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Publications

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136 publications, sorted by date 

VGS-354, September 30, 2014
Despite the decrease in domestic production of fresh-market vegetables, both producer and consumer prices are down as import volumes fill the gaps.
EIB-128, September 17, 2014
In 2010, the average operating and ownership costs per bushel varied between low- and high-cost corn producers but not among producers with different enterprise sizes. Organic production returns exceeded those for conventional production.
AP-067, September 12, 2014
Examples from ERS's updated collection of 70 charts/maps, each with accompanying text, covering key statistics on farming, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, interaction of agriculture and the environment, and more.
EIB-122, April 08, 2014
While farm business debt use varies widely, large farms, farms with younger operators, and dairy and poultry farms have the highest levels of debt use.
ERR-163, March 03, 2014
Researchers from University of Kentucky and ERS find use of USDA's LGM-Dairy insurance reduces producers' risk but has little effect on the size of the average margin and only a modest potential to induce greater milk supplies.
ERR-162, February 20, 2014
Farmer adoption of GE crops is associated with time savings, lower insecticide use, and more conservation tillage. Consumer acceptance of GE ingredients varies across countries, product characteristics, and level of information.
ERR-158, October 23, 2013
With most hogs now grown on very large operations and with productivity-enhancing technologies widespread, the slowdown in hog farm productivity growth after 2004 suggests that the era of dramatic productivity gains may be over.
AP-062, September 16, 2013
This collection of nine charts and maps presents essential information on the farm sector, food spending and prices, food security, rural communities, and the interaction of agriculture and natural resources.
ERR-152, August 05, 2013
Crop production and land have shifted to larger operations. ERS details the changes by region and commodity sector, and evaluates driving factors such as technologies, business organization and finances, land attributes, and policy.
EIB-112, May 13, 2013
Farmers have adapted to rising energy prices and evolving policies by adjusting their use of energy-based agricultural inputs, altering energy-intensive production practices, and growing more energy-feedstock crops.
ERR-148, April 30, 2013
Farms in more drought-prone areas are more likely to offer land to the Conservation Reserve Program or participate in other conservation programs. If climate change increases drought risk, farmer interest in these programs will likely grow.
VGS-353, March 29, 2013
According to the California Processing Tomato Report, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, California tomato processors intend to contract 2.8 percent more processing tomatoes in 2013 than the previous year.
EIB-107, February 04, 2013
Key elements of proposed tax reform, reducing accelerated deductions for capital purchases and raising capital gains tax rates, could increase tax liabilities for many farmers. Other elements could reduce tax liabilities.
EB-22, January 30, 2013
In 2011, beginning farms and ranches accounted for 22 percent of the 2 million U.S. family farms and 10 percent of the value of agricultural production by family farms. How do beginning farmers and ranchers compare to established ones?
EIB-103, November 16, 2012
A number of Farm Act proposals call for ending the direct payment program. ERS analysis suggests that for the majority of farms receiving direct payments, this would not result in substantial decline in financial well-being.
EIB-101, October 31, 2012
Nearly a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income in 2007, from both on- and off-farm enterprises.
ERR-136, July 06, 2012
ERS models the farm sector’s ability to adapt to a changing climate with current practices and technology, and explores economic and environmental implications of adaptation under a range of climate change scenarios.
WRS-1201, May 22, 2012
U.S. agriculture was better positioned than most U.S. industries entering the recession, was less affected by the recession than most other U.S. industries, and is well positioned to continue to do well in the years ahead.
ERR-135, May 22, 2012
ERS examines potential impacts on agriculture of large shifts in the supply of foreign-born labor that might result in the event of substantial changes in U.S. immigration laws or policies.
ERR-134, May 16, 2012
A number of rural development initiatives have targeted farm-related activities (e.g., agritourism, energy production). ERS examines the characteristics of farms and farm households involved in such activities.
EIB-94, March 14, 2012
If direct payment programs, which are now subject to environmental compliance, are reduced or eliminated, what would be some impacts of applying environmental compliance provisions to crop insurance?
EIB-92, February 22, 2012
In the last few years, U.S. farmland values have been supported by strong farm earnings, helping the farm sector withstand the residential housing downturn. Regarding ownership, non-operating landowners play a significant role.
EIB-91, February 06, 2012
A long-term shift in production toward larger farms has affected the distribution of commodity-related Federal program payments and Federal crop insurance, with the share of payments going to larger farms increasing.
EIB-90, December 30, 2011
Meeting growing global demand for food, fiber, and biofuel requires robust investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) from both public and private sectors. This report highlights the major findings of a study examining global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural inpu...
EIB-89, December 19, 2011
ERS complies the only accounting of all major uses of public and private land in the United States. The report compares national and regional trends in land use with earlier estimates.
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-88, December 02, 2011
Using survey and census data, ERS examines how changes in farm input use, business arrangements, structure, and production practices since the 1980s combined to expand output without increasing the total use of inputs.
ERR-128, November 04, 2011
ERS explores farmers’ use of both direct-to-consumer marketing (such as farmers markets) and intermediated channels (such as grocers and restaurants) to sell food to consumers in their local areas.
FDS: FEED OUTLOOK-11I01, October 13, 2011
Corn-based dry-mill ethanol production and its coproducts – notably distillers’ dried grains with soluble (DDGS) – have surged in recent years. The report estimates the potential substitution of DDGS for corn and soybean meal in livestock feeding and the impact of substitution upon the U.S. feed com...
EIB-84, October 12, 2011
ERS examines the effect of the 2008 Farm Act provision eliminating direct and countercyclical payments and average crop revenue election payments to farms with 10 or fewer base acres.
ERR-127, September 22, 2011
Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for crop production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. This report explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agricul...
ERR-126, September 15, 2011
The Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program bases commodity support on aggregate State-level and individual farm-level revenue variability. ERS examines expected effects if the trigger were changed to a national, Crop Reporting District, or county level.
ERR-123, August 18, 2011
ERS looks at direct and indirect impacts of higher energy prices on the agricultural and rural sectors, with scenarios developed for specific energy price changes.
EIB-79, August 18, 2011
ERS examines how the farm sector reacted to increased demand for corn needed to fuel a 9-billion-gallon rise in ethanol production in the past decade. In the United States, corn is the primary ethanol feedstock.
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.
EIB-77, May 26, 2011
ERS analyzes tobacco producers’ adjustments in production, investment, labor requirements, and contracting practices following elimination of tobacco quotas and tobacco price supports.
RCS-11d-01, April 21, 2011
This report examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry has evolved over the past two decades, including a reduction in the number of farms, increased average farm size, and the shifting concentration of rice production away from higher-cost production regions. The authors analyze the econo...
EIB-73, March 28, 2011
The beef cow-calf industry is characterized by large numbers of small farms, although large farms account for most of the production. Operators of beef cow-calf farms have varying goals for their cattle enterprises.
OCE-111, February 14, 2011
This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2020. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.
EIB-72, February 14, 2011
ERS examines the effects of current Federal tax provisions regarding low- and moderate-income households in rural America, focusing on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
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...
VGS-342-01, February 03, 2011
This report presents a financial snapshot of the U.S. vegetable and melon farms by region and farm size over three 3-year periods (1999-2007).
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 expec...
FDS-10k-01, December 09, 2010
Growth in corn dry-mill ethanol production has surged in the past several years, simultaneously creating a coproduct—distillers’ grains (DDGS). Many in the U.S. feed industry were concerned about the size of this new feed source and whether it could be used entirely by the feed industry, but they al...
ERR-106, November 12, 2010
Over a third of U.S. nonmetropolitan counties lost at least 10 percent of their population through net outmigration during the past two decades. ERS compares characteristics of such counties with other nonmetro counties.
AIS-89, November 10, 2010
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act makes significant changes to Federal regulation of the U.S. over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market, with the goals of improving market transparency and reducing systemic default risk. This article reviews some important features of the...
ERR-102, October 21, 2010
ERS examines economic effects of increased biofuels in transportation fuels, called for in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Effects are measured by gross domestic product, household income, price of energy fuels, and agricultural output and trade.
EIB-67, July 26, 2010
ERS provides comprehensive information including number and size of U.S. farms, characteristics of operators, finances of farm businesses and households, and geographic distribution of farms.
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-99, June 21, 2010
A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains in delivering locally produced food to consumers.
ERR-97, May 17, 2010
A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains in delivering locally produced food to consumers.
BIO-01-01, May 14, 2010
This report assesses the short-term outlook for production of next-generation biofuels and the near-term challenges facing the sector. Next-generation U.S. biofuel capacity should reach about 88 million gallons in 2010, thanks in large measure to one plant becoming commercially operational in 2010, ...
EIB-63, February 18, 2010
ERS documents the changing distribution and character of small farms as ag production becomes more concentrated. Commercially oriented small farms, those accounting for most small-farm production, continue to decline in number in the face of large-farm competition.
ERR-91, February 12, 2010
ERS presents, for the first time, estimates of farm households’ consumption expenditures and compares them to consumption estimates for all U.S. households. Consumption can complement indicators of household income in assessing economic well-being.
OCE-2010-1, February 11, 2010
This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2019. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.
OCS-10a-01, February 01, 2010
The 2009 foodborne illness outbreak linked to Salmonella in peanut products resulted in one of the largest food safety recalls ever in the United States. The source of the outbreak handled a small share of the U.S. peanut supply, but the scope of the recalls was magnified because the peanut products...
AIS-88, December 22, 2009
All three measures of U.S. farm income are projected to decline in 2009—net farm income is projected to decline by 34.5 percent, net cash income by 28.4 percent, and net value added by 20 percent. Considerable uncertainty surrounds the forecasts of farm assets, debt, and equity in 2009, given the vo...
ERR-88, November 17, 2009
The livestock industry uses information on meat prices at different stages in the marketing system to make production decisions. When grocery stores began using electronic scanners to capture prices paid for meat, it was assumed that the livestock industry could capitalize on having these point-of-s...
EIB-60, November 16, 2009
ERS identifies market forces that have affected the peanut and tobacco industries following the end of longstanding system protections – in 2002 for peanuts and 2004 for tobacco.
AIS-87, November 16, 2009
Income and wealth for farm businesses have changed noticeably this decade. Debt levels have been rising, asset levels have outpaced debt despite a recent fall in land prices, and equity has more than doubled for farm businesses. However, recent declines in farm income and falling land prices have ra...
ERR-82, November 02, 2009
ERS addresses size, regional differences, and pasture use in organic milk production. Economic forces have pressured organic dairies to operate more like their conventional counterparts and take advantage of economies of size.
FDS-09G-01, August 05, 2009
The past 5 years have seen large increases in trading of corn, soybean, and wheat futures contracts by nontraditional traders, a trend that coincided with historic price increases for these commodities. These events have raised questions about whether changes in the composition of traders participat...
CWS-09D01, June 25, 2009
Price volatility in 2008 generated interest in underlying cotton cash and futures markets and highlighted the importance of market participants’ expectations about basis changes over time in production, marketing, and hedging decisions. This analysis examines trends in average U.S. cotton basis and ...
FTS-337-01, June 03, 2009
Specialized fruit and tree nut farms represent a substantial segment of the U.S. fruit and tree nut industry. By nature of the commodities produced and the markets targeted, these specialized farms require substantial investments in production inputs. Using data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource and...
EIB-55, June 03, 2009
Consumer demand for organic products has widened over the last decade. While new producers have emerged to help meet demand, market participants report that a supply squeeze is constraining growth for both individual firms and the organic sector overall. Partly in response to shortages in organic su...
EIB-53, May 15, 2009
Beginning farmers and ranchers accounted for 10 percent of the sector’s total value of production in 2007. ERS provides an overview of their characteristics and the farm businesses they operate.
ERR-72, April 07, 2009
ERS examines the economic effects of two theoretical scenarios in which commodity support is determined by shortfalls in farm revenue, unlike current price-based programs or yield-based assistance.
FDS-09D-01, April 01, 2009
The byproducts of making ethanol, sweeteners, syrups, and oils used to be considered less valuable than the primary products. But the increased livestock-feed market for such byproducts in the past few years has switched that perception to one of the ethanol industry making grain-based “co-products”...
EIB-48, April 01, 2009
This book contains a sampling of recent ERS research illustrating the breadth of the Agency's research on current policy issues: from biofuels to food consumption to land conservation to patterns of trade for agricultural products.
EIB-45, March 31, 2009
Over the years, proposals have recommended shifting the focus of public agricultural research from applied to basic research, and giving higher priority to peer-reviewed, competitively funded grants. The public agricultural research system in the United States is a Federal-State partnership, with mo...
WRS--09-02, March 30, 2009
The world economic crisis that began in 2008 has major consequences for U.S. agriculture. The weakening of global demand because of emerging recessions and declining economic growth result in reduced export demand and lower agricultural commodity prices, compared with those in 2008. These, in turn, ...
WHS-09C01, March 24, 2009
The recent historic rise in farm input costs and wheat prices has had economic effects on the U.S. wheat sector. A cumulative distribution of forecasted production costs for wheat farms shows that current high (but falling) wheat prices will allow a greater share of producers to cover their producti...
EIB-49, March 20, 2009
Meeting agricultural policy and statistical goals requires a definition of U.S. agriculture’s basic unit, the farm. However, these goals can be at odds with one another. USDA defines “farm” very broadly to comprehensively measure agricultural activity. Consequently, most establishments classified as...
TB-1924, February 12, 2009
The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) develops and publishes estimates and forecasts of three primary measures of income and returns for the U.S. farm economy: (1) net value added, or total value of the farm sector’s production of goods and services less purchase...
OCE-2009-1, February 12, 2009
This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2018. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.
EIB-43, January 23, 2009
ERS details the nature, causes, and effects of structural changes in U.S. livestock production as it shifts to larger, more specialized, and more tightly integrated enterprises.
AP-031, January 02, 2009
Among the many responsibilities of USDA are implementing the Food Stamp Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs; managing Federal forest land; implementing standards of humane care and treatment of animals; providing incentives for adopting wildlife habitat enhancements and other co...
EIB-42, December 30, 2008
ERS documents the growing importance of very large farms in agricultural production. While a large majority of U.S. farms are small, those with annual sales above $1 million account for roughly half of agricultural sales.
VGS-328-01, September 09, 2008
Vegetable and melon production requires a substantial investment in production inputs. Using data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), this article presents and explores the major expense components of specialized U.S. and regional vegetable and melon farms during 1998-2006. T...
WRS-0801, July 23, 2008
World market prices for major food commodities such as grains and vegetable oils have risen sharply to historic highs of more than 60 percent above levels just 2 years ago. Many factors have contributed to the runup in food commodity prices. Some factors reflect trends of slower growth in production...
EIB-38, June 30, 2008
ERS describes the boiler industry’s organization, use of production contracts, animal housing features, enterprise cost structures, and farm household finances.
EIB-35, April 01, 2008
Over half of all transactions for U.S. farm products involved commodities bought and sold in open markets. But formal contractual arrangements cover a growing share of production.
TB-1918, February 11, 2008
The objective of this research is to extend and generalize the equilibrium displacement methodology by combining it with mathematical programming methods and existing knowledge of farm sector relationships to develop sectoral adjustment models that can operate in pure competition, monopoly/monopsony...
AP-022, January 23, 2008
The Farm Security Act of 2002, which governs Federal farm programs for 2002-07, was signed into law on May 13, 2002. This publication presents an overview of the Act and a side-by-side comparison of 1996-2001 farm legislation and the 2002 Act. For selected programs, information is provided to additi...
SB-974, January 07, 2008
These reports examine how production costs vary among producers of different commodities. These reports include details on production practices and input use levels (i.e., the 'technology set'), as well as farm operator and structural characteristics that underlie the cost and return estimates. The ...
ERR-53, December 31, 2007
Farm-based recreation provides an important niche market for farmers, but limited empirical information is available on the topic. Access to two USDA databases, the 2004 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the 2000 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, provided researcher...
ERR-52, December 27, 2007
ERS examines the economic factors that underlie the dramatic decline in number of hog operations over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration of production on large, specialized hog farms.
EIB-32, December 27, 2007
Once dominated by small, owner-operated crop-hog farms, hog ownership is increasingly concentrated. Traditional farrow-to-finish operations are being replaced by operations specializing in a single production phase.
ERR-47, September 04, 2007
ERS examines economic factors in the dramatic decline in the number of dairy farms over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration in the industry.
EIB-27, September 04, 2007
Could a single program support farm income and encourage environmentally sound farm practices? ERS looks at some hypothetical program scenarios.
EB-10, September 04, 2007
Over the last several decades, the U.S. agricultural sector has sustained impressive productivity growth. The Nation's agricultural research system, including Federal-State public research as well as private-sector research, has been a key driver of this growth. Economic analysis finds strong and co...
EIB-24, June 01, 2007
U.S. farms are diverse, ranging from small retirement and residential farms to enterprises with annual sales in the millions. Nevertheless, most U.S. farms—98 percent in 2004—are family farms. Even the largest farms tend to be family farms. Large-scale family farms and nonfamily farms account for 10...
FDS-07C01, March 30, 2007
The U.S. feed grain sector, largest of the major U.S. field crops, faces unprecedented demand conditions. The size and speed of the expanding use of corn by the ethanol industry is raising widespread issues throughout U.S. agriculture. Debate is ongoing over the use of grain for fuel instead of for ...
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...
LDPM-146-01, September 08, 2006
Uncertainty continues to shape the forecasts for animal products markets in 2006. Potential and actual animal disease outbreaks, consumer sensitivities, volatile exchange rates, and growing competition from producers in other countries cloud U.S. trade prospects for major meats. Loss of U.S. trade m...
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 ...
TBS-26001, August 04, 2006
This study focuses on factors that led to changes in the estimated residual returns to management and risk from tobacco production in 2003-04. Residual returns per acre for flue-cured tobacco declined less than those for burley tobacco in 2004 because yield increases for flue-cured tobacco helped to...
LDPM-14501, July 24, 2006
Over time, shifts in consumer demands, in the location and structure of milk production, in industry concentration, in international markets, and in trade agreements have dramatically altered the U.S. dairy industry and changed the context for dairy policies and the sector as a whole. In the future,...
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...
ERR-21, June 30, 2006
The rate at which U.S. farms go out of business, or exit farming, is about 9 or 10 percent per year, comparable to exit rates for nonfarm small businesses in the United States. U.S. farms have not disappeared because the rate of entry into farming is nearly as high as the exit rate. The relatively s...
EIB-13, May 15, 2006
American farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, but farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-eight percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 86 percent of farm production. Very small farms are growing in number, and small family farms continue to own most...
EIB-12, May 15, 2006
Most farms in the United States—98 percent in 2003—are family farms. They are organized as proprietorships, partnerships, or family corporations. Even the largest farms tend to be family farms. Very large family farms account for a small share of farms but a large—and growing—share of farm sales. Sm...
EB-6, March 14, 2006
Crop production is shifting to much larger farms. Since government commodity payments reflect production volumes for program commodities, payments are also shifting to larger farms. In turn, the operators of very large farms have substantially higher household incomes than other farm households, and...
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 ...
EIB-9, January 04, 2006
Marketing and production contracts covered 39 percent of the value of U.S. agricultural production in 2003, up from 36 percent in 2001 and a substantial increase over estimated values of 28 percent for 1991 and 11 percent in 1969. Large farms are far more likely to contract than small farms; in fact...
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...
LDPM-13501, September 16, 2005
This study focuses on fed cattle markets to compare the mandatory price reporting system developed by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in 2001 with the previous voluntary reporting system. The study also evaluates whether the mandatory system has improved the amount and quality of information a...
EIB-2, May 24, 2005
Crop genetic resources are the basis of agricultural production. However, crop genetic resources are largely public goods, so private incentives for genetic resource conservation may fall short of achieving public objectives. Within the U.S. germplasm system, certain crop collections lack sufficient...
AIB-797, March 09, 2005
This report presents comprehensive information on family and nonfamily farms and important trends in farming, operator household income, farm performance, and contracting. Most farms are family farms. Even the largest farms tend to be family farms. Small family farms account for most of the farms in...
AER-840, February 01, 2005
This report examines global food trade patterns and the role of WTO market access rules in shaping the composition of global food trade.
AER-838, October 29, 2004
This report analyzes the U.S. experience with decoupled payments in the Production Flexibility Contracts program from 1996 to 2002. The studies in this report consider the effects of decoupled payments on recipient households, and assess land, labor, risk management, and capital market conditions th...
AIB-793, September 30, 2004
Rural America At A Glance, 2004 is a six-page brochure that highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure is the third in a series of reports that uses current social and economic...
TB-1906, November 03, 2003
This study estimates the size and distribution of benefits from adopting Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, herbicide-tolerant cotton, and herbicide-tolerant soybeans in 1997. The stakeholders considered are U.S. farmers, U.S. consumers, biotechnology developers, germplasm suppliers, and producers ...
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...
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 ...
AER-812, July 01, 2002
Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930's notion that providing transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that neither change in income for the farm sector nor for any particular group of farm business can be presumed to...
AER-805, November 06, 2001
This report provides original estimates of private sector agricultural research and development efforts in Asia during the 1990s. The report examines seven Asia countries (India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China). The examination provides an assessment of the trend...
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-762, March 19, 2001
This report analyzes the economic aspects of several key areas--agricultural research policy, industry structure, production and marketing, consumer issues, and future world food demand--where agricultural biotechnology is dramatically affecting the public policy agenda.
AER-790, November 28, 2000
An average of 875,000 persons 15 years of age and older did hired farmwork each week as their primary job in 1998. An additional 63,000 people did hired farmwork each week as their secondary job. Hired farmworkers were more likely than the typical U.S. wage and salary worker to be male, Hispanic, yo...
AER-789, November 03, 2000
Public health policies intended to reduce the incidence of smoking-related disease adversely affect thousands of tobacco farmers, manufacturers, and other businesses that produce, distribute, and sell tobacco products. This report assesses the likely impacts of declining tobacco demand, and identifi...
AER-788, October 02, 2000
Discussions in the public arena have raised fundamental questions about the ultimate goals of farm policy and the need for establishing a safety net for farm households. This report examines four scenarios for government assistance to agriculture based on the concept of ensuring some minimum standar...
TB-1888, September 21, 2000
The 1996 Farm Act gives farmers almost complete planting flexibility, allowing producers to respond to price changes to a greater extent than they had under previous legislation. This study measures supply responsiveness for major field crops to changes in their own prices and in prices for competin...
AIB-760, August 01, 2000
ERS recently constructed a new set of regions depicting geographic specialization in production of U.S. farm commodities. ERS will use the new regions to display results of its analyses in a broad array of venues from briefings to publications, our web site, and journal articles. This pamphlet intro...
AH-719, July 01, 2000
About 34 percent of U.S. farms in 1997 used hired labor, and 12 percent used contract labor. Hired labor costs averaged 12 percent of total farm production expenses in 1997, but amounted to as much as 44 percent of production expenses for horticultural specialty crop producers, 40 percent for fruit ...
AER-782, November 30, 1999
Water quality is a major environmental issue. Pollution from nonpoint sources is the single largest remaining source of water quality impairments in the United States. Agriculture is a major source of several nonpoint-source pollutants; agricultural nonpoint pollution reduction policies can be desig...
AIB-746, December 01, 1998
National average statistics related to farm production mask the diversity in the Nation's 2 million farms and the people who operate them. Farms in the United States differ not only by size (sales and acres) and type of production, but also by organizational characteristics (land ownership, legal or...
AER-764, July 31, 1998
Under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, most farmers will pay less Federal income tax, and farm families will find it easier to transfer the family farm across generations. The new law--the tax portion of 1997 legislation to balance the Federal budget by 2002--emerges from years of debate on proposal...
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-754, July 01, 1997
This report examines geographic changes in U.S. livestock production during 1969-92 from the standpoint of industry concentration and structure. Farm numbers declined 30 percent from 1969 to 1992, but hog and dairy operations were down 70 percent, farms producing eggs dropped 85 percent, and broiler...
AER-751, June 01, 1997
U.S. Gross Farm Income reached record-high levels in 1991-94, but expenses also increased, leaving commercial farm operators with net farm income that was, on average, relatively stable. Commercial farms were more profitable in 1994 than 1993.
AIB-733, April 01, 1997
Small U.S. farms and those run by socially disadvantaged minority operators tend not to purchase insurance or to participate in insurance-type programs operated by USDA. This report traces the lack of use of such risk management measures to several characteristics of such farmers, who include female...
AER-745, December 03, 1996
The costs of cleaning barley beyond the current level of cleanliness would outweigh the potential benefits. There is little commercial interest in the cleaning of barley moving into domestic malting and feed barley markets. The export market demand is primarily for feed barley.
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...
AER-735, May 01, 1996
Empirical studies indicate high economic returns from the public's investment in agricultural research. Yet, even as society is placing broader demands on the research system, taxpayer support for public agricultural research is unlikely to increase. Stronger ownership rights for intellectual proper...
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...

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