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Vegetable Wholesale Markets: 2015–2021 Price Report

Publication Number: P3688
View as PDF: P3688.pdf

This publication informs agricultural producers, buyers, lenders, and other interested groups about wholesale market prices for vegetables commonly grown in Mississippi and the South. 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 fair market prices and purchasing contract terms by reducing any imbalance in parties’ access to price information.

Data

The prices summarized in this publication are terminal market prices obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Terminal Market Report. Reported prices are from products sold in selected terminal markets at major U.S. cities during the 2015–2021 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. Wholesale price descriptive statistics for the following vegetables are included:

  • Green beans
  • Cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Peas
  • Okra
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes (Roma and vine-ripe)
  • Turnip and turnip tops

Average Prices 2015–2021

The following figures and tables depict the average annual prices and the overall average prices during the 2015-2021 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, some commodities may have wide price ranges.

 

Green Beans

Figure 1 shows the per-pound average wholesale price of green beans sold in one-bushel cartons weighing approximately 30 pounds. During 2015-2021, the overall average wholesale price per pound was $0.85, with an average low of $0.31 and an average high of $2.03. The lowest per-pound wholesale price observed during this period was $0.20 in 2021, and the highest was $2.42 in 2019.

Figure 1. Green bean price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for green beans.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

2.08

1.97

1.92

2.00

2.42

2.17

1.63

2.03

Avg. price

0.80

0.88

0.85

0.91

0.81

0.87

0.83

0.85

Lowest price

0.27

0.30

0.33

0.38

0.33

0.38

0.20

0.31

 

Cabbage

The yearly per-pound average wholesale price for round green cabbage sold in 50-pound sacks or cartons is reported in Figure 2. During 2015-2021, the per-pound average wholesale price was $0.30, with an average low of $0.10 and an average high of $0.58. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.08 in 2015 and 2021, and the highest was $0.71 in 2019.

Figure 2. Round green cabbage price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for cabbage.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

0.46

0.51

0.48

0.69

0.71

0.58

0.60

0.58

Avg. price

0.25

0.28

0.24

0.33

0.34

0.31

0.32

0.30

Lowest price

0.08

0.10

0.10

0.10

0.12

0.11

0.08

0.10

 

Collard Greens

Figure 3 shows the per-pound average wholesale price for collard greens sold in cartons containing around 24 bunches and weighing approximately 25 pounds. During 2015-2021, the overall average wholesale price was $0.63 per pound, with an average low of $0.38 and an average high of $1.24.

Figure 3. Collard greens price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for collard greens.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.04

0.96

0.88

1.56

1.98

0.96

1.28

1.24

Avg. price

0.58

0.58

0.59

0.65

0.73

0.63

0.65

0.63

Lowest price

0.39

0.36

0.36

0.40

0.40

0.36

0.40

0.38

 

Cucumbers

Figure 4 shows the per-pound average wholesale price for cucumbers sold in cartons or crates containing approximately 1-1/9 bushels or 55 pounds. During 2015-2021, the overall average wholesale price per pound of cucumbers was $0.35, with an average low of $0.11 and an average high of $0.76. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.09 per pound, and the highest was $0.91 in 2020.

Figure 4. Cucumber price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for cucumbers.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

0.81

0.81

0.77

0.67

0.69

0.91

0.68

0.76

Avg. price

0.36

0.34

0.37

0.37

0.33

0.38

0.33

0.35

Lowest price

0.13

0.09

0.11

0.09

0.09

0.15

0.09

0.11

 

Green Bell Peppers

Figure 5 presents the per-pound average wholesale price for green bell peppers sold in 28-pound cartons. During 2015-2021, the overall average wholesale price per pound was $0.68, with an average low of $0.21 and an average high of $1.48. The lowest per-pound wholesale price observed during this period was $0.14 in 2021, and the highest price was $1.75 in 2016.

Figure 5. Green bell pepper price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for bell peppers.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.36

1.75

1.34

1.68

1.46

1.54

1.27

1.48

Avg. price

0.66

0.64

0.65

0.70

0.64

0.82

0.63

0.68

Lowest price

0.25

0.18

0.16

0.27

0.25

0.21

0.14

0.21

 

Kale

Kale has gained popularity during the last few years, and Mississippi producers have started to cultivate this crop in response to the increased demand. Figure 6 presents the per-pound average wholesale price for kale sold in cartons containing 24 bunches and weighing around 25 pounds. The overall average wholesale market price per pound of kale was 0.71 during the 2015-2021 period, with an average low of $0.38 and an average high of $1.59. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.32 in 2015, and the highest price was $2.08 in 2018.

Figure 6. Kale price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for kale.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.22

1.36

1.52

2.08

1.70

1.26

2.00

1.59

Avg. price

0.63

0.67

0.67

0.70

0.78

0.72

0.78

0.71

Lowest price

0.32

0.34

0.35

0.44

0.40

0.40

0.40

0.38

 

Mustard Greens

Figure 7 presents the per-pound average wholesale price for bunched mustard greens. Mustard greens are generally sold in cartons containing around 24 bunches and weighing approximately 25 pounds. During 2015-2021, the overall average wholesale price per pound was $0.63, with an average low of $0.42 and an average high of $1.10. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.36 in 2016, and the highest was $1.40 in 2019.

Figure 7. Mustard greens price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for mustard greens.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

0.92

1.05

0.88

1.36

1.40

0.96

1.12

1.10

Avg. price

0.55

0.59

0.60

0.66

0.70

0.67

0.65

0.63

Lowest price

0.39

0.36

0.40

0.40

0.48

0.46

0.44

0.42

 

Southern Peas

Southern peas are a common crop throughout the region. The average price for southern peas, summarized in Figure 8, include the average combined prices of blackeye, crowder, pinkeye, purple hull, white, and zipper cream peas. The 2015-2021 overall per-pound average wholesale price for peas sold in 27-pounds bags was $0.85, with an average low of $0.75 and an average high of $1.02. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.44 in 2015, and the highest price was $1.11 in 2020 and 2021.

Figure 8. Southern pea price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for southern peas.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.04

0.96

0.96

0.96

0.96

1.11

1.11

1.02

Avg. price

0.79

0.80

0.78

0.80

0.85

0.96

0.95

0.85

Lowest price

0.44

0.74

0.74

0.74

0.74

0.91

0.93

0.75

 

Okra

The average annual wholesale price for okra during 2015-2021 is summarized in Figure 9. During this period, the per-pound average price for okra sold in ½ bushel cartons weighting around 15 pounds was $1.40, with an average low of $0.65 and an average high of $2.81. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.47 in 2021, and the highest was $3.47 in 2020.

Figure 9. Okra price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for okra.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

2.67

2.67

3.20

2.37

2.50

3.47

2.83

2.81

Avg. price

1.37

1.29

1.49

1.27

1.34

1.49

1.57

1.40

Lowest price

0.67

0.73

0.70

0.60

0.60

0.80

0.47

0.65

 

Summer Squash

The average annual wholesale price for summer squash (zucchini) is summarized in Figure 10. Between 2015 and 2021, per-pound wholesale prices averaged $0.65 for zucchini sold in ½ bushel cartons weighing approximately 21 pounds, with an average low of $0.19 and an average high of $1.60. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.14 in 2018, and the highest was $2.10 in 2016. The prices for yellow straight neck squash (not shown in the graph) were slightly higher during this same period, with an overall average price of $0.75 per pound, and an average low price of $0.20 and an average high of $1.90.

Figure 10. Summer squash price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for squash.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.55

2.10

1.56

1.52

1.36

1.90

1.21

1.60

Avg. price

0.62

0.60

0.66

0.71

0.58

0.76

0.64

0.65

Lowest price

0.19

0.19

0.24

0.14

0.19

0.21

0.17

0.19

 

Sweet Corn

In Figure 11, the average annual wholesale price per carton of sweet corn, yellow or white, is reported. A carton is weighs approximately 40 to 60 pounds and contains around four to five dozen ears. During 2015-2021, the overall average wholesale price per carton of corn was $19.47, with an average low of $7.93 and an average high of $49.64. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $5.50 in 2021, and the highest was $61.00 (also in 2021).

Figure 11. Sweet corn price per four- to five-dozen-ear carton, 2015–2021.

Price per carton for sweet corn.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

42.00

47.00

48.00

47.00

47.50

55.00

61.00

49.64

Average price

17.40

18.34

17.01

17.59

19.24

23.83

22.88

19.47

Lowest price

7.50

6.50

7.50

8.00

9.00

11.50

5.50

7.93

 

Sweet Potatoes

Mississippi is one of the largest producers of sweet potatoes in the United States. The minimum, maximum, and average annual wholesale prices per pound of for No. 1 and No. 2 sweet potatoes sold in 40-pound cartons are summarized in Figure 12. During 2015-2021, the per-pound average wholesale price for No. 2 sweet potatoes was $0.40, with an average low of $0.26 and an average high of $0.52. The wholesale prices for No. 1 grade were higher during this same period, with an overall average wholesale price of $0.58 per pound, and an average low of $0.31 and average high of $1.04.

Figure 12. Sweet potato price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for sweet potatoes.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

No. 1 - Highest price

0.89

1.03

1.24

1.01

1.03

1.28

0.83

1.04

No. 1 - Average price

0.58

0.55

0.54

0.51

0.61

0.63

0.60

0.58

No. 1 - Lowest price

0.41

0.33

0.21

0.21

0.40

0.30

0.30

0.31

No. 2 - Highest price

0.60

0.50

0.45

0.45

0.65

0.55

0.45

0.52

No. 2 - Average price

0.41

0.37

0.35

0.35

0.44

0.44

0.42

0.40

No. 2 - Lowest price

0.25

0.23

0.18

0.28

0.31

0.28

0.29

0.26

 

Vine-Ripe Tomatoes

The wholesale prices for vine-ripe tomatoes are summarized in Figures 13. During 2015-2021, the per-pound average wholesale price for vine-ripe tomatoes sold in 25-pound cartons was $0.76, with an average low of $0.24 and an average high of $2.27. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.18 in 2016, and the highest was $2.60 in 2021.

Figure 13. Vine-ripe tomato price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for vine-ripe tomatoes.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.70

2.40

2.40

2.20

2.30

2.32

2.60

2.27

Avg. price

0.73

0.72

0.74

0.70

0.74

0.95

0.77

0.76

Lowest price

0.24

0.18

0.22

0.20

0.28

0.32

0.24

0.24

 

Roma Tomatoes

The wholesale prices for Roma tomatoes are summarized in Figures 14. Roma tomatoes had a per-pound wholesale average price of $0.73 during this period, with an average low of $0.29 and an average high of $1.69.

Figure 14. Roma tomato price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for Roma tomatoes.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.54

1.80

1.59

1.74

1.76

1.77

1.62

1.69

Avg. price

0.68

0.69

0.70

0.70

0.75

0.85

0.77

0.73

Lowest price

0.28

0.26

0.20

0.26

0.34

0.36

0.30

0.29

 

Turnips

During 2015-2021, the per-pound average wholesale price of turnips sold in 25-pound cartons/sacks was $0.62, with an average low of $0.29 and an average high of $1.16 (Figure 15). The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.24 in 2020, and the highest was $1.40 in 2015 and 2019.

Figure 15. Turnip price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for turnips.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

1.40

0.92

0.92

0.96

1.40

1.26

1.26

1.16

Avg. price

0.63

0.56

0.55

0.60

0.70

0.67

0.63

0.62

Lowest price

0.26

0.25

0.30

0.40

0.28

0.24

0.29

0.29

 

Turnip Greens

The wholesale prices of turnip greens are summarized in Figure 16. The average wholesale price per pound of turnip tops sold in cartons containing 24 bundles and weighing approximately 25 pounds was $0.60, with an average low of $0.43 and an average high of $1.05. The lowest wholesale price observed during this period was $0.36 in 2016, and the highest was $1.43 in 2018.

Figure 16. Turnip greens price per pound, 2015–2021.

Price per pound for turnip greens.

Price level

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

7-year avg.

Highest price

0.85

0.96

0.96

1.43

1.40

0.78

1.00

1.05

Avg. price

0.55

0.56

0.55

0.62

0.67

0.62

0.65

0.60

Lowest price

0.40

0.36

0.40

0.45

0.48

0.46

0.44

0.43

 

Summary

This publication reports average annual wholesale prices for selected vegetables during the 2015-2021 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.

Data source for all figures and tables: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crops Terminal Market Report.


Publication 3688 (POD-12-22)

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

Department: Agricultural Economics
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Portrait of Dr. Alba J. Collart Dinarte
Associate Extension Professor
Horticultural Marketing