Grocers say high vegetable prices should drop soon

DAVID MERCER - Associated Press,NOMAAN MERCHANT - Associated Press
The Associated Press
Elaine Deal, of Des Moines, Iowa, shops for tomatoes at a local Dahl's grocery store, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. The sharpest increase in produce prices in decades should ease in coming weeks as growers deliver more tomatoes, lettuce and other crops to grocers. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
View photos
Elaine Deal, of Des Moines, Iowa, shops for tomatoes at a local Dahl's grocery store, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa. The sharpest increase in produce prices in decades should ease in coming weeks as growers deliver more tomatoes, lettuce and other crops to grocers.

A nearly 50 percent increase in vegetable prices should ease in coming weeks as farmers deliver more tomatoes, lettuce and other crops to grocers.

Prices shot up last month after cold weather destroyed winter vegetables in the southern U.S. and Mexico. From tomatoes in Florida to lettuce in Arizona, fruit and vegetables became frostbitten, and prices rose.

Grocers and farmers say they expect crops planted after winter freezes to reach stores in the next few weeks. That's expected to bring prices down.

In the meantime, shoppers say they're paying more for groceries while farmers say the higher prices they're getting have offset the loss of many of their crops.