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76 publications, sorted by date 

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ERR-163, March 03, 2014
Public risk management policies for dairy producers have the potential to induce expansion in milk supplies, which might lower farm-level prices and offset risk-reduction benefits. An evaluation of USDA’s Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy insurance program finds economic downside risk significantly redu...
AES-79, August 29, 2013
This outlook report offers, on a quarterly basis, the U.S. agricultural import and export outlook, as well as the year-to-date value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports and imports, by commodity and region.
Amber Waves, August 14, 2013
From 2005 to 2010, expiring corn, soybeans, and wheat futures contracts routinely settled at prices significantly higher than their cash market counterparts. Findings show that the observed non-convergence was an unintended consequence of market design rather than speculative trading.
ERR-152, August 05, 2013
Crop production and land have been shifting to larger farm operations—mostly from midsize operations. The report draws on comprehensive farm-level data to detail changes in farm size and other attributes of farm structure, and to evaluate the key driving forces, including technologies, farm organiza...
OCS-13G, July 15, 2013
Each month, the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
OCS-13-F, June 14, 2013
Each month,the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
SSSM-297-01, May 29, 2013
Brazil is the world’s leading sugar producer and, over the long term, world sugar prices are determined by production costs in Center/South Brazil, as well as the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Brazilian real.
OCS-13E, May 14, 2013
Each month,the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
EIB-112, May 13, 2013
This report examines both sector and farm-level responses to changing market and policy drivers—such as the increased production of biofuel crops and higher energy prices—together with changes in production practices to economize on energy-based inputs like fertilizer.
Amber Waves, May 06, 2013
Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa has been rising gradually since the 1980s. Agricultural research has spurred adoption of new technologies and has been a major driver of higher productivity in Sub-Saharan African agriculture. Despite these gains, productivity growth in the region rem...
ERR-148, April 30, 2013
This report evaluates the extent to which farms facing higher levels of drought risk are more likely to participate in conservation programs, and finds a strong link between drought risk and program participation.
OCS-13D, April 12, 2013
Each month, the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
EIB-110, April 04, 2013
Nearly 15 years have passed since ERS first released its farm typology; this report updates it to reflect commodity price inflation and the shift of production to larger farms.
FTS-355, March 29, 2013
Warm, dry weather reduces total U.S. citrus production in 2012/13.
OCS-13C, March 12, 2013
Each month,the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
ERR-145, February 20, 2013
Although agricultural productivity remains lower in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other developing regions, it has improved in some Sub-Saharan countries. To determine why, the study examined the roles of agricultural research, policy reorganization, labor force education, the presence of armed conflic...
OCS-13B, February 12, 2013
Each month,the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
OCE-131, February 11, 2013
USDA's 10-year projections for the food and agriculture sector cover major agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the U.S. farm sector, such as farm income and food prices.
OCS-13A, January 15, 2013
Each month, the Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.
OCS-12L, December 12, 2012
ERS -- working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies -- conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.
EIB-103, November 16, 2012
Since 2003, direct payments have accounted for a significant portion of farm program payments. If direct payments were eliminated, many agricultural producers would be affected, both through the loss of income and potential declines in land values and rental rates. This report considers the potentia...
OCS-12J, October 12, 2012
ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.
OCS-12i, September 13, 2012
ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.
OCS-12h, August 13, 2012
ERS -- working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies -- conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade
OCS-12G, July 12, 2012
ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.
SSSM-270, May 08, 2012
The two primary determinants of U.S. sugar supply and use over the long-term projection period are the sugar and energy provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Act) and reliance on sugar imports from Mexico to maintain a balance in the U.S. sugar market.
SSSM-284, April 16, 2012
On March 30, 2012, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published Prospective Plantings, with forecasts included for planted-area intentions for the 2012/13 U.S. sugarbeet crop. Planted area is forecast at 1.241 million acres. While this amount is less than a percentage point above la...
EIB-94, March 14, 2012
In recent years, direct payments—a type of farm commodity program payment—have made up a large share of Federal agriculture assistance that could be withheld from farmers who fail to comply with highly erodible land conservation (conservation compliance and sodbuster) or wetland conservation (swampb...
SSSM-283, March 14, 2012
Based on revised analysis of data from the Comite Nacional Para El Desarrollo Sustentable de la Cana de Azucar (CNDSCA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made corrections to its Mexico 2010/11 sugar supply and sweetener use from last month. Sugar for human consumption is estimated at 3.950 ...
Amber Waves, March 01, 2012
As agricultural production has shifted to farms with larger sales, so, too, has the distribution of commodity-related program payments. Unless the design of commodity programs changes substantially, current payment trends are likely to continue.
Amber Waves, March 01, 2012
Because farm program designs and purposes vary, producers may participate in, and receive benefits from, multiple programs on the same farm, increasing the potential for overlap.
SSSM-282, February 14, 2012
The Comite Nacional Para El Desarrollo Sustentable de la Cana de Azucar (CNDSCA) in Mexico recently published revised supply and use data for 2010/11 and the Secretariat of the Economy (Economia) released full marketing year data for sugar exports and imports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (...
EIB-91, February 06, 2012
The distribution of commodity-related payments and Federal crop insurance indemnities to U.S. farmers has shifted to larger farms as more and more U.S. agricultural production is done on those farms. Since the operators of larger farms tend to have higher household incomes than other farm operators,...
SSSM-281, January 18, 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects 2011/12 sugar production in Mexico at 5.000 million metric tons (mt), a decrease of 330,000 mt from last month’s projection. The forecast is based on lower than expected harvest progress through January 7, 2012 and consequent implications for the...
AIS-91, December 14, 2011
Net farm income is forecast at $100.9 billion in 2011, up 28 percent from 2010 and 50 percent higher than the 10-year average of $67.4 billion for 2001-2010. Net cash income at $109.8 billion would be a nominal record, 19 percent above the prior record attained in 2010. Net value added is expected t...
EIB-87, November 22, 2011
This report provides a classification of types of overlap and a synthesis of ERS research about overlapping payments in the U.S. farm safety net, including how to identify and measure overlap among crop revenue insurance, ACRE, SURE, and ad hoc disaster assistance. Future research avenues are sugges...
SSSM-277, September 15, 2011
On September 12, 2011, the USDA released its latest U.S. and Mexico sugar supply and use estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2011 and projections for FY 2012 in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. For FY 2011, the USDA increased its estimate of tariff-rate quota (TRQ) short...
SSSM-276, August 16, 2011
On August 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 raw and refined sugar tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), an extension of the FY 2012 raw sugar TRQ time period, and an increase in the FY 2011 specialty sugar TRQ. The FY 2012 TRQ for raw cane sugar is set at 1,...
BIO-02, June 27, 2011
This report profiles and analyzes Brazil’s ethanol industry, providing information on the policy environment that enabled the development of feedstock and processing sectors, and discusses the various opportunities and challenges to face the industry over the next decade.
SSSM-274, June 14, 2011
On May 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the World Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD) for centrifugal sugar. World exports are projected to increase 3.1 million metric tons raw value (MTRV) to 55.7 million MTRV in 2011/12. Significant export growth is expected in Br...
SSSM-273, May 16, 2011
The Sugar and Sweetener Team of the Economic Research Service (ERS) makes calendar year estimates of total and per capita sweetener deliveries that are available for food and beverage consumption by U.S. consumers. U.S. sweetener deliveries for 2010 were 131.9 pounds per capita, up slightly fro...
SSSM-272, April 01, 2011
LMC International provides estimates of world sugar and high fructose syrup (HFS) costs of production. The data go back to 1979/80 and extend through 2009/10. Field, factory, and administrative costs are detailed for 35 beet producing countries and for 61 cane producing countries. HFS production c...
EIB-74, March 31, 2011
Most countries provide some level of support to their agricultural sectors. Because support can affect producers and consumers in other countries, a number of systems have been developed to measure agricultural support levels and classify types of support in ways that facilitate comparing them acros...
SSSM-271, March 15, 2011
Analysis of competitiveness in global sugar/sweetener markets is complicated by the fact that markets are generally characterized by domestic and trade-related policy distortions that make it difficult to discern the underlying competitive position of individual market participants.
AP-054, February 10, 2011
The House Report 111-181 accompanying H.R. 2997, the 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, requested the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Economist, to conduct a study of land-use...
SSSM-269, January 18, 2011
In the World Agricultural Demand and Supply Estimates (WASDE) released on January 12, 2011, projected U.S. sugar supply for fiscal year (FY) 2011 is decreased 88,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) from last month. Cane sugar production in Florida is reduced 100,000 STRV to 1.6 million STRV, based o...
AIS-90, December 15, 2010
Net farm income is forecast at $81.6 billion in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009 and 26 percent higher than the 10-year average of $64.8 billion for 2000 to 2009. Net cash income at $92.5 billion would be a nominal record, 2.3 percent above the prior record attained in 2008. Net value added is expected...
ERR-101, September 17, 2010
Crop revenue variability, which differs across crops and their growing regions and the geographic levels at which revenue is measured, is the focus of the Average Crop Revenue Election, an agricultural commodity program that was first available to producers in 2009. Using an empirically-based simula...
SSSM-260-01, April 22, 2010
This report describes and analyses the current situation and outlook for supply, demand, and trade of sugar by India, the world’s second largest sugar producer. A decline in sugar production has shifted India from net exporter to net importer during 2009/10, contributing to a runup in global sugar p...
SSSM-258, February 10, 2010
In the February 2010 World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), projected fiscal year (FY) 2010 production for Mexico is reduced 200,000 metric tons, raw value (MTRV) from last month based on weather-reduced sugar yields to date. Exports are reduced by the same amount. Projected FY 2010 ...
Amber Waves, December 01, 2009
Farm legislation in the early 2000s eliminated longstanding supply controls and geographic restrictions on the production of peanuts and tobacco. The ensuing consolidation produced fewer but larger farms for each crop that are more efficient and responsive to market developments.
EIB-60, November 16, 2009
Marketing quota and price support programs for peanuts and tobacco were a longstanding feature of U.S. farm policy, from the 1930s until the Government enacted quota buyouts, in 2002 for peanuts and 2004 for tobacco. Quota owners were compensated with temporary payments, but elimination of the quota...
SSS-256, October 05, 2009
The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, requires that sugar marketing allotments be in effect in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The act requires that the Overall Allotment Quantity (OAQ) be set at no less than 85 percent of the estimated quanti...
EIB-53, May 15, 2009
USDA defines beginning farmers and ranchers as those who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less either as a sole operator or with others who have operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less. Beginning farmers tend to be younger than established farmers and to operate smaller farms or r...
ERR-58, May 30, 2008
The 2002 Farm Act required USDA to implement marketing loans for the 2002-07 crops of dry peas, lentils, and small chickpeas. This provision led to expanded acreage for dry peas and lentils, crops analyzed in this study. The analysis found that marketing loans played a role in expansion for dry peas...
SSSM -252, May 27, 2008
At the end of March 2008, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) projected sugar beet acreage intentions for the 2008 crop year at 1.132 million acres, about 10.9 percent lower than 2007 crop year area planted. Assuming normal sucrose levels and continued improvement in productivity,...
SSSM-251, January 29, 2008
The USDA requires accurate, unbiased sugar production forecasts for making the Department’s monthly market forecast used to mange the domestic sugar program. Sugar production forecasts from sugar beet and sugarcane processors are compiled by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for publication in the Wo...
ERR-51, November 27, 2007
In the last 25 years, U.S. crop farms have steadily declined in number and grown in average size, as production has shifted to larger operations. Larger farms tend to receive more commodity program payments because most payments are tied to a farm’s current or historical production, but whether paym...
ERR-44, October 30, 2007
Can a single program support farm income and encourage producers to adopt environmentally sound farming practices? While simple in concept, attempting to roll the farm income support features of existing commodity programs and conservation payments into a single program raises questions. Exactly how...
ERR-47, September 04, 2007
U.S. dairy production is consolidating into fewer but larger farms. This report uses data from several USDA surveys to detail that consolidation and to analyze the financial drivers of consolidation. Specifically, larger farms realize lower production costs. Although small dairy farms realize higher...
SSS-249-01, July 17, 2007
This report on the U.S. sugar sector places into context the challenges facing sugar producers, users, and policymakers in the United States, including description and analysis of farm-level production of U.S. sugar crops, cane and beet sugar processing and refining industries, imports and exports o...
SSSM-249, June 04, 2007
Rising ethanol demand in global markets is driving the growth of Brazil’s sugar/ethanol complex with new investments in infrastructure and technology. The recent rise in crude oil prices, paired with a global effort for renewable energy development and a growing domestic demand for ethanol have b...
CWS-07B01, March 30, 2007
U.S. cotton growers, like producers of other agricultural commodities in recent years, have confronted pressures from market forces and the impacts of policy developments, both domestic and international. Most notably, the ending of the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) sent a ripple effect throughout th...
ERR-39, February 22, 2007
A model developed for this analysis improved on the USDA method of estimating counter-cyclical payment rates by accounting for the variability in market price forecast errors. This enhanced method produced unbiased estimates. Forecasters and producers can use the model to calculate the probabilities...
EIB-15, June 28, 2006
In recent U.S. farm policy debates, several “whole-farm revenue” programs have been proposed as a new form of safety net that would be available to all U.S. farms. A whole-farm program is based on revenues from all farming activities added together and is not linked to the production of particular c...
SSSM-246, May 30, 2006
Mexico has been a significant producer, consumer, and exporter of sugar. Figure M1 shows trends and relationships between these variables since 1960. Sugar production has been steadily growing since 1960. Yearly production growth averaged 66,000 metric tons (mt) from 1960-74, and it averaged 81,0...
EB-1, March 14, 2006
A multitude of design decisions influence the performance of voluntary conservation programs. This Economic Brief is one of a set of five exploring the implications of decisions policymakers and program managers must make about who is eligible to receive payments, how much can be received, for what ...
SSSM-245, January 31, 2006
The European Union’s (EU-25) sugar program has been scheduled for reform every five years for the last 40 years. However, its success in making sugar one of the most profitable crops in many EU countries has succeeded in delaying reform proposals until recently.
OCS-05I01, October 26, 2005
Like producers of other agricultural commodities, U.S. peanut growers in recent years have confronted pressures from market forces and the impacts of policy developments, both domestic and international. Most notably, peanut policy was transformed in 2002 by the elimination of a decades-old marketin...
ERR-12, September 19, 2005
The 2002 Farm Act provided farmland owners the opportunity to update commodity program base acres and payment yields used for calculating selected program benefits. Findings in this report suggest that farmland owners responded to economic incentives in these decisions, selecting those options for d...
SSSM-243-01, August 19, 2005
U.S. consumption of sugars added to food items increased by 23 percent between 1985 and 1999. Although USDA data have documented the overall growth trend, not much has been inferred from USDA survey data. This article helps fill a gap by reporting findings for sweetener consumption by income and dem...
EIB-3, June 01, 2005
The structure of farms, farm households, and the rural communities in which they exist has evolved markedly over the last century. Historical data on a range of farm structure variables—including the value of agricultural production, commodity specialization, farming-dependent counties, and off-farm...
AIB-778, November 14, 2002
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Act), which governs agricultural programs through 2007, was signed into law in May 2002. This report presents an initial evaluation of the new legislation's effects on agricultural commodity markets, based on sectorwide model simulations ...
AIB-768, May 25, 2001
Family farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, ranging from very small retirement and residential farms to establishments with sales in the millions of dollars. The farm typology developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) categorizes farms into groups based primarily on occupation...
AIB-729, September 01, 1996
This report provides an item-by-item description and explanation of the new Act, which will guide agricultural programs from 1996-2000. Signed into law in April, the act makes significant changes in long-standing U.S. agricultural policies. Major changes in U.S. commodity programs are included in th...
AP-039, April 29, 1983
Weak domestic demand, the first drop in exports in more than a decade, and large farm surpluses placed significant downward pressure on commodity prices and farm incomes and created the potential for large government outlays. The payment-in-kind (PIK) program was designed to idle substantial acreage...

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