ERS Policy-Related Research
The core research and data program of the Economic Research Service covers the breadth of USDA programs touched by the Farm Bill: farming, nutrition, conservation, rural development, research, and energy. Below we highlight some recent research focusing on these issues.
Commodity Programs and Risk Management
- 2014 Farm Act Shifts Crop Commodity Programs Away From Fixed Payments and Expands Program Choices, July 2014
- The Effects of Premium Subsidies on Demand for Crop Insurance, July 2014
- Changing Farm Structure and the Distribution of Farm Payments and Federal Crop Insurance, February 2012
- Trends in U.S. Farmland Values and Ownership, February 2012
- Identifying Overlap in the Farm Safety Net, November 2011
- An Analysis of the Limited Base Acre Provision of the 2008 Farm Act, October 2011
- Alternatives to a State-Based ACRE Program: Expected Payments Under a National, Crop District, or County Base, September 2011
- Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions: Analyzing the Processing Cucumber Market, February 2011
- Options for Improving Conservation Programs: Insights from Auction Theory and Economic Experiments, January 2015
- Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation and Regulatory Offset Programs, July 2014
- An Economic Assessment of Policy Options To Reduce Agricultural Pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay, June 2014
- 2014 Farm Act Continues Most Previous Trends in Conservation, May 2014
- The Role of Conservation Programs in Drought Risk Adaptation, April 2013
- Water Conservation in Irrigated Agriculture, September 2012
- The Future of Environmental Compliance Incentives in U.S. Agriculture, March 2012
- Baselines in Environmental Markets: Tradeoffs Between Cost and Additionality, February 2012
- Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy, September 2011
- Grassland to Cropland Conversion in the Northern Plains: The Role of Crop Insurance, Commodity, and Disaster Programs, June 2011
- The Influence of Rising Commodity Prices on the Conservation Reserve Program, February 2011
- Inflation and Higher Food Prices Kept Food Insecurity Rates Relatively High After the 2007-09 Recession, December 2014
- Household Food Security in the United States in 2013, September 2014
- 2014 Farm Act Maintains SNAP Eligibility Guidelines and Funds New Initiatives, July 2014
- Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2013 Annual Report, February 2014
- Participation in SNAP and Unemployment Insurance: How Tight Are the Strands of the Recessionary Safety Net?, November 2013
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Access at the State and County Levels, September 2013
- Effects of the Decline in the Real Value of SNAP Benefits From 2009 to 2011, August 2013
- Food Insecurity in Households With Children, 2010-11, May 2013
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation Leads to Modest Changes in Diet Quality, April 2013
- Food Insecurity Among Households With Working-Age Adults With Disabilities, January 2013
- How Economic Conditions Affect Participation in Nutrition Assistance Programs, September 2012
- Alleviating Poverty in the U.S.: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits, April 2012
- Food Security Improved Following the 2009 ARRA Increase in SNAP Benefits, April 2011
Local and Regional Foods
Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Some Key Supporting Data
- Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS): An annual survey of farm and ranch operators that provides a direct linkage between commodity production practices, farm financial performance, and the farm household.
- Farm Program Atlas: Provides access to an array of public data on Federal farm programs that users can visually explore.
- Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America: Provides county-level mapping for over 60 economic and demographic indicators.
- Food Environment Atlas: Assembles county-level food environment indicators to provide a spatial overview of a community's ability to access healthy food.
- Food Access Research Atlas: Measures access to affordable, nutritious food by census tract using indicators such as distance to grocery stores and vehicle availability.