A heat wave in the Western U.S. is coursing through farming supply chains and into supermarkets, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The high temperatures hitting California are damaging crops and shrinking shipments, leaving distributors searching for leafy greens and fruits from sources ranging from Canada to Florida. Supermarkets say they are giving less shelf space to products with weather-induced discolorations, bruises or burns.
Stores are cutting prices on poor-quality items to avoid getting stuck with them. Produce is highly vulnerable to weather, and this year’s hot temperatures are creating more quality and supply problems.
Early heat in Washington reduced the cherry supply this summer, grapes in some regions are growing mold and watermelon season ended earlier on the East Coast.
Power conservation efforts in California are reaching shipping operations, with the state suspending a requirement that vessels use cleaner onshore power while at port berths.
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