harvest jobs logo
Fruits Picking Jobs Daily
Last updated: 6/24/2024

    Fun Facts About USA's Agriculture

    1. Corn Capital: The USA is the world's largest producer of corn, with Iowa being the leading state in corn production.
    2. Almond's Exclusive Home: California is the only state in the U.S. that commercially produces almonds, and it's also the world's largest producer of the nut.
    3. Size Matters: One U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global number was 26 people in the 1960s.
    4. Cow-ifornia: California produces more dairy products than any other state in the nation and is also the country's leading agricultural state in terms of revenue. Farm Living: About 97% of U.S. farms are operated by families, family partnerships, or family corporations.
    5. Rise of the Blueberries: Blueberries are one of the only common fruits native to North America. Today, the U.S. produces over 500 million pounds annually.
    6. A Historic Crop: George Washington, the first U.S. president, was also a lifelong farmer who grew tobacco, wheat, and fruits on his Mount Vernon estate.
    7. Pumpkin Power: Illinois is the U.S.'s top pumpkin-producing state, often contributing to more than 85% of the pumpkins processed in the country.
    8. Farmland Abundance: If you combine all the farmland in the U.S., it would take up more than 40% of the total land in the country.


    Info About USA's Agriculture


    The United States of America, the melting pot of nations all over the world, spans across 50 states and showcases a vast variety of landscapes ranging from vast plains, mountains, forests, and coastal regions. This geographical diversity contributes to its agricultural prowess.


    GDP contribution:

    The agriculture sector, including fruits, contributes approximately 1% to the USA's GDP.


    Fruits grown in 1000 tones: 1

    • Grapes: 6871t
    • Apples: 5509t
    • Oranges: 5427t
    • Strawberries: 1126t
    • Tangerines and mandarines: 1107t
    • Lemons: 1102t
    • Pears: 729t
    • Peaches: 681t
    • Grapefruits: 604t
    • Cranberries: 395t

    Fruits grown in the US in percentages:

    • Grapes: 20.85%
    • Apples: 16.72%
    • Oranges: 16.47%
    • Strawberries: 3.42%
    • Tangerines and mandarines: 3.36%
    • Lemons: 3.34%
    • Pears: 2.21%
    • Peaches: 2.07%
    • Grapefruits: 1.83%
    • Cranberries: 1.20%

    Territory and population involved with agriculture:

    About 44% of the USA's land area is used for agricultural purposes. Roughly 1.3% of the American population is employed in the agricultural sector.


    Fruit producing trend:

    The fruit production trends in the USA for the 2023/24 season exhibit a mixed outlook. The US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has forecasted increases in the production of certain fruits and tree nuts, while others are expected to see a decline. Here are some key points regarding the fruit production trend:

    Increase in Production of Certain Fruits:The production of almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, pears, sweet cherries, and walnuts is expected to increase. This positive trend is attributed to favorable spring weather in the Pacific Northwest, which significantly benefited apple and sweet cherry productions.

    Decrease in Production of other Fruits: On the contrary, the production of peaches, tart cherries, and cranberries is expected to decrease. This decline is linked to various factors, including a cool spring which lowered yields for some earlier blooming crops, inadequate chill hours, and spring freeze events, especially in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, causing declines in the mentioned fruits.


    Export trends:

    The U.S. exports a substantial amount of fruits, with notable markets being Mexico and Canada. In recent years, exports to Mexico increased significantly, reaching a value of $936 million, driven mainly by apple shipments. In 2021/22, top commodities included apples ($343 million), grapes ($118 million), and pears ($86 million)​1​. In 2022, the total export value of U.S. fruits and vegetables was $12.59 billion, with a volume of 7 million metric tons. The export value had a slight decline compared to the previous years, as it was $7.1 billion in 2019 and $6.9 billion in 2020, with Canada remaining the top U.S. market, accounting for 49 percent of total exports both years.2


    Annual revenue:

    In 2022, the market size for fruits and vegetables in the USA was valued at USD 92.88 billion, and it's projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% from 2023 to 2030. The U.S. fruit and tree nuts industry generates, on average, over $28 billion in farm cash receipts annually since 2010, accounting for about 6% of the total receipts for all agricultural product.


    Reliance on seasonal workers:

    H-2A Guest Workers: The use of H-2A guest workers, who fill seasonal agricultural jobs, has been on the rise. The number of US farm jobs certified to be filled with H-2A workers was below 100,000 until 2014, but it doubled to over 200,000 in 2017 and has continued to increase since then. As of now, H-2A guest workers fill 10% of the seasonal jobs in US crop agriculture.3

    In 2023, the total employment in the Fruit & Nut Farming industry in the US was reported to be 202,874, although this figure includes all types of employment, not just seasonal workers. In 2019, nearly 57% of crop production workers were immigrants, and the share of workers that were foreign-born has slightly decreased since 2014, which was 61.4% - 4

    In 2019, about 258,000 immigrant workers were granted temporary H-2A visas, up from 48,000 positions certified in 2005. This figure reflects a significant reliance on foreign seasonal workers, particularly in states like Florida, Georgia, Washington, California, and North Carolina​ 5


    Number of farms and agricultural entities:

    In 2022, the number of farms in the USA was estimated to be 2,002,700, which was a decrease of 9,350 farms from the previous year (2021)​ 6

    Texas was the leading state in terms of the total number of farms, having about 246,000 farms by the end of 2022​ 7


    Agricultural USDA programs:

    Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Grant Program:Launched by the USDA in September 2023, this program addresses labor shortages in agriculture by utilizing up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. It aims at promoting a safe, healthy work environment for both U.S. workers and workers from Northern Central American countries hired under the seasonal H-2A visa program. This initiative is particularly focused on bolstering the resiliency of the food and agricultural supply chain, reducing irregular migration through legal pathways, and enhancing labor protections for farmworkers. 8

    USDA Farm Service Agency Programs: The USDA Farm Service Agency provides a host of programs and services aimed at supporting agricultural endeavors, although not specifically targeted at fruit picking. These include programs like the Conservation Programs, Cooperative Agreements, Disaster Assistance Programs, and more, which might be beneficial for those involved in the agricultural sector, including fruit picking.9

    The most common way for immigrant workers is the H-2A program. The H-2A program helps employers who anticipate a lack of available domestic workers to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work, which includes, but is not limited to, planting, cultivating, or harvesting labor.


    Seasons for migrant workers:

    Spring and Summer: These seasons are usually busy times for fruit workers as many fruits such as berries, cherries, peaches, and nectarines, among others, are harvested during these periods.

    Fall: Apples, pears, and various nuts are often harvested in the fall, making it another busy season for migrant fruit workers.

    Winter:While winter is generally a quieter season for outdoor fruit harvesting, there might still be work available in warmer states like California or Florida, or in greenhouse operations.


    Technology adoption:

    New technologies are emerging to assist fruit growers in managing pests, for instance, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Module for Stone Fruits developed by Davis Instruments. This software links weather data to actual pest risk, aiding in combating pest damage to stone fruit crops like peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, and prunes. 10

    The digital agriculture transformation, encompassing digitalization and automation of farming tasks, is seen as a pivotal solution to challenges like rising production costs, climate change, and labor shortages. Technologies like yield maps, soil maps, and variable rate technologies have been substantially adopted in certain crops, with automated guidance technology seeing a sharp increase in adoption over the past 20 years.11

    Additionally, autonomous robots are being developed and deployed in the soft fruit sector for various tasks including disease treatment, logistics support, and even picking, which is still in the demonstration phase.12


    Jobs provided:

    The agriculture sector, including seasonal work, provides employment to several million individuals. Jobs range from field labor and fruit picking to managerial roles and technology-driven positions.



    Best seasons for specific fruits:

    Summer and Spring: Apples Apricots Avocados Berries (like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) Cherries Peaches Nectarines Plums Pineapples.

    Fall: Apples Pears Pumpkins (September and October).

    Winter:Winter: Citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, oranges, and tangerines Spring: Strawberries (June through 1st week in July) Avocado Mango Pineapple Rhubarb.


    Earnings for seasonal workers:

    Earnings for seasonal picker workers in the United States can range anywhere from 11$ up to 29$, depending on the location, type of fruits and specific farm.