Production of romaine lettuce is growing
The two top States for production of romaine lettuce are California and Arizona, with Arizona comprising about a quarter of total harvested acreage in recent years. Since 2010, Arizona’s harvested area of romaine lettuce has been growing steadily at about 7 percent annually. Over the same period, prices received by producers in Arizona have been somewhat higher, although more variable, than prices in California. Seasonally, the Arizona romaine crop is typically harvested from early November to late April and satisfies demand when the dominant California crop has not yet reached maturity for harvest. The recent outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 tied to romaine lettuce was reported at the end of the Arizona harvest season, so romaine lettuce is no longer being harvested and shipped from this region. Following the outbreak, average retail prices of romaine lettuce have declined somewhat compared to the same period a year ago, possibly reflecting curtailed demand. This chart is drawn from data discussed in the ERS Vegetables and Pulses Outlook released in April 2018.
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