BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Your favorite vegetables are getting diced and sliced by wintry conditions out west. Now just about everyone could see the effects of a shortage.
The Southwestern United States is known for its hot, arid climate. But over the last week, they've had more wet, sub-freezing weather than Western New New York and it's expected to take a toll on our supply of fresh produce.
The shelves in Wegmans fresh produce section are pretty well stocked, right now. But store officials are bracing for shortages of leafy vegetables any day now.
Spokesman Theresa Jackson said, "And those really wet conditions, or really freezing conditions - and in some conditions, snow - has affected the growing cycle of many of the produce items that we carry at Wegmans."
Areas in Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California have shivered through more below-freezing weather than they have seen in decades. More than 90-percent of the lettuce grown in the U.S. comes from Southern California and Arizona.
At Bob McClendon's 25-acre, all-organic farm near Phoenix, Arizona, they have handled the freeze better than many of their neighbors. But a lot of the vegetables and fruit are not going to make it.
McClendon said, "We probably spent $2,000 in frost cloth in the last three day, just for the vegetables. You will see the effects at the grocery store in the next week to 10 days."
Wegmans predicts shortages of asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, celery hearts, Romaine and head lettuce varieties. They are already seeing shortages of baby leaf lettuces, including spinach, and all organic vegetables. And with shortages, you can also expect to pay a little more for fresh veggies.
Jackson said, "But at Wegmans we have those consistent low price items that we promise not to raise the prices on, no matter what happens, and there are several produce items on that list."
Wegmans only expects the shortages to last for two or three weeks, at the most. But Jackson suggests, if you really need to get your daily helpings of leafy vegetables, try canned or frozen until the fresh produce gets re-stocked.
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