Current Activities

Customized Agricultural Resource Management Survey Data on ERS Website

As of November 9, visitors to the ERS website can create tailor-made summaries of data on crop production practices, commodity costs of production, and farm and farm household financial information. Newly available data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) will allow users to tabulate data for the Nation, as well as for 15 featured States with high cash returns from farming. Robert Dubman

ERS Awards Grants for Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management

ERS recently made seven competitive funding awards totaling $1.1 million for research on the economics of invasive species management. Research will focus on three areas: (1) stakeholders and incentives for efficient invasive species program management, (2) practical decision tools for invasive species management, and (3) trade and invasive species. Award recipients and details of their planned research are available on the ERS website. Donna Roberts and Craig Osteen

Agricultural Resource Management Survey Promoted on RFD-TV

In September 2004, Kitty Smith, ERS Resource Economics Division Director, and Rich Allen, NASS Deputy Administrator for Programs and Products, were interviewed by Max Armstrong on a live telecast on RFD-TV. The interview explored the purposes and uses of USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), and informed farmers about the value of the information collected in the survey. ARMS surveys are being readied to go into the field this winter. Two 30-second Public Service Announcements about ARMS were also recorded for airing throughout the year.

Baby Boomers Increasingly Move to Rural Areas

The oldest members of the baby boom cohort are now 58 years old, just entering the stage in their lives when they tend to migrate for retirement. Current research shows that baby boomers are shifting toward rural and small town destinations, but they seem to be attracted to a more diverse set of destinations, compared with older cohorts. Researchers from ERS and Vermont's Middlebury College are conducting a study to gauge the impacts of baby boomer retirement migration on rural and small town America. The study will examine how demographic, natural amenity, housing market, urban proximity, and economic factors affected the migration flows of baby boomers into rural areas during the 1990s. Findings will also help researchers to better predict the future migration patterns of baby boomers over the next 20 years. John Cromartie

Improvements in Pesticide Data

In September 2004, ERS economist Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo participated in the kickoff meeting of the Pesticide Data Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics (ACAS) in Washington, DC. The subcommittee, composed of government, academic, and industry representatives, was established to explore improvements and efficiencies in the data collection of pesticide use in agricultural and nonagricultural applications. These improvements would include analysis, processing, and communication of crop protection product information. Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo

Keeping Agricultural Market Access Data Current

The Agricultural Market Access Database (AMAD) is a collaboration among national and international research institutions, including ERS, to provide an up-to-date, comprehensive source for data on agricultural tariffs and tariff rate quotas. In September 2004, Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada hosted a meeting of AMAD members to discuss potential enhancements to the database, including adding tariff preferences for developing countries and integrating AMAD with the World Bank/United Nations Conference on Trade and Development data system in order to provide easy access to developing countries. John Wainio