If you’ve noticed an increase in the prices of some cool-weather, summer vegetables recently, bad growing conditions in the eastern and southeastern United States are likely to blame.
Crops like broccoli, spinach, and lettuce grow best in consistently moderate-to-cool temperatures. But in the eastern and southeastern parts of the country, unstable growing weather has hurt crops. The California Farm Bureau says grocery stores there are importing more vegetables –especially lettuce- from California.
”That increased demand has caused the wholesale prices to rise pretty sharply," says the Bureau's Dave Kranz. "They’re about roughly double what they would be at this time a year ago, for example.”
Kranz says farmers in the Salinas and Santa Maria valleys who can harvest crops now are benefiting. But farmers in the San Joaquin and Coachella valleys who grow these crops later in the year may not benefit at all by the time their crops are ready.