California Dryness Could Push Elevated Lettuce Prices Still Higher

27 April 2021

As California gears up for its main lettuce cultivating season, Gro’s Drought Index shows that prime growing areas are facing the driest conditions for this time of year since 2015.
Retail prices of romaine lettuce, one of the most popular varieties, currently are 75% above average, and any curbs to supply due to water limitations could spur additional price gains. 

Gro’s Platform enables users to track US retail prices for a wide range of fruits and vegetables. This display shows retail prices for a variety of lettuces, most of which are grown in the Salinas Valley. In addition to elevated romaine prices, which currently average $2.39/pound, Boston lettuce prices are $2.49/unit, 70% above average. Iceberg lettuce prices are in line with the five-year average at $1.07/unit.

The Gro Platform also has wholesale produce prices based on point of origin (click here for Salinas-Watsonville shipping-point prices) and lettuce transport volumes from major shipping regions.

California and Arizona are the largest producers of conventional lettuce in the United States. Varying growing seasons allow for year-round availability—the Salinas Valley is the main supplier to the lettuce market in the April-October time frame, and Western Arizona dominates from November-March. 

Most of California’s produce is irrigated, but drought still affects water availability and therefore yield and production. Join Gro on May 13th or 18th for our webinar, “When Does Drought Matter? Assessing the Short and Long Term Impact of Drought.” Detecting drought early allows for advance business planning to mitigate potential negative consequences of unfavorable growing conditions.

This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.

 

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