West Coast: High pressure out west keeps inland regions warm as marine layer conditions continue along the coast with near average temperatures into the weekend. A deepening trough from the north brings increased marine layer conditions and unseasonably cool temperatures early next week.
Mexico: To the South, Mexico is bracing for Tropical Storm Franklin, expected to reach mainland Mexico Thursday. Franklin will likely reach hurricane status before crossing South Central Mexico Thursday into the weekend. Widespread showers and thunderstorms will impact much of Mexico as this storm moves onshore and dissipates inland.
Florida: This region will endure typical showers and thunderstorms and seasonal temperatures through the week.
Mexico: Mexico is enduring wet weather in the tomato growing regions which is reducing tomato production significantly.
Southeast: Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia all received multiple days of rain this week, which has curtailed harvest and affected quality. Little to no tomato harvest is currently happening at this time.
Central California: Tomato crops were impacted during the planting season by heavy spring rains. Once tomato harvest commenced, several long periods of 105-108 degree temperatures pushed production ahead of schedule and generated the current gaps in harvest schedules going forward. With the erratic tomato supplies back east and in Mexico, California continues to be pushed as the primary tomato supply source for the entire U.S., and markets remain active. Best quality tomatoes are still tracking in the mid to high teens.
Baja California: Continued limited water supplies has significantly reduced tomato production this summer to become virtually non-existent. Markets are in the high teens for the few supplies available on both round and roma tomatoes.
Lemons: Domestic lemon supplies continue to be limited and demand is very strong. We are seeing a little relief as Chilean and Mexican lemons are arriving in better volumes.
Limes: We are faced with a storm that started hitting late Tuesday and is expected to peak in Veracruz, Mexico on Thursday. Heavy rain is being reported and growers were not able to harvest due to the rain and winds Tuesday. Quality will suffer and the market is rising. We will have more updates as things progress. Current quality is good with partial styler showing up in a few lots. Shippers are running the limes more than once to assure good quality upon arrival.
Iceberg Lettuce: The iceberg lettuce market is steady with more than adequate supplies to meet current demand. Quality has suffered only slightly from the recent heat and humidity with some lots showing fringe/tip burn and an occasional varnish reported. For the near term we see no change in the market.
Leaf Lettuce: The market on romaine, red and green leaf is steady with light demand and good supplies. Size and weight on all has been very good. The recent heat and humidity experienced in the growing regions has led to some issues with tip burn and fringe burn; though they have been fairly limited in scope. We expect to see the market continue to be steady well into next week.
Mexico: This summer’s crop is small with limited availability. Harvest is slowing down to get us through August and into September. Mexican growers continue to raise field prices as U.S. importers push to share this limited amount of fruit. Demand exceeds supplies as the U.S. market is pushing upward rapidly. This looks to be a continued trend. The crop is currently peaking on 60s and smaller, with mostly #1 fruit and a small percentage of 32s. Relief is not expected until we see the first of the Chilean imports towards the end of August. Mexico’s new main crop is expected to start mid-September if maturity level of the fruit is there to harvest.
California: Harvest is nearing its completion for the year. This will be the last week on any real useable volume, with approximately two additional weeks of limited availability before completion. Sizes are peaking on 48s with limited volume of 60s and smaller.
The quality of cilantro continues to be the story. We are still seeing black to brown spotting, yellow leaves, and slimy decay. The market is holding firm at much higher than normal prices. This trend will likely continue into next week.
Eastern Bells: Green Bells are in good supply with all the northern tier states in production. Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut are all in good production so buyers have multiple options to choose from. Reports from all areas are showing good quality. This trend should continue well into next week.
Western Bells: Green Bell Pepper supplies have improved, peaking on large #1 followed by choice grade out of Fresno, Ca. We will see increased availability as we move through the week. Red bells are in shorter supply this week due to lighter harvest in the central valley. Better demand on choice grade followed by #1 25lb and 15lb, Yellow bells are very limited on field grown in California. Transitions: Red bell peppers are finishing in Fresno, CA and will increase in production from the California Central Coast as we move through August.
Markets are steady on all sizes of yellow and red onions out of all shipping points. Supplies of Colossal Yellows and larger out of the New Mexico growing area are limited but adequate. New Mexico and California are still the main shipping points. Supplies of yellow and red onions out of Washington have started with building supplies. This is keeping the market in check. Idaho will break ground in a very light way next week with yellow onions. White onions are in a demand exceeds supply situation due to quality and limited supplies. This looks to be the case until supplies come on board from Washington and Idaho in a couple of weeks.
TidBits is a blog by Veg-Fresh Farms, a place to find training, trends, recipes, and more. Check back weekly for retail and food service insights, as well as what's happening in the Veg-Fresh Farms Test Kitchen.