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Slower demand for lettuce

Lettuce supplies continue to be steady out of Thermal, California. For Baloian Farms, the production of romaine, romaine hearts, red lettuce, and green leaf lettuce is underway, the supply of which should stay even until it finishes in Thermal around the first week of April.

“Overall, it’s about the same program we had last year, and we’re headed towards the finish line with about a month left. The quality is excellent, and we hope the market coincides with that,” says Jay Angulo of Baloian.

That said, demand has been off in the lettuce market. “I’m hearing it from others too. Iceberg, romaine, red leaf, green leaf, and romaine hearts are all pretty low in demand. This has become the norm for this time of year, both February and March being a bit slower,” says Angulo, adding that the storms and snow in the Northeast have also contributed to that slower demand. “Typically, we start seeing it pick up here in a few weeks, closer towards April. Everybody gets ready for that transition, which usually happens around the first of April.”

Pricing to strengthen
That puts pricing between $8-$10, with some lower pricing in some areas. While pricing usually picks up as the Thermal season comes to a close, this year looks to be different. Recent flooding in areas such as Salinas, California, means the transition to the region may not be ready for early to mid-April, and Angulo expects markets to pick up even more so than usual as the start of April gets closer.

For Baloian Farms, once it finishes up in Thermal, it switches production to vegetables such as peppers and more. However, the industry transitions its lettuce production to Salinas and Santa Maria along the Central Coast.  

For more information:
Jay Angulo
Baloian Farms
Tel.: +1 (559) 485-9200 
[email protected]