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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



Rural Development



Organic Agriculture

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.

Last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

For more information contact: Roger Claassen, Ashley Hungerford, Laura Tiehen, and Mary Reardon