Ag News: Fresh Vegetable Consumption Higher and Drought Worries
**Calling their findings “surprising,” analysts say they estimate overall U.S. consumption of fresh vegetables increased slightly in 2020.
The USDA says the pandemic has taken a toll on vegetable demand from restaurants and other institutional customers, but sales at grocery stores and farmers markets have risen.
The report says the U.S. imported more fresh vegetables last year, as domestic production declined.
**After looking at the most recent US drought monitor, the Principal Atmospheric Scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions says he’s concerned for many key growing areas moving forward.
Eric Snodgrass tells agrimarketing.com, the study puts most of the western half of the country in some stage of drought, with sections in many states including Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota in extreme to exceptional drought.
Snodgrass says while the dry pattern is not a repeat of 2012, it is still a concerning matter to watch closely.
**The USDA is seeking members for a new advisory committee for urban agriculture.
The dozen members of the board will advise the agriculture secretary on issues relating to urban/indoor/vertical farms and identify barriers to establishing them.
According to thepacker.com, USDA’s Undersecretary Bill Northey says this group will underscore USDA’s commitment to all segments of agriculture and has the potential to support innovative ways to increase local food production in urban environments.
Nominations are due March 5th.