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Publications

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31 publications, sorted by date 

ERR-174, September 18, 2014
ERS examines hypothetical economic and agricultural sector responses to changes in key drivers of supply and demand in the future—agricultural productivity, population, and per capita income.
ERR-170, July 28, 2014
“Additionality,” achieved when a voluntary payment to farmers causes a change in conservation practice leading to an improvement in environmental quality, varies by type of practice.
EIB-125, May 27, 2014
Double-cropping (about 2 percent of total cropland) intensifies production without expanding cropland acres. Use of double-cropping varies by crop, region, and climate, and responds year-to-year to changes in commodity prices and weather.
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.
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.
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-98, August 22, 2012
The 2012 edition provides resource-and environment-related information including farmland area, productivity, irrigation, pesticide use, adoption of genetically engineered crops, fertilizer use, conservation practices, and land retirement.
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-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.
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.
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.
ERR-120, June 30, 2011
ERS examined how quickly landowners were converting grasslands to cropland in the Northern Plains and the role of crop insurance and other farm programs in their decisions.
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...
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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