The Market for Fresh Snap Beans


July 31, 2006 - Author: Getachew Abate

Production and supply of snap beans

Snap beans (also referred to as green beans or string beans) are produced and marketed as fresh, canned or frozen products. Bush beans and pole beans are the two most important types of snap beans that are available on the market. Most of the bush types are harvested mechanically. Currently most of the snap beans are produced in open fields. Although some sources indicate greenhouse production of snap beans, reliable information and data that show the size and market share of commercial greenhouse/hydroponic production of snap beans are not available.

With about 60% of the total output, the U.S. is the largest producer of snap beans. Other major producing countries include France, Mexico, Iraq and Argentina. According to the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistical Service, in 2002, there were about 11,343 farms in the U.S. This was 9% up from 1997. These farms produced both fresh-market and processed snap beans on 307,101 acres (Table 1). Like production of other agricultural commodities, snap bean production is becoming more concentrated. In 2002, just 111 farms (about 1% of the total farms) accounted for 34% of the snap bean harvested area. On the other extreme of the continuum, 57% of the farms accounted for less than 1% of the total harvested area. These are very small farms that operated between 0.1 and 0.9 acres.


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