Specialty Crops Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on specialty crops.

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Vertical farming

Vertical Farms Must Trim Costs, Hone Business Models to Achieve Profitability

November 2022

Although the concept of growing food indoors is not new, investment in growing crops indoors in vertically stacked layers has ballooned in recent years. The labor, health, and supply chain issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic has driven even more new consumer and investor interest.

Fragrant Rice

Fragrant Rice: Opportunity or Threat for the U.S. Rice Industry?

September 2021

Since 1980, U.S. rice imports have grown from nearly zero to over 1.1 MMTs,while U.S. rice consumption has grown from 2.0 MMTs to nearly 5.0 MMTs. Nearly one-third of the gain in U.S. consumption has been satisfied by imported rice. 


California Tree Nut Outlook: Record Exports Expand Global Demand Base

April 2021

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. 

U.S. Dollar

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

February 2021

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

Sugar beets

Sugar Outlook: Sweeter Times Ahead for Sugarbeet Growers and Processors

June 2020

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?

November 2019

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

October 2019

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

August 2019

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

July 2019

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

May 2019

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

May 2019

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

February 2019

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

February 2019

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.  


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