ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The cost of putting fresh produce on your family’s table is going up, as parched farm fields are yielding fewer crops to bring to market.
At Soulard Market tomatoes that were $1 a pound last summer are now going for $1.50 and the corn that was three ears for $1 last summer is now priced at $1.25.
Vendor Patricia Bridgeman, who sells produce for Hahn’s Farm in Foley, Missouri says all types of locally-grown produce are in short supply.
“You’ve got massive heat and no water,” Bridgeman said, “We need rain bad. And I have been telling our regular customers that if you know how to take it and preserve it, then you’d better do that, because we don’t know from week to week what we’ll have left.”
Produce Vendor George Simon says another factor may be the spring floods that took thousands of acres out of production in the region. “Remember when they opened that levy? And they flooded all that farmland? That’s what the scarcity is,” Simon said.
Soulard shopper Patty Bracht says she notices prices climbing. “Everything seems to be going up,” Bracht said, “Tomatoes, lettuce, artichokes.”
Similar price hikes for produce have been reported in St. Charles at the Lions Club Farmer’s Market. Instead of receiving a thousand ears of corn from vendors, they’ve been getting only around 300 ears — and it’s selling fast.