Produce shortage hits stores in Omaha metro, farmer explains why
PAPILLION, Ne (FOX42KPTM) —
You are now starting to pay more for some of the produce you buy at local grocery stores.
That includes things such as broccoli, celery, and other leafy greens. There's a shortage of those produce items.
Jonathan Dodd said, "Last year we definitely had a lot more greens coming off. We had a great June. We had a lot of rain. It was a little cooler."
That's not the case this year for the owner and farmer of New Earth Farm & Goods.
Dodd said, "Definitely seeing a difference as far as quality right now...lettuce getting bitter earlier...we had onion damage. We had some tomato damage, broccoli damage from hail."
Despite the weather, Dodd says there's not a shortage of produce from local farmers like him.
However, he says if stores are buying their produce from other parts of the country that are seeing more weather issues it could be the reason for the lack of produce in stores.
One agriculture company out of California says the shortage is real. It claims the price of greens will be more expensive.
For example, take romaine hearts. They usually sell for around $2. With the shortage, expect to pay more than a dollar extra.
Dodd said, "When it gets hot and you're dealing with spring crops, stuff that likes the cooler temperature, it's going to get stressed out. It's going to bolt. It's going to turn bitter. It's going to attract pests to come in."
Using mulch on top of soil is something Dodd says has really helped to protect a lot of the things that he's growing on the farm. Insect netting has also been a big help. Dodd says it protects plants from the heat and pests.
Dodd said, "It goes with the territory. It's part of the cycle of things. Bad things happen every year all the time and that's why we have to prepare well."
FOX 42 reached out to several stores in Omaha on Tuesday. Workers at some Walmart stores told us they're seeing a produce shortage.