Fruits & Vegetables (GAPs)
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, approximately 3,500* acres in Nebraska are devoted to commercial fruit & vegetable production, including crops such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, sweet corn, tree fruits, small fruits and many more. Many producers are small growers selling directly to local clientele through farmers markets or roadside stands.
Americans are eating more fresh produce than ever, thanks to nutrition education, with a more than 20 lbs. per person increase over average consumption 20 years ago. However, outbreaks of food borne illness associated with fresh produce are common, and growers need to be aware of their role in prevention. Contamination of produce may occur at any stage of production – field or greenhouse growth, harvest, post-harvest handling, transportation, or consumer use – but there are many things that can be done to reduce risk. Developing a good farm food safety plan and implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) is the best way to ensure the safety of your customers and your business.
* This does not include acres for potato or dry bean production.
Nebraska typically ranks between 10th and 20th in total potato production among states. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska potato growers planted 19,500 acres in 2008. Production totaled 8,432,000 hundredweight, with an estimated value of $80.5 million.
The Potato Education Guide provides help with all aspects of potato production.
Nebraska is among 11 states and two Canadian provinces involved in sugarbeet production. In the Panhandle of Nebraska, beets have been grown since the early 20th Century. Nebraska ranks 6th in the U.S. in production, with 45,000 to 60,000 acres planted per year, and a high of 80,000 acres in 2000. Sugarbeets contribute an estimated $130 million or more to the western Nebraska economy through payrolls, property taxes, and other impacts.
Sugarbeets, a major contributor to the U.S. sweetener industry, are used in a broad range of products. Worldwide, about 35 percent of production comes from sugarbeet and 65 percent from sugar cane. In the U.S. about 50 to 55 percent of the domestic production derives from sugarbeet.
Please see the Sugarbeet Section for information on production, disease management, weed management, soil management and other topics.