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Publications

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30 publications, sorted by date 

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EIB-122, April 08, 2014
This report presents data on debt-use patterns by farm businesses and explores key trends over 20 years.
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.
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.
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...
Amber Waves, September 20, 2012
Farmland values have been rising but so have farm earnings. Historically low interest rates contribute to sustained high farmland prices and have helped improve the affordability of farmland. Strong farm earnings have dampened the impact of a significant downturn in residential land markets.
EIB-98, August 22, 2012
Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2012, describes trends in economic, structural, resource, and environmental indicators in the agriculture sector, focusing on changes since the release of Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2006. These indicators are useful to as...
EIB-92, February 22, 2012
Because farm real estate represents much of the value of U.S. farm sector assets, large swings in farmland values can affect the financial well-being of agricultural producers. This report examines both macroeconomic (interest rates, prices of alternative investments) and parcel-specific (soil quali...
EIB-89, December 19, 2011
The United States has a total land area of nearly 2.3 billion acres. In 2007, the major land uses were forestland at 671 million acres (30 percent); grassland pasture and rangeland at 614 million (27 percent); cropland at 408 million (18 percent); special uses (primarily parks and wildlife areas) at...
EIB-88, December 02, 2011
Innovations in farm organization, business arrangements, and production practices have allowed farmers to produce more with less. Fewer labor hours and less land are used today than 30 years ago, and practices such as the use of genetically engineered seeds and no-till have dampened increases in mac...
EIB-79, August 18, 2011
The recent 9-billion-gallon increase in corn-based ethanol production, which resulted from a combination of rising gasoline prices and a suite of Federal bioenergy policies, provides evidence of how farmers altered their land-use decisions in response to increased demand for corn. As some forecasts ...
ERR-120, June 30, 2011
Native grasslands in the U.S. Northern Plains, particularly those located in the Prairie Pothole Region, are excellent breeding habitat for migratory birds. The conversion of grassland to crop production could damage this habitat and affect bird populations. We focus on three questions: How fast are...
ERR-110, February 11, 2011
This report considers how increased commodity prices might influence enrollment in and benefits from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) using two complementary models: a likely-to-bid model that uses National Resources Inventory data to simulate offers to the general signup portion of the CRP an...
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...
EIB-66, July 26, 2010
Most U.S. farms—98 percent in 2007—are family operations, and even the largest farms are predominantly family run. Large-scale family farms and nonfamily farms account for 12 percent of U.S farms but 84 percent of the value of production. In contrast, small family farms make up most of the U.S. farm...
ERR-86, November 18, 2009
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 established specific targets for the production of biofuel in the United States. Until advanced technologies become commercially viable, meeting these targets will increase demand for traditional agricultural commodities used to produce ethanol...
EB-14, September 23, 2009
Agricultural Land Tenure and Carbon Offsets examines the potential role that land ownership might play in determining the agricultural sector’s involvement in carbon sequestration programs. By estimating the carbon sequestration potential of agricultural producers who own most of the land they opera...
Amber Waves, September 03, 2007
A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States, spurred by high oil prices and energy policies. Although corn is the primary feedstock used to produce ethanol in the United States, market adjustments to the ethanol expansion extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and...
ERR-25, August 31, 2006
This report examines evidence on the relationship between agricultural land-use changes, soil productivity, and indicators of environmental sensitivity. If cropland that shifts in and out of production is less productive and more environmentally sensitive than other cropland, policy-induced changes ...
EIB-16, July 21, 2006
These chapters describe trends in resources used in and affected by agricultural production, as well as the economic conditions and policies that influence agricultural resource use and its environmental impacts. Each of the 28 chapters provides a concise overview of a specific topic with links to s...
EIB-14, May 31, 2006
This publication presents the results of the latest (2002) inventory of U.S. major land uses, drawing on data from the Census, public land management and conservation agencies, and other sources. The data are synthesized by State to calculate the use of several broad classes and subclasses of agricu...
EB-4, 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 ...
AER-823, June 20, 2003
As rising populations and incomes increase pressure on land and other resources around the world, agricultural productivity plays an increasingly important role in improving food supplies and food security. This report explores the extent to which land quality and land degradation affect agricultura...
AH-722, February 28, 2003
This report identifies trends in land, water, and biological resources and commercial input use, reports on the condition of natural resources used in the agricultural sector, and describes and assesses public policies that affect conservation and environmental quality in agriculture. Combining data...
GFA-13, April 01, 2002
The Food Security Assessment report provides food gap and hunger projections for 67 potentially food insecure countries in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and NIS.
SB-973, September 08, 2001
This report provides land use estimates for major land uses in the United States, by State for 1997.
AER-803, June 30, 2001
Land development in the United States is following two routes: expansion of urban areas and large-lot development (greater than 1 acre per house) in rural areas. Urban expansion claimed more than 1 million acres per year between 1960 and 1990, yet is not seen as a threat to most farming, although it...
AH-712, July 01, 1997
This report identifies trends in land, water, and commercial input use, reports on the condition of natural resources used in the agricultural sector, and describes and assesses public policies that affect conservation and environmental quality in agriculture. Combining data and information, this re...
AER-744, November 29, 1996
Property rights arise out of law, custom, and the operation of private markets, with important implications for how land and other natural resources are used and conserved. Over the past several years, debate about the nature and scope of property rights has combined with budget concerns and reautho...
AH-705, December 01, 1994
This report identifies trends in land, water, and commercial input use, reports on the condition of natural resources used in the agricultural sector, and describes and assesses public policies that affect conservation and environmental quality in agriculture. Combining data and information, this re...
AER-606, February 03, 1989
The Conservation Reserve Program, a land retirement program designed to remove from production 40 to 45 million acres of highly erodible cropland, may generate an estimated $3.5 to $4 billion in water quality benefits. Potential benefits include lower water treatment costs, lower sediment removal co...

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