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Vegetable Wholesale Markets: 2015–2020 Price Report

Publication Number: P3688
View as PDF: P3688.pdf

The goal of this publication is to inform agricultural producers, buyers, lenders, and other interested groups about wholesale market prices for vegetables commonly grown in Mississippi and the greater Delta region. Awareness of the average prices in the market can help agricultural producers develop crop planning budgets, forecast potential crop and farm returns, and make informed investment decisions during the crop planning process. Knowledge of publicly available market price information might also help suppliers and buyers negotiate a fair market price and purchasing contract terms by reducing information asymmetry.

Data

The prices summarized in this publication are terminal market prices obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service Terminal Market Report. The prices reported are limited to vegetables produced in the Southeast and sold in selected terminal markets at U.S. cities in the South. The prices included in this report are for conventionally produced vegetables from the 2015-2020 period. This report focuses on vegetables commonly grown in Mississippi and nearby states. While these prices do not specifically reflect local farm-gate vegetable prices in the state, they provide a baseline for wholesale market prices received by agricultural producers. The prices of the following vegetables are included in this report:

  • Green beans
  • Cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Peas
  • Okra
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip and turnip tops

Average Prices, 2015-2020

In our 15 figures, we depict the average annual prices and the overall average price during the 2015-2020 period. For each commodity, we also report the lowest and highest price observed across the selected terminal markets each year. Because the reported prices may combine various sizes, varieties, and quality grades, the price range of some commodities may be wide.

Figure 1 shows the prices per bushel of green beans, where a bushel weighs approximately 30 pounds. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price was $24.25, with an average low price of $10.92 and an average high price of $45.33. The lowest price observed during this period was $8.00 in 2015, and the highest was $51.00 in 2016.

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Figure 1. Green bean price per bushel (30 pounds), 2015-2020 (Source of data for all figures: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crops Terminal Market Report)

In Figure 2, the estimated average prices per 50-pound sack or carton of round green cabbage are reported. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price was $14.40, with an average low price of $7.75 and an average high price of $25.54. The lowest price observed during this period was $6.50 in 2017, and the highest was $34.00 in 2019.

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Figure 2. Round green cabbage price per 50-pound sack, carton, or crate, 2015-2020

Figure 3 shows the annual average price per carton or crate of loose or bunched collard greens, containing around four to five dozen bunches and weighing approximately 25 pounds. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price was $16.85, with an average low price of $10.13 and an average high price of $29.50. The lowest price observed during this period was $9.00 in 2017, and the highest was $40.00 in 2019.

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Figure 3. Collard greens price per 25-pound carton or crate, 2015-2020

Figure 4 shows the annual average price per carton or crate of cucumbers. Each box of cucumbers contains approximately 1 1/9 bushels or 55 pounds. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per box of cucumbers was $21.35, with an average low price of $10.42 and an average high price of $36.96. The lowest price observed during this period was $7.00 in 2015, and the highest price was $44.50 in 2015-2016.

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Figure 4. Cucumber price per 55-pound carton or crate, 2015-2020

In Figure 5, the estimated average price per crate of green bell peppers is reported. A crate is estimated to weigh approximately 1 1/9 bushel or 28-30 pounds. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per crate was $18.60, with an average low price of $8.38 and an average high price of $37.75. The lowest price observed during this period was $6.50 in 2015, and the highest price was $46.25 in 2016.

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Figure 5. Bell pepper price per crate (28 to 30 pounds), 2015-2020

Kale has gained popularity during the last couple of years, and producers in Mississippi have started to grow this crop in response to this increase in demand. Figure 6 shows the annual average price per carton or crate of kale containing approximately 24 bunches. The overall average market price per box of kale was 14.05 during the 2015-2020 period, with an average low price of $10.33 and an average high price of $22.17. The lowest price observed during this period was $9.75 in 2017, and the highest price was $28.50 in 2019.

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Figure 6. Kale price per carton or crate containing around 24 bunches, 2015-2020

Figure 7 shows the annual average price per carton or crate of bunched mustard greens. For the prices summarized here, each carton contains approximately 24 bunches. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per was $14.40, with an average low price of $10.13 and an average high price of $23.83. The lowest price observed during this period was $9.00 in 2017, and the highest price was $28.50 in 2018-2019.

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Figure 7. Mustard greens price per carton or crate containing around 24 bunches, 2015-2020

Southern peas are a common crop throughout the region. The prices of southern peas summarized in Figure 8 include the average combined prices of blackeye, crowder, pinkeye, purple hull, white, and zipper cream peas. The overall average price for a 27-pound bag of peas was $22.40, with an average low price of $19.17 and an average high price of $27.00. The lowest price observed during this period was $12.00 in 2015, and the highest price was $30.00 in 2020.

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Figure 8. Southern pea price per sack of approximately 27 pounds, 2015-2020

The average annual prices for okra during the 2015-2020 period are summarized in Figure 9. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per ½-bushel carton was $16.20, with an average low price of $10.17 and an average high price of $25.79. The lowest price observed during this period was $9.00 in 2017, and the highest price was $30.00 in 2020.

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Figure 9. Okra price per ½ bushel or 15-pound carton, 2015-2020

The average annual prices for summer squash per ½-bushel carton, or crates weighing approximately 21 pounds, are summarized in Figure 10. Between 2015 and 2020, the prices averaged $14.10 per carton, with an average low price of $5.58 and an average high price of $33.54. The lowest price observed during this period was $4.00 in 2015, and the highest price was $42.00 in 2017. The prices for yellow straight-neck squash (not shown in the graph) were generally higher during this same period, with an overall average price of $17.30 per carton.

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Figure 10. Summer squash price per 25-pound carton or crate, 2015-2020

In Figure 11, the estimated average annual price per carton or crate of sweet corn, yellow or white, is reported. A crate is estimated to weigh approximately 40 to 60 pounds and contain around four to six dozen ears. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per carton of corn was $18.15, with an average low price of $9.29 and an average high price of $39.67. The lowest price observed during this period was $8.00 in 2018, and the highest price was $45.50 in 2020.

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Figure 11. Sweet corn price per four to six dozen ears carton or crate, 2015-2020

Mississippi ranks highly in U.S. sweet potato acreage and production. The minimum, maximum, and average annual prices for No. 1 and No. 2 sweet potatoes per 40-pound carton are summarized in Figure 12. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price for No. 2 sweet potatoes was $14.45, with an average low price of $11.67 and an average high price of $18.00. The prices for No. 1 grade were higher during this same period, with an overall average price of $21.55 per carton, and an average low price of $15.92 and an average high price of $28.54.

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Figure 12. Sweet potato prices per 40-pound carton, 2015-2020

The prices per 25-pound carton of vine-ripe tomatoes are summarized in Figure 13. During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per carton was $18.50, with an average low price of $5.83 and an average high price of $43.33. The lowest price observed during this period was $5.00 in 2016-2017, and the highest price was $54.75 in 2017-2018. Similarly, the prices of Roma tomatoes (not shown in the graph) had an overall average of $17.60 per 25-pound carton during this period, with an average low price of $8.00 and an average high price of $37.75.

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Figure 13. Vine-ripe tomato prices per 25-pound carton, 2015-2020

During the 2015-2020 period, the overall average price per carton of turnips was $14.55, with an average low price of $11.88 and an average high price of $17.83. The lowest price observed during this period was $10.00 in 2015, and the highest price was $24.50 also in 2015.

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Figure 14. Turnip price per 25-pound carton or crate, 2015-2020

In Figure 15, the prices of turnip tops are summarized. The overall average price per carton of turnips tops was $14.40, with an average low price of $10.38 and an average high price of $22.75. The lowest price observed during this period was $10.00 in 2015-2016, and the highest price was $26.75 in 2018-2019.

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Figure 15. Turnip tops price per 24-bunch carton or crate, 2015-2020

Summary

This publication reports average annual wholesale prices for selected vegetables during the 2015-2020 period. When using price information to inform business decisions, it is important to note that prices may vary from year to year and within the same year. Prices may vary throughout the production season due to the harvest windows in the different production regions of the country, imports, and the volume of product in the market. In addition, year-to-year variability may take place due to different factors, including weather factors that may affect the acres under production each year.

Resources

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service Terminal Market Report. Available at: https://www.marketnews.usda.gov/mnp/fv-home

Funding

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research via the Open Market Consortium for Specialty Crops.


Publication 3688 (POD-8-21)

By Elizabeth Canales, PhD, Assistant Professor, and Alba J. Collart, PhD, Associate Extension Professor, Agricultural Economics.

Department: Agricultural Economics
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Authors

Portrait of Dr. Alba J. Collart Dinarte
Associate Extension Professor
Horticultural Marketing

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