Weather damages crops in Collier County

Published: Updated:

NAPLES, Fla.- The recent windy and wet weather could cost you at the grocery store.

“The prices for January are the highest I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been in the retail business for 30 years,” said Alfie Oakes,¬†owner of Oakes Farms. “I’ve never seen every single commodity, from apples to zucchini, everything across the board is record high prices.”

Oakes says that’s because lots of rain and strong winds are¬†killing farmers crops,¬†both here in Southwest Florida and in other countries.

“It’s also the weather in Mexico has been similar to here. They’ve been having their fair share of issues there and that’s where most of the product right now,¬†this time a year, either coming from south Florida or Mexico and some place has to clear up and hopefully it’s us.”

Oakes adds¬†that last week’s strong winds knocked off some of his peppers,¬†but he says that was nothing compared to what it did to his squash,¬†“basically made spaghetti out of the plants. They were just twisted up in all different directions and a complete loss in everything that twisting wind touched.”

The wind also threw a 500 gallon tank of fertilizer. Oakes says the rain didn’t kill any of his crops¬†thanks to a good drainage system.

He believes¬†prices will remain high for at least the next month¬†and¬†warns if the weather doesn’t improve, prices may stay high even longer.

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