Vegetable Prices Drop in 2023, Rebound in Early 2024

Clint ThompsonVegetables

Vegetable producers experienced a drop in market prices in 2023, though they rebounded during the early months of 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service Situation and Outlook Report.

The domestic annual vegetable price index, computed by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, dropped 11% from the highs of 2022. The decrease was attributed to increased production in the fall and winter, boosting supplies. It lowered shipping-point prices for key vegetable crops like onions, lettuce, cucumbers, celery and bell peppers.

However, in the early months of 2024, mixed trends started in vegetable prices. January’s index dropped by 5% year-over-year, though February’s index surged to 179.8, a 16% increase from the prior year. Grower prices for tomatoes showed significant increases, up 96%. Increased price trends year-over-year were also observed in other vegetable crops like onions, up 79%; sweet corn, up 26%; snap beans, up 18%; and carrots, up 9%.

Certain vegetables like celery (down 58%) and cauliflower (down 37%) experienced price decreases.