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Cold weather affects local crops, prices

The weather may be getting a little warmer in our area, but the memory of winter is still fresh at farmer's markets.

Freezing temperatures have devastated crops in both of the nation's crucial winter growing regions, creating shortages in the produce that's available.

When supply dwindles, prices shoot up. That freeze we experienced just a little more than a week ago destroyed many crops in the Sunshine State.

This time last year our area has plenty of local greens and oranges. But temperatures in the teens simply finished off what was left.

Items like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are getting harder to find and prices are racing higher.

A freeze has attacked many usually untouched parts of our country. Both California and Florida are reporting major losses in their citrus.

"You never like to see an off year but it has to happen and this is the worst I've seen it in a while," said Barbara Williams of Flora-Bama Farms.

It could be another month before produce prices return to normal on most green items.