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2015 Desert Freeze Update

Jan 09, 2015
There is no denying that last week's cold snap in the desert regions wreaked havoc on the markets. This week has relinquished more seasonable weather, however the damage has already been done. 

All of the items originating from the Arizona and California deserts were hit with several below freezing nights combined with below average daytime temperatures. The product is showing a lot of epidermal peel, blister, and feathering. There is mildew present in iceberg, leaf lettuce, and romaine. Quite a bit of product cannot be harvested due to the excessive damage, and what is left over is rough at best. 

Leaf items are a major concern though other items such as broccoli, cauliflower, and celery also took a blow. We are already seeing tight supply and shortages in these items. Due to the cold there will be gaps in broccoli, cauliflower, and related items like broccolini. 

The markets have reacted sharply upwards as the quality and supply have fallen off. Many shippers are dangerously close to having triggers activated on their processed items such as salad blends, shredded lettuce, chopped romaine, and florets. 

All growers and shippers have been affected by this event. The damage is extensive; be sure to educate and warn your customers about the consequences of freezing temperatures on produce. Let them know there will be some degree of damage to all desert items. The weather has mostly stabilized back to normal, but it is not enough to reverse what has been done. 

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