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Could produce prices in Texas go way up due to the winter storm?


WALLER COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — Have you seen all the empty shelves at grocery stores? Are you worried about prices going up?

For answers, look to our local farms, many of which are still covered in ice and snow.

“If affects us all, everybody. From the consumer, to the supplier, to the grower, it’s going to hit us all,” explained Brenda Koch, who owns VegOut! Farms with her husband, Jeff.

VegOut! Farms is in Pattison, which is in Waller County, about 12 miles northwest of Katy.

The family sells produce to H-E-B stores across the state, but it’s been four days since the farm had power.

And now that the electricity is back intermittently, there’s still little relief.

In fact, it just gives the Kochs a glimpse into just how much they lost.

“We have no choice now that we’ve spent so much money on propane to keep these crops going, just to keep us in business right now,” Koch explained. “We’re going to have to pass the cost on. I’m going to have to have an increase, and so will the grocery store because the grocery store has to stay in business, too.”

The couple sells a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, and lettuce.

But, when a plant is damaged, it’s destroyed, and they have to start with a seed all over again. It’s part of how they comply with quality control regulations.

“I’m going to germinate my seed, and that seed to the first day I get my first tomato, is almost four months, four and a half months,” Koch said. “March, April, May, June. Then it’s summer. I don’t grow them in the summer. I can’t.”

Cattle farmers in Waller County are also worried.

“These cows aren’t used to this,” said cattle farmer Tommy Davis.

Davis and his family took some of their smallest livestock to their home last night.

They’re hoping the newborn calves can survive the week.

“We had one home last night in a coop and got him warmed up,” he said. “I’m coming to meet his mama, too, to see if he managed to get with his mama and be happy.”

Neither Davis nor Koch will know the true extent of the damage until the freeze is over, but both are hoping to recover quickly.

“I was born to feed people. That’s it. And I love it,” Koch said. “I still love it and this hurts, but I’ll still be in tomorrow, and I’ll still be cleaning it out, and we’ll still be going because we love what we do.”

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