Warren Tomato Producers Feeling Pinch

Jun 25, 2013

Credit blog.auburn.edu

More than 200 farmers used to put their tomatoes on the auction block in Warren, but changes to the market have left large growers with the bulk of the business.

Now, only about a dozen farmers bring their tomatoes to the Warren Tomato Market to make sales to a single buyer.

Grower Terry Donnelly, who owns Deepwoods Farm, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that most tomato farmers quit because they weren't making money.

Donnelly says costs have risen sharply while tomato prices have stayed the same.

John Gavin, University of Arkansas Agriculture Division's cooperative extension agent for Bradley County, says the auctions used to bring steep price swings.

Now many growers have contracts for set prices which remove price uncertainty.