Weather Challenges – 10/12/23

In our ever-changing industry of fresh produce, this weeks weather has posed challenges to several growing regions and commodities. From topical storms to cold fronts and their repercussions on value crops, read below for more on the current market conditions.

Tropical Storms and Hurricane Woes

Tropical storm season is in full swing and continues to wreak havoc to much of our agricultural landscape. Tropical Storm Max, though now behind us, has left significant impairments. With little time to even asses damages from this storm, Hurricane Lidia is set to hit West Central Mexico immediately following the tropical storm. Please keep in mind, these conditions not only disrupt the flow of imports but will also cause a ripple effect on the domestic markets.

Gulf Coast Rainfall

As Hurricane Lidia dissipates over land, its moisture will move towards the Gulf of Mexico, creating rainfall. This will bring much needed relief to the area and alleviate drought conditions, but it presents logistical challenges to transportation.

Cold Fronts 

On another front (quite literally), a pair of cold fronts is crossing the Northwest, and will move eastward into the central Plains. This will bring heavy rains and unseasonably cold temperatures to the areas it covers. An abrupt shift in weather patterns like this can have far-reaching consequences on crops in the affected regions.

Salinas Valley’s Challenges

The Salinas Valley is typically known for its bountiful harvests, however, it is currently facing a unique set of issues.  Seasonally warm over night temperatures, combined with persistent marine layer moisture, have been less than ideal for Brassica or Cole crops (including Broccoli, Brussel Spouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower). Lower yields are being seen as a result of these challenges. We can expect several challenges in the near term for several of these crops. Broccoli will likely experience quality concerns like an increase in bead discoloration and hollow cores. Cauliflower will grapple with curd spread and bacterial spotting, while cabbage and brussel sprouts may see increased seeders. Additionally, mold, mildew, and fungal diseases continue to plague lettuce and leafy green crops across the valley

Upcoming Harvest Expectations

Upcoming lettuce and romaine harvests are expected to exhibit an increase in fringe and tip burn, along with higher seeder counts and compromised texture. Tender items like cilantro, spinach, and spring mix are also expected to suffer from diminished textures and short shelf lives. It is hard to say how long we should expect to see these damages.

The impact of these challenging weather conditions is felt industry-wide. Seashore Fruit & Produce Co. in Partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

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Seashore will be OPEN for deliveries on Memorial Day, Monday May 27th!
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