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USDA Projections to 2030

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July 16, 2021

USDA’s projections of agricultural production and trade during the 2020-30 decade anticipate stable production and prices of field crops such as corn and soybeans, and slightly rising production and prices for milk and meat due to increased demand for these animal products abroad. The US is expected to remain a net exporter of agricultural commodities, but the agricultural trade surplus is projected to decline as fruit and vegetable imports rise faster than exports.

The two major factors that determine the global demand for food are the number of people and their incomes. USDA begins with a world population of 7.6 billion in 2020, and assumes that population growth will slow from 1.1 percent a year between 2011 to 2020 to 0.9 percent a year between 2021 and 2030. The ex-USSR is expected to have a stable population, while Africa’s population is expected to increase by 2.5 percent a year.

World population growth is expected to slow to less than 1% a year from 2021-30

The world’s GDP was $80 trillion in 2020 (2015 dollars), including $19 trillion in the US, $16.3 trillion in the EU, $14.5 trillion in China, $4.3 trillion in Japan, and $1.1 trillion in Mexico. Per capita incomes in 2020 (2015 dollars) averaged $10,500 globally and were $56,600 in the US, $31,300 in the EU, $10,400 in China, $34,600 in Japan, and $8,600 in Mexico. China’s GDP is expected to increase by five percent a year between 2021 and 2030, double the 2.5 percent economic growth rate of Mexico.

Economic growth is expected to be faster from 2021-30 in all regions except East Asia

Crops. The prices of corn, soybeans, and wheat are projected to remain at about $10, $5, and $4 a bushel, respectively, over the next decade, with fewer year-to-year price fluctuations than between 2011 and 2020.

Corn, soybean, and wheat prices are expected to remain stable from 2021-30

The planted acreage of eight major US field crops is expected to remain at about 250 million acres, led by 90 million acres of corn, 90 million acres of soybeans, and 45 million acres of wheat.

Corn, soybeans, and wheat account for 90 percent of field crop acreage

U.S. acreage for major field crops and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) assumptions, long-term projections
  2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Planted acreage, eight major crops
Corn 89.7 91.0 90.0 90.0 90.0 90.0 90.0 89.0 89.0 89.0 89.0 89.0
Sorghum 5.3 5.8 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0 7
Barley 2.8 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6
Oats 2.8 3.0 2.9 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.7 2.7
Wheat 45.5 44.3 46.0 46.0 46.0 45.5 45.0 45.0 45.0 44.5 44.5 44.5
Rice 2.5 3.0 2.6 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7
Upland cotton 13.5 11.9 11.2 11.8 12.0 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8
Soybeans 76.1 83.1 89.0 90.0 90.0 90.5 90.5 90.0 90.0 90.0 90.0 90
Total 238.2 244.8 251.3 252.9 253.1 253.3 252.9 251.5 251.6 251.2 251.2 251.3
CRP acreage assumptions
Total CRP 22.3 22.0 22.6 25.5 27.0 26.9 27.0 26.9 26.9 26.9 26.9 26.9
Total planted plus CRP 260.6 266.8 273.9 278.4 280.1 280.2 279.9 278.4 278.5 278.1 278.1 278.2

The value of US-produced fruit (38 percent of total FNV value), tree nuts (21 percent), and vegetables (41 percent), is projected to increase 27 percent from $51 billion in 2020 to $65 billion in 2030 for fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The value of fruit and nuts surpassed the value of vegetables in 2010, and the gap between more valuable fruit and nuts and vegetables is projected to widen during the 2020s.

Fruits and tree nuts are 57% of the $51 billion value of FNV crops

About 60 percent of US vegetables by value are fresh, some of which come from greenhouses and other protected culture structures for which USDA has limited data. A quarter of US vegetables are processed, and three fourths of processed vegetables involve tomatoes.

By weight, fruit is 27 percent of the 186 billion pounds of US fruits, nuts, and vegetables produced in 2020, tree nuts five percent, and vegetables 68 percent.

The $16 billion value of US noncitrus fruit in 2020 exceeded the $13 billion value of fresh vegetables

Fruit, nuts, and vegetables long-term projections
Item Unit 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030
Production, farm weight
  Fruit and nuts Mil. lbs. 56,772 57,484 55,635 56,201 56,458 56,919 57,332 57,763 58,191 58,623 59,057 59,493
    Citrus Mil. lbs. 16,280 15,560 14,184 14,602 14,475 14,514 14,502 14,505 14,504 14,505 14,505 14,505
    Noncitrus Mil. lbs. 33,861 34,600 34,220 34,220 34,457 34,733 35,011 35,291 35,573 35,858 36,145 36,434
    Tree nuts Mil. lbs. 6,631 7,324 7,231 7,378 7,525 7,672 7,819 7,966 8,113 8,260 8,407 8,554
  Vegetables 1 Mil. lbs. 123,552 128,213 130,687 128,234 129,026 128,735 129,032 128,943 129,323 129,348 129,704 129,447
    Fresh market Mil. lbs. 37,974 40,476 39,639 39,595 39,115 39,339 39,278 39,322 39,411 39,566 39,648 39,586
    Processing Mil. lbs. 31,615 33,214 34,050 33,223 33,399 33,562 33,740 33,887 34,025 34,155 34,277 34,390
    Potatoes Mil. lbs. 42,442 41,548 45,393 43,637 44,189 43,407 43,573 43,121 43,124 42,792 42,789 42,398
    Pulses Mil. lbs. 5,478 6,391 5,385 5,601 6,095 6,160 6,193 6,291 6,447 6,526 6,652 6,738
    Other 2 Mil. lbs. 6,042 6,584 6,219 6,179 6,229 6,267 6,248 6,322 6,316 6,309 6,337 6,335
  Total fruit, nuts, vegetables Mil. lbs. 180,324 185,697 186,322 184,435 185,484 185,654 186,364 186,706 187,514 187,971 188,760 188,940
Farm value
  Fruit and nuts Million dollars 28,770 29,453 30,247 31,071 31,919 32,790 33,685 34,604 35,549 36,519 37,517 38,542
    Citrus Million dollars 3,400 3,398 3,490 3,593 3,699 3,809 3,922 4,038 4,157 4,280 4,407 4,537
    Noncitrus Million dollars 15,446 15,833 16,228 16,634 17,050 17,476 17,913 18,361 18,820 19,291 19,773 20,267
    Tree nuts Million dollars 9,924 10,222 10,528 10,844 11,170 11,505 11,850 12,205 12,571 12,949 13,337 13,737
  Vegetables Million dollars 20,466 21,941 21,690 22,411 22,757 23,302 23,788 24,383 24,866 25,421 25,945 26,573
    Fresh market Million dollars 11,716 12,532 12,609 12,921 13,296 13,606 13,973 14,350 14,709 15,083 15,471 15,886
    Processing Million dollars 1,614 1,784 1,862 1,858 1,891 1,922 1,962 1,994 2,025 2,057 2,089 2,120
    Potatoes Million dollars 4,138 4,275 3,899 4,131 4,025 4,164 4,131 4,216 4,215 4,279 4,288 4,354
    Pulses Million dollars 1,017 1,176 1,188 1,329 1,334 1,359 1,427 1,488 1,537 1,576 1,626 1,695
    Other Million dollars 1,981 2,174 2,131 2,173 2,212 2,252 2,295 2,335 2,380 2,425 2,470 2,518
1 Includes melons, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. Utilized production is used for potatoes. Pulses include edible dry beans and peas, lentils, and other peas.
2 Other includes melons and mushrooms. Sweet potatoes included with fresh vegetables.

Livestock. Average meat consumption is expected to increase by a pound a year to 228 pounds per person by 2030, including 101 pounds of chicken, 58 pounds of beef, and 51 pounds of pork.

Chicken accounts for 44 percent of US meat consumption

The production of milk is expected to increase by 1.1 percent a year to 248 billion pounds in 2030. The number of cows is projected to remain stable at 9.4 million, but milk per cow is projected to increase to an average 26,300 pounds a year. Rising milk production could put downward pressure on milk prices.

A stable number of cows is projected to produce more milk

Dairy long-term projections
Item Unit 2019 2020 1 2021 2022 2023 2024 1 2025 2026 2027 2028 1 2029 2030
Milk production and marketings:
Number of cows Thousand 9,336 9,365 9,370 9,365 9,375 9,375 9,370 9,370 9,375 9,390 9,405 9,430
Milk per cow Pounds 23,391 23,735 24,070 24,305 24,560 24,865 25,040 25,290 25,540 25,865 26,045 26,295
Milk production Billlion lbs. 218.4 222.3 225.5 227.6 230.3 233.1 234.6 237.0 239.4 242.9 245.0 248.0
Farm use Billlion lbs. 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Marketings Billlion lbs. 217.4 221.3 224.5 226.6 229.2 232.1 233.6 235.9 238.4 241.9 243.9 247.0
Supply and use, milkfat basis:
Beginning commercial stocks Billlion lbs. 13.8 13.6 14.0 13.8 14.4 15.2 16.0 16.7 17.0 17.4 17.9 18.3
Marketings Billlion lbs. 217.4 221.3 224.5 226.6 229.2 232.1 233.6 235.9 238.4 241.9 243.9 247.0
Imports Billlion lbs. 6.9 6.9 6.7 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.0 6.1 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
Commercial supply Billlion lbs. 238.1 241.8 245.2 246.7 249.8 253.4 255.6 258.7 261.4 265.3 267.8 271.3
Domestic commercial use 2 Billlion lbs. 215.2 218.2 221.9 222.8 224.8 227.6 228.8 231.7 234.0 237.4 239.5 242.5
Commercial exports Billlion lbs. 9.1 9.3 9.5 9.5 9.8 9.8 10.1 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 9.9
CCC donations 3 Billlion lbs. 0.2 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Ending commercial stocks Billlion lbs. 13.6 14.0 13.8 14.4 15.2 16.0 16.7 17.0 17.4 17.9 18.3 18.9
Supply and use, skim solids basis:
Beginning commercial stocks Billlion lbs. 10.7 10.2 10.5 10.2 10.3 10.8 11.3 11.7 11.9 12.1 12.4 12.5
Marketings Billlion lbs. 217.4 221.3 224.5 226.6 229.2 232.1 233.6 235.9 238.4 241.9 243.9 247.0
Imports Billlion lbs. 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.1
Commercial supply Billlion lbs. 233.9 237.2 240.7 242.2 245.0 248.3 250.3 252.9 255.6 259.2 261.4 264.6
Domestic commercial use 2 Billlion lbs. 181.9 179.5 182.7 183.3 184.6 186.3 186.9 188.4 190.0 192.2 193.7 195.7
Commercial exports Billlion lbs. 41.5 47.1 47.8 48.6 49.6 50.7 51.7 52.6 53.5 54.6 55.2 56.1
CCC donations 3 Billlion lbs. 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Ending commercial stocks Billlion lbs. 10.2 10.5 10.2 10.3 10.8 11.3 11.7 11.9 12.1 12.4 12.5 12.8
Prices:
All milk $/hundredweight 18.63 18.00 17.60 18.40 17.95 17.60 17.60 18.15 18.55 18.80 19.30 19.60
Cheese $/lb. 1.76 1.91 1.80 1.82 1.75 1.69 1.66 1.70 1.74 1.76 1.78 1.79
Butter $/lb. 2.24 1.60 1.70 1.83 1.83 1.91 1.91 1.98 2.00 2.04 2.10 2.16
Nonfat dry milk $/lb. 1.04 1.04 1.05 1.20 1.16 1.09 1.09 1.08 1.09 1.09 1.16 1.18
Dry whey $/lb. 0.38 0.35 0.36 0.38 0.39 0.39 0.41 0.43 0.43 0.42 0.42 0.42
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
1 Leap year.
2 Dairy domestic commercial use for 2020 includes significant milk marketed but not processed.
3 CCC donations include purchases made through the USDA Trade Mitigation program (funded through CCC) but not under other programs. The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is a wholly-owned Government corporation administered by USDA. The projections were completed in October 2020.

Trade. The US has had an agricultural trade surplus since 1960. The agricultural trade surplus topped $25 billion in 1981, 1995-96, and 2008-14, but is now less than $20 billion and shrinking because US farm exports are primarily relatively low value grain crops while imports include more valuable fresh fruits and vegetables. The value of fresh fruit and vegetable imports is projected to increase from $24 billion in 2020 to $37 billion in 2030.

The US farm trade surplus is projected to shrink by 2030

References

USDA Agricultural Projections to 2030.

https://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity-markets/baseline


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