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US Vegetable Prices Soar Nearly 40% as Water Cuts Crush Supply

© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) — Prices for vegetables have almost doubled since last year after the states that grow fresh produce for the US winter saw water cuts and storms that decimated supply.

Vegetable prices saw a 38% jump in November from the prior month, according to the Labor Department’s latest producer price index data. On a year-over-year basis, the surge was more than 80%. The figures come as food costs have been rising at unprecedented levels, cutting into consumer wallets as families recover from the global pandemic.

Farmers in Arizona, who provide more than 90% of the US’s leafy greens each November through March, have seen cuts to the amount of water they receive from the Colorado River. The US has announced it will withhold about a fifth of the water the state’s farmers get in 2023 as climate change and drought diminish the basin.

Read More: Colorado River water cuts to hammer US winter-lettuce hub

California, the top agriculture state in the US, has faced drought this year that led to $3 billion worth of losses. And in Florida, which is the top US supplier of fruits and vegetables in the fall and winter months, experienced a storm that cost the produce industry in the state nearly $2 billion.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.



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