Since 2009, tomato production (as measured by hundredweight – cwt) fell 38%, according to data from USDA. To see what this looked like on at ground level, we compared how the top seven fresh-market-tomato states’ production levels compare to the national levels. Overall, numbers are falling sharply.
That’s due to a number of reasons, but experts at USDA, University of Florida, and other institutions identify two main causes: increased imports, primarily from Mexico, and more indoor-grown tomatoes here in the States. Our article, “Consumption is Up, Production Is Down: Understand How Fresh Tomato Trends Affect You,” delves more deeply into the issue.
A couple things to note in the infographic below:
- California and Florida are the top two fresh market tomato states, by far. How those two states performed had a big impact on national statistics.
- Some states show a zero in 2016 or 2017. Actually, these states levels dropped to a point that all data came from only a handful of growers. Sharing the production data would equal sharing individual farms’ data. So USDA withheld that data.