Find farmers market resources for farmers and consumers

TomatoesIt’s farmers market season. For both farmers market vendors, as well as those shopping at the markets, the issue of prices can be of interest. So where to begin? The University of Illinois Extension, working in collaboration with the University of Kentucky’s Center for Crop Diversification, started compiling price reports for farmers markets last year.

This year they are collecting data at 18 markets across the state, ­including the Illinois Products’ Farmers Market at the State Fairgrounds in Springfield. Each week, market reporters collect the lowest and highest price for a selection of fruit and vegetable crops using standard measureable units for each crop (e.g. pounds, bu., etc.). The information for each of the markets is then aggregated into a weekly report.

These reports are published to help ­farmers learn about prices for ­common products being sold at ­farmers markets in order to better understand how to set prices that ­support profit­ability of their farms and, at the same time, are fair to ­consumers. These reports are also very useful for new producers who are starting to market their products through ­various channels. Consumers can also see these prices and they may decide to visit one market over another (as well as local grocery stores) because of the pricing of ­certain products.

These prices will be shared via the University of Illinois Extension page at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/cat139_4272.html as well as the Farmers Market Price Reports page on the Center for Crop Diversification website at http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CCD/farmersmarket.html.

For more information contact ­project co-chair, Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, University of Illinois Extension at cvnghgrn@illinois.edu or 217-782-4617.

Comments are closed.