Recommended readings for baseline-related topics in four areas are found here: baseline projections, related research in developing and enhancing baseline models, analyses of alternative market and policy scenarios, and previous baseline projection reports.
Baseline Projections (last three years)
USDA Agricultural Projections to 2023 (February 2014) is the complete departmental baseline report. The complete 2014 baseline report is also available in Microsoft Word
USDA Agricultural Projections to 2022 (February 2013) is the complete departmental baseline report. The complete 2013 baseline report is also available in Microsoft Word .
USDA Agricultural Projections to 2021 (February 2012) is the complete departmental baseline report. The complete 2012 baseline report is also available in Microsoft Word .
Research in Baseline-Related Model Development and Enhancement
Weather Effects on Expected Corn and Soybean Yields (July 2013) examines how weather affects U.S. corn and soybean yields. Weather during the growing season is critical for corn and soybean yields. Adjusting for weather in an analysis of historical U.S. corn and soybean yields is important for determining underlying trends and future yield expectations. Models for U.S. corn and soybean yields provide estimates of the effects of weather on yields for those crops.
Implications of an Early Corn Crop Harvest for Feed and Residual Use Estimates (July 2012) presents an econometric and statistical model for marketing-year feed and residual use for total feed grains. The model augments typical economic explanatory factors for feed demand with statistical factors related to the residual nature of this balance sheet component.
Supply Response Under the 1996 Farm Act and Implications for the U.S. Field Crops Sector (September 2000) measures the regional response of producers of major field crops to the flexibility mandated in the 1996 Act, in terms of their acreage and crop mix; the pattern of response is used in the baseline.
Price Determination for Corn and Wheat: The Role of Market Factors and Government Programs (August 1999) observes factors in U.S. farm-level prices for corn and wheat, for use in annual models used in the baseline to capture the effects of market supply and demand factors as well as government agricultural policy.
Marketing Loan Benefits Supplement Market Revenues for Farmers (December 1999) summarizes the workings of the marketing loan program and provides estimates of above-loan rate levels of per-unit revenue facilitated by the program. These relationships are used in baseline analysis of response to the program.
Analyses of Related Markets and Policies
High RIN Prices Signal Constraints to U.S. Ethanol Expansion, (April 2013) discusses factors underlying the recent runup in prices for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), the vehicle for reporting compliance with the national Renewable Fuel Standard. Primary among the causes are market constraints of the 10-percent ethanol blend wall and an expected depletion of excess RINs from prior years. Implications are for a moderate increase in the use of corn to produce ethanol in 2013/14 from the previous year’s drought-reduced level.
Full Throttle U.S. Ethanol Expansion Faces Challenges Down the Road (September 2009) EISA of 2007 specified an ambitious agenda to significantly expand biofuel use in the United States, with an increased emphasis on "second generation" cellulosic biofuel. However, challenges in both supply and demand--ranging from the development of new cellulosic biofuel production technologies to the development of supporting infrastructures at every step along the way from the field to the pump--may limit future growth in the industry.
Ethanol Expansion in the United States: How Will the Agricultural Sector Adjust? (May 2007) examines effects of the expansion in U.S. ethanol production. Market impacts extend well beyond corn, the primary feedstock for ethanol in the United States, to supply and demand for other crops, such as soybeans and cotton, as well as to U.S. livestock industries. As a consequence of these commodity market impacts, farm income, government payments, and food prices also change. See narrated slideshow for an overview; see related Amber Waves feature U.S. Ethanol Expansion Driving Changes Throughout the Agricultural Sector (September 2007).
The 2002 Farm Act: Provisions and Implications for Commodity Markets (November 2002) provides an initial assessment of the legislation's effects on agricultural production, commodity markets, and net farm income over the next 10 years. Results indicate that commodity market impacts are fairly small. Net farm income is projected higher than under a continuation of the 1996 Farm Act, largely reflecting an increase in government payments.
Pacific Food System Outlook 2003-2004, Where Demographics Will Take the Food System (October 2003) assesses the impact of expanded urbanization, variability in population growth and immigration, and aging populations on the Asia-Pacific food system. The ability of developing countries to adjust to rapid urbanization will be the most important demographic challenge, testing the region's capacity to deliver a steady flow of safe, reasonably priced food.
Agriculture in Brazil and Argentina: Developments and Prospects for Major Field Crops (December 2001) points to the increasing competitiveness of these countries in world oilseed and grain markets. For each country, the potential for future market-share gains will depend on exchange-rate movements, overall economic stability, infrastructure improvements, and further policy reform.
Developing Countries' Economies Key to U.S. Agriculture (September 2000) presents a graphical overview of the relationship of developing countries' economies to U.S. agricultural trade, analyzing the influence of income changes and exchange rate movements on U.S. agricultural trade relative to baseline projections.
The 1996 U.S. Farm Act Increases Market Orientation (August 1996) provides a general overview of major changes in production agriculture resulting from the 1996 Farm Act provisions on commodity programs, agricultural trade, and conservation; reports the impacts relative to the 1996 baseline.
Archives of Previous Baselines
Previous baseline projections reports, with related articles and presentations.