Publications

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  • What Determines the Variety of a Household's Vegetable Purchases?

    AIB-792-3, November 12, 2004

    The USDA encourages people to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables through the Food Guide Pyramid and participation in the National 5-A-Day Partnership. A varied diet helps ensure a complete mix of nutrients, and a lack of variety in vegetable consumption has been further linked to the incidence of obesity (e.g., McCrory et al.). To assist these efforts, the USDA's Economic Research Service has investigated the factors that influence the purchase of vegetables, and identified obstacles to variety.

  • Greenhouse Tomatoes Change the Dynamics of the North American Fresh Tomato Industry

    ERR-2, April 01, 2005

    The North American greenhouse tomato industry has grown rapidly since the early 1990s and now plays a major role in the fresh tomato industry. ERS looked at consumption and price trends, competition from Mexico and Canada, and the rising industry's effect on the entire fresh field tomato sector.

  • Price Premiums Hold on as U.S. Organic Produce Market Expands

    VGS-308-01, May 27, 2005

    Price premiums for organic products have contributed to growth in certified organic farmland and, ultimately, market expansion. Fresh produce has long been an important component of the organic food sector, and a significant contributor to the organic industry's growth over the last decade. This article explores price premiums and market margins for a limited set of fresh produce items-carrots, broccoli, and mesclun mix.

  • U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Imports Outpace Exports

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    The U.S., traditionally a net exporter of fruits and vegetables, has become a large net importer, with imports more than doubling between 1994 and 2004 to reach $12.7 billion. U.S. exports of fruits and vegetables have also risen but less rapidly, reaching $9.7 billion in 2004.

  • Resolution of the U.S.- Japan Apple Dispute: New Opportunities for Trade

    FTS-31801, October 26, 2005

    The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in June 2005 that Japan's phytosanitary protocol related to fire blight for imports of U.S. apples was not justified and was in breach of Japan's WTO commitments. In August 2005, Japan issued a new phytosanitary protocol that complies with the WTO ruling. With the elimination of the restrictive fire-blight protocol, U.S. producers have a new opportunity to export apples to a high-quality export market, at a significantly lower cost than before. This analysis estimates that over the long run, Japanese apple imports will increase by an average of $144 million per year but that substantial variation from the average import estimate would be likely because of fluctuating market conditions from season to season.

  • Peanut Backgrounder

    OCS-05I01, October 26, 2005

    Like producers of other agricultural commodities, U.S. peanut growers in recent years have confronted pressures from market forces and the impacts of policy developments, both domestic and international. Most notably, peanut policy was transformed in 2002 by the elimination of a decades-old marketing quota system. This policy step represented a fundamental change that was accompanied by substantial adjustments in the peanut sector. While demand growth has since been robust, greater supplies and lower prices are raising government expenditures on the peanut program. Federal budget pressures and the implications of trade agreements are important current issues. This report is the first of a series of background reports on key U.S. commodities, which will provide a concise overview of important developments in major sectors of the agricultural economy.

  • Prospects for India's Emerging Apple Market

    FTS-319-01, January 11, 2006

    Strong economic growth is projected to lead to continued expansion of Indian apple demand, but the high cost of domestic and imported apples compared with other Indian fruit is likely to limit consumption to higher income consumers. U.S. apples have accounted for the largest share of Indian imports, but face increasing competition from high-quality and low-cost Chinese apples. Although India has a high (50-percent) tariff on imported apples, internal marketing margins-or returns to traders over and above measured costs-account for a significantly larger share of consumer apple prices than do import prices, tariffs, or marketing costs.

  • India’s High Internal Marketing Costs Reduce Apple Demand

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2006

    India's imports of apples are hindered not only by high tariffs, but also by high internal marketing costs which raise the price of the final product.

  • China's Rising Fruit and Vegetable Exports Challenge U.S. Industries

    FTS-32001, February 14, 2006

    China has raised its profile in global fruit and vegetable markets, with the value of its exports during 2002-04 more than double the value from a decade earlier. Most of China's exports are processed fruits and vegetables that do not yet pose a serious challenge to U.S. exports. However, China's fresh vegetable sales to Japan and other Asian markets compete directly with U.S. products. In addition, the United States has been the largest market for China's apple juice exports. Over time, China's growing domestic market may absorb more of its production. Moreover, China faces stiff challenges in improving the quality and safety of its products, upgrading its marketing and distribution infrastructure, and reducing marketing costs.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Backgrounder

    VGS-31301, April 17, 2006

    This report describes the economic characteristics of the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry, providing supply, demand, and policy background for an industry that accounts for nearly a third of U.S. crop cash receipts and a fifth of U.S. agricultural exports.

  • How Low has the Farm Share of Retail Food Prices Really Fallen?

    ERR-24, August 15, 2006

    ERS estimates the share of retail food prices farmers earn on two commodity groups-fruits and vegetables. While the farm share has been shrinking, the decrease is less than previously believed.

  • Fruit and Vegetables in the Limelight

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2006

    The U.S. fruit and vegetable sector finds itself at the center of several hot issues, including immigration reform, the quality of U.S. diets and rising imports of fruits and vegetables.

  • Eliminating Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions: How Would Markets Be Affected?

    ERR-30, November 08, 2006

    Participants in U.S. farm programs are restricted from planting and harvesting wild rice, fruit, and most vegetables (nonprogram crops) on acreage historically used for program crops (known as base acreage). However, a recent World Trade Organization challenge to U.S. programs has created pressure to eliminate planting restrictions. Although eliminating restrictions would not lead to substantial market impacts for most fruit or vegetables, the effects on individual producers could be significant. Some producers who are already producing fruit and vegetables could find that it is no longer profitable, while others could profitably move into producing these crops. Producers with base acreage are the most likely to benefit because they would no longer face payment reductions.

  • Possible Implications for U.S. Agriculture From Adoption of Select Dietary Guidelines

    ERR-31, November 20, 2006

    To help Americans meet nutritional requirements while staying within caloric recommendations, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. This report provides one view of the potential implications for U.S. agriculture if Americans changed their current consumption patterns to meet some of those guidelines. For Americans to meet the fruit, vegetable, and whole-grain recommendations, domestic crop acreage would need to increase by an estimated 7.4 million harvested acres, or 1.7 percent of total U.S. cropland in 2002. To meet the dairy guidelines, consumption of milk and milk products would have to increase by 66 percent; an increase of that magnitude would likely require an increase in the number of dairy cows as well as increased feed grains and, possibly, increased acreage devoted to dairy production.

  • Relaxing Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2007

    A recent World Trade Organization challenge to U.S. commodity programs has created pressure to eliminate fruit and vegetable planting restrictions on farms that plant program crops. If planting restrictions were relaxed, overall market effects would likely be limited, with the greatest effects in California, the Southeast and the upper Midwest. Some producers with base acreage would likely benefit while others without base acres may find that production of fruit and vegetables would be less profitable than production of program crops.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2016

    OCE-2007-1, February 14, 2007

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2016. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • NAFTA at 13: Implementation Nears Completion

    WRS-0701, March 29, 2007

    Implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is drawing to a close. In 2008, the last of NAFTA's transitional restrictions governing U.S.-Mexico and Canada-Mexico agricultural trade will be removed, concluding a 14-year project in which the member countries systematically dismantled numerous barriers to regional agricultural trade. During the implementation period, the agricultural sectors of Canada, Mexico, and the United States have become much more integrated. Agricultural trade within the free-trade area has grown dramatically, and Canadian and Mexican industries that rely on U.S. agricultural inputs have expanded. U.S. feedstuffs have facilitated a marked increase in Mexican meat production and consumption, and the importance of Canadian and Mexican produce to U.S. fruit and vegetable consumption is growing.

  • Fruit and Vegetables in the Limelight

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    The U.S. fruit and vegetable sector finds itself at the center of several hot issues, including immigration reform, the quality of U.S. diets and rising imports of fruits and vegetables.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: September 2007

    FTS-32801, September 10, 2007

    U.S. imports of fresh fruit and vegetables have increased substantially, particularly since the 1990s. Dominant suppliers are the North American Free Trade Agreement region for fresh vegetables, the Southern Hemisphere countries for off-season fresh fruit, and equatorial countries for bananas. The strong growth in the volume and variety of fresh produce imports has allowed U.S. consumers to eat more fruit and vegetables and enjoy year-round access to various fresh produce.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, November 2007

    FTS-330, November 28, 2007

    The index of prices received by fruit and nut growers dropped below last year's indices in June and has remained lower each month through October. Fresh orange, grapefruit, and apple grower prices were lower for September and October 2007 compared with the same time last year, but fresh lemon prices were higher. On the other hand, the Consumer Price Index for fresh fruit rose this September and October over last year, with higher prices for fresh lemons and bananas.