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Rural Migration Blog

California Wine in 2017

May 16, 2018

California's 600,000 acres of wine grapes produced 4.2 million tons in 2017, an average yield of 7.2 tons an acre. Most California wine grapes are red varieties: 2.2 million tons or 52 percent were red compared with 1.8 million tons or 48 percent that were white varieties. Napa or District 4 crushed 142,000 tons of grapes or 3.4 percent of the total, while Fresno (District 13) crushed 1.3 million tons or 31 percent of the total.

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California Agriculture in 2016

May 16, 2018

California has led the nation in farm sales since 1948, when Los Angeles County had more farm sales than any other U.S. county. The major reason that California's farm sales of $46 billion in 2016 were almost $20 billion higher than Number 2 Iowa at $27 billion is the dominance of high-value fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. Three-fourths of California's farm sales are fruits and nuts, vegetables and melons, and horticultural specialties such as floriculture, nurseries, and mushrooms, so-called FVH crops.

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Food Spending by Income Quintile in the US: 2016

May 16, 2018

The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey ( reported 129.5 million US "consumer units" or households in 2016 with an average of 2.5 persons, 1.3 earners, and 1.9 motor vehicles. Some 62 percent were homeowners, and the average age of the reference person in the household was 51.

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GCM: From Guest Workers to Immigrants

May 16, 2018

Circular or temporary foreign worker programs (TFWPs), sometimes known as guest worker programs, aim to add workers temporarily to the labor force without adding settlers to the population. The terminology, temporary foreign worker or guest worker, emphasizes the rotation principle at the heart of TFWPs: migrants are expected to work in another country from several months to several years before returning to their countries of origin. If employer demand for migrants persists, there may be replacement migrants, but the ratio of employed to total migrants should be near 100 percent.

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Rising Fruit and Vegetables Imports from Mexico

May 16, 2018

Americans are consuming more fruit and vegetables imported from abroad. About half of US fresh fruit (53 percent in 2017) and almost a third of US fresh vegetables (31 percent in 2017) are imported.

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H-2A program continues to Expand

April 25, 2018

DOL certified 112,200 farm jobs to be filled in the first half of FY18, up 15 percent from 96,800 in the first half of FY17. Florida and Georgia accounted for a quarter of first half certifications, followed by Washington and California with 20 percent. Berries was the largest single crop requesting H-2A workers, accounting for 11 percent of job certifications

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Fresh Berries

April 25, 2018

Americans are consuming more fresh berries, and a rising share are imported. Americans consume about 12 pounds of berries per person per year, including eight pounds of strawberries, two pounds of blueberries, and one pound each of blackberries and raspberries

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Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Trade: Tomatoes

April 25, 2018

The US has had an agricultural trade surplus since 1960, but has developed an agricultural trade deficit in fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2017, the US exported agricultural commodities worth $138 billion and imported farm goods worth $121 billion, for a trade surplus of $17 billion

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Agriculture: A Century of Change

April 25, 2018

The 20th century transformed the US from a mostly rural to a mostly urban country. In 1900, 60 percent of Americans lived in rural areas, and almost 40 percent lived on farms. By 2000, about 20 percent of Americans lived in rural areas and two percent lived on farms

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Midpoint Farm Sizes in FVH Commodities

April 25, 2018

The midpoint farm size is the acreage at which half of the production of the commodity is from larger farms and half from smaller farms. For example, half of all cropland and harvested cropland was on farms with 1,200 or more acres in 2012, up from a midpoint of 600 acres in 1982 and 800 acres in 1997

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