(Feb. 1) The market for iceberg lettuce has prompted many grower-shippers to curtail harvests and often include a fuel surcharge of 21-23 cents per carton in f.o.b.s.

Mike Marcroft, lettuce commodity manager at Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif., said the company has curtailed a small percentage of its lettuce production in Yuma, Ariz., but that the industry overall is experiencing an oversupply situation.

“We’ve still stayed up with what we wanted in terms of volume,” he said.

The Yuma region has experienced mild conditions, no delays, no pest problems and no harvest interruptions, Marcroft added.

“If anything, we’re two to three days ahead of schedule,” he said. “We’ll have very manageable production numbers with very nice quality.”

Ocean Mist plans to source lettuce from Yuma through about the third week of March, when the transition to Huron begins, he said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Jan. 24 reported that in Arizona’s desert region, movement was expected to increase and prices were lower. Cartons of 24s were mostly $4-4.50, film-lined 24s were mostly $4-5.45 and film-wrapped 24s were mostly $5-6.45.

Through the California desert region, movement was expected to decrease slightly below the 144 units that were shipped out the week of Jan. 16.

Out of the Imperial and Palo Verde valleys, cartons of 24s were mostly $4-4.35, film-lined 24s were mostly $4.50-4.85 and film-wrapped 24s were mostly $5.50-5.85, according to the USDA.

At Salinas, Calif.-based Coastline Produce, sales manager and lettuce commodity manager Mark McBride said the company’s lettuce deals this time of year are out of the Imperial Valley.