Publications

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  • 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.

  • Measuring the Impacts of Off-Season Berry Imports

    ERR-197, October 29, 2015

    U.S. consumers benefit from imports of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries during the winter and would benefit even further if wintertime prices were reduced to the amount they pay in the spring.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops, 1960-2008

    EIB-124, May 16, 2014

    Pesticide use on 21 selected crops more than tripled from 1960 to 1981, but has since declined from 632 million pounds to 516 million pounds in 2008, partly due to more efficient active ingredients, Integrated Pest Management, and GE seeds.

  • 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.

  • Price-Reducing Coupons Have a Dual Effect on Fruit and Vegetable Purchases

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    A recent ERS study examined the use of price-reducing coupons to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption. The study found that coupon effectiveness depends on the amount of the discount and the share of households that redeem the coupons.

  • 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

  • Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Are Coupons More Effective than Pure Price Discounts?

    ERR-96, June 03, 2010

    ERS compares the potential effectiveness of coupons versus price discounts in encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption among participants in Federal food and nutrition assistance programs.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Response to U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Associated with Imported Produce

    AIB-789-5, February 28, 2004

    This report examines how U.S. and other nations responded to foodborne illness outbreaks traced to internationally-traded food.

  • Seasonal Fresh Fruit Price Patterns Differ Across Commodities: The Case of Strawberries and Apples

    Amber Waves, October 06, 2014

    Fresh produce prices are subject to seasonal patterns, the result of uneven demand, supply, or movement to market, when either production and/or use is concentrated during particular months. Over the past 30 years, changes in imports, production, storage, and demand have all occurred in fresh produce markets and may have influenced shifts in seasonal price patterns.

  • Selected Trade Agreements and Implications for U.S. Agriculture

    ERR-115, April 15, 2011

    ERS examines possible impacts of recently implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) where the United States is not a partner, and potential effects of pending U.S. agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

  • 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.