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US(CA): Lettuce prices good, gap looming

Warm weather has caused problems for California's lettuce growers. The heat made for light supplies, and prices have been strong as a result. Picking in the Salinas and Santa Maria regions is expected to finish early, so there's the possibility of a gap in supplies before heavy production picks up in Huron and Yuma, Arizona.

“The lettuce market is very good price-wise,” said Kevin Jordan of Adam Brothers. “The quality for the last month has been all over the place, and the heat has been affecting everything.” Yields have been down between 40 and 50 percent for some growers along the Central Coast, and prices have reflected that. On October 22, prices for a carton of iceberg lettuce 24s from Santa Maria were between $16.50 and $22.45, and prices for a carton from Salinas-Watsonville were between $19.95 and $22.56. As those regions wrap up, there's the likelihood that supplies will get even tighter.

“We're in a transition, too,” said Jordan. “Everyone in Salinas and Santa Maria is going to end two or three weeks early, so there's going to be a gap between those places and Huron and Yuma.” While some growers in Huron are already picking lettuce, production there is not yet in full swing.

“Supplies from Santa Maria will be out by the second or third week in November,” said Jordan. “So the market could get stronger.”

For more information:
Kevin Jordan
Adam Brothers
+1 805 343 2000

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