Posts Tagged “vegetable production”

Vegetables see mixed changes in processed, fresh markets

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By Ron Sterk, Food Business News

WASHINGTON — Lower harvested area and yields pushed fresh vegetable production down 10% last year, to 35.9 billion lbs, the lowest in 19 years and the largest year-over-year drop during that time, the U.S Department of Agriculture said in its Vegetables and Pulses Outlook. In contrast, 2018 production of processing vegetables was estimated at 35.7 billion lbs, up 7% from 2017.

The four largest fresh crops — onions, head lettuce, romaine lettuce and tomatoes — accounted for 46% of total fresh production and 70% of the decline, the U.S.D.A. said. Planted area of onions, head lettuce and romaine lettuce was the lowest in 17 years. In contrast, fresh-market production of carrots, snap beans, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, garlic, spinach and artichokes increased.

Fresh vegetable prices declined about 5% in 2018 “in spite of lower domestic supply and slightly rising exports, which should put upward pressure on the price,” the U.S.D.A. said.

“Two foodborne illness outbreaks occurred in 2018, substantially slowing the market for fresh leafy greens,” the U.S.D.A. said. The four largest price drops were 31% for romaine lettuce, 16% for head lettuce, 15% for leaf lettuce and 14% for spinach.

Production of most processing vegetables declined in 2018, but the total was skewed by a 17% increase in tomatoes (technically a fruit), to 25.6 billion lbs, which accounted for 75% of processing vegetable production. Tomato production fell sharply in 2017 due to drought in California and high carry-in stocks from 2016, the U.S.D.A. said.

Per capita availability of fresh vegetables also declined while that of processing vegetables increased in 2018. But the gap between fresh and processed vegetable availability has widened significantly since the 1980s, with considerably more processed vegetables available relative to fresh market produce prior to the 1980s.

Prices for processed vegetables increased about 11% from 2017 but were down 6% from 2016, the U.S.D.A. said, “despite increased domestic supply and slowing export volume, which should put downward pressure on the price.”

Per capita (domestic production and imports) availability of fresh vegetables (excluding mushrooms, potatoes and sweet potatoes) was 144.8 lbs in 2018, down 8% from a year earlier, and totaled 183.8 lbs when all items were included, down 9%, the U.S.D.A. said. It was the largest annual decline on record. Of the 24 fresh items included in the total per capita availability list, 15 declined, 8 increased and 1 (mushrooms) was unchanged. The largest declines were sweet potatoes (31%), squash (22%) and head lettuce, romaine/leaf lettuce and bulb onions (19% each). The largest increase was carrots (16%).

Processing vegetable per capita availability (domestic production and imports) was 112.8 lbs, up 8% from 2017, including canning vegetables at 89.96 lbs, up 8%, and freezing vegetables at 22.88 lbs, up 7%. The total jumps to 198.5 lbs per capita, up 5% for the year, when mushrooms, onions (for dehydrating) and potatoes for processing are added.

Total U.S. vegetable imports were a record 23.3 billion lbs in 2018, the highest in about three decades, the U.S.D.A. said. Exports were 11.4 billion lbs. The value of imports was $13.9 billion in 2018 compared with the value of exports at $6.5 billion.

“The United States has experienced an increasing trade volume deficit in total vegetables since 2001,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Based on early trade data, 2019 seems poised to fall behind 2018 vegetable trade levels for imports.”

The U.S.D.A. forecast fresh market vegetable production at 38.5 billion lbs in 2019, up 7% from 2018, and processing vegetable production at 35.4 billion lbs, down 0.8%. 

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10-Year production of fruits, nuts, fresh vegetables is Forecast for U.S.

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A decline in U.S. citrus production land shipments during the next decade is predicted by the USDA, while increases with items such as nuts will increase.

Citrus production is projected to decline slowly over the ten-year projection period, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Projecions to 2018.
U.S. citrus production will decline from 16.07 billion pounds in 2019 to 14.7 billion pounds in 2028, the agency said.

“The expected declines stem from the loss of bearing acreage in Florida and the continued spread of citrus greening, a citrus disease spread by insects for which no cure currently exists and which has the potential to threaten the entire citrus industry,” the report said. “Declines in citrus production are projected to be offset by increases in noncitrus production.”

Meanwhile, the USDA reported expanding acreage of tree nuts in response to rising demand will boost production and tree nut output will continue to grow over the next ten years.

Big picture

U.S. fruit, nut and vegetable production farm value is projected to grow 2.7 percent annually for the next decade.

The USDA said estimated total farm value of fruits, nuts, and vegetables will reach $68.2 billion by 2028, up from $53.9 billion in 2019. 

According to the report, fruits contribute roughly 43 percent of the total value, tree nuts account for 18 percent, and vegetables nearly 40 percent.

Measured by farm weight, the USDA said production of fruit and tree nuts, and vegetables, are projected to rise at an annual growth rate of 0.52% and 0.54 percent per year, respectively.

The USDA said: 

  • Overall fruit and tree nut production is expected to reach roughly 63 billion pounds in 2028;
  • The value of farm production of fruit and tree nuts is projected to grow at roughly 2.7 percent annually, with tree nuts expected to grow 3% per year, citrus at just under 3 percent, and noncitrus at 2.5 percent per year;
  • Over the next 10 years, the shares of vegetable production for fresh use and processing are expected to remain at current levels, according to the USDA;
  • Fresh use is expected to account for roughly 28% of total vegetable production while processed vegetables are projected to make up about 30% of total production;
  • U.S. fresh vegetable production is projected at 39.5 billion pounds in 2019, and is predicted to rise slightly to 39.8 billion pounds in 2028;
  • U.S. noncitrus fruit production will grow from 37.6 billion pounds in 2019 to 40.3 billion pounds in 2028;
  • U.S. tree nut production will rise from 6.8 billion pounds in 2019 to 8.3 billion pounds in 2028; and
  • U.S. potato production will grow from 46.1 billion in 2019 to 47.4 billion pounds in 2028.

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Continued Decline in Citrus Shipments Predicted

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DSCN4971U.S. citrus shipments and production will steadily decline over the next ten years, according to new projections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   The projection also can be used as guide to what direction produce shipments will take over the next decade.

The USDA’s recent Agricultural Projections to 2025  report said U.S. citrus fruit production, which has been affected by citrus greening disease, is forecast to drop by an average of 1% per year in the next decade.  The forecast for falling production is linked to continued declines of bearing acreage, notably in Florida, according to the report.

USDA projections call for total U.S. citrus output to drop from 18.4 billion pounds in 2015 to 14.3 billion pounds by 2025.  The projections indicate that non-citrus fruit production will rise from 36.9 billion pounds in 2015 to 39.9 billion pounds in 2025, a gain of 8% over 10 years. Tree nut production will rise at a faster clip, according to the USDA, with output pegged at 6.08 billion pounds in 2025, up 24% from 2015.

The agency said total U.S. production of fruit, nuts, and vegetables is projected to rise by 0.6% annually in the next decade.  While processing vegetable production is forecast to rise 0.8% annually over the next ten years, agency economists predict a modest 0.1% per year increase in fresh market vegetable production.

Fresh market vegetable shipments will barely increase from 41.3 billion pounds in 2015 to 41.7 billion pounds by 2025, according to the USDA.

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