The desert melon harvest was quickly winding down toward the end of November, and sources say cantaloupes that escaped CYSDV and soil fungus problems were fetching significant returns. The final cantaloupes coming out of Arizona were reported selling for $18 a carton. Lack of frost in melon areas allowed growers to extend the harvest and continue to reap strong returns.
Markets for lettuce, cole crops, and other vegetables, however, haven’t translated as well from the high prices growers got at the tail end of the coastal vegetable season. Sources say prices for Salinas Valley head lettuce reached as high as $20, but by late November had dropped to about $10 a carton — still a far cry from the $4 or $5 growers have seen in recent years.