What is in this article?:
- U.S. fresh-market vegetable acreage up slightly
- Yields could be better
• Prospective vegetable area was up for just four of the 11 crops with the greatest percentage gains for carrots and tomatoes, according to the latest USDA Melons and Vegetables Outlook.
Producers of U.S. fresh-market vegetables are expected to harvest 193,680 acres this spring, up 1 percent over the previous growing season.
Prospective area was up for just four of the 11 crops with the greatest percentage gains for carrots and tomatoes, according to the latest USDA Melons and Vegetables Outlook.
In California, periods of cool, wet weather slowed planting progress, crop maturity, and reduced the average size of early spring crops such as lettuce and cauliflower. With an above-average snowpack again this year and above-average rainfall in some areas of central California, the drought in California has eased considerably with Central Valley irrigation water supplies much improved. Both federal and state water allocations have been increased this year, which could reduce costs, increase yields, and allow more area to be planted.
In Florida, growers expect to harvest 38 percent of U.S. spring area for the 11 selected crops. Florida’s area is expected to rise 3 percent from a year ago due to increased area for cabbage, sweet corn, tomatoes and snap beans.
Florida growers expect to harvest fewer acres of cucumbers and bell peppers — crops which collectively account for about one-fifth of the state’s reported spring vegetable area.
Area for sweet corn, which accounts for about 40 percent of the reported spring vegetable area, is expected to rise 5 percent to 29,000 acres — the largest area devoted to spring sweet corn since 1997.
The increase in sweet corn area reflects strong prices this past winter (for the few that had product to sell) and generally favorable returns last spring.
Also this year, area planted to all fresh bulb onions is forecast to rise 2 percent to 158,860 acres. Most of the gain is expected to come from the spring season where high prices last year encouraged a 16-percent surge in area.
Planted area is expected to decline in summer non-storage onion states and remain about even in states that produce storage onions.
Area was forecast to be larger in all three reporting spring onion states with both Texas and Georgia each expected to harvest the most area since 2006. Prior to this year, spring onion area in Texas had declined for four consecutive years.