Weather and crop update

The previous month's adversely unstable weather conditions in the Yuma growing region, is still causing quality and supply problems.  The unusual weather has created industry wide supply shortages on multiple items including: broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, and romaine hearts.

In Salinas, the extremely wet and cold weather has impacted the planting season, January/February.  Growers are attempting to bring product forward as much as possible to mitigate the potential supply gap, but this has been extremely challenging with temperatures ranging from the mid 50's to the low 60's.  This is compounded by January and February being the wettest months on record. 

In the next 5 weeks, we will be seeing shortages on both conventional and organic product, including: spring mix, baby spinach, wild arugula, baby kale, strawberries, retail salads, all leaf lettuce (red, green, romaine) and romaine hearts.

Please plan ahead for this situation.  This will have an impact on price.

More rain in the forecast for Tuesday 3/2, Wednesday 3/22, and Thursday 3/23 in the Salinas Valley.

Coming into the local growing season

Heading into the local growing season

Navels- season winding down. Navels and late varieties will go mid to late may.
Valencias have started and we will see a smooth transition.
Lemons- expect California to be limited for the next 6 weeks or so. Transition to district 3 (down to the desert). Mexico will come in and easy the pressure on California production.
Strawberries- in full swing out of Pajaro and Salinas Valley. Size and sugar has been excellent.
Blueberries- Due to cool weather in Bakersfield it has been a slow start to the California season.
Expect increasing volume and lower prices over the next few weeks.
Raspberries and blackberries- Quality has been good on both out of Mexico.
Raspberries have been short. Picking in Watsonville will start in May.
Tons of blossoms on the vines locally on both.
Cantaloupe and Honeydew- out of South America will start winding down.
California desert and Arizona will be ready to step in and fill the gap mid May.

Bananas- more fruit will be available, so prices are expected to go down.

Yukon, white, and red potatoes- all grown in Bakersfield

Cauliflower – supplies continue to increase. Quality overall is descent to good.

Celery – Quotes are higher with lighter supplies. Quality overall is OK.

Spinach – Limited but supplies are improving.

Brussel sprouts – Remain very limited and will be extremely high on anything that is available. No relief on either availability or quality until we move to new growing districts in Mexico.

Asparagus – Higher as the Mexican production winds down, leaving us limited supplies of domestic grass from CA or WA.

Hass Avocado- 60ct is the best deal through Cinco de Mayo, the larger fruit will be as much as double the price.

Tomato- Roma are great quality and price.  5x5 is also a great buy.  4x5 are more expensive.

California is starting up on Corn, Bell Peppers, Fava Beans, Bluelake Beans, English Peas and Egg Plant.

Mangoes are still high.  Price should be coming down with better quality soon.

Limes are still tight with high price.

We are the $100,000 warehouse automation winner!

I'm sure you've all heard by now that we are the winner of a $100,000 warehouse automation.  We are so excited to get started!  It's only been a short time,  but so far working with the five companies that put the promotion on has been great!  They are:

  • Printronix
  • Datalogic
  • BarTender
  • AccuSpeech Mobile
  • FoxFire

At this point, we are teaching them our process and they're going to put the automation plan together.  We had a few people ask if anyone would be out of a job due to the automation and to answer that question, "No."  The automation will eliminate the small amount of human error we have, it'll make the staff more efficient, and will help improve the turn around time for recalls.  It's a win win for the staff, our company and our customers!

The sponsoring companies with Gary and Erica Manfre.

The sponsoring companies with Gary and Erica Manfre.



Spring Updates

It's almost Spring!

Spring is almost here and with that comes the inevitable transitions. Here we have some insight from 3 of our buyers, pictured above a few of the items they bring in.  Our hope is that this will help you plan your menus and stock your shelves.


John Burkett - Buyer

John Burkett - Buyer

Now moving into California with great quality fruit in all sizes. Mexico still in some sizes, for a price break. There are some 24ct single layer available, if you need fewer quantity. Remember: avocados should never be stored anywhere colder than 42 degrees.  It'll damage the fruit and you'll lose flavor and texture.


Price has backed off and there's better quality available.  Romas are still the best deal.  Grape tomato pricing has backed off a bit.  For cluster tomatoes, they are mostly out of Mexico.  You can find some from California.  Price is firm to higher, but great flavor!


Looking great and has great flavor!

Soft Squash

All prices have come WAY DOWN. Wire bound are back in, too.

  • Italian squash
  • Yellow squash
  • Grey squash

Active/High Prices

  • All colors of bell peppers
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Limes
  • All chili's 
  • Egg Plant
  • Grapes

Jason Petersen - Buyer

Jason Petersen - Buyer


They're beautiful. Great appearance. Super sweet. Recent rains have increased the size to juuuuust right.


Oxnard and Santa Maria are coming to a close. Watsonville and Salinas are due mid March. Quality has been good and prices are coming down.


Volume is down out of Oxnard and Mexico. Expect prices to increase a bit. Come April, things will start to settle down.


It is going to be tough until the new crop starts in August/September. The 2015 crop was small in volume and apple size. Large size apples are hard to find and will get tougher.


Mike Ball - Buyer

Mike Ball - Buyer


Supplies continue to be plentiful.  Bunch sizing ranging from 2 to 3 each on the 14ct, depending on location and shipping.  Stalk sizes are ranging from 25 cent to 50 cent diameters.  Many samples continue to show up branchy.  As far as defects are concerned, cat eye and purple case continue to be reported here and there.


Salinas is due to start this week.  Supplies will be plentiful.  Quality will be good.

Iceberg lettuce

Demand has slowed, so prices expected to back off. Quality has improved, but still not perfect. Supplies are tight. 

Leaf items

Supplies are plentiful.  Many shippers are close trimming their leaf items due to color issues.  Weights are generally 17 to 25lbs on red and green leaf with romaine ranging 30 to 38lbs depending on shipper and field location.