Wineries in Michigan

Michigan ranks fifth in the United States in wine production. Most wine grapes are grown in Van Buren, Berrien, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse counties, all within 25 miles of the Lake Michigan coast. The top 3 wines produced are Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Because several other types of fruit are grown in the state, many wineries make wine from fruit other than grapes, such as with cherries or apples.

Geographic reference: Michigan
Year: 2017
Market size: 127 wineries producing 2.4 million gallons of wine annually
Source: Bob Gross, “Wine and Spirits Industries Booming,” Lansing State Journal, April 23, 2017, page 7P.
Original source: Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council

Wheat Market in Michigan

Michigan has approximately 8,000 wheat farmers, some have been farming on family farms for more than 100 years. Several have ancestors who were wheat farmers in Europe. Farmers in Michigan plant on average 500,000 acres of wheat per year.

There are primarily two types of wheat that Michigan farmers plant: soft white and soft red. Soft white wheat is mostly used in breakfast cereals and whole-grain products because of its greater palatability. Soft red wheat is mostly used for baked goods and other processed foods.

Today’s market size is the value of wheat sales by farmers in Michigan.

Geographic reference: Michigan
Year: 2016
Market size: $218.5 million
Source: Witsil, Frank, “Dr. Wheat Shapes Eats,” Lansing State Journal, November 13, 2016, page 7A

Animal Feed Additives

Food supplements are consumed, whether by humans or animals, to augment or improve in some way the nutritional value of the diet. Food additives in farming have been used for centuries, as anyone who has seen a salt-lick will appreciate. However, with the rise of corporate farming in livestock production—what are known as Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs)—the use of feed additives and the nature of those additives has changed greatly. Animal feed additives come in a variety of types, from vitamin supplements and amino acids to preservatives, emulsifiers and essential fatty acids.

Recently, one commonly used additive has been in the media spotlight; antibiotics. It is now common practice in the United States to add low doses of antibiotics to animal feed. Antibiotics are used to stimulate growth as well as to stave off the diseases bred by unnatural and unsanitary conditions. The use of antibiotics on livestock is so great in the United Sates that it is believed to account for 80%, by weight, of all antibiotic use. The business of providing a population with high volumes of low-cost meat is a very large business indeed. Raising livestock in more natural ways—as opposed to the assembly-line manner used by AFOs—takes longer and, as they say, time is money.

Today’s market size is the estimated global value of the animal feed additive market. These additives are most heavily used in North America and Asia-Pacific, regions that together account for more than 60% of the use of animal feed additives.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2012 and a forecast for 2018
Market size: $16.18 billion and $20.23 billion respectively
Source: “Animal Feed Additives Market Worth $20,233.2 Million by 2018,” PR Newswire, March 12, 2014, available online here.
Original source: MarketsandMarkets
Posted on March 17, 2014


Today’s market size is the total production of oranges worldwide in 2013, broken out into those harvested for consumption as fresh fruit and those harvested for processing. In the United States, production was down in 2013 due in part to Citrus Greening disease which has been killing trees in the nations largest orange producing state, Florida. Over the last six years, 2008–2013, U.S. orange production accounted for an average of 15% of world production. In 2013 that figure fell to 13%.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2013
Market size: 51.8 million metric tons, 59% harvested for fresh consumption and 41% for processing
Source: “Oranges, Fresh: Production, Supply and Distribution in Selected Countries,” Production, Supply and Distribution Online, December 24, 2013, USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service, available online here. The USDA reports on the production and supply of many agricultural products through its Foreign Agricultural Service, the main web site for which is here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
Posted on February 7, 2014



It takes far fewer acres to produce the food we need and in the United States the total number of acres used in agriculture have been shrinking for decades, while output has grown. The number of farms has also been shrinking as larger and more industrial-sized farms have come to dominate the market.

These trends in farming can be seen in the graph. It shows the number of farms and the average size of U.S. farms each decade since 1940. What we thought was of interest is the fact that there has been a small change in the century-long trend of growing average farm size. Since 1990, the average size of farms has actually shrunk, slightly, from 460 acres to 418 acres. There was also a slight increase in the number of farms between 2000 and 2010. The relatively small movement back to family or small-scale farming, and in particular organic farming, is large enough to be visible in the national statistics and on the size of the average farm in the United States.

Today’s market size is the total number of farms in the United States in 1990 and 2010 as well as the total value of farm output in those two years.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1990 and 2010
Market size: 1990: 2,146 farms with output valued at $180 billion
Market size: 2010: 2,201 farms with output valued at $300 billion
Sources: (1) “Table 824. Farms—Number and Acreage: 1990 to 2010,” Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, U.S. Census Bureau, December 2011, page 536, available online here. (2) “Table 1101. Farms—Number and Acreage: 1959 to 1989,” Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1990, U.S. Census Bureau, January 1990, page 638. (3) “Series K 1-16. Farm Populations, Land in Farms, and Value of Farm Property and Real Estate: 1850 to 1970,” Statistical Abstract of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, U.S. Census Bureau, September 1975, page 457.
Original source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
Posted on January 10, 2014


Cranberries, a native fruit of North America, are consumed most frequently in the form of juice. However, during the celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States, cranberries in a more solid form have an important place on the menu. Wisconsin is the cranberry-producing center of the United States. It’s crop, in 2012, accounted for more than half of all fresh cranberries sold in the country.

Today’s market size in the estimated value of the 2012 cranberry harvest in the United States.

We wish you much to be thankful for on this day before Thanksgiving, 2013.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012
Market size: $386 million (slightly more than 8 million barrels of cranberries)
Source: Malinda Geisler and Diane Huntrods, “Cranberries Profile,” Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC), Iowa State University, available online here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Posted on November 27, 2013

Orange Juice

Faced with a greater variety of beverage choices, including exotic juices and energy drinks, and higher prices for orange juice due to the spread of citrus greening disease, consumers are increasingly choosing those alternatives over the breakfast staple, orange juice. Total U.S. retail unit sales in the 2012-2013 season reached its lowest level since the 1998-1999 season.

Data show the total U.S. retail sales of orange juice by volume in the 2012-2013 season.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012-2013
Market size: 563.2 million gallons
Source: Alexandra Wexler, “The Slow Death of a Former Breakfast Table Star,” The Wall Street Journal, October 14, 2013, available online here.
Original source: Nielsen
Posted on October 29, 2013

Global Feed Industry

The feed industry is a part of the agriculture sector. The term feed here is used as a noun and refers to the food provided to agricultural animals and fish, to livestock. Many different things are used as feed. These are usually broken into two categories, concentrates and roughage. The concentrates are the high energy value feeds that come from cereal grains, high-protein oil meals, and by-products from processing sugar beets, sugarcane, animals and fish. The category of feed referred to as roughage includes pasture grasses, hay, silage, corn stalks and the like.

An area of interest and research in this industry is raising insects for use as animal feed. It has the potential for being a very sustainable, comparatively low energy way to significantly increase feedstocks over the next decades. This is important since United Nations’ estimates predict a 70% increase in demand for agricultural feed over current rates by the year 2050.

Today’s market size is the quantity and value of feed production globally in 2011.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2011
Market size: 870 million tons valued at $350 billion
Source: “Insects as Animal Feed,” The Fish Site, June 3, 2013, available online here.
Original source: United National Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Posted on September 20, 2013

Apples and Cherries in Michigan

Farming is not for the weak of heart as volatility in agricultural output is still the norm. After a year of devastation for the fruit industry in the State of Michigan, this year is shaping up to be a strong recovery. No matter how much technological know-how we invest in our agricultural industries, in the end, weather can still have the final say on whether a year is a boon or a bust.

Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the union and its state flower is the apple blossom. In 2012, unusual weather patterns in the early part of the season destroyed many of the fruit crops for the year. In 2013, the pent-up energy in the fruit bearing trees has combined with perfect weather conditions to produce what is expected to be a bumper crop for most fruits grown in Michigan.

Today’s market size is the quantity of apples and cherries grown in Michigan in 2012 and 2013, based on early 2013 crop reports.

Geographic reference: Michigan
Year: 2012 and 2013
Market size: Apples: 2.74 and 30.0 million bushels respectively
Market size: Cherries: 11 and 212 million pounds respectively
Source: Michael Martinez, “Michigan expects biggest apple crop in decades,” The Detroit News, August 31, 2013, available online here.
Original source: Apple Committee and the Michigan Farm Bureau
Posted on September 3, 2013

Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Products

Some say it strengthens hair and tastes good drizzled on a salad. Moroccan argan oil is the latest new trend in the personal-care market. Argan oil is appearing in more and more products as one of the highlighted ingredients. Under fair trade production standards, dime-sized kernels from acorn-shaped nuts are extracted by hand by Moroccan women earning the equivalent of $4 a day. These kernels are then ground down and the oil extracted. The wholesale price of argan oil in 2011 was approximately $30 per liter while in beauty boutiques around the world, a liter of argan oil sells for around $400.

In 2012, Morocco exported 700 tons of the oil, twice that exported in 2007. Today’s market size is the number of hair products containing argan oil that were introduced in 2008 and 2012.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2008 and 2012
Market size: 29 and 588 respectively
Source: Matthew Boyle, “Cosmetics’ Hot Elixir: Argan Oil From Morocco,” Bloomberg Businessweek, July 25, 2013, available online here.
Original source: Mintel
Posted on August 6, 2013

Peppermint Oil


The price of mint oil, both peppermint and spearmint, has gone up sharply since the recession that started at the end of 2007. The chart shows the value of U.S. mint oil production from 2000 through 2012. Much of the increase has been due to the increased price of mint oil and not increased production. In fact, the production of peppermint oil fell over this period by 6.7% while the total value of the peppermint oil produced rose by 108%. Spearmint oil production over this period grew by 8.7% and the value of that oil grew by 134%.

Today’s market size is the number of pounds of peppermint oil produced in the United States in 2000 and 2012 and the value of the oil produced each year.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2000 and 2012
Market size: 7,063 pounds valued at $76.28 million and 6,592 pounds valued at $158.86 million respectively
Source: Crop Values – 2012 Summary, February 2013, page 43 and earlier reports in this annual series. These reports are produced by and put out annually by the United States Department of Agriculture, accessible in multiple formats on their website here.
Original source: USDA
Posted on May 24, 2013

Organic Products

Currently there are more than 17,000 certified organic businesses in the United States. In 2011, sales of organic foods made up more than 4% of all food and beverage sales. In 2012, sales of organic products grew 10%. Growth in this industry is expected to continue due to increasing consumer demand.

Today’s market size is the dollar amount of organic product sales in United States in 2012.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012
Market size: $35 billion
Source: Mary Clare Jalonick, “Demand Aids Organic Industry’s Sway,” Lansing State Journal, May 19, 2013, page 6A.
Posted on May 22, 2013

Açaí Berries and Superfoods

The açaí berry is native to the Amazon rainforest and in particular to Brazil. It is a berry that has high quantities of phytochemicals, plant compounds that are believed to protect us from a variety of ills, from heart disease to cancer. Through heavy marketing of the berry as a sort of miracle cure, a market for this fruit was created and grew rapidly, reaching a high in 2009.

The açaí berry is what is often called a superfood, a category of foods that are nutrient dense, thus rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients while having few calories. So-called superfoods that are new to the U.S. market appear to follow a somewhat predictable cycle. They become the hyped new health food. Demand for them rises sharply and they ride this tide. Then they begin a decline as their high prices are balanced against the consumer’s experience with them and the promise of a new, heavily marketed superfood. Worth noting is the fact that blueberries are very nearly as rich in polyphenols as are açaí berries yet they are priced at a fraction of the price of açaí berries.

Today’s market size is an estimate of the total value of açaí-laced products sold in the United States in 2012.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012
Market size: $200 million
Source: Tom Philpott, “Farm to Fable,” Mother Jones, May/June 2013, page 68
Posted on April 23, 2013

Cuban Imports

On the whole the United States has been a supporter and booster of free trade and globalization since the end of the second World War and with increased energy since the 1990s. Yet with one neighboring country, Cuba, trade relations have been unusual. The frictions in trade between the United States and Cuba date back to the 1950s and the Cuban Revolution, followed by a forty-year trade embargo imposed by the United States. In 2000, President Clinton signed the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act which opened the door for some restrictive trade with Cuba, specifically, U.S. exports of farm and forestry products and some medicines. The act did not open the door for any imports from Cuba.

Today’s market size is the total value of products exported from the United States to Cuba in 2000, 2008, and 2011. The drop in exports from 2008 to 2011 is largely the result of the fact that under the restrictions imposed on this trade, Cuba is required to pay in advance for all U.S. imports in cash, something that became much harder as the financial crisis of 2008 took hold. By way of placing this level of international trade into perspective, according to CIA estimates, Cuba’s imports in 2011, from all over the world, totaled $14 billion.

Geographic reference: United States and Cuba
Year: 2000, 2008, 2011
Market size: $1.3, $711.5, and $363.3 million
Source: “2011 Exports of NAICS Total All Merchandise,” and interactive, online data resource published by the International Trade Administration and available online here. “The World Factbook,” entry on Cuba, published by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and make available online here.
Original source: ITA (U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration) and the CIA
Posted on January 11, 2013

Christmas Tree Farming

The sale of natural trees for use as Christmas trees has been on the decline in the United States for some time. Most likely, the decline in numbers of trees sold annually has more to do with the rise in the use of artificial trees than to an overall decline in households and establishments decorating trees for the season. In 2009, Christmas tree production in the United States was down 60% from its pace just seven years earlier, in 2002 (a U.S. Economic Census year) when 20.8 million trees were grown for sale.

Today’s market size is the number of Christmas trees grown for sale in the United States in 2009 and their approximate value that year.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2009
Market size: 12.9 million trees valued at $248.9 million.
Source: Dan Burden and J.S. Isaacs, “Christmas Tree Profile,” AgMRC, March 2012, available online here.
Original source: Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Census of Horticultural Specialties, USDA and the National Christmas Tree Association.
Posted on December 17, 2012


Today we look at cranberries, one of the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal in the United States. The market we present here is the size, measured in barrels, of U.S. cranberry production annually over four decades.

We hope that as the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend proceeds in the United States, that all of our visitors have many reasons to give thanks this year.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010
Market size: 2.70, 3.44, 5.84, and 6.81 million barrels respectively
Source: “Cranberries—2012 Cranberry Production Down Slightly,” August 14, 2012, and earlier reports on cranberry production, all produced and made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Services. The Annual reports on cranberry production are listed on the USDA’s website here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Posted on November 21, 2012



Today’s market size is the size of the market of U.S. produced pickles and pickled products in 2005 and again in 2010. The values listed are for product shipments from the pickles and other pickled products industry (NAICS 311421P) as reported on by the U.S. Census Bureau in its reports on the manufacturing industry.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2005 and 2010
Market size: $1.31 and $1.46 billion respectively
Source: “Annual Survey of Manufactures: Value of Product Shipments: Value of Shipments for Product Classes,” the 2005 and 2010 editions, available online from the American Factfinder, for 2005, here, and for 2010, here.
Original source: U.S. Departemnt of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
Posted on October 2, 2012


Today’s market size is the size of milk production in the United States in 2007 and 2011. Milk prices in 2011 were at an historic high, in part because the costs of feed were also very high. The drought of 2012 has only served to tighten the feed market further and it is anticipated that both feed and milk costs will continue to rise through 2012 and beyond.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007 and 2011
Market size: 185,655 and 196,246 million pounds
Source: “Milk Cows and Production by State and Region,” September 20, 2012, part of a series of reports produced by various agencies within the USDA’s Economic Research Service and available online here.
Original source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Posted on September 21, 2012

Crop Insurance

The drought being experienced this year in most of the United States will have an impact on the cost of food in the not distant future. Farmers will have a difficult year, but how difficult? As it turns out, less than one might expect. Over the last decades there has been a significant increase in the use of crop insurance in the United States and an escalation of the subsidies received from the federal government to cover crop insurance premiums. In 2011, the federal government picked up 60% of crop insurance premiums. In fact, crop and revenue insurance now represents the primary federal support for farm income, paying $5.2 billion in direct payments to farmers and $7.4 billion in insurance premium subsidies.

Today’s market size post lists the number of acres of farmland covered by crop insurance in 1981 and 2011 as well as the total insured liability each year. The level of government subsidies for crop insurance has risen quite substantially over this period. Total premiums paid for crop insurance in 2011 were approximately $12.3 billion, of which the federal government picked up 60%, or $7.4 billion.

Our hope is that all those impacted by this drought are spared serious damage and that starvation in distant places of this ever more connected world does not rise as a result of crop shortfalls in the United States.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1981 and 2011
Market size: Acres: 45 million and 262 million respectively
Market size: Insured liability: $6 billion and $113 billion respectively
Source: Keith Collins and Harum Bulut, “Crop Insurance and the Future Farm Safety Net,” February 10, 2012, available online here and Andrew G. Simpson, “Cap on Subsidy of Crop Insurance Premium Would Save $1 Billion: GAO,” April 13, 2012, available online here.
Original source: FarmDocDaily, Insurance Journal, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Government Accounting Office.
Posted on August 1, 2012

Garden Mulch from Cypress

After a summer break, we’re ready to start posting market size entries again.

Garden mulch comes in many forms: leaves, grass clippings, pine needles, wood chips, and tree bark, just to name a few. One popular type of mulch, cypress mulch, is made from harvested trees in the Southern United States. At one time, cypress trees, wildlife-friendly and one of the most hurricane-resistant trees, were plentiful on the Gulf Coast. Many were thousands of years old. After Congress passed the Swampland Act in 1850, deeding millions of acres of wetlands to the states, many of those acres were sold to corporations for 75 cents an acre or less. By 1930, most of the virgin cypress were logged. In the past, cypress was logged for home building and flooring, but more recently, thousands of acres of cypress are being cut down to create garden mulch. Data are on an annual basis.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2012
Market Size: $750 million
Source: Selcraig, Bruce, “The Swamp Man,” Sierra, May/June 2012, pages 34-39
Posted on July 31, 2012