Specialty Crops

North Carolina is engaged in the production of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants which are made available to consumers worldwide. Farm cash receipts for horticulture in North Carolina for the year 2016 totaled more than $1.4 billion (North Carolina Agricultural Statistics, 2017).

Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries account for $647 million with Nursery, Christmas Trees, and other crops making up $817 million. North Carolina is the largest sweet potato grower nationally accounting for 54% of the U.S. crop. Also North Carolina is the third largest producer of fresh market strawberries nationally.

North Carolina fruit and vegetable production includes a diverse portfolio of crops including pumpkins, apples, squash, blueberry, grapes, peaches, strawberry, bell peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, sweet corn, and tomatoes. These and the many other horticultural crops and the industry in general face many economic challenges including costs of production, marketing, risk management and labor issues.

 

Resources

Presentations:

NC Specialty Crops & Climate Change – ARE Extension Conference November 2020

NC Specialty Crop Outlook 2020 – ARE Extension Conference November 2020

Caneberry Budgeting and Prices – Extension Agent Training December 2020

Strawberry Budgeting and Economics – Extension Agent Training December 2020

Reports:

2020 North American Raspberry and Blackberry Pricing Survey Results

NC State Economist – Specialty Crops in 2020: COVID-19 and Other Challenges

Economic Data Sources

Market Price Data:

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

USDA Specialty Crop Market News

Production Data:

USDA NASS Quick Stats

Import/Export Data:

Vegetables and Pulses

Inventory Data:

Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

A Database of US Specialty Crop Enterprise Budgets:

Enterprise Budget Spreadsheet