The Salinas Valley has been hit particularly hard with not only overly high seasonal temperatures, but also with wildfire smoke and a vegetation virus, INSV.
Photos put the heat and virus damage in perspective. Temperatures have been running warm/hot since July, with two multiple day heat spells that destroyed all-time records in August and September. Several days of no sunshine from wildfire smoke has also been a factor. The plants are stressed from the effects of the heat, both daytime and nighttime highs.
Additionally, there is a vegetation virus spreading through the Salinas Valley, Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV). This virus is severely impacting yields as it kills plants on contact. There have been total losses in some fields. Plants, already stressed by the heat, are unable to withstand the virus at any level.
These circumstances explain why you may be seeing bruising to black discoloration upon some arrivals, as well as sun scald, tip burn, and fringe burn in the value-added leaf items.
Commodities are not faring much better. While there are no pictures of broccoli to share, the heat damage is severe to these crops as well.
These are industry wide issues and the markets have reacted. There is another heat spell coming at us later this week. Damage from the virus is an ongoing issue and infecting new plants/fields daily. We’ll report more as we learn more.
You can also stay updated with our weekly produce market report.