Americans’ budget shares devoted to food

Americans’ spending on food— proportional to income — declined dramatically between 1960 and 2007, according to a chart recently published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service (ERS). 

As the chart shows, the average share of per capita disposable income spent on total food on average decreased from 17.5% in 1960 to 9.6%.  “The share of income spent on total food began to flatten in 2000, as inflation-adjusted incomes for many Americans have stagnated or fallen over the last decade or so. In 2014, Americans spent 5.5 percent of their disposable personal incomes on food at home and 4.3 percent on food away from home.”

USDA, ERS. Americans’ Budget Shares Devoted to Food Have Flattened in Recent Years.

Agri-Stats: Big Data

The times? They are a-changing!

And the changes are exciting. But, they are very scary, too, as growers envision how Big Data could potentially modify their lives into some  perverted version of Orwell’s 1984.

“Agricultural technology providers turn farmer’s data into a service or a product that will help a farmer make different decisions. But some [growers] are asking if all that farm-level data, when aggregated, will create a competitive advantage in commodity markets or lead to a potential moral hazard. That concern is real in the countryside.”

Stats :

  • “ > 75% of farmers responding to an American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) survey on Big Data expressed concern that their farm data could be used by a company or third party for market-sensitive commercial activities.
  • “A company having access to vast amounts of real-time data could develop near instant commodity reports, [to] tilt… the playing field between large and small companies.
  • > 77 % of farmers were concerned that their data could … be used for regulatory purposes.
  • >82 % of farmers were unsure [what] agriculture technology providers intended to go with their farm data.”

Source:  Note: Article no longer available  on the internet.

Reposted from October 29, 2014 Facebook Post

Agri- Stats: Who Buys Produce?

Today, fresh fruits and vegetables are largely purchased by aging, affluent baby boomers. In the future, as demographics change, Hispanics will be a larger buying group. Their U.S. population is expected to double in the next 35 years.


Source: Eddy, David. Growing Produce. September, 9, 2014.

Agri- Stats: Climate Change and Pest Management

At the October 2014 CAPCA Conference, a speaker addressed the predicted impacts of climate change to invasive pest management. She stated that invasive species are expected to move 1.9 kilometers away from the equator or up in altitude. Also, insect life cycles are expected to change from 2 to 5-10 life cycles in a season. We can also expect to see pest infestations become much less predictable as insect movement is erratic and life cycles are disrupted. Additionally, she discussed that climate change is expected to reduce plant nutrition, which, in turn, means that insects will need to feed more in order to sustain life. 

Additional stats: 

  • Pre-1989, California acquired 6 new invasive species per year.
  • Post-1989, California acquires 10 new invasive species per year.
  • Invasive species costs the US about $138 billion per year.
  • Invasive species costs CA > $34 billion per year.


California Ag is a powerhouse. It impacts our culture, social fabric, labor, economy, and environment locally, nationally and globally. 

It affects the lives of those who depends on California food.

It is a wild mix of juxtapositions  cosmopolitan/provincial, worldly/insulated, traditional/ingenuous, optimistic/pessimistic, wealthy/impoverished, hierarchical/autonomous, competitive/co-dependent, and experienced/innovative. The list could go on and on. 

Facts and figures tell the story for those who can’t drive the valleys, watch the rows tick by, smell the harvest, feel the wind, bite the dust, hope for rain, or get their boots dirty. 

Where do you get your fresh fruits and veggies?

The next time you are hungry, think about where your food comes from.

In 2012, (pre-drought) California was the top ranked producer of the following domestically produced vegetables (% of U.S. Total):

  • Artichokes (99%),
  • Asparagus (50%),
  • Brocolli (95%),
  • Cabbage (21%),
  • Carrots (68%),
  • Cauliflower (87%),
  • Celery (95%),
  • Garlic (97%),
  • Head Lettuce (77%),
  • Leaf Lettuce (85%),
  • Romaine Lettuce (76%),
  • Cantelope (58%),
  • Honeydew (74%),
  • Onions (26%),
  • Bell Peppers (40%),
  • Chili Peppers (54%),
  • Fresh Spinach (71%),
  • Fresh Tomoates (41%),
  • Processed Tomatoes (96%),
  • Almonds (99%),
  • Apricots (91%),
  • Avocados (92%),
  • Raspberries (55%),
  • Strawberries (80%),
  • Dates (82%),
  • Figs (96%),
  • Grapes (90%),
  • Kiwifruit (97%),
  • Lemons (90%),
  • Nectarines (96%),
  • Olives (96%),
  • Peaches (71%),
  • Pistachios (98%),
  • Plums (97%),
  • Tangerines (67%),
  • Walnuts (99%),

What happens to California Ag, affects all of us!

Reposted from June 18, 2012 Facebook Post