2022 Census of Agriculture: Vegetable acreage destined for processing varies by crop

Horizontal bar chart showing share of selected vegetable harvested acres destined for processing in 2022.

In the United States, the share of harvested acres dedicated to vegetables intended for sale in the processing market varies widely by crop. Some vegetables lend themselves readily to processing, such as tomatoes for sauces and canning. Others are largely destined for the fresh market and have only a small percentage processed, such as broccoli. Using data from the 2022 Census of Agriculture, the share of harvested acres for processing is estimated to range from around 90 percent for green peas and horseradish to less than 5 percent for cauliflower and broccoli. More than half of harvested acres for potatoes (56 percent) and sweet corn (55 percent)—the top two vegetables by acres harvested—was devoted to processing production. Processing accounted for 39 percent of total melon, vegetable, potato, and sweet potato harvested area in 2022 (excluding mushrooms and pulse crops), down from 44 percent at the 2012 census. The greatest total number of harvested acres devoted to processing was for potatoes (600,169 acres), followed by sweet corn (258,781 acres) and tomatoes (248,318 acres). The number of acres of vegetables, potatoes, and melons harvested by U.S. growers has decreased since the 2007 census. With fresh-market acreage relatively flat, the declines have been concentrated in processing acreage. This chart is based on the USDA, Economic Research Service Vegetables and Pulses Outlook Report released April 2024.

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