We are finally seeing the cold temperatures in the desert growing areas that we DREAD every year. Normally we see these temperatures in December, where we sweat out the entire month. As we get in to the middle to the end of January, those “treats” become less likely. But, this is early January, and there here. Cold temperatures today and for the next few days are forecasted and will cause problems. Already today, we are seeing lettuce ice until 11 am, which means the workers can’t even get in to the fields until then. That shortens the work day, growing time, and shortens the supplies. As a result, “false markets” are created. Shippers can ask for more money if they don’t have the supplies. And they are.
Long range weather shows after the next few cold days in the growing regions of Coachella Valley, Imperial Valley, and Yuma, there will be gradual warming, and no rain in sight.
Trucks more plentiful than the past 2 holiday weeks, and rates are drifting back down, after these past 2 weeks of run ups.
LETTUCE–short supplies caused by the cold spell in the desert. Shippers are pushing the markets upward because of this, and will continue to do so. We are watching the quality, because there will probably be some blister and epidermal peel mainly on the outside wrapper leaves. We don’t know how “deep” the effects will be.
BROCCOLI–cold temps slowing down the supply chain and pushing the markets, especially on crowns. We don’t anticipate the broccoli market going up too high, but up $2-4.00 over last week could happen. Cold weather causing some purple cast.
CAULIFLOWER–basically supplies have come to a standstill because of the cold weather. Demand isn’t necessarily active, but with little product available, the shippers don’t need good demand to push their prices.
LEAF ITEMS–again, cold weather slowing production and growth. Prices aren’t going crazy, like other items, but enough to get red and green leaf off the floor. Watch romaine. Cold weather can really effect things there. Romaine is VERY susceptible to blister and peel, and we are watching for that.
CELERY–shippers keep pushing the market, and buyers keep buying. It has got to stop sometime, but we have seen over the recent years the market getting to $30 fob, and staying there.
STRAWBERRIES–better supplies in Florida putting California to a more stable situation. Good quality out here. Hard, sweet fruit that will hold up.
ASPARAGUS–all the shippers are talking about better supplies LATE in the week. For now though, things are VERY tight due to the cold weather slowing growth and production to a crawl.