Publications

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  • The USDA Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program Evaluation

    AIB-792-6, November 12, 2004

    National data on the diets of U.S. children and adolescents indicate they are consuming more fat and saturated fat than recommended while their intakes of fruits and vegetables fall well below recommended levels.

  • 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.

  • North American Greenhouse Tomatoes Emerge as a Major Market Force

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    This article documents the evolution of the North American greenhouse tomato industry in all three countries—the United states, Canada, and Mexico.

  • 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.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: December 2005

    VGS-312, December 16, 2005

    With total 2005 potato production down 7.5 percent, the January-October price received by growers/shippers/packers for fresh-market potatoes averaged $9.27 per cwt, 25 percent above the average received during the first 10 months of 2004. By contrast, prices for processing potatoes (which largely move under contract) averaged $5.20 per cwt, up only 1 percent from a year earlier.

  • 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.

  • Peanut Sector Resilient Despite Policy Challenges

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2006

    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.

  • 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.

  • Per Capita Use Declines in 2005

    VGS-314, April 20, 2006

    In 2005, per capita use (also known as disappearance or consumption) of all vegetables and melons declined 1 percent to 444 pounds. Disappearance of all vegetables and melons totaled 131 billion pounds in 2005, compared with 120 billion pounds a decade earlier. Per capita use of fresh market vegetables and melons totaled 174 pounds-down less than 1 percent from the previous year. Led by increased disappearance of processing tomatoes, per capita use of vegetables for canning totaled 103 pounds-up 3 percent from a year earlier and the highest canning use since 1995.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: March 2007

    VGS-31901, March 06, 2007

    Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables in the United States and fresh-market carrot consumption has been increasing over the past few decades. Using a combination of ACNielsen Homescan panel data and USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, this article examines where and how much fresh and processed carrots are eaten and links this consumption to various economic, social, and demographic characteristics of consumers. The analysis indicates that per capita carrot consumption is greatest in the East and Central regions of the country. About 80 percent of fresh-market carrots are purchased at retail and consumed at home, with the majority consisting of fresh-cut (including baby) carrots.

  • 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.

  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Update-State Exports

    FAU-123, June 29, 2007

    U.S. agricultural exports reached a record in fiscal 2006 at $68.7 billion, some $6.2 billion higher than the record set in fiscal 2005. California, Iowa, Texas, and Illinois continued their reign as top exporting States, while Minnesota dropped to seventh position behind Nebraska and Kansas. North Carolina joined the top 10, displacing North Dakota at the number nine position. Feed grain exports moved ahead of soybean exports, with Iowa and Illinois dominating in those markets. California continued to dominate vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, seeds, and dairy.

  • 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.

  • Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption, 1970-2005

    EIB-33, March 28, 2008

    ERS investigates trends in U.S. food consumption from 1970 to 2005. Results suggest many Americans still fall short of Federal dietary recommendations for whole grains, lower fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables.