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California Drought Update

Oct 06, 2014
Last week on the West coast in California, groans could be heard statewide as temperatures reached unseasonably warm temperatures, which are expected to last until the end of this week.

We've written about the drought and record temperatures previously this season, but there doesn't appear to be any relief in sight. The water issues continue to create problems for growers, and their ability to provide high quality produce. Heat damage is sure to begin showing up in leaf items, broccoli, celery, and cauliflower. Crews are going to be working extra early, with short harvest hours.

Strawberries will be hit especially hard. Most berries are already showing 20% bruising upon arrival at the cooler. The heat will make things much worse. The vines are tired, volume peaked almost two months ago, and most shippers are waiting eagerly for the beginning of the rainy season so that they can begin pulling the plants out.

Wells are running dry, the earth is cracking, and some communities have even had to begin trucking in drinking water. So while produce growers are resilient, innovative, and even scrappy if they need to be- it would be a great idea to talk to your customers and educate them about this industry wide situation.

Our advice? Order only what you need, try not to overbuy, as supplies are scarce and shelf lives are short. 

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