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Thousands of commercial honey bee colonies are transported long distances to pollinate California almonds

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The California-grown almonds in your trail mix or almond milk were likely made possible through the pollination services provided by honey bees. In the United States, all commercially grown almonds—a crop worth more than $5 billion in 2021—are grown in California. Almond blossoms largely require insects for pollination, and honey bees are widely used to provide this yield-supporting service. While some almond growers maintain their own honey bee colonies, many opt to secure pollination services by renting hives from beekeepers. Beekeepers often transport their commercial honey bee colonies more than 1,000 miles as part of an annual journey that typically begins in the Northern Great Plains—which includes North and South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota—and proceeds to California and beyond. Driven by the timing of the almond bloom, between July 1, 2017, and January 1, 2018, an estimated 384,600 bee colonies were transported into California from the Northern Great Plains. Colonies also traveled from nearby areas of the West and Pacific Northwest, while still other colonies came from as far away as the Northeast and Southeast. Some beekeepers reported moving honey bee colonies more than 2,000 miles to pollinate almonds. After pollinating almonds and other crops in the region, many beekeepers later return to the Great Northern Plains to support colony recuperation and honey production. This chart first appeared in the USDA, Economic Research Service report, Honey Bees on the Move: From Pollination to Honey Production and Back, June 2021.

No matter how you slice it, watermelon is the United States’ favorite melon

Thursday, August 3, 2023

If you are reaching for a slice of melon to cool off from the summer heat, chances are watermelon is your first choice. Since 2000, watermelon has gained a larger share of U.S. melon availability (calculated by adding production and import volumes and then subtracting exports). In 2022, watermelon accounted for more than half of U.S. melon availability, double the share of every other melon variety combined. An estimated 21.1 pounds of melons were available in 2022 for each U.S. consumer to eat, with watermelon accounting for 14.1 pounds, cantaloupe for 5.3 pounds, honeydew for 1.6 pounds, and all other melons making up the remaining slice. Increases in watermelon availability, by both volume and share, correspond with overall growth in melon imports, which first served to bridge supply gaps during nongrowing seasons in the United States. Most of the melons consumed in the United States are grown domestically, but imports are capturing a growing share of the fresh melon market. Since the 1980s, imports have increased from an average share of less than 10 percent to almost 40 percent over the last 5 years. U.S. imports of watermelons now come mostly from Mexico, with increasing volumes from Guatemala and Honduras. Cantaloupe and honeydew imports ship mostly from Guatemala and Honduras, with lower volumes from Mexico. This chart first appeared in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, published in March 2023.

Imports make up growing share of U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable supply

Monday, July 31, 2023

Imports play a vital and increasingly important role in ensuring that fresh fruit and vegetables are available year-round in the United States. Since the 2008 completion of the transition to tariff- and quota-free trade among Mexico, Canada, and the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable imports have increased with few interruptions. Between 2007 and 2021, the percent of U.S. fresh fruit and vegetable availability supplied by imports grew from 50 to 60 percent for fresh fruit and from 20 to 38 percent for fresh vegetables (excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms). The import share increased by more than 20 percentage points during this period for 10 crops: asparagus, avocados, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, raspberries, snap beans, and tomatoes. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), implemented on July 1, 2020, continues NAFTA’s market access provisions for fruit and vegetables. In 2022, Mexico and Canada supplied 51 percent and 2 percent, respectively, of U.S. fresh fruit imports, and 69 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of U.S. fresh vegetable imports in terms of value. This chart is drawn using data from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) data products Fruit and Tree Nuts Yearbook Data and Vegetables and Pulses Yearbook Data. Also refer to the ERS report, Changes in U.S. Agricultural Imports from Latin America and the Caribbean, published in July 2023, and ERS’s Amber Waves feature, U.S. Fresh Vegetable Imports From Mexico and Canada Continue To Surge, published in November 2021.

Ice cream consumption melts from 2000 to 2021

Thursday, July 6, 2023

In 2021, U.S. residents consumed 20.3 pounds of frozen dairy products per capita, nearly 6 pounds less than in 2000. Per capita consumption of frozen dairy products, which includes ice creams and frozen yogurt among other frozen dairy products, has been declining since the 1990s, dipping to its lowest point in 2021. Consumption of regular ice cream in 2021 was estimated at 12.0 pounds per person, a drop of about 4 pounds from 2000. At 6.4 pounds, per capita consumption of low-fat and nonfat ice cream was roughly the same in 2021 as in 2000. Consumption of other dairy products, including frozen yogurt, sherbet, and miscellaneous frozen dairy products, decreased from 3.4 pounds per person in 2000 to 1.9 pounds in 2021. This downward trend in frozen dairy product consumption is in line with a decline in consumption of caloric sweeteners from 150.9 pounds per capita in 2000 to 127.4 pounds in 2021, reflecting shifting preference among consumers. This chart is drawn from Dairy Data, published by USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS), which provide annual data for per capita consumption of dairy products from 1975 to 2021. Information concerning caloric sweeteners is from ERS’ Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables. The data for this chart do not account for spoilage, waste, and other losses. For data that take these losses into account, see ERS’ Loss-Adjusted Food Availability.

Emergency assistance to honeybee producers averaged $45 million annually from 2020–22

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Honeybee health and honey production are impacted by extreme weather events. In recent years, droughts in the western and northern Great Plains regions have decreased floral resources on which commercial honeybees typically forage. Elsewhere, hurricanes and heavy rains in some southern States damaged and destroyed forage, in some cases even drowning hives. Eligible U.S. honeybee producers who incur colony, hive, and feed losses as a direct result of a qualified adverse weather or loss condition have access to payments made through the USDA’s Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). Payments under ELAP for honeybee losses totaled $30 million in 2018 and rose to $57 million in 2019. Between 2020 and 2022, payments averaged $45 million annually. Over the last 5 years, 95 percent of the assistance was for colony losses, followed by hive losses (3 percent), and feed losses (1 percent). A colony usually refers to the family unit of the bees, including a queen, workers, and drones, whereas a hive refers to the physical structure in which the colony lives. Payments spiked in 2019 coinciding with a 2-year period characterized by an increased number of colony losses caused by extreme weather events, pests, and diseases. After losses related to these factors spiked at 300,000 colonies in 2022, colony losses have started to decline but remain elevated compared with 5 years before. At the same time, losses related to colony collapse disorder—the sudden die-off of honeybee colonies—have been relatively stable since 2015, averaging about 72,000 colonies per year, but persist as a challenge to U.S. honeybee producers. This chart is drawn from USDA, Economic Research Service’s Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook published in June 2023.

Since early 2000s, growth in U.S. soybean planted acreage has outpaced corn and wheat

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Between 2002 and 2022, soybeans were the second-most planted crop in the United States, behind corn. The exception was in 2018 when acreage planted to soybeans surpassed corn. While the total acres planted to soybeans generally have been less than to corn, the rate of growth in soybean sowings has exceeded corn since the early 2000s. Soybean planted acreage grew by 18 percent, from 74 million in 2002 to 87 million in 2022, while corn planted acreage increased by 12 percent in the same period. In contrast to this growth, wheat planted acres declined 22 percent over the same 20-year period—with some wheat acres shifting into soybeans. While net gains in soybean acres planted have been sizable, growth over the past two decades has not been steady. From 2002 to 2006, gains were modest, followed by a sharp decline in 2007 when biofuel policy increased the demand and price for corn. Increased profitability for corn shifted many acres out of soybeans and into corn production. After 2007, and for the next several years, generally improving profit margins reinvigorated soybean plantings, which continued their upward trajectory, peaking in 2017 at 90 million acres. Acreage fell slightly in 2018 and more sharply in 2019 to 76 million acres—the lowest since 2011—after China’s trade restrictions reduced global demand for U.S. soybeans, which caused soybean prices to fall. Heavy spring rains in 2019 contributed further to the reduction in soybean plantings, but planted acreage partially recovered in the following years. This chart is drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service report, Characteristics and Trends of U.S. Soybean Production Practices, Costs, and Returns Since 2002, published in June 2023.

U.S. lettuce production shifts regionally by season

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Lettuce—the main ingredient in many salads and a popular sandwich topper—is the most widely consumed leafy green in the United States. In 2022, lettuce accounted for nearly one-fifth of the $21.8 billion that U.S. growers received in cash receipts from sales of vegetables and melons. Romaine lettuce sales totaled $1.54 billion, iceberg lettuce sales were $1.33 billion, and leaf lettuce sales trailed at $1.25 billion. An estimated 85 percent of the lettuce available for consumption in the United States was produced domestically in 2022. While production of lettuce occurs year-round, areas of production shift with the growing seasons. From mid-November through early April, most lettuce sold in the United States is sourced from the irrigated desert valleys of Southern California’s Imperial County and the Yuma area of Arizona. Shipments of lettuce from Florida help fill in regional market gaps during winter and spring months. From late April through mid-November, production shifts to Central California. From spring through fall, local production in most other States serves farmers markets, regional/local retail and restaurant demand, and community-supported agriculture. This chart is drawn from an article titled, “Lettuce Trends: Conventional, Organic Growth, and Production,” from USDA, Economic Research Service’s Vegetables and Pulses Outlook, April 2023.

U.S. raisin availability per capita dries up

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Consumers are eating fewer raisins, based on U.S. per capita availability data. In the past 10 years, acreage planted to raisin-type grapes declined more than 33 percent in California, which produces almost all U.S. raisins. Average per capita availability (a proxy for consumption) of dried raisins fell 15 percent in that time, according to USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates. This trajectory continues the gradual decline observed since availability peaked at more than 2 pounds per person in the late 1980s to a current low of 1.1 pounds. Some of the reasons behind the decline may include greater year-round availability of fresh fruit and competition from other dried fruit, such as cranberries, cherries, and blueberries. Pressure faced by U.S. raisin growers is not limited to declining per capita availability, however. Higher labor costs and lower priced exports from Turkey have also challenged the U.S. raisin industry in recent years. Along with an overall decrease in acreage and production, the United States has reduced both total export volume and the share of domestic production going to exports. This chart is drawn from ERS’ Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, March 2023.

U.S. retail cotton use shrinks in 2022

Thursday, April 13, 2023

U.S. retail cotton use—an estimate of cotton product usage by consumers—decreased 8 percent in 2022 to 9.1 billion pounds. This decline was realized after a nearly 30-percent surge in 2021 when U.S. retail cotton use rebounded from the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. In the United States, most retail clothing purchases are of imported products. Accordingly, clothing imports are used as an economic indicator for the health of the global textile and apparel industry. In 2021, U.S. cotton product imports—mostly clothing—jumped dramatically, as did U.S. mill use and cotton product exports—mostly yarn and fabric. By 2022, however, U.S. retail demand for cotton products slipped to near its pre-pandemic trend but was still the second highest in over a decade. Although each component of U.S. retail cotton use—cotton mill use, product exports, and product imports—decreased in 2022, the import decline was significantly larger and led the reduction in retail cotton use. As a result, the U.S. per capita estimate of retail cotton use slipped from nearly 30 pounds in 2021 to 27.5 pounds in 2022. With U.S. and world economic expansion projected to slow in 2023, limited growth is also expected for U.S. retail cotton use. This information is drawn from the Economic Research Service’s March 2023 Cotton and Wool Outlook.

Georgia leads U.S. production of peanuts, outproducing all other States combined

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

In the United States, peanuts are grown mainly in the South, where the climate is warmer and growing seasons are longer than in northern zones. Most U.S. peanut production comes from six States: Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the U.S. peanut crop in 2022 was estimated at 5.57 billion pounds. Accounting for more than 50 percent of all U.S. peanut production, Georgia produced the most peanuts of any State, with a 2022 peanut crop estimated at 2.9 billion pounds. With production of 559 million pounds in 2022, Alabama’s peanut harvest was a distant second to Georgia, followed closely by Florida with 554 million pounds. The 2022 U.S. peanut crop was nearly 13 percent smaller than in 2021 because of lower acreage and yields. Smaller crops were estimated in all States except North Carolina, where production was pegged at 510 million pounds, a 3-percent increase from 2021. Production for Georgia was affected by a 9-percent year-to-year reduction in planted area that combined with reduced peanut yields because of an outbreak of the tomato spotted wilt virus. Moreover, NASS’s Weekly Crop Report indicated peanut growers in Texas and Oklahoma experienced above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall in the critical development months of June, July, and August that negatively impacted yield and harvested area. This chart is drawn from USDA, Economic Research Service’s Oil Crops Outlook, January 2023.

Pi Day: U.S. production values of seven popular pie ingredients approach $7 billion

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

March 14 is known to many as Pi Day. The date resembles the mathematical constant π, roughly equal to 3.14, and for that reason, many celebrate the day by enjoying their favorite type of pie. In 2021, the United States grew $6.9 billion worth of seven popular fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts often used as the main ingredient in pie making. The value of production of these seven commodities in 2021, as measured by U.S. cash receipts, was the highest for apples, which are produced abundantly in the United States both in terms of volume and production value. The U.S. apple crop exceeded $3.03 billion in 2021, whereas production of blueberries reached $1.1 billion. Cash receipts for other fruit pie ingredients, cherries and peaches, were valued at $950 million and $624 million, respectively. Pecans, a tree nut, were valued at $551 million in terms of U.S. cash receipts. The pear crop of 2021 was valued at $373 million, while production of pumpkins, the fall icon and mainstay of the holiday table, was valued at $231 million. This chart is drawn from USDA, Economic Research Service’s Fruit and Tree Nuts and Vegetables and Pulses Yearbook Tables.

Share of insured acreage varies widely across vegetable and pulse crops

Monday, March 6, 2023

Insurance coverage of vegetable and pulse production varies widely by crop among the two Federal options for protection against losses from natural disasters. USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers examined USDA, Risk Management Agency (RMA) data on the acres covered under the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to understand how vegetable and pulse producers have used Federal risk management options. For instance, RMA and Census of Agriculture data from 2017 shows that dry peas, dry beans, and tomatoes heavily used FCIP. Around 20 percent of cucumber and cabbage acreage was also covered by FCIP. When USDA does not offer FCIP policies in a county because of insufficient data to create an actuarially sound policy, farmers can still protect a crop through NAP. NAP provides protection against yield losses, though not revenue losses and covers a large portion of the acreage for some crops, such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and peppers but is used less frequently by lettuce growers. Cucumber and cabbage crops accounted for 11 percent and 16 percent of total acreage covered under NAP. Because there are no FCIP policies available for watermelon, lettuce, and squash crops, producers of those crops either enrolled in NAP or did not insure their crop. Slightly less than half of watermelon and squash acres were covered under NAP. Farmers who did not protect with either FCIP or NAP likely employ other management practices, such as crop rotations, irrigation, or growing in a protective structure, to maintain production and revenue. This chart appears in the Economic Research Service bulletin Specialty Crop Participation in Federal Risk Management Programs, published in September 2022.

Rail networks facilitate U.S. wheat exports by connecting production areas to coastal ports

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

About half of all wheat grown in the United States is exported, and geography largely determines the mode of transportation to ports. U.S. wheat production is heavily concentrated in the Great Plains and Northern Plains regions, which include Oklahoma, Kansas, South and North Dakota, and Montana. Wheat is also grown in the Midwest, parts of the Southeast, and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) regions, as well as California. The inland waterways of the Mississippi River and the Columbia-Snake River system enable exporters of soft red winter wheat and white wheat to use transportation by barge to move wheat to export facilities in the Gulf of Mexico and the PNW, respectively. In contrast, rail transportation dominates in the vast wheat-producing areas west of the Mississippi and east of the PNW. In this region, the long distances to ports and a lack of navigable waterways make freight transportation by truck or barge difficult or impossible. Producers of hard red spring wheat, which is primarily grown in the Northern Plains, are served by rail lines that run to Washington State and Oregon, providing easy access to ocean vessels that can transport wheat to markets in Asia and the rest of the world. Similarly, hard red winter (HRW) wheat production areas in the Central and Southern Plains are directly connected by rail to Mexico, the top import market for HRW. It is also shipped by rail from the Plains to export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico. From 2014 to 2019, about 50 to 60 percent of wheat exports were transported to port by rail. This chart first appeared in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s Wheat Outlook, published in December 2022.

U.S. ethanol production and consumption rebound and level off after pandemic lows

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Production and consumption of ethanol as a transportation fuel (largely sourced from corn) grew significantly over the last three decades in the United States before plateauing in recent years. The ethanol share of finished motor gasoline (FMG) has moved concurrently with consumption, leveling off near 10 percent in 2022. The Renewable Fuel Standard—which sets volumes of biofuels that must be blended with fossil fuels—influences ethanol’s share of FMG, along with other factors including relative prices. Steps taken in the spring of 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19, such as increased remote work and school, and other social distancing efforts, resulted in sharp declines in a variety of ethanol market metrics. For example, from 2017–19, U.S. ethanol production averaged 1.33 billion gallons per month, while consumption averaged 1.18 billion gallons per month. During the pandemic lows, these values fell by 46 percent and nearly 40 percent, respectively, causing the ethanol share of FMG to decline to 9 percent. More recently, estimates for all three figures have largely recovered and leveled off. However, increasing adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles combined with continued fuel efficiency gains in gasoline vehicles are expected to put downward pressure on gasoline consumption and dampen prospects for renewed growth in fuel ethanol demand. This chart appeared in the USDA, Economic Research Service report, Global Demand for Fuel Ethanol Through 2030, February 2023.

How sweet it is: Deliveries of caloric sweeteners for food and beverage use are on the rise

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Total caloric sweetener deliveries from domestic producers and importers to end-users and brokers—an indicator of sweetener consumption in the United States—rose by 1 percent in 2021 to 127.4 pounds per capita. Annual growth in per capita sweetener deliveries had not been observed since 2014 amid the backdrop of a long-term declining trend that started after peaking at 153.7 pounds in 1999. Growth in 2021 was driven by an increase in refined sugar deliveries per capita, the largest component, which were up 1.9 percent in 2021 at 69.8 pounds and the highest since 1995. This growth countered the 1.2 percent decrease in per capita high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) deliveries to 39.5 pounds. HFCS deliveries, the other major component, have been steadily decreasing since topping out at 65.9 pounds in 1999, driving the long-term decline in total sweetener deliveries. While per capita deliveries of other caloric sweeteners (glucose, dextrose, honey, other edible syrups) increased by 2.4 percent in 2021, the volumes have been relatively small, historically hovering at 20 pounds. Some of the sweetened food and beverage products that are consumed in the United States, such as soft drinks, ice creams, or even U.S.-branded chocolates that are manufactured overseas, are imported. The contribution of these imports to per capita sweetener consumption is relatively small compared to domestic sweetener deliveries, but their share and volume have been steadily increasing since 2013, reaching 7.1 pounds per capita in 2021, an increase of 16.4 percent. Including estimated sweeteners from the imported sugar-containing products, per capita sweetener deliveries totaled 134.5 pounds in 2021. More information can be found in two special articles on sweetener deliveries that appeared in the January 2023 Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, published by USDA, Economic Research Service.

Popularity of tangerines has soared, but oranges still favored

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Fresh oranges have long been a favorite fruit of U.S. consumers. They currently rank fourth among fresh fruit in per capita availability (a proxy for consumption) after bananas, melons, and apples. Nonetheless, the U.S. palate has changed over the last several decades. Between 2000 and 2022, domestic availability of fresh oranges fell from 11.7 pounds to 8.3 pounds per person, stabilizing over the last decade between 8 and 10 pounds depending on market conditions. At the same time, the tangerine citrus commodity group has soared in popularity, with per capita availability more than doubling between 2000 and 2022. This broad group includes tangelos, mandarins, clementines, and traditional tangerines. A comparison of per capita fresh tangerine and fresh orange availability over the last 20 years shows the share going to tangerines increasing from 20 to 40 percent. Growth of the U.S. tangerine market coincides with the launch of marketing campaigns for easy-peel seedless mandarins by some of the more prominent citrus supply companies. This chart is based on USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) Fruit and Tree Nuts Yearbook Tables, released November 2022. The data for this chart do not account for spoilage, waste, and other losses. For data that takes these losses into account, see ERS’ Loss Adjusted Food Availability.

Large share of 2022 spring wheat planted after final crop insurance planting dates

Monday, October 31, 2022

Spring wheat, a major class of U.S. wheat, annually accounts for about 25 percent of all wheat produced in the United States and is grown primarily in the U.S. Northern Plains States, mostly in North Dakota and Minnesota. Overly wet field conditions in spring 2022 delayed planting in both North Dakota and Minnesota resulting in 26 and 35 percent, respectively, of spring wheat acres being planted after June 5—USDA, Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) final planting date of all counties in those two States. That acreage was reported to USDA, Farm Service Agency as being prevented from on-time planting. If a farmer has not planted by the final planting date, most crop insurance policies offer compensation to offset expenses associated with preparing to plant, called a prevented planting payment. Alternatively, when commodity prices are high, some producers may choose to plant late because of field conditions and receive the market price for their harvest crop rather than take a prevented planting payment. RMA projected pre-season prices for spring wheat in North Dakota and Minnesota at $9.19 per bushel, the highest price in the last decade (2012–21), which may have contributed to acreage being planted later. This chart is drawn from the special article, "Factors Influencing Prevented Planting for Spring Wheat" in Economic Research Service’s Wheat Outlook, September 2022.

More than 75 percent of soybean, cotton, and corn acres planted by U.S. farmers are genetically engineered

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Genetically engineered (GE) seeds were commercially introduced in the U.S. for major field crops in 1996, with adoption rates increasing rapidly in the years that followed. By 2008, more than 50 percent of corn, cotton, and soybean acres were planted with genetically engineered seeds. The total planted acreage with GE seeds has only increased since then, and now more than 90 percent of U.S. corn, upland cotton, and soybeans are produced using GE varieties. GE crops are broadly classified as herbicide-tolerant (HT) only, insect-resistant (Bt) only, or stacked varieties that combine both HT and Bt traits in a single seed. In the chart, both HT and Bt lines include stacked varieties which are a combination of both type of traits. Although other GE traits have been developed, such as virus and fungus resistance, drought resistance, and enhanced protein, oil, or vitamin content, HT and Bt traits are the most commonly used in U.S. crop production. While HT seeds are also widely used in alfalfa, canola, and sugar beet production, most GE acres are planted to three major field crops: corn, cotton, and soybeans. This chart appears in the ERS Topic Page Recent Trends in GE Adoption, published in 2022.

Pumpkin production in Illinois squashed combined output of five other leading States

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Pumpkins are on full display across the United States as part of many fall traditions, such as picking pumpkins at local farms, carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween, or baking pumpkin desserts for Thanksgiving. The production of pumpkins, from classic orange Howdens to new varieties like Cinderella, is widely dispersed throughout the United States, with all States producing some pumpkins. However, about 40 percent of pumpkin acres are harvested in only six States. By acreage and weight, Illinois is consistently the Nation’s largest pumpkin producer. In 2021, Illinois produced 652 million pounds, more than a quarter of total U.S. pumpkin production and more than the next five States combined. Unlike all other States, most of Illinois’ pumpkins are used for pie filling and processed for other food uses. Pumpkins from the other States are primarily intended for decorative, or carving, use. In 2021, Indiana produced 181 million pounds of pumpkins, California grew 157 million pounds, Texas grew 108 million pounds, Michigan grew 89 million pounds, and Virginia grew 82 million pounds. Retail prices for pumpkins typically fluctuate week to week leading up to Halloween. In the third week of October 2022, the average retail price for jack-o’-lantern style pumpkins was $5.07 per pumpkin, up 2 percent compared to the same week in 2021. This chart is drawn from Economic Research Service’s Trending Topics page, Pumpkins: Background & Statistics.

Florida’s declining citrus production receives further hit with Hurricane Ian; official losses not yet estimated

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Errata: On Oct. 25, 2022, a clarification was made for Florida's ranking in citrus production.

On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall as a category 4 hurricane on the southwest coast of Florida, the United States’ top producer of oranges. The hurricane crossed the peninsula, bringing severe winds and rainfall to some of the State’s foremost citrus-producing counties. Many of these same counties were affected by Hurricane Irma 5 years earlier. When Irma hit in September 2017, the State’s citrus production was already on a downward trajectory from diseases and other factors reducing acreage and yields. Florida’s citrus production fell by 1.3 million tons from the hurricane-free 2016/17 season, with the total value of production dropping 39 percent. On October 12, 2022, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released a citrus production estimate of about 1.4 million tons for the 2022/23 crop year. This forecast is 32 percent below total production from the previous season and does not take into consideration losses from Ian. While 2017 and 2022 hurricane events are distinct from one another, the effects of Irma can be used as a proxy to estimate the potential impact on value until the impact on the State’s total citrus production can be fully assessed. This chart is based on USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook Report, released September 2022, and ERS’ Fruit and Tree Nuts Yearbook Tables, released October 2021, and has been updated with recent data.