Publications

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  • Labor-Intensive U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Industry Competes in a Global Market

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Reduction in the supply of workers that could make agricultural labor more expensive for the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry may impact industry competitiveness, but the effects would vary by commodity.

  • Low-Income Households' Expenditures on Fruits and Vegetables

    AIB-792-5, November 12, 2004

    Both public and private organizations have noted that Americans generally eat less fruits and vegetables than is recommended in the Food Guide Pyramid. For example, the Produce for Better Health Foundation found that only 38 percent of Americans consume the recommended number of servings of vegetables, while only 23 percent consume the recommended number of servings of fruit. Even more troubling, low-income households eat even less fruits and vegetables than higher income households.

  • Marketing U.S. Organic Foods: Recent Trends From Farms to Consumers

    EIB-58, September 30, 2009

    Organic foods now occupy prominent shelf space in the produce and dairy aisles of most mainstream U.S. food retailers. The marketing boom has pushed retail sales of organic foods up to $21.1 billion in 2008 from $3.6 billion in 1997. U.S. organic-industry growth is evident in an expanding number of retailers selling a wider variety of foods, the development of private-label product lines by many supermarkets, and the widespread introduction of new products. A broader range of consumers has been buying more varieties of organic food. Organic handlers, who purchase products from farmers and often supply them to retailers, sell more organic products to conventional retailers and club stores than ever before. Only one segment has not kept pace-organic farms have struggled at times to produce sufficient supply to keep up with the rapid growth in demand, leading to periodic shortages of organic products.

  • NAFTA at 15: Building on Free Trade

    WRS-09-03, March 31, 2009

    Implementation of the agricultural provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has drawn to a close. In 2008, the last of NAFTA's transitional restrictions governing U.S.-Mexico and Canada-Mexico agricultural trade were 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.

  • NAFTA at 20: North America's Free-Trade Area and Its Impact on Agriculture

    WRS-15-01, February 02, 2015

    In 20 years after NAFTA's implementation, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico increased from $8.9 billion to $39.5 billion, while U.S. agricultural imports from these trading partners rose from $7.4 billion to $39.4 billion.

  • NAFTA at 20: With Regional Trade Liberalization Complete, Focus Shifts to Other Methods of Deepening Economic Integration

    Amber Waves, April 06, 2015

    The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—implemented in 1994 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States—has resulted in expanded flows of intraregional agricultural trade and substantial levels of foreign direct investment in the processed food sector. A more integrated North American market in oilseeds, grains is one the more important impacts of NAFTA in the agricultural sector.

  • Newly Updated ERS Data Show 2016 Production, Trade Volume, and Per Capita Availability of Vegetables and Pulses

    Amber Waves, August 07, 2017

    ERS provides economic analyses and data on vegetables and pulses for the fresh market and for processing use. The Vegetables and Pulses Yearbook provides current and historical data on supply, use, value, prices, and trade for the sector and for individual commodities.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Peru: An Emerging Exporter of Fruits and Vegetables

    FTS-34501, December 16, 2010

    This report provides an overview of performance, advantages, and challenges of the Peruvian fruits and vegetables export industry. Three commodity case studies-asparagus, processed artichokes, and table grapes-highlight different degrees of competition with U.S. industries and impacts on U.S. growers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Profile of Hired Farmworkers, A 2008 Update

    ERR-60, July 11, 2008

    ERS examines the size, importance, and composition of the hired farmworker force, updating information published in 2000. These workers make up a third of the farm labor

  • Protected-Culture Technology Transforms the Fresh-Tomato Market

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    In calendar year 2011, protected culture tomatoes made up 40 percent of U.S. tomato shipments, up from less than 10 percent in 2004; they now dominate the retail industry and are becoming more common in foodservice. The transition to protected culture tomatoes is likely to accelerate if growers can meet foodservice demand, particularly from fast food buyers.

  • Pulses Production Expanding as Consumers Cultivate a Taste for U.S. Lentils and Chickpeas

    Amber Waves, February 06, 2017

    U.S. pulses production has trended higher for several years and for the 2016/17 marketing year, lentil and chickpea production is set to reach consecutive record highs. Strong exports and rising domestic demand are driving the surge in pulse crop production.

  • Recent Changes in Marketing and Trade Practices in the U.S. Lettuce and Fresh-Cut Vegetable Industries

    AIB-767, May 01, 2001

    This report investigates how retail consolidation, changes in technology, and increased consumer demand for convenience, product diversity, and year-round availability have all influenced shipper-retailer relations in the lettuce and fresh-cut vegetable industries.

  • 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.

  • Supermarket Loss Estimates for Fresh Fruit, Vegetables, Meat, Poultry, and Seafood and Their Use in the ERS Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data

    EIB-44, March 20, 2009

    Using new national estimates of supermarket food loss, ERS updates each fresh fruit, vegetable, meat, and poultry commodity in its Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data series.

  • Support for the Organic Sector Expands in the 2014 Farm Act

    Amber Waves, July 07, 2014

    Organic program provisions in the 2014 Farm Act cover a broad set of objectives—assisting with organic certification costs, expanding organic research and data collection, improving technical assistance and crop insurance, strengthening enforcement of organic regulations, and expanding market opportunities for producers.