More Extreme Weather Yet Vegetable Production Is Up: Will Early State of the Industry Trends Hold?

More Extreme Weather Yet Vegetable Production Is Up: Will Early State of the Industry Trends Hold?

2018 State of the Vegetable Industry


With a week and a half left before we close the American Vegetable Grower® magazine 2018 State of the Vegetable Industry survey, and some intriguing trends are developing. But will they hold?

If you haven’t had a chance to take the survey, make sure your own story is shared so we can get a full picture of how the industry is doing.

In the meantime, here are some of the trends we’re watching:

Extreme Weather

So far, a higher percentage of growers report they had to deal with extreme weather than last year, with 62.0% this year, and 58.8% last year.

Production Trends

Despite the uptick in extreme weather, growers are reporting their production is seeing a healthy increase. Almost half (47.5%) say their production increased by at least 5%, while only 23.1% saw their production drop by at least 5%. For comparison, only 40.8% saw an uptick in their production of more than 5% last year, and more growers this year (27.9%) saw a drop in production of more than 5%.

Crops Added and Dropped

We added a couple more choices in our question about which crops are grown. In the past, we’ve asked if growers increased, decreased, maintained the amount of each crop grown, or if they do not grow the crop. To those choices, we added “adding crop” and “dropping crop,” and it’s giving us a much more nuanced view of just how much growers mix things up.

So far, the most common crops being added to operations are leafy greens, tomatoes, melons, cabbage, and sweet corn.

Conversely, the crops being dropped most often are watermelon, melons, potatoes, beans, and strawberries.

Note that melons made both lists, making this commodity the most mobile crop in our long list.

We’re very curious to see how this all turns out. We encourage to you to take the survey and add your voice to your peers. This will help us provide you with deeper insight to how healthy the vegetable industry will be in 2018.

An in-depth report on the survey will run in our January 2018 issue.