The farm share of the retail price of fresh, field-grown tomatoes—the ratio of what farmers received to what consumers paid—fell from 43 percent in 2020 to 36 percent in 2021. While the national, monthly average price of such tomatoes at grocery stores fell 11 cents to $1.85 per pound in 2021, the monthly average price received by farmers simultaneously fell 16 cents to $0.56 per pound.
As part of calculating the farm share, USDA’s Economic Research Service assumes that farmers supply a little less than 1.2 pounds of fresh tomatoes for each pound sold at retail, as 15 percent of the fresh tomatoes shipped to grocery stores is lost through spoilage or is otherwise damaged.
Farm prices for tomatoes were lower in 2021 as U.S. domestic production of all types of fresh-market tomatoes rose 1.3 percent. This came despite a four percent decline in overall fresh vegetable production caused partly by extreme heat in growing regions.