Weather the Storm for Produce


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KIMT News 3 – As temperatures finally even out, the focus is now on how the price of produce is affected.

In a recent study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, vendors in north Iowa can expect at least a month delay when it comes to getting local produce from the fields to store shelves.

For some consumers the fear is that with demand rising, so will the prices, but some producers urge us to have faith in the gardens, because according to them, some patience will pay off.

“Hang with them and support them as they work through this, cause it’s probably required extra sweat and tears out in the fields to get the products in at the quality folks want,” said Jan Libbey with Healthy Harvest North Iowa.

Libbey works as a producer with Healthy Harvest North Iowa knows what it takes to get our favorite foods on store shelves and says it’s important to understand that weather is playing a major factor.

“It’s really important that the consumer think about what the producers dealing with. If I’m going to an office and I’m inconvenienced and I have to remember my raincoat or my umbrella, that’s nothing to a producer whose livelihood is based on having some decent balance in the weather,” said Libbey.

One major concern many of us have is the price of our favorite fruits and vegetables going up.

Pat Ohlerking is the Store Director of Charles City Hy-Vee and says while they too have felt the effects of this season’s mix tape of weather; their main goal is still to keep up prices for their customers.

“We’re always going to be as competitively priced as we possibly can. Our number one goal again is to take care of our customers and so we’re all about making sure that the price is right,” said Ohlerking.

“Eat a lot of those greens if that’s all that’s there at the market now. Eating seasonally and eating locally come hand-in-hand,” said Libbey.

It’s this patience that seems to be a theme for anyone involved.
at many large grocers similar to Hy-Vee, their advantage is providing the seasonal foods we look for at the times we need it.

“The advantage that we have at Hy-Vee is that we run out of 8 mid-west states so we have the ability to buy homegrown from eight different states that are all in the mid-west. So it will give us good quality homegrown products so we can ship those products into Hy-Vee so that we have the homegrown quality even though we might not be able to get it locally right away,”  said Ohlerking.

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