Markon Cooperative Offers Update on California Lettuce Crop Virus Outbreak

Below is an update from Markon Cooperative regarding the explosion of plant virus and disease issues heavily impacting lettuce crops over the last couple of weeks in California’s Salinas Valley. 

  • Green leaf has been the least affected, but yields are down 20%-50% in some iceberg and romaine lettuce crops
  • Sclerotinia is not uncommon in late summer/early fall crops, but the Impatiens Necrotic Spot Virus is typically not as widespread as it is currently being reported
  • Harvesting crews are heavily trimming heads to detect and cull defects, but may not be able to eliminate these issues 100%
  • Production crews are harvesting fields at a faster pace due to the increase in culled product; upcoming fields will have less time to fully mature
  • Expect light weights, intermittent quality and shelf-life issues, and elevated markets for lettuce items for the duration of the Salinas season

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