Historical and Spatial Analysis of High-Value Crop Production in the U.S.
Cheng, Mei-luan; Bills, Nelson L.; Francis, Joseph
This paper examines the complex relationship between urbanization and high-value crops production in the US. High-value products (HVPs) are defined to include farms producing fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse and nursery crops. Analysis of historical (1949-2002) shifts in production and redefinitions of metropolitan counties shows that HVPs production has been highly concentrated in metropolitan counties but in stable proportions, especially in the Northeast, Southeast and Pacific regions. To help understand these spatial relationships, a model of location and production is developed to emphasize how urbanization economies, agglomeration economies, and firm-specific factors affect the HVP production. The model is implemented for the greenhouse/nursery sector in the Northeast. Results show that current greenhouse/nursery production levels are positively correlated across counties. A critical element in assuring the continued economic vibrancy of greenhouse/nursery business will depend on operators adapting to increased competition for land in metropolitan areas while exploiting the marketing options offered by proximity to a growing number of non-farm residents.
WP 2006-23 December 2006
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University