Weather & General Crop Outlook
Generally speaking the weather in the desert has been hotter than normal during the growing period for winter production. We have also experienced periods of rain and extremely high temperatures (over 100 DF). The effects on the early crops are dehydration of product, and some deformed and irregular growth. In Imperial Valley particularly, it is reported that there will be lower yields due to poor stands.
Here is a general report on transition on a few major commodities. We will be in the desert the next week and will have a full report on quality and outlook after our visit.
While supplies are currently moderate in Salinas and Santa Maria, the acreage will begin to wind down in Salinas by WEEK 46/47 (Nov.14-21) to lower winter levels. Acreage will be steady in Santa Maria throughout the winter but the yields will drop due to weather conditions. As usual, the bulk of production on broccoli will transfer to the desert. Some early production will begin in the desert in WEEK 45 (Nov.4) with limited volume and questionable qualtiy. Most growers will be into production in the desert by WEEK 47 (Nov.17).
Iceberg lettuce production will continue in Salinas Valley through WEEK 45 (Nov.7) but there will no longer be any quality suitable for export. Lettuce production has begun in Huron this week and more growers will start next week. Production will then move to the desert by WEEK 47/48 (Nov.17-24). Please check back for a report on Huron quality and desert production.
Romaine hearts production will continue in Salinas Valley through WEEK 46 (Nov.10) but production will also start in the desert around WEEK 45 (Nov.3) so there will be some production overlap, but we do not expect oversupply on the market due to increased holiday demand.
Celery production will stay in Salinas through Thanksgiving (WEEK 48, Nov.24). Some growers will move to Santa Maria and Oxnard while one main grower will move to Coachella. Santa Maria starts WEEK 44 (Oct.27), Oxnard starts WEEK 45 (Nov.3), and Coachella starts WEEK 48 (Nov.24). (There will be another transition later in the winter around January.)