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Once ‘Outrageously High’ Watermelon Prices Drop in Recent Weeks
What was once out of this world market prices for Florida’s watermelon producers have come back to earth a bit. Laura Land, a watermelon farmer from Branford, Florida, and a member of the Florida Watermelon Association discusses how prices have dropped in recent weeks.
“They were outrageously high (two weeks ago). They’re moving down pretty quickly. They’re in the $200 a bin FOB (Free on Board) or less; somewhere in the $175, $200 a bin FOB. They’ve drastically come down,” Land said. That equates to about 25-to-28 cents per pound. “They were more in the 35s at the beginning of (two) weeks ago.”
Market prices have dropped mostly because more watermelons are being harvested throughout Florida.
Harvests have moved from the Immokalee area to up around Arcadia.
More supply means lesser demand and a drop in the crop’s value.
Farmers need higher watermelon prices to compensate for the high input expenses they are having to pay more for.
“I think that will hopefully hold around these prices because sadly to say, that sounds like a big market, but when you double your fertilizer costs and you double your fuel costs, that’s going to be hard for farmers to pay out at those kinds of numbers unless they’ve got good crops,”
Land said. “In the last year, our labor prices have gone up 35%.
I just figured the new cost of our new liquid fertilizer that you’re having to give to the plants every day to produce a nice, good even crop, and it’s 75% more than last year.”https://specialtycropindustry.com/once-outrageously-high-watermelon-prices-drop-in-recent-weeks/