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economic research service

Stats to Spice Up Your Pumpkin Knowledge

As you are enjoying fall pumpkin treats, consider that every U.S. state produces pumpkins. However, the top five pumpkin producing states between 2016 and 2018 – Illinois, Texas, California, Indiana, and Pennsylvania – harvested about 40 percent of U.S. pumpkin acres, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. In 2018, Illinois harvested twice as many acres of pumpkins as any of the other top states.

Food Insecurity in U.S. Households in 2018 is Down from 2017, Continuing Trend and Returning to Pre-Recession (2007) Level

In 2018, food insecurity returned to the pre-recession level of 11.1 percent, last observed in 2007. It is down from 11.8 percent in 2017 and a high of 14.9 percent in 2011. USDA’s Economic Research Service recently released its Household Food Security in the United States in 2018 on the incidence and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households. In 2018, 14.3 million households had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members because of a lack of financial or other resources.

By 2029, Food Security is Projected to Improve in 76 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

In 2019, 19.3 percent of the 3.8 billion people in 76 low- and middle-income countries are projected to be food insecure, meaning they do not have access to sufficient food for an active and healthy lifestyle. By 2029, their food security situation is projected to improve, leaving 9.2 percent food insecure (assuming rising per-capita incomes, stable or declining food prices, and no new major crises).

Purple Corn Offers Benefits Inside and Out

Purple corn is more than tasty and eye-catching. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a game-changing element of purple corn – it may help reduce the risk of major health diseases.

Corn is America’s Largest Crop in 2019

Despite an unusually wet spring followed by an unusually cool June, America’s corn farmers planted even more than they did last year. U.S. farmers have planted 91.7 million acres of corn in 2019, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That’s about 69 million football fields of corn and 3 percent more corn than last year, far more acres than the next largest crop, soybeans.

Where Do Americans’ Food Dollars Go?

In 2017, consumers in the United States spent $1.2 trillion on U.S.-produced food. Nearly all food starts out on a farm, but did you ever wonder how the value added from processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing agricultural food products factors into the costs?

Increased Breastfeeding in WIC Would Increase Federal Costs but Lower Health Related Costs for WIC Households

Breastfeeding rates in the United States fall short of those recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other U.S. health organizations. If breastfeeding in the U.S. increased to medically recommended levels, what would be the economic impact on Federal programs?

USDA Report is First to Provide Consolidated Data on Conservation Practices by U.S. Farmers

Increasingly, food companies, environmental organizations, and agricultural commodity groups are setting ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from farms. These goals are realized through conservation practices such as reduced tillage farming, and precision technologies, like autosteer tractors. Yet, there’s not much nationally consistent data to help farmers and policymakers know which practices are being used, and how the adoption of those practices is changing over time.