Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winter vegetable acreage comes up short

The USDA's report on winter vegetable acreage shows that most commodities will show reduced plantings. Here is the summary:

The prospective area for harvest of 11 selected fresh market vegetables during the winter quarter is forecast at 150,900 acres, down 5 percent from last year. Acreage declined for snap beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, sweet corn, and head lettuce. Acreage increased for bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Area harvested for spinach remains unchanged.

Area planted for spring onions, at 30,300 acres, is down 3 percent from 2008. Arizona, Georgia, and Texas reduced planted acreage from 2008, while California increased planted acreage.

Strawberry area planted for the major States (California, Florida, and Oregon) in 2009 is forecast at 48,500 acres, up 6 percent from 2008.

Given the deflated state of consumer demand, it is no surprise that plantings are off a bit. Still, head lettuce acreage in the winter has fallen from 58,900 two years ago to 50,700 last year and just45,500 acres this year. For the full report, go to this link.

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