Floodwaters float up produce prices

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As floodwaters in the Southeast rise, so does the cost of fruits and vegetables.

"It makes us have to raise our prices a little bit," said Brian Dover, who owns Dover's produce at the Jacksonville Farmer's Market.

He said he's seen firsthand how bad weather can drive up the food price. This time around, consumers are shelling out more for watermelon, peaches, tomatoes and squash. And that's not all.

"You know, we're trying to keep our customers satisfied and they're having to pay more," Dover said. "It makes it a bind on our business a little bit."

Dover said a bag of potatoes is about $2 higher than usual. As for squash, he said five or six in a basket is normally $2. Right now, it's about double.

Others say the cost of tomatoes are about $1 more, and they could go up again by next week and could get worse as the year goes on.

"We're going into our fall season, fall time of year, fall crops," said Greg Tison, general manager of the Farmer's Market. "So some of those products won't be as plentiful as they are in spring and summer. So normally you'll see prices go up there a little bit."

Meanwhile, at Publix, the cost of tomatoes is hovering around $2.50 a pound. Yellow squash is 20 cents more to be exact.

At Walmart, the price of tomatoes per pound is 30 cents cheaper than at Publix. With squash, the savings is nearly $1.

There are other ways to save on your budget.

"My advice would be to come to the market because you're going to get the best deal," Dover said. "We get it straight from the farmers and we can give the best price for everybody. And we can get the freshest produce."

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