Impact of frozen crops on produce prices

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If you have plans to do some grocery shopping over the next few days you've probably heard reports that produce prices are going up because of frozen crops down south. We did some digging to find out if there's any truth to these reports and what it means for consumers.

Wholesalers tell us that the freeze down south will somewhat have an impact on their business. But what it all comes down to is supply and demand.

Cold weather down south is wreaking havoc on produce crops. Everything from citrus to strawberries and even tomatoes are covered in ice and it's become quite the nightmare for produce farmers.

"Before our freezes came down, it looked like we had our best crop in a while," said farm manager, Field Corbitt.

"Mother Nature dishes it out we gotta do what we can to protect the crop," said citrus farmer, Steve Lindsey.

And while farmers figure out what they can salvage, many people are concerned about increased produce prices at the grocery store because of the weather. Local wholesalers, however, insist there's no real reason to worry yet.

"You'll raise the prices a little bit but you can't raise the prices if there's no demand for it, so it doesn't have a big factor anyway in the market," said produce wholesaler, Anthony Lanasa.

Wholesalers say that while the price that they have to pay for produce might increase because of the freeze down south, if there's no demand for some of this produce here, they might not make that much of a profit. Lanasa believes the prices at the grocery store will stay around the same right now despite freezing crops. But that doesn't mean it will stay that way.

"Maybe in two or three weeks when they go to harvest stuff and it's not there then you'll see the prices maybe ease up a little bit," said Lanasa.

There is the possibility that some of the younger plants might have survived the cold weather. It will take a few days to determine the extent of the damage. The best advice if you're concerned about how the freeze down south is going to affect your grocery bill, wholesalers say just to buy what you need and don't worry about stocking up.

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