Reduced acreage (due to low prices) and drought (in Michigan and New York) have produced the smallest U.S. dry edible bean crop since 1988.

Given the resulting higher prices, USDA says growers will likely increase acreage 25 percent to 30 percent this year. With increasing supplies and a slow economy restraining demand, fresh-market vegetable shipping-point prices are down more than 20 percent from both the previous quarter and from fall 2000.

The fall potato crop was estimated to be the smallest since 1993 as both area and yields declined. Potato prices have risen and are expected to continue rising through spring.