Bucking a trend in U.S. crops, the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables rose in September.


While produce prices were lower than a year ago at the same time, the decline was far smaller than the drop for all agricultural prices taken as a whole.


Potato prices, however, were an exception, dropping from August to September at a rate higher than the overall crop rate. But the decline in spud prices was not as precipitous from last year to this year as the drop in the agriculture-wide rate was.


September prices for fruits and nuts were up 7% from August, but 3.8% lower than in September 2008, according to the September Agricultural Prices report  from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.


Prices for non-potato vegetables were up 2.7% over August, but 12% below the year before.


Potato prices fell $1.96 per cwt., to $7.65, from August to September. This year’s price was $1 lower than in September 2008.


Prices of all crops tracked by the USDA fell 2% from August and 17% from September 2008.


Higher prices in September for onions, cucumbers, lettuce and snap beans helped lead the charge for higher vegetable prices overall. Sweet corn, tomatoes and cauliflowers were among the commodities that saw declines from August.


Among fruits, higher prices for apples, oranges, grapes and grapefruit more than made up for lower prices for peaches and pears.