Freezing temps cause price of lettuce to soar

January 14, 2013

Prices for winter lettuce grown in southwestern Arizona are rising because of damage caused by the freezing temperatures. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Lynn Kelly reports.

The Yuma area provides much of the nation's leafy greens during the winter and since the mercury has dropped below freezing around the state, farmers are reporting damage to many Romaine and Iceberg lettuce crops.

Kurt Nolte, an agricultural agent for the University of Arizona in Yuma, says the recent cold is freezing the heads of lettuce and affecting the quality as well as the yield. Nolte says it is virtually impossible for farmers to cover the lettuce due to the sheer size of the crops. Yuma County alone has 80,000 acres.

And soon the price for the crop will show up on your grocery bill. Nolte says the price for a carton of lettuce in Yuma two weeks ago was ranging from $7-8.  As of Monday, it is around $20 per carton.

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