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Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington, DC, had highest shares of food-away-from-home sales

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The share of food spending at restaurants and similar food-away-from-home (FAFH) establishments has generally increased over time in the United States, although this trend varies across States. Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington, DC, stand out as outliers in terms of the share of per capita FAFH sales. In 1997, FAFH sales stood notably higher in Washington, DC at 73.5 percent, Nevada at 59.0 percent, and Hawaii at 56.2 percent than in other States at 41.6 percent. Each of those numbers grew by 2023 to 76.2 percent in Washington, DC, 63.9 percent in Nevada, 63.5 percent in Hawaii, and 53.0 percent in other States. The three outliers experienced more significant disruptions in food spending patterns in 2020 during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In Washington, DC, the share of FAFH sales fell 9.1 percentage points from 2019 to 2020, while Hawaii and Nevada’s share decreased 9.0 percentage points and 7.5 percentage points, respectively. The eating-out share in other States decreased 4.6 percentage points in that period. In most States, the FAFH share grew rapidly from 2020 to 2023. Nevada’s and Hawaii’s share grew at least 8 percentage points over the three years, while all other States grew 6.9 percentage points, on average. While Washington, DC’s FAFH share grew 7 percentage points over the period, it remained more than 12 percentage points higher than Nevada’s and Hawaii’s in 2023. This chart is drawn from USDA, Economic Research Service’s State-level Food Expenditure Series and the Amber Waves article Analyzing Food Sales Trends at the State Level Using New Series, published June 2024.

USDA spending on food and nutrition assistance programs declined further in FY 2023

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Federal spending on USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs totaled $166.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2023, down 13 percent from $191.1 billion in FY 2022 and 18 percent from the peak of $202.4 billion in FY 2021 when adjusted for inflation to 2023 dollars. In FY 2023, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spending fell 9 percent from the previous year’s inflation-adjusted amount to $112.8 billion despite an increase in participation and maximum benefit levels. This decline occurred because of the nationwide end of emergency allotments, which had temporarily raised all recipients’ benefits to at least the maximum for their household size beginning in March 2020. Spending on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) totaled $6.6 billion—an increase of 11 percent from inflation-adjusted spending in FY 2022—reflecting increases in program participation and food costs per participant. Combined spending on child nutrition programs totaled $26.9 billion in FY 2023, falling 24 percent from the inflation-adjusted total in the previous year. FY 2023 marked the first full fiscal year of child nutrition program operation after Federal waivers allowing schools to serve free meals to all students and raising Federal reimbursements for each free meal served expired at the end of June 2022. Combined spending on other programs fell in FY 2023 primarily because of lower spending on Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) in its final year of operation. This chart is based on data available as of December 2023 and appears in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Food and Nutrition Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report, released June 2024.

Soybean seeding rates decline as row widths increase over time

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Changes in technology and higher seed costs have shifted the way farmers plant soybeans in the United States. Between 1997 and 2018, soybean seeding rates—the number of seeds planted per acre—declined by 22 percent on U.S. farms. In 1997, farmers planted an average of more than 200,000 soybean seeds per acre. The seeding rate fell to about 192,000 in 2002, then to 175,000 in 2006, 165,000 in 2012, and finally to 157,000 in 2018. The decline in seeding rates was accompanied by an increase in row widths, or the distance between planting rows. From 1997 to 2002, the average U.S. soybean row width declined from 17 inches to 16 inches. Average row widths subsequently increased to 18 inches in 2006 and to 20 inches in 2012. The average row width remained at about 20 inches in 2018. In addition to fewer rows being planted per acre in recent years, other factors are linked with the decline in soybean seeding rates, such as planting method. The two most commonly used planting methods for soybeans are drilling and planting in rows using conventional planters. Drills tend to plant seeds closer together and in narrower rows than conventional planters and are thus associated with higher seeding rates. Over time, a higher share of U.S. soybean acres has been planted using conventional planters than drilling. In addition, seed technologies have changed over time; for instance, the planting of genetically engineered (GE) seed became more common during this period. Finally, the cost of seed on a per acre basis has increased, creating incentives for farmers to plant fewer seeds. Researchers in a 2023 USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) study found that as soybean production practices changed, yields also rose. From 2002 to 2018, U.S. soybean yields increased by 30 percent. This chart first appeared in the ERS Oil Crops Outlook: May 2024.

Prime working age natural-cause mortality increases with rurality, especially for females

Monday, June 10, 2024

Researchers with USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) studying data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that for less populated counties, the natural-cause mortality rates increased for both sexes of prime working-age people. ERS researchers used data on disease-related deaths, such as heart disease and cancer (natural-cause mortality) to compare changes across the rural-urban spectrum for the prime working-age population (those aged 25 to 54). They found the more rural the county, the greater the increase (or smaller the decrease) in natural-cause mortality rates, particularly for females. Data from two, 3-year periods show natural-cause mortality rates in large metropolitan counties decreased for females and males by 23 and 30 percent, respectively. In the most rural counties, natural-cause mortality rates increased 18 percent for females and 3 percent for males. Across all rural counties, the increases for females were far greater than the changes experienced among males. This chart appears in the ERS report The Nature of the Rural-Urban Mortality Gap, published in March 2024.

Growing demand for poultry fuels increasing global imports

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Globally, poultry is the most imported livestock commodity by volume. Rising incomes, growing populations, and increasing urbanization all contribute to increasing poultry consumption, especially in markets where local production is often unable to keep pace with accelerating demand. Historically, Asia has been the largest importer of chicken meat by volume. In 2022, the region imported more than 3.4 million metric tons. The Middle East was the second largest importer of chicken meat in 2022, with imports of nearly 2.0 million metric tons, followed by Europe with 1.7 million metric tons. Over the past two decades, however, Africa has become an increasingly important market for global poultry trade. Africa’s poultry imports grew by more than 850 percent from just under 0.2 million metric tons in 1999 to more than 1.5 million metric tons in 2022. This chart is drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service report, Evaluating the Effects of Nontariff Measures on Poultry Trade, May 2024.

2022 Economic Census: The growing contribution of support services to U.S. agricultural production

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

U.S. farms have increasingly relied on agricultural services establishments to undertake production activities, such as soil preparation, planting, harvesting, livestock breeding, providing farm workers, and managing operations, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 Economic Census. From 1978 to 2022, establishments in the agricultural services sector in the United States saw a 263-percent increase in the value of their receipts (adjusted for inflation to 2022 dollars), from about $16.3 billion to $59.3 billion. For comparison, the inflation-adjusted value of receipts from farms increased 12 percent over the same period when compared with recently released farm data from USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture. Although the contribution of agricultural services providers to the farm economy has grown, the number of active establishments declined over the same period. There were 10 percent fewer establishments in 2022 than in 1978, according to the Economic Census. The increased concentration within agricultural services is a phenomenon that has also been documented for farms—the number of farms fell 23 percent between 1978 and 2022, from about 2.5 million to 1.9 million. Researchers are able to describe these important trends because, for the first time since 1978, the 2022 Economic Census includes data on businesses that provide agricultural support services. USDA, Economic Research Service researchers supported those efforts to resume data collection of agricultural services and are collaborating with Census Bureau staff on future data releases based on survey responses. For more information on the U.S. farm sector, see the ERS topic page Farm Economy, last updated in September 2023.

Entry of dollar stores affected rural independent grocery stores more than urban stores

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Compared to urban independent grocery stores, rural independent grocery stores were nearly three times more likely to close following the opening of a new dollar store in the same census tract from 2000–19. Using proprietary data from the National Establishment Time Series (NETS) database and the ERS Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) Codes, researchers from USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), North Dakota State University, and the University of Connecticut examined how entry of new dollar stores in urban and rural census tracts affected the number, employment, and sales statistics of independent grocery stores in these areas from 2000–19. When a new dollar store opened in a rural area, the likelihood of an independent grocery store closing was 5 percent, which was nearly three times greater than in urban areas (1.7 percent). Similarly, the decline in employment at independent grocers in rural census tracts was about 2.5 times as large as in urban tracts (7.1 percent versus 2.8 percent, respectively). Sales declined 9.2 percent at independent grocery stores in rural areas, which was nearly double the decline in urban areas (4.7 percent). Researchers also found that these changes waned in urban areas about 5 years after a new dollar store’s opening, whereas the effects continued in rural areas, indicating longer term impacts. This chart appears in the ERS Amber Waves article, Dollar Store Entry Affects Rural Grocery Stores More Than Urban, published May 2024.

Livestock operations with cover crops often use them for forage

Monday, June 3, 2024

Researchers with USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) examined survey data to identify how producers who planted cover crops, such as rye or winter wheat, used them. Unharvested cover crops are often left in the field to provide residue cover or to add organic matter to the soil. Cover crops can also be used for livestock forage, such as when livestock graze in the spring or fall, or can be mechanically harvested in the spring and stored as haylage or silage. Researchers found that in 2021, 89 percent of cow-calf operations and 72 percent of dairy operations with cover crops reported using at least some of their cover crop acreage for forage, either through harvesting or grazing. The high proportions of livestock producers who used cover crops for forage suggests that their value as forage is an important factor in cover crop adoption for these operations, especially in cow-calf operations. Dairy operations were more likely to harvest cover crops than graze them. One of the reasons for this is because dairy cows often consume at least a portion of rations as harvested hay or silage in a barn or milking parlor. This contrasts with cow-calf operations, where cattle are more likely to graze on pasture than be fed in a barn. Dairy operations also commonly harvest and store corn silage, so they may be more likely to have the equipment and experience necessary to harvest and store cover crops as haylage or silage. Even among operations without livestock, harvesting cover crops for forage is relatively common, with 41 percent of operations without livestock reporting harvesting cover crops for forage. Information on cover crop practices in livestock operations can be found in the ERS report Cover Crops on Livestock Operations: Potential for Expansion in the United States, published in May 2024.

Vegetable prices ranged from 22 cents to $2.62 per cup equivalent in 2022

Thursday, May 30, 2024

USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) recently estimated average retail prices paid by U.S. consumers in 2022 for 93 fresh and processed vegetable products. These prices are reported in cup equivalents, the unit in which Federal dietary recommendations for this food group are stated. Across the 93 vegetables, 19 cost less than 50 cents per cup equivalent, including baked white potatoes (27 cents), iceberg lettuce (32 cents), and onions (43 cents). Another 54 vegetable products cost between 50 and 99 cents per cup equivalent. These products included romaine lettuce (51 cents) and large round tomatoes (90 cents). In 2022, the most expensive vegetable product for U.S. consumers was frozen asparagus at $2.62 per cup equivalent. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends individuals with a 2,000 calorie per day diet consume 2.5 cup equivalents of vegetables each day. U.S. consumers have historically fallen short. ERS estimated an average of 1.5 cups of vegetables and legumes were consumed on a given day in 2017–18. People choose foods based on taste, convenience, and other factors in addition to dietary recommendations. Cost, in particular, has been cited as a possible barrier to increasing vegetable intake. This chart is drawn from the ERS Fruit and Vegetable Prices data product, updated May 23, 2024.

Wind energy development varies by region

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

As of 2020, large-scale, commercial wind energy development in the contiguous United States has been concentrated in areas with consistent, high wind speeds. Wind turbines are most prominent in the Plains, followed by the Midwest and West. While the regional distribution of wind energy development is influenced by State-level energy policy, one of the most important factors for development is the wind potential in a region. Some regions, such as the South, lack sufficient wind potential for large-scale development. USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers found that 90 percent of wind turbines in rural areas were installed on agricultural land (crop, pasture, or range land). Because the amount of land cover directly affected by wind turbines was small relative to the amount of farmland, and because farmers and ranchers can typically continue agricultural production near wind turbines after they are installed, land cover changed on only 4.8 percent of sites after installation. Some of this change was from one agricultural use to another, such as from cropland to pasture. The estimated footprint for wind farms was roughly 88,000 acres in 2020. For more about the expansion of wind and solar in rural areas of the contiguous United States, the regional distribution of renewable energy development, and the land cover change associated with development, see the ERS report Utility-Scale Solar and Wind Development in Rural Areas: Land Cover Change (2009–20), released in May 2024.

Renewable diesel production surpasses biodiesel

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, a program that originated in the mid-2000s, mandates that a specific volume of certain biofuels be used each year in transportation fuel. One category of biofuels included in this mandate is biomass-based diesel. For many years, this portion of the biofuels mandate was filled by biodiesel, which is produced using fats such as soybean oil, corn oil, yellow grease, or tallow and must be blended with traditional diesel. Production of biodiesel grew steadily beginning in the early 2000s to a peak of 1.8 billion gallons during the 2018/19 marketing year for soybean oil (October–September) but has declined slightly to 1.7 billion gallons in 2022/23. Renewable diesel has displaced biodiesel’s share of the market. Renewable diesel can be produced from similar fats as biodiesel, but unlike biodiesel, renewable diesel is a “drop in” biofuel, meaning it does not need to be blended with traditional diesel. Production of renewable diesel has grown from 40 million gallons in the 2010/11 marketing year to 2.3 billion gallons in 2022/23, surpassing biodiesel production for the first time. Combined, biodiesel and renewable diesel pushed total biomass-based diesel production to an all-time high in 2022/23. As this portion of the biofuels sector has mostly expanded since 2001/02, an increasing share of soybean oil produced in the United States is now used for biofuel, growing from less than 1 percent in 2001/02 to 46 percent in 2022/23. This chart was drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service data product, U.S. Bioenergy Statistics.

Following the Sun: solar energy development varies by region

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Solar energy development has been concentrated in the Atlantic and West regions of the United States, especially in California, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. These States are among those with policies that have promoted renewable energy development—much of it occurring in rural areas. Between 2016 and 2020, utility-scale solar capacity in rural areas more than doubled, increasing to 45 gigawatts, 3.7 percent of U.S. electric power capacity, and the number of solar projects increased from 2,316 to 3,364. Roughly 70 percent of the solar projects installed between 2009 and 2020 in rural areas were located on agricultural land. About 336,000 acres of rural land were estimated to have been directly affected by solar development. For more about the expansion of solar and wind in rural areas of the contiguous United States, the regional distribution of renewable energy development, and the land cover change associated with development, see the USDA, Economic Research Service report Utility-Scale Solar and Wind Development in Rural Areas: Land Cover Change (2009–20), released in May 2024.

2022 Census of Agriculture: Share of farmland rented holds steady at 39 percent

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Thirty-nine percent of the 880 million acres of U.S. farmland in 2022 was rented or leased, a similar rate to that in 2017, according to new data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture. Over the past 50 years, the share of farmland rented across the nation has been relatively stable, with a slight but noticeable increase during the farm financial crisis of the 1980s. In general, rental activity is concentrated in grain production areas, with cash grains such as rice, corn, soybeans, and wheat commonly being grown in areas where more than 50 percent of farmland is rented. The region along the Mississippi River is home to the majority of U.S. rice production, while corn and soybeans dominate the Corn Belt, and corn and wheat dominate the Northern Plains. In 2022, higher rates of farmland rental were reported in counties along the Mississippi River, as well as in the Corn Belt and the Northern Plains. Higher rates of farmland rental are concentrated in areas where farms tend to be larger. Roughly two-thirds (68 percent) of rented farmland is on operations with 2,000 acres or more. According to USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) studies, more than half the cropland in the contiguous U.S. is rented, but just over a quarter of pastureland is rented. For more information on farmland ownership and tenure, see the ERS topic page Land Use, Land Value & Tenure.

Vegetable availability in the United States continued two-decade decline in 2022

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The amount of vegetables available for consumption in the United States decreased 13 percent to 359.1 pounds per capita in 2022 from 413.9 pounds in 2003. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans Healthy Eating Patterns divide vegetables into five subgroups based on their nutrient content: pulses (dry beans, peas, lentils), dark green, other vegetables, red and orange (including tomatoes), and starchy (including potatoes). Each offers an array of important vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Potatoes and tomatoes were further separated into individual subgroups because of their popularity. Potatoes, tomatoes, and the other vegetables subgroup accounted for the largest shares of the total during the 20-year period at more than 20 percent each. The combined share of starchy (excluding potatoes), tomatoes, other vegetables, and potatoes declined to 78 percent of the total in 2022 from nearly 84 percent in 2003. Across the last two decades, the combined share of pulses, red and orange (excluding tomatoes), and dark green vegetables available in the U.S. food supply increased to nearly 22 percent from 16 percent of the total. The availability of pulses increased the most during this period, led by a 243-percent jump in dry peas. However, pulses made up less than 3 percent of total vegetable availability in 2022. This chart uses data from USDA, Economic Research Service’s Food Availability (Per Capita) Data System, which provides annual estimates of the per capita availability for more than 200 food commodities consumed in the United States, updated in May 2024.

Exports expand market for U.S. food and agricultural goods

Monday, May 20, 2024

Export markets are an important sales outlet for U.S. food and agricultural production. Since 2008, an average of 20 percent of the value of all U.S. agricultural output has been shipped to destinations in other countries. The export market is a growing one for U.S. non-manufactured products, a group including commodities such as grains, oilseeds, and produce. In the past 10 years, the export of these commodities has increased as a percent of production at a rate of 1.4 percent annually. For commodities such as food grains, exports make up about 65 percent of the production value. Fruits and tree nuts exports make up 44 percent of the production value. In contrast, the United States exports a lower share of the value of manufactured goods—a group including sweeteners, bakery products, and dairy products. This overall share has been declining since 2012, indicating that a greater percentage of the value of U.S. production is retained domestically for consumption. Nearly 40 percent of all U.S. agricultural export value comes from bulk commodities, whose unit prices are typically low and fluctuate widely from year to year. In contrast, manufactured goods typically are higher in value per unit compared with bulk or intermediate goods, and prices are relatively steady from one year to the next. This chart was drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) dataset U.S. Export Share of Production, Import Share of Consumption (2008-2022). It also appears in the ERS publication Selected Charts from Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials, 2024.

U.S. agricultural exports contributed $412 billion to the U.S. economy in 2022

Thursday, May 16, 2024

U.S. farm and food product exports create substantial value and generate widespread economic activity both within and outside of the agricultural sector. In general, increased exports of agricultural products lead to higher demand for transportation services, packaging materials, or financial services, creating additional economic activity and employment opportunities. USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates the additional value of economic activity generated annually by agricultural exports using an agricultural trade multiplier model. This model measures the employment and output effects of trade in farm and food products on the U.S. economy. In 2022, the value of U.S. agricultural exports, comprising both commodities and food products, reached $197.4 billion. In turn, these exports generated an additional $214.6 billion in economic activity. Included in this activity, the services, trade, and transportation sector generated an estimated $73.6 billion. On the farm, agricultural exports supported business activities valued at $70.4 billion. An additional $52.5 billion was created through other manufacturing activities, along with a further $18.1 billion associated with food processing. Including the value of the exports themselves, U.S. agricultural exports generated a total economic output of $412 billion in 2022. Put another way, every $1 of U.S. agricultural product exported generated a total of $2.09 of domestic economic activity, on average. This chart is drawn from the ERS Agricultural Trade Multiplier, May 2024.

Brazil’s lower production and marketing costs challenge U.S. competitiveness in the global soybean market

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The United States and Brazil compete to satisfy the global demand for soybeans. Soybean exports contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year even as Brazil's exports have gradually eroded the U.S. share of the global soybean market. Researchers with USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) compared factors affecting the two countries’ competitiveness, including costs of both production and marketing. They determined that, on average, production costs per acre for soybeans in Brazil were 22.5 percent lower than U.S. costs from 2010/11–2021/22. Lower capital and land costs accounted for most of this difference. Brazil’s farmers largely hire out services to provide equipment and labor for field operations, whereas U.S. farmers tend to own their machinery. Land costs were also higher in the United States, where one crop is typically harvested per marketing year. Brazil’s abundant land resources and its capacity to grow two crops per year increase both the output and revenue generated per unit of land. On aggregate, U.S. costs to produce an acre of soybeans increased 2.6 percent annually from 2010/11–2021/22, while Brazil’s costs increased 0.5 percent, not adjusting for inflation. Factors driving the increase in U.S. costs per acre were higher fertilizer, pesticide, machinery, repair, and land costs. In Brazil, rising fertilizer and pesticide costs represented the bulk of the increase. In both countries, transportation of soybeans to ports adds to the cost of soybeans paid by overseas buyers. However, Brazil’s investments in overland transportation infrastructure have reduced the relative marketing cost for exporting soybeans. Average inland transport costs per metric ton in 2017/18–2021/22 in Brazil decreased by 21.4 percent compared with 2008/09–2012/13. More information can be found in the ERS report Soybean Production, Marketing Costs, and Export Competitiveness in Brazil and the United States, December 2023.

Starchy fresh vegetables (excluding potatoes) had the most seasonal price variation from 2016–18

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Food-at-home prices, especially for fresh produce, fluctuate throughout the year depending on seasonal shifts in supply and demand. The USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) Food Purchase Groups (EFPGs) separate fresh vegetables into seven distinct categories: potatoes, tomatoes, other starchy vegetables, other red and orange vegetables, dark green vegetables, legumes (includes dried), and other/mixed vegetables. The ERS Food-at-Home Monthly Area Prices (F-MAP) data from 2016 through 2018 reveal that seasonal price variation is most pronounced in the other starchy vegetables category. The most common vegetable in that category is corn. The category with the least seasonal price variation is dark green vegetables. Fresh vegetables that are primarily sourced domestically or from North American trading partners may be more readily available in the summer months, causing prices to drop during that time. Spending on other starchy vegetables is highest in the summer months, which coincides with the lowest prices for these products, suggesting a demand response to lower prices and higher availability. Food-at-home price variation is measured in two ways using price indexes, or unitless measures of the cost of a basket of goods that can be used to track price change over time. First, standard deviations across monthly price indexes show how much prices deviate from the average. Second, ranges of monthly price indexes (i.e., the maximum price index minus the minimum price index) capture the difference between periods of seasonally low prices and periods of seasonally high prices. This chart is drawn from the ERS F-MAP data product, which is described in the ERS report Development of the Food-at-Home Monthly Area Prices Data, published in March 2024.

Whole grain density increased in school foods after 2012

Monday, May 13, 2024

Since 2005, the Federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans have recommended that people eat at least half of their grain intake in the form of whole grains. The process of refining grains removes some portions that contain vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, while whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel. Whole grains are measured in ounce equivalents, with one ounce equivalent representing roughly the same amount of grain as in a slice of bread or a half-cup of rice. The Federal recommendations based on a 2,000-calorie diet are 1.5 ounce equivalents of whole grains per 1,000 calories. In 1994–98, U.S. residents 2 years old and over averaged 0.4 ounce equivalents of whole grains per 1,000 calories, less than one-third the recommendation. Whole-grain intake remained essentially unchanged in 2017–18 at 0.43 ounce equivalents per 1,000 calories. From 1994 to 2018, food prepared at home was more whole-grain dense when compared with the broad category of food obtained from all outside sources (such as restaurants, fast food, and school). However, there were considerable differences between foods obtained at school and other sources of foods prepared away from home. These differences widened after 2012, when changes in the USDA nutrition standards for school meals and other foods sold at schools established whole-grain requirements. School foods include foods obtained from USDA school meals or other foods sold at school that are not brought from home, such as snacks. This chart appears in the Amber Waves article Children Were Only Age Group Improving Whole-Grain Intakes—School Foods Are a Key Factor, published in September 2023.

2022 Census of Agriculture: U.S. flower farms blossom amid growing traditional outdoor cultivation

Thursday, May 9, 2024

With Mother’s Day approaching, many will gift bouquets filled with blooms grown domestically and imported from abroad. Cut flowers and florist greens raised domestically were valued at nearly $763 million in 2022, according to the 2022 Census of Agriculture from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). About 10,800 commercial farms grew flowers and greens for use by florists that year, increasing by more than 50 percent from the previous census in 2017. Greenhouses and other protected-culture technologies make cultivation feasible in a wide variety of geographic locations and, in 2022, commercial flower farms spanned all 50 States. Growers throughout the country reported more than 158 million square feet of protected-culture flower and green production in 2022—the equivalent of almost 2,750 football fields. Despite the advantages to greenhouse production, growing flowers conventionally is on the rise in the United States. In 2022, more than 31,000 acres of flowers were grown in the open, an increase of 33 percent from the 2017 census. Domestic cut flower sales increased $90 million from the 2017 census, not adjusting for inflation. The value of imported flowers also increased over that time. Cut flower imports were valued at $1.9 billion in 2022, an increase of $783 million from 2017. This chart is based on data from the NASS 2022 Census of Agriculture and draws from the USDA, Economic Research Service Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: February 2024.