National

Jun 4, 2010 10:31 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Florida tomato farmers have surplus despite cold snap

Tomato prices skyrocketed just three months ago, but they're falling now with an unexpected glut in Florida.

The Sunshine State is the only place in the U.S. where tomatoes are grown on a large scale during winter. But even there, cold weather in January and February killed plants and caused a shortage that had some grocers charging nearly $4 a pound.

Now that the weather has warmed, Florida farmers are seeing their surviving plants mature and tomatoes ripen all at once. That's caused a glut, and farmers who were getting $30 for 25 pounds in March are now averaging only about $4.75. Supermarket prices are falling too.

Some farmers say they'll leave their tomatoes in the field, rather than sell them at a loss.

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