Commodity Highlights

NOTE: ERS does not publish commodity-specific highlights for vegetables and pulses on a regular basis. The briefs below are the most recent highlights published by ERS on these commodities.

Artichokes

Asparagus

  • Commodity Highlight: fresh-market (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: February 2003 )
  • U.S. Asparagus Statistics (May 2010) includes data on acreage, yield, production, price, crop value, and per capita use for fresh and processing asparagus. Other statistics include U.S. trade by product and country, farm numbers, world area, production, and trade.
  • Exporters Target U.S. Asparagus Market (April 1997) describes the rapid import growth in the U.S. asparagus market. With imports (mostly from Mexico and Peru) soaring 74 percent in the 1990s, fresh asparagus is now available year-round. But imports arrive not only during the off-season. They also come in during the U.S. season beginning in January, reducing the early-season price premium for growers.

Bell Peppers

  • Commodity Highlight: Bell Peppers (March 2013)
  • Commodity Highlight: Bell Peppers (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: December 2001 )
  • U.S. Bell and Chile Pepper Statistics (November 2008) presents 67 Excel tables detailing U.S. and State acreage, yield, production, price, and crop value. Also contains statistics on U.S. per capita disappearance, monthly shipments, U.S. import/export volume and value by country, planting/harvesting dates, and world acreage, production, producer prices, and trade.
  • Sweet Peppers: Saved by the Bell (December 2001) analyzes the sweet pepper industry, including supply, demand, and price characteristics. According to a USDA food-intake survey, 37 percent of bell peppers are consumed as food away from home, with demand strongest in the East, the West, and the Midwest.

Broccoli

  • Commodity Highlight: fresh-market (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2001, page 11)
  • U.S. Broccoli Statistics (June 2011) presents 49 Excel tables detailing U.S. and State acreage, yield, production, price, and crop value. Also contains statistics on U.S. per capita disappearance, monthly shipments, U.S. import/export volume and value by country, planting/harvesting dates, world acreage, yield, production, and trade, and more.

Cabbage

  • Commodity Highlight: fresh-market (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2002, page 12)
  • Commodity Highlight: Sauerkraut 
  • U.S. Cabbage Statistics (March 2011) contains 81 time-series Excel tables describing U.S. and State-level fresh cabbage and sauerkraut markets, including acreage, yield, production, market shipments, price, crop value, U.S. trade, cost of production, and per capita consumption. Includes world area, production, and trade.
  • Cabbage Heads Higher (September 2002) describes the recent turnaround in cabbage consumption which had been trending lower since the 1920s. In the past decade, fresh-cut products, new recipes, and a growing body of nutritional research have lent new support to cabbage demand. Coleslaw accounts for an estimated 40 to 45 percent of cabbage use, with fast-food restaurants the single largest buyer.

Cauliflower

Carrots

  • Commodity Highlight: Carrots (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: December 2003 )
  • U.S. Carrot Statistics (January 2011) presents U.S. and State data on acreage, yield, production, price, and value for fresh and processing carrots. Additional statistics are included for per capita use, price indexes, shipments, U.S. trade by country, world area, production, and trade, U.S. fertilizer and chemical use on carrots, and selected cost of production budgets.
  • Factors Affecting Carrot Consumption in the United States (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: March 2007 ) examines the consumption distribution of fresh-market (including fresh-cut) and processed carrots in the United States. The majority of carrots are purchased at retail and consumed at home, with at-home per capita consumption of fresh baby/cut carrots greatest in the central and eastern regions. Non-Hispanic Whites and Asians consume the most carrots.
  • What’s Up, Doc?—Carrots! (November 1997) explores the rapid growth in the U.S. carrot industry. In the 1990s, per capita use of fresh-market carrots averaged 25 percent above the average of the 1980s, while use of carrots for freezing was up 30 percent during the same period. As a result of increased demand, both domestic production and imports of carrots have soared in recent years.

Celery

  • Commodity Highlight: Celery (see Vegetables and Melons Outlook: December 2005 )
  • Stalking Celery (November 2000) analyzes the U.S. celery industry, including supply, demand, and price characteristics. Using a USDA food-intake survey, findings include the fact that celery demand is strongest among older, more affluent consumers

Chile Peppers

  • Commodity Highlight: Chile peppers (February 2006, page 25)
  • U.S. Bell and Chile Pepper Statistics (November 2008) presents 67 Excel tables detailing U.S. and State acreage, yield, production, price, and crop value. Also contains statistics on U.S. per capita disappearance, monthly shipments, U.S. import/export volume and value by country, planting/harvesting dates, and world acreage, production, producer prices, and trade.

Cucumbers

  • Commodity Highlight: fresh-market (February 2004)
  • Commodity Highlight: Pickling Cucumbers (February 2007)
  • Americans Relish Cucumbers (December 2000) describes how cucumber use in the United States has climbed steadily since the 1960s, reaching 10.3 pounds per capita in the 1990s. Sixty percent of cucumbers are consumed fresh, mostly at home, and 40 percent are consumed as pickled products (one-third used in fast foods). U.S. cucumber production totaled 2.4 billion pounds in 1999. Average annual farm value was $361 million during 1997-99. Florida is the leading cucumber state, producing 19 percent of the nation's output during 1997-99, with Michigan a close second.

Dry Beans

Dry Peas and Lentils

  • Commodity Highlight: Dry Peas and Lentils (June 2002)
  • Dry Pea and Lentil Statistics (November 2010) include time-series Excel tables describing dry pea and lentil markets, including U.S. acreage, yield, production, price, value, trade, and per capita use. Other tables contain data on world dry pea, lentil, and chickpea acreage, production, and trade.
  • Effects of Marketing Loans on U.S. Dry Peas and Lentils: Supply Response and World Trade (May 2008) describes how extending marketing loans for the 2002-07 crops of dry peas and lentils led to expanded acreage in some years. However, simulation results suggest that impacts on U.S. pea and lentil exports were minor.
  • India's Pulse Sector: Results of Field Research (May 2003) describes the market for chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans, lentils, and dry peas in that country, paying particular attention to production and consumption patterns, marketing channels, and imports. Moreover, the United States' competitive position as a supplier to that market is described.
  • Will the Farm Act Get Pulses Racing? (November 2002) examined the prospects for pulse crops—dry peas, lentils, and small chickpeas—in the United States with passage of the 2002 Farm Act. Although relatively minor in acreage, supply, and use compared with corn, soybeans, and wheat, pulses could be poised for some expansion because of their eligibility for marketing loan benefits. Since the article's publication, farm legislation changes for these crops have further increased the attractiveness of planting pulses.

Eggplant

Garlic

Lettuce

  • Commodity Highlight: Iceberg Lettuce (June 2006)
  • Commodity Highlight: Romaine Lettuce (February 2005)
  • U.S. Lettuce Statistics (January 2011) contains 73 Excel spreadsheets covering the economics of the U.S. lettuce industry. Time-series data covers State and U.S. area, yield, production, prices, and value, as well as U.S. trade by country, per capita use, varieties, planting and harvesting dates, and fertilizer use on lettuce. Data series for world area, production, producer prices, and trade are also included.
  • Leafy Greens: The Foundation of the Vegetable Industry (February 1998) explores the economics of vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and kale. It finds sharply rising demand for fresh spinach and leaf and romaine lettuces as consumers look to boost variety and nutrition in their salad bowls.
  • Recent Changes in Marketing and Trade Practices in the U.S. Lettuce and Fresh-Cut Vegetable Industries (May 2001) 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.
  • Lettuce: In and Out of the Bag (April 2001) examines changes in U.S. lettuce marketing. With the average American consuming a record 33 pounds in 2000, lettuce is more popular today than ever before. In response to growing consumer demand for variety, freshness, and convenience—and as a result of technological innovations in packaging materials—shippers now offer everything from heads of iceberg lettuce to ready-to-eat salads.
  • The U.S. Lettuce and Fresh-Cut Vegetable Industries: Marketing Channels, Sales Arrangements, Fees, and Services (April 2001) explores the marketing experiences and practices within the fresh-cut vegetable industry. Based on survey information from 15 lettuce and bagged salad shippers and processors, the article finds a changing, more formalized relationship now exists between vegetable shippers and retailers.

Mushrooms

  • Commodity Highlight: Mushrooms (October 2008)
  • U.S. Mushroom Statistics (August 2011) contains 56 time-series Excel tables describing U.S. fresh and processing mushroom markets including area, yield, production, price, value, U.S. trade, and per capita consumption. Also includes world production and trade.
  • Factors Affecting U.S. Mushroom Consumption (March 2003) examines the geographic consumption patterns of fresh-market and processed mushrooms in the United States and finds that per capita mushroom consumption is greatest in the West and Midwest. A little more than half of fresh-market mushrooms are purchased at retail and consumed at home, while three-fourths of processed mushrooms are consumed at home.

Onions

  • Commodity Highlight: Dry-bulb Onions (August 2003)
  • U.S. Onion Statistics (March 2011) contains 74 time-series Excel tables describing fresh and dehydrated onion markets, including acreage, yield, production, price, value, trade, and per capita consumption. Includes State-level production series, agricultural chemical use, and world area, production, and trade.
  • Factors Affecting Onion Consumption in the United States (April 2001) analyzes U.S. fresh-market and processed onion demand, across different market channels, geographic regions, and population groups. U.S. onion consumption has been rising, and the analysis indicates that the majority of onions are consumed at home, with fresh use greatest in the West. Results also indicate that men consume 40 percent more onions than women.
  • Onions: The Sweet Smell of Success (October 1998) describes supply and demand trends in the U.S. onion industry, worth an estimated $2 billion at retail. Findings include the fact that output and per capita use of the two major categories of bulb onions—storage onions and the milder spring/summer varieties—have increased during the 1990s.

Potatoes

Pumpkins

Radishes

Rhubarb

Snap Beans

Spinach

Squash

Sweet Corn

  • Commodity Highlight: fresh-market (October 2005)
  • Commodity Highlight: processing (April 2007)
  • U.S. Sweet Corn Statistics (June 2010) provides 106 Excel spreadsheets describing the U.S. fresh and processed sweet corn industries, including U.S. and state acreage, yield, production, price, and crop value. Additional statistics include per capita use, price indexes, shipments, arrivals, U.S. exports and imports by country, world production, world harvested acreage, world trade, and selected cost of production budgets.
  • How Sweet It Is: Fresh Sweet Corn (August 2001) analyzes the upward trend in U.S. sweet corn demand over the past decade. Improved quality, consistency, and marketability have helped consumption reach record highs. New sweeter varieties, value-added packaging, and increasing off-season demand are among the developments that may fuel further growth in consumption in coming years.

Sweet Potatoes

  • Commodity Highlight: Sweet Potatoes (May 2015)
  • Sweet Potato Statistics (June 2011) provides 42 Excel tables describing the U.S. sweet potato industry, including U.S. and state acreage, yields, production, prices, and crop value. Also features statistics on U.S. per capita consumption, monthly shipments, import/export volume and value, and world acreage, production, and trade.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Getting to the Root of Demand (November 2002) analyzes supply and demand trends in the U.S. sweet potato market. Per capita use of sweet potatoes, which peaked in 1920 at 29.5 pounds, has ceased declining—stablizing at about 4.1 pounds per year over the past 15 years. Sweet potatoes are most popular in the South, where per capita use was estimated to 5.7 pounds in 2001—more than twice that of the West (2.6 pounds), which consumes the fewest sweet potatoes.

Tomatoes