In this Winter 2021 installment of the NC State Economist, Dr. Daniel Tregeagle highlights the impacts of Covid-19 on North Carolina’s specialty crop producers and markets. He also reveals the results of a recent survey of caneberry growers on the trends, challenges and opportunities in their specialty crop sector.
Brazilian sugarcane yields declined sharply in 2011, ending a decade-long expansion of the industry. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, credit-constrained farmers replanted fewer sugarcane fields, leading to an increase in the average age of canes and a decline in yield several years later. Had average age remained constant over this period, industry revenues would have been around 10% higher in 2011 and 2012. This example shows how interruptions to the regular replanting schedules of a perennial crop can have production effects years into the future.
California review of the herbicide dacthal triggered by the requirements of California’s Pesticide Contamination Prevention Act was conducted in 2018. This article estimates the economic effects a cancellation of dacthal’s California registration would have on brassica and allium crops. Statewide net revenue losses for broccoli, dry onion, and cabbage, the largest users of dacthal, are estimated at $25.4 million: $17.9 million for broccoli, $2.4 million for cabbage, and $5.1 million for onion.