California Tomato Production Down and Cow Milk Consumption Off
**California’s anticipated tomato production shrank last year due to water shortages and higher production costs, according to farmers.
Some processing-tomato growers who once paid $3,000 per acre on their crop say they’re now paying more than $4,000.
Last year, state processors intended to contract for 12.1 million tons of tomatoes.
By the end of harvest, that figure had dropped by 1.3 million tons.
**U.S. per capita consumption of fluid cow’s milk has been trending downward since the mid-1940s but fell at a faster rate during the 2010s than in each of the previous six decades.
On a given day in 2003, U.S. consumers drank about 0.57 cup-equivalents of fluid cow's milk, but consumption fell to 0.33 cup-equivalents by 2018.
Over that period, U.S. per person consumption of milk WITH CEREAL also fell by 0.06 cup-equivalents, children accounting for the steepest drop.
**Retail food prices increased 3.5% in 2020 and 2021, greater than the historical annual average of 2% from 2000 to 2019.
But USDA's Economic Research Service expects less inflation this year for food-at-home, expected to increase between 1.5 and 2.5% this year, lower than the 3.5% increase in both 2020 and 2021.
Dairy products and fresh vegetables had significantly slower price increases in 2021 than 2020 and their historical averages.