Publications

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  • 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: September 2014

    FTS-357, September 26, 2014

    Abundant apple supplies will move to markets in the 2014/15 marketing year, putting downward pressure on U.S. apple prices. The 2014 U.S. pear crop is forecast 9 percent smaller than a year ago.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: September 2015

    FTS-360, September 30, 2015

    The Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook report analyzes supply-and-demand conditions in the U.S. fruit and tree nuts markets and provides projections on market conditions for 2015 apple, pear, cranberry, grape and peach crops as well as 2014/15 citrus crops, both fresh and processed markets. It includes an additional section on U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: September 2016

    FTS-363, September 30, 2016

    U.S. apple production to increase this fall, but lack of competing supplies from previous harvest likely to hold early-season prices strong. This large apple crop will coincide with smaller pear crop this fall.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: September 2017

    FTS-365, September 29, 2017

    U.S. apple production to decline this fall and will coincide with a smaller pear crop. Increased storage-apple supplies from previous harvest, however, will likely mitigate upward pressure on early-season prices.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions: Analyzing the Processing Cucumber Market

    VGS-342-02, February 10, 2011

    This report highlights the anticipated consequences of the 2008 Farm Act's Planting Transferability Pilot Program (PTPP) on processing (pickling) cucumber plantings. PTPP allows program crop growers in seven Upper Midwestern States to reduce base acres and plant select vegetables for processing on those acres without reducing Government payments on their remaining base acres.

  • Genetically Engineered Crop Varieties Gain Further Acreage Share in 2004

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    GE varieties of soybeans, corn, and cotton have been available commercially since 1996. Since then, their rate of use by U.S. farmers has climbed most years, including 2004.

  • Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

    ERR-162, February 20, 2014

    Farmer adoption of GE crops is associated with time savings, lower insecticide use, and more conservation tillage. Consumer acceptance of GE ingredients varies across countries, product characteristics, and level of information.

  • Genetically Modified Alfalfa Production in the United States

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2017

    In 2013, approximately 18 million acres of alfalfa—with a production value of $10.7 billion—were harvested in the United States. Weed infestations can reduce alfalfa yields, lower forage quality, and increase the severity of insect infestations. Planting genetically modified, herbicide tolerant alfalfa allows for more effective and flexible weed control without damaging crops.

  • Global Agricultural Supply and Demand: Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in Food Commodity Prices

    WRS-0801, July 23, 2008

    World market prices for major food commodities such as grains and vegetable oils have risen sharply to historic highs of more than 60 percent above levels just 2 years ago. Many factors have contributed to the runup in food commodity prices. Some factors reflect trends of slower growth in production and more rapid growth in demand, which have contributed to a tightening of world balances of grains and oilseeds over the last decade. Recent factors that have further tightened world markets include increased global demand for biofuels feedstocks and adverse weather conditions in 2006 and 2007 in some major grain and oilseed producing areas. Other factors that have added to global food commodity price inflation include the declining value of the U.S. dollar, rising energy prices, increasing agricultural costs of production, growing foreign exchange holdings by major food importing countries, and policies adopted recently by some exporting and importing countries to mitigate their own food price inflation.

  • Global Drivers of Agricultural Demand and Supply

    ERR-174, September 18, 2014

    ERS examines hypothetical economic and agricultural sector responses to changes in key drivers of supply and demand in the future-agricultural productivity, population, and per capita income.

  • Global Macroeconomic Developments Drive Downturn in U.S. Agricultural Exports

    AES-94, July 12, 2016

    The macroeconomic outlook underlying the 2016 USDA agricultural projections indicates a slowdown in global income growth and a stronger dollar, implying smaller projected gains in agricultural trade and declines in U.S. market share.

  • Global Trade Patterns in Fruits and Vegetables

    WRS-0406, June 01, 2004

    International trade in fruits and vegetables has expanded at a higher rate than trade in other agricultural commodities, particularly since the 1980s. Not only has world trade in fruits and vegetables gained prominence, but the variety of commodities has expanded. Over the years, three regions-the European Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) area, and Asia (East, Southeast, and South)-have remained as both the major destinations and sources of supply. A substantial share of their trade is intraregional, particularly that of the EU. All the three regions, however, depend on Southern Hemisphere countries for imports of juices and off-season fresh fruits, and on equatorial regions for bananas, the leading fresh fruit import. In addition to global north-south trading, due mostly to the counter-cyclical seasons of the two hemispheres, Asian trade has also become much more important since the 1980s as incomes and populations have grown and policies changed.

  • Grain Prices Impact Entire Livestock Production Cycle

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2009

    Between 2006 and 2008, feed costs nearly doubled and are expected to result in lower meat and dairy production in 2009. Feed prices have declined since mid-2008 and are expected to be lower in 2009, but the biological timeline of livestock production means meat producers are limited in what they can do in the short run to change production. Changes in U.S. livestock-industry structure and the use of alternative feeds, such as byproducts from ethanol production, will help reduce the impact of higher input costs on livestock producers.

  • Growing Crops for Biofuels Has Spillover Effects

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2009

    Federal mandates for biofuel production promote expanded crop acreage which can shift cropping patterns and affect livestock production due to higher prices for corn and other grain crops. An increase in the extent and intensity of input use and agricultural land in production increases the potential for environmental degradation. Research on crop productivity and conversion efficiency, as well as conservation practices like no-till and buffer strips, could lessen the environmental impacts of biofuels.

  • Hard White Wheat At A Crossroads

    WHS-04K01, December 14, 2004

    This article provides background on the forces that led to the expansion of hard white wheat (HWW) production, its milling and baking qualities that make it particularly suited for certain products, the adaptation of the marketing system to preserve its identity, and the prospects for HWW's production expansion. Up to now, HWW sales have been largely confined to the domestic market because the volume of production is not sufficiently large to sustain steady exports. HWW's end-use characteristics are particularly suited for whole-wheat products, pan breads, tortillas, and certain kinds of oriental noodles. Continuing expansion of HWW production would depend on the development of new, higher-yielding varieties that are more tolerant to sprout damage-a major problem in 2004-and continuation of the government incentive program.

  • Higher Corn Returns Changes Corn Farm Dynamics

    Amber Waves, November 03, 2014

    Changes in the returns to corn production are examined over 1997-2013 period using data from ERS cost and return accounts and the corn versions of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

  • How Do Time and Money Affect Agricultural Insurance Uptake? A New Approach to Farm Risk Management Analysis

    ERR-212, August 01, 2016

    Over multiple years, demand for crop insurance is driven more by farmers' financial wealth than attitude toward risk, as wealthier farmers self-insure with savings while limited-resource farmers may use additional savings to buy insurance.

  • 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.

  • How Much Do Americans Pay for Fruits and Vegetables?

    AIB-790, July 20, 2004

    This analysis uses ACNielsen Homescan data on 1999 household food purchases from all types of retail outlets to estimate an annual retail price per pound and per serving for 69 forms of fruits and 85 forms of vegetables. Among the forms we priced, more than half were estimated to cost 25 cents or less per serving. Consumers can meet the recommendation of three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables daily for 64 cents.