected to have some supplies next week on 5s and 6s with some 8s. Offshore continues to be light but should be up smidge next week. However unload and processing remains problematic as well. Sizes off shore are running a bit larger than Mexico, with variable quality. Supplies are not expected to appreciably increase until New Year. Demand is slow and is expected to remain so, but could increase for offshore as Mexico winds down. We look for firm market next week.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   Production has improved as we transition to the Desert. Demand has also improved as we near The Christmas Holiday season. Seasonably Colder weather will improve quality but could impact supplies.  Look to buy early before prices begin to firm .
OG Celery
Availability continues to be steady with good supplies., Prices have begun to recede in Coastal growing areas but are expected to remain elevated in the Desert as most production remains on the coast and will be transferred to the desert at significant cost.  Preferred deals with tiered pricing will remain available on the Coast.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be escalating with improved demand as production continues in the desert.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has slowly improved as well as Supplies although much cooler and possible wet weather could again interrupt production.  Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Romaine and Romaine Heart production remain moderate with good demand . Transition to the desert has resulted in improved quality and supplies. The first frost next week could result in increased epidermal blister eventually but currently quality remains good.   Green and Red leaf  Supplies have begun to improve along with quality.
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit   Strong demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity. Mexico Lemon crop continues strong with heavy Choice fruit while California desert crop is also strong with improved sizing and Fancy grades. Lime quality and supplies remain inconsistent.  Navel production stalled as harvest was delayed due to weather but availability has begun to improve along with sizing and flavor.  Clementines have begun with reduced yields and higher pricing expected all season . Limited production of  Caras and Blood Oranges have begun this week.

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