In 1915, the Department of Agriculture issued its first Market News report at Hammond, Louisiana, on the price and movement of local strawberries. By the end of the year, Market News reporters were collecting fruit and vegetable market information year-round at six terminal markets (New York City, Chicago, Saint Louis, Kansas City, Buffalo and Baltimore) and at seven seasonal shipping point reporting stations throughout the country.
Today, the Fruit and Vegetable Market News Service collects information on the current supply, demand and prices on nearly 400 domestic and 70 international fruits, vegetables, nuts, ornamental and specialty crops. Data are collected during face-to-face interviews and telephone conversations with salespersons, brokers and buyers, and the information is analyzed and consolidated into Market News reports that provide an unbiased view of market conditions. The Market News Service is important to industry members whose businesses are affected by the size of the crop, customer demand, availability of transportation, weather and other economic factors. Fruit and Vegetable Market News reporters, employed by USDA and State agencies, are stationed at prominent growing regions and wholesale markets throughout the United States. More than 400 different reports (issued daily, weekly, monthly or annually) are disseminated free to users through the Internet, Email, voice recorders, radio and newspapers.
In addition to text and formatted (PDF) reports, Market News has made available the Fruit and Vegetable Market News Portal, where users can access current and historical price and movement information 24 hours a day. Released in the Fall of 2005, the Portal offers customized views and downloads of data back to 1998 for terminal prices, shipping point prices, movement and specialty crop information.