Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Graphs Showing Agricultural Trends

Many interesting graphs have crossed my desktop lately, so today, I'm using graphs to demonstrate what is trending on this Tuesday...

We consume four times as many avocados per person in the U.S. compared to the 1990s

If you've been paying attention to health news, avocados have reached super-food status with their health benefits. Thus, with increased production and availability, it is no surprise that they are being consumed at ever greater per person levels here in the U.S.

From the USDA: Domestic per capita use for fresh avocados reached the 6-lb mark for the first time in 2013/14, nearly double the amount a decade ago and almost four times as much as in the 1990s. This level of use has been maintained since then as imports continued to ascend, capturing three-quarters of the U.S. fresh avocado market in recent years, up from a 40-percent share during the early 2000s. Mexico’s implementation of phytosanitary pest control programs continue to help boost the country’s avocado production. FAS forecasts Mexico’s 2015/16 production to increase to 1.64 million metric tons (3.6 billion pounds), up 8 percent from 2014/15. Good international demand and year-round market access to all 50 U.S. States continue to stimulate increasing exports of avocados from Mexico. The United States is Mexico’s primary market for avocados, receiving over three-quarters of total export volume. Increased planted acreage in and outside Michoacan, Mexico’s major avocado- producing State, indicate production will continue to expand in the coming years as the country continues to meet the growing demand for avocados in the U.S. market and globally.

Almond Orchards are More Water Secure than some other California Agricultural Crops

Farmers in California grow a wide variety of crops using off-farm surface water, groundwater, and—to a limited extent—on-farm surface water. Crops such as rice, cotton, and beans that are most dependent on off-farm surface water are the most vulnerable to reductions in snowpack and reservoir storage due to the ongoing drought. In addition, farmers use a variety of irrigation technologies to apply water. Farms that use the least amount of gravity irrigation, such as orchards/vineyards/tree nuts, vegetables, and berries, are the most able to limit evaporation losses during the drought.

In many cases, the most capital intensive crops and irrigation systems, such as almond orchards using drip irrigation systems, have been strategically located over the most reliable water supplies, which is why these crops are more likely to continue irrigating during the drought. The crops that represent the predominant sources of agricultural water use—orchards, rice, hay, and vegetables—consume large amounts of water primarily because they are grown on large amounts of acreage. (source: usda)

China continues to increase apple production

Apples are produced commercially in more than 90 countries worldwide, with annual combined global production of about 80 million metric tons. China is the world’s largest producer, accounting for nearly half of the global output and producing nearly 10 times the volume of the United States, which produces the world’s second largest apple crop. China’s large production volume is supported by the country’s vast production area. However, U.S. yields are nearly double the average achieved in China. Area expansion in China has slowed over the past decade but per-hectare yields have improved, aiding the country’s production to continue to climb (source: usda)

California has increased tangerine production, while Florida has decreased theirs

Total production of U.S. tangerines/mandarins is estimated at 907,000 tons, an 8- percent crop gain since the previous year and if realized, will be the largest harvest on record. Production gains out of California are making up for declining production in Florida. As of March’s NASS Crop Production report, California’s crop is estimated at 840,000 tons, up 15 percent from last season, resulting in yet another record harvest, if realized. Florida’s tangerine production is expected down 61 percent year-over-year to total 67,000 tons—the lightest crop since 1990/91, if realized. (source: usda)

Milk-cow output per cow continues to grow

Improving technology and genetics have allowed milk output per cow to rise steadily, increasing by 88 percent since 1980 and reaching a record-high annual average of 22,393 pounds of milk per cow in 2015.

University of Colorado's dairy expert, Temple Grandin, according to the Washington Post, divides dairy producers into two categories: the progressives and the not progressives. The former, she says, account for about a third of the industry, have moved away from the practice of breeding "milking machines," choosing to raise smaller cows that tend to be healthier, as well as productive over a longer period, and opting to feed their herds grass as often as possible. The latter, meanwhile, are driving up the efficiency numbers you see in the chart above, selecting for cows that tend to suffer from a number of adverse health outcomes. Grandin calls them the "bad dairies". She says "They make up most of the farms in the United States, and their cows are so wrecked by the time they stop milking they can barely be used for beef."

U.S. fresh blueberry demand is increasing

Fresh blueberry demand in the United States continues to grow with generally expanding domestic production and imports over the last 10 years. Import growth during 2015 has aided in meeting demand, with fresh blueberry per capita use projected at 1.60 pounds, surpassing the 2014 high despite a reduced fresh- market crop. Overall U.S. production was down in 2015 due to smaller crops in major producing States (i.e. Georgia, Michigan, and New Jersey), based on estimates from the North American Blueberry Council. (source: usda)

After falling in the late 1990s and early 2000s, supermarkets’ share of at-home food spending has stabilized

Americans spent $1.46 trillion on food in 2014. Of this total, 49.9 percent was spent in supermarkets, supercenters, farmers’ markets, convenience stores, and other retailers. The relative importance of the various outlets comprising the U.S. at-home-food market has shifted somewhat during the last 25 years. Supermarkets had a 64.9-percent share of at-home spending in 2014, down from a peak of 76.3 percent in 1993. In 1990, food expenditures in convenience stores were higher than those for warehouse club stores and supercenters.

By 1993, the reverse was true; and by 2014, warehouse club stores and supercenters accounted for 16.8 percent of at-home spending. The combined share of direct purchases from food processors and farmers grew from 7.4 percent in 1990 to 9.4 percent in 2000, and their share has averaged 8.4 percent over the last decade. Other stores—for example, discount dollar stores and drug stores—accounted for 4.9 percent of the at-home-food market in 2014. (source: usda)

U.S. Has Been a Beef Importer in Recent Years

The United States is the world’s largest producer of beef but it also imports more beef than any other country. U.S. producers specialize in raising high-value, grain-fed cattle, while the beef the United States imports from other countries is mainly lower-value, grass-fed, lean product that is processed into ground beef. Overall, imports accounted for nearly 14 percent of U.S. beef supplies in 2015.

From 2011-2013, the United States was a net exporter of beef on a volume basis. However, imports surpassed exports in 2014 when domestic production declined nearly six percent. U.S. beef imports totaled $6.2 billion (1.1 million tons product weight) in 2015 and exports totaled $5.2 billion (716,000 tons). The gap between imports and exports is expected to narrow in 2016 as higher U.S. beef supplies support increased exports and decreased imports. (source: usda)

Australia Gains U.S. Imported Beef Market Share

Australia was the leading supplier of U.S. beef imports in 2014 and 2015, while Canada and New Zealand were a distant second and third. Shipments from Australia and New Zealand are composed primarily of frozen boneless beef for processing, while shipments from Canada and Mexico are typically higher-value, fresh or chilled beef sold as cuts. (source: usda)

Farms selling directly to consumers saw increases in sales between 2007 and 2012

Between 2007 and 2012, farms using direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing had smaller growth in nominal gross sales (13.5 percent), on average, than farms using traditional marketing channels (19.3 percent). In addition, gross sales on farms using DTC marketing grew more slowly in each size class (as measured by 2007 sales). The slower growth for farms with DTC sales may stem from several factors. The 2012 Census of Agriculture shows farms using DTC marketing employ substantially more labor across all sales categories than farms without direct sales. Therefore, farms with DTC sales may need to hire additional workers at a lower scale of production, and the associated transaction costs may provide an obstacle to growth.

Off-farm income opportunity may also play a role, as farms with DTC sales are more likely to have total household incomes both less than $50,000, and less than $20,000. The lower total household income for farms with DTC sales may reflect fewer off-farm income opportunities, leading these farms to continue farming even if they have less ability to expand production. (source: usda)

To view last week's trendspotting post, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment