Specialty Crops Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on specialty crops.

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California Tree Nut Outlook: Record Exports Expand Global Demand Base

Lower tree nut prices and the weaker dollar have lifted tree nut exports to record highs as demand surged around the world, especially to China and 
the EU. 

Dollar Divergence: US Dollar Index Does Not Reflect True Dollar Impact on US Ag Exports

The U.S. Dollar Index saw rapid deflation in 2020 and has coincided with a rally in commodity prices. 

Sugar Outlook: Sweeter Times Ahead for Sugarbeet Growers and Processors

The U.S. sugarbeet industry has experienced multiple financial stressors from production losses in some regions of the U.S. stemming from reduced sugarbeet harvested acreage, lower quality sugarbeets, and an abbreviated processing season that has hurt both growers and the cooperatives that process the sugarbeets into refined sugar.

Almond Outlook: Risk of Oversupply?

The almond industry has enjoyed over 20 years of robust demand growth, acreage growth, and generally favorable economic returns.

Industrial Hemp: Overview of Opportunities and Risks

Since the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, the agriculture industry has been inundated with interest in and information about industrial hemp.

India’s Tariffs Set to Impact U.S. Fruit, Nut Producers

While the trade war with China claims headlines, India’s tariffs on U.S. exports will soon be felt by producers of apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts. 

Tomato Markets Brace for U.S. Withdrawal of Fresh Tomato Suspension Agreement

On February 7th 2019, the US Department of Commerce announced plans to withdraw on May 7th from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico.

Managing Rising Food Recall and Advisory Risks

The financial implications of a food recall or advisory can be enormous, and if a company is found to be the source of the contamination, reputational damage on top of the other costs can be game-ending for some. 

Food Safety Trends and Regulations — The Stakes are Rising for Food Suppliers

Media coverage and social media would lead one to believe that the frequency of food safety incidences has been increasing across the board. However, there has not been an increase in food related outbreaks in recent years or in the frequency or severity of non-meat recalls. 

Challenges Ahead for California Pima Cotton

American Pima cotton is an extra-long staple cotton grown primarily in California. It is used as an input in premium textiles that are often manufactured abroad and ultimately shipped back to the U.S. in the form of high-end clothing and bedding.

Gene Editing: A Potential Game Changer for Crop Agriculture

Interest, innovation, and investment in gene editing tools like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and TALEN® (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) have heated up in recent years, and will only intensify in 2019.  

Domestic Orange Juice is Squeezed and Imports are Filling the Void

Domestic orange production has been declining steadily over the last two decades, driven largely by dwindling crops in Florida.

Controlled Environment Agriculture: Farming for the Future?

Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) has expanded rapidly since the late 1990s as growers use strategically located grow houses to extend production seasons and achieve transportation efficiencies

Cotton's Northern Expansion

U.S. cotton acreage will be up in 2018, but nowhere is that increase more transformative than in the Southwest. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are projected to increase planted area by 40 percent, 16 percent, and 6 percent, respectively.

Mind the (Supply) Gap: Meeting the Growing Demand for Organic Produce

Sales of organic produce (fruits, vegetables and nuts) have increased dramatically in recent years; so much so that nearly 15 percent of all retail produce sales in the U.S. are now organic. In 2016, sales of organic produce accounted for 40 percent of all organic food sales, totaling $15.6 billion – an increase of 8.4 percent over 2015.

Cranberry Industry: Multilayered and Multi-tiered

At present, the cranberry market is oversupplied; and the industry is facing major headwinds at all levels of the supply chain, marring the anniversary of its 200th year of commercial production.

Florida’s Beleaguered Citrus Industry: At a Crossroads

Florida’s citrus industry is in a fight for survival. For the past decade, this industry has been under attack by a disease known to scientists as Huanglongbing (HLB), but more commonly known as citrus greening.

Is the US Tree Nut Industry Nearing the End of its Golden Run?

The U.S. tree nut industry will face several headwinds, including the strong U.S. dollar, a huge increase in supply, water difficulties, a tepid global economy, and increased global competition – all of which point to reduced profitability.

Key Issues Facing the U.S. Timber Industry: A Farm Credit Lenders’ Perspective

The near-term outlook for timber prices is mixed across regions, but stable. No one is envisioning a major swing in sawlog prices, up or down, over the next 12 to 18 months. However, pulpwood prices in the South have climbed to record-high levels and are expected to remain strong.