Cold temperatures in the south affecting vegetable prices in the north

Utah consumers are about to experience the results of a freeze two weeks ago across a wide swath of northern Mexico. Vegetables were severely damaged. Dylan Fuez, a faculty member in Applied Economics at USU, said how much affect is felt defends on where you live. “Different areas tend to source vegetables from different markets. Certainly, there will be an impact on food 0n the retail level and restaurants may actually alter menus as they are unable to get some of the vegetables they usually count on this time of year.” He said you may experience either much higher prices or you may have a hard time finding what you may have found in the store a few weeks ago. “I have heard of the possibility of doubling the prices at the wholesale level; in some cases the retailers will try to absorb some of that and not pass it all on to consumers. In other cases they just won’t be purchasing some of those items.” Fuez said almost every winter there are isolated freezes or other problems with crops. “In those cases other growing or producing areas are able to step in and fill most of that void. This year there has been a series of different weather events, primarily freezes which started in late-December or early-January hitting Florida and much of the Southeast. Then right before the Mexico freeze, the Yuma, Arizona area (a big supplier of leafy greens) was also hit. And apparently there have been some disruptions in Texas and California, though not to the extent of these others.” Fuez said there will be a hole in the market for the next month and a half. “We’ll be short of some of those vegetables that we come to expect throughout the winter and just recognize they just won’t be there.” He notes this is impacting the fresh vegetable market only. “Obviously frozen or canned vegetables are still available and plentiful.”

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