Family Farm and Food Bytes
AMERICANS BIG ON SNACKS, NEW FLAVOR COMBINATIONS (FarmWeekNow)- A new survey, conducted by One Poll on behalf of Moonstruck Chocolate, estimates Americans spend about $9.22 per week on snacks, totaling $479.44 a year, according to an article by ConfectionaryNews.com. That means average Americans spend more than $30,000 on snacks during their lifetime, opening opportunities for food developers. So much do Americans love snacks that 18% claimed they would ditch all their electronic devices for a lifetime supply of snacks. A sixth of Americans claimed they would shave their heads for a lifetime chocolate supply. The survey surfaced interest in different flavor combinations, including strawberry and balsamic vinegar, chocolate and pizza, as well as bacon and vinegar.
REPORT SHOWS DIVERSITY OF AMERICAN FARMS (ERS) -Farming remains overwhelmingly comprised of family businesses. Family farms as a group accounted for 98% of farms and 88% of production in 2018, according to the Economic Research Service’s latest report - America’s Diverse Family Farms 2019 Edition.
Large-scale family farms accounted for the largest share of production at 46%. However, approximately 90% of U.S. farms are small. In 2018, small farms accounted for 48% of the land operated by farms. Midsize and large-scale family farms dominate production of cotton (82% of production), cash grains/soybeans (74%), and hogs (66%). Small and large-scale farms together account for 69% of beef production. Small farms produce 56% of U.S. poultry and egg output and 50% of hay.
GENERAL CRP SIGNUP UNDERWAY (FarmWeek) -Farmers may sign up for the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) at area Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices until February 28. A separate CRP Grasslands sign up will be offered each year following general sign-up. Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive a yearly rental payment for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. For more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/crp.
REPORT SHOWS RISE IN AGRITOURISM (FarmWeekNow) -U.S. agritourism continues to grow, with revenues more than tripling between 2012 and 2017, according to the latest U.S. Census of Agriculture. Adjusted for inflation, agritourism revenue grew from $704 million in 2012 to almost $950 million in 2017, not including wineries. Even with this growth, agritourism revenue accounted for 5.6% of farm-related income in 2017, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers said.
Certain types of crop and livestock production- specifically grapes, fruit and tree nuts, and specialty livestock farms- had a positive and statistically significant impact on agritourism revenue. Direct-to-consumer marketing, such as farmers’ markets, and direct-to-retail food sales, such as selling to restaurants, provide free marketing for agritourism enterprises through word of mouth. Also, farms and ranches with cattle and horses had a greater likelihood of implementing agritourism. Horses, in particular, are associated with higher value agritourism enterprises, such as dude ranches and ranches specializing in tourist activities, including camping and horseback riding, researchers reported.
About Family Farm and Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau® organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally, and globally.