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April 2008, Volume 14, Number 2

US Production of Major Fruits and Vegetables 1990-92 and 2004-06

US production of fruits and vegetables rose from about 77 million tons a year between 1990 and 1992 to 83 million tons a year between 2004 and 2006. About two tons of vegetables and melons are produced for each ton of fruit; vegetable production is far more mechanized than fruit production.

Production exceeds a million tons a year for eight fruits. Apples and oranges make up more than half of all fruit tonnage produced in the US. Wine grape is the only major fruit that is machine harvested. By contrast, almost 75 percent of vegetables and melon tonnage is machine harvested. Lettuce composes 40 percent of all the vegetable and melon tonnage that is hand harvested.

Average annual production, short tons (000's)
Vegetables and Melons Fruits
Source: ERS Yearbooks, Heather Stamps
   1990-92   2004-06   Change     1990-92   2004-06   Change 
Lettuce, all 3.8 4.9 28% Oranges, proc. 6.3 6.7 6%
Watermelon 1.7 2.0 18% Apples 5.0 5.0 1%
Tomatoes, fresh 1.8 1.9 7% Grapes, raisin 2.4 2.1 -14%
Cabbage 1.8 1.2 -30% Oranges, fresh 1.8 1.9 3%
Peppers, all 0.6 0.8 31% Grapefruit 2.2 1.5 -32%
Cantaloupes 0.9 1.0 18% Peaches 1.3 1.2 -8%
Potatoes 20.8 21.9 6% Strawberries 0.7 1.2 75%
Tomatoes, proc. 10.0 11.0 10% Grapes, wine 2.2 3.3 50%
Onions, all 2.6 3.8 45% Total 25.1 26.4 5%
Sweet corn 0.9 1.4 59%  
Carrots 1.0 1.3 27%  
Dry Beans 1.5 1.1 -22% Fruits and Vegetables
Total 52.5 54.4 4% Total 77.6 82.8 7%