HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – In the scramble to stock up for the long haul as the coronavirus spread, shoppers found shortages but not in the produce department.
In well-known supermarkets and grocery stores, there was plenty of lettuce, romaine, spinach, snap beans, all that green stuff that is so good for you. There is a reason for the abundance but it is not good news for the farmers and growers in south Miami-Dade.READ MORE: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Doesn't Believe Unemployment Benefit Increase Is Needed
“The market is dead in the water. Everybody, I assume, has spent their money on canned goods and noodles, soups, and pasta. We do not think they are buying produce,” said John Alger of Alger Farms in Homestead.
At this point, it seems to be true. Consumers are not yet comfortable that items they need will be available on an on-demand basis so they appear to be going for the basics. As of right now, that’s not veggies.READ MORE: Rude Awakening For Elderly Couple, Slightly Hurt After Car Slams Into Miramar Home
“The farmers are harvesting and delivering their product to Wynn Dixie or Publix. It is fully stocked right now. I believe people are avoiding the fresh perishable produce as compared to non-perishable canned goods and whatnot, but the supply chain is working from beginning to end,” said Alger.
Miami-Dade agriculture produces, according to the county, a $2.7 billion economic impact. Now growers facing an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic.MORE NEWS: SpaceX Crew Arrives At Cape Canaveral Ahead Of Thursday's Earth Day Launch
“I have got farmers from upstate New York that I went to college with asking if you should even bother planting. I have nursery growers in Connecticut saying how their contracts evaporated for the Spring season, Mother’s Day, and Easter. There are no sales and rightly so they are hunkered down,” said Alger.