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Planting Restrictions on Commodity Base Acres Just an Afterthought for Most Commodity Growers in the United States Rebecca Nemec March 31, 2012 Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Student Research Conference
so what? Source: The New York Times online, March 1, 2011.
….but…. Source: Lucier et al., 2006.
Nationally…. Only 14% of U.S. adults consume recommended fruit and vegetable servingsper day Only 9.5% of adolescents do (5 to 19 years old), too. so what else? Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/health_professionals/statereport.html
…do we need to grow more fruits and vegetables? …so the BIG question is…
Passed in the 1990 Farm Bill It says….. “…if fruits, vegetables or wild rice are planted on base acres and the farm does not have a history of planting these crops, the farm incurs an acre-for-acre loss of payment on base acres and is assessed a penalty equal to the market value of vegetables/fruits/nuts.” (Lobbied for by the fruit and vegetable industry) what is the planting restriction?
Planting flexibility provisions on commodity base acres probably will not increase the supply of fruits and vegetables in the U.S. my thesis
Systematic literature review USDA Economic Research Service Congressional Research Service Some academic publications (very little available) Policy advocacy position papers from NGOs …..it should be noted that much of the information on the fruit and vegetable industry is proprietary the methodology
There are significant barriers to entry for commodity growers to switch to fruit and vegetable production Competition from imports reduces potential economic gains for U.S. commodity growers Pilot programs have proven ineffective the evidence
Produces 29% of total farm receipts 3% of total cropland Total value of these crops in 2007 was $36.3 billion Concentrated in California, Florida, upper Midwest, Texas, eastern seaboard Some fruit production in New York, Michigan, Washington, Oregon and Pennsylvania 5% of fruit and vegetable production in the U.S. was on base acreage in 2004 the fruit and vegetable industry in the U.S. 1 dot = 5,000 harvested acres Source: Johnson et al., 2006
Production of fruits and vegetables increased by 7% and 12%, respectively, between 1992 and 2002 • Production of fresh vegetables increased by 26% between 1992 and 2007 • Total acres harvested of vegetables declined by 5% between 1990 and 2007 • ….and we have a trade deficit... trends in the industry Source: Johnson, 2010.
VEGETABLES FRUITS trends in U.S. supply Source: United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Food Availability Data System.
overall, the evidence suggests that planting restrictions have little impact on commodity growers switching to fruit and vegetable production….. ….but why?
Agronomic conditions Constrained seasonal labor High information and knowledge requirements Upfront capital investments Supply chains/market guarantees for perishable goods For corn, soy and wheat growers – prices are great right now! 1. barriers to entry Source: Johnson et al., 2006; Young et al., 2007; Schnepf, 2008; Mercer-Blackman et al., 2007; Effland and Stout et al., 2011.
Imports of fruits and vegetables (fresh, processed and frozen) to the U.S. have increased 6% annually since 1990 Almost 50% of fresh fruit consumed in the U.S. was imported in 2005 15% of fresh vegetables consumed in the U.S. was imported in 2005 Result from relaxed trade agreements, increased domestic consumption year round, and overall increase of global trade 2. competition from imports Source: Jerardo, 2004; Johnson, 2010; Huang and Huang, 2007; Huang 2004.
Planting Transferability Pilot Program in 2008 Farm Bill Limited number of commodity growers allowed to enroll Allowed to grow: peas, lima beans, pumpkins, snap beans, sweet corn, tomatoes and cucumbers State included: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin Must have a contract in place with a processor Up to 75,000 acres can be enrolled 3. pilot programs have proved unsuccessful Source: Jerardo, 2004; Johnson, 2010; Huang and Huang, 2007; Huang 2004.)
Key outcomes Only 14% of total acres were planted under PTPP Only 155 farms enrolled Fewer farms participated in the second year than the first Important considerations The majority of growers who participated in the program were those without a prior history growing these products Program has only had two sign-up periods (cont’d) 3. pilot programs have proved unsuccessful Source: Krissoff et al., 2011a and 2011b.
Lei and colleagues Used modeling techniques and found that removing planting restrictions in states not included in the PTPP would only marginally increase fruit and vegetable production Also found that processing vegetable production would increase MORE than fresh vegetables production Important implication: suggests that planting flexibility will have varying impact by state or region 4. modeling results Source: Lei et al. 2011.
Planting restrictions appear to be only a minor impediment to the production of fruits and vegetables on commodity base acres There are significant barriers to entry for commodity growers to switch to fruits and vegetable production Imports are a major competitor for fruit and vegetable growers in the U.S. ….but…. 5. conclusions & policy implications
1. More research 2. Pilot program changes Different states/regions Different crops Fresh versus processed 3. Is it a silly policy in the first place? 4. For advocates - If the goal of public health and sustainable agriculture advocates is to increase consumption in the U.S., this may not be the best policy target 6. recommendations
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