New Releases

Ownership and Classification of Agbiotech Patents

Researchers from ERS and Rutgers University have compiled a database of over 11,000 U.S. utility patents issued between 1976 and 2000 for a broad range of agricultural biotechnology applications. The database includes a system of technology classification and extensive information on patent assignee ownership history—especially important in light of the large number of industry mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs in the last decade. The database was assembled to help science policy researchers understand the dynamic effects of intellectual property protection in emerging areas of technology, but also to provide a useful picture of 'who is doing what' in agbiotech. John King and Paul Heisey

Farm Income Estimates and Forecasts

ERS has released updated estimates of 2003 farm income. Net farm income, which is a measure of the sector's profitability, was a record $59.2 billion in 2003, up 59 percent from the $37.3 billion earned in 2002, and about 24 percent above the average of the preceding 10 years. Net cash income, which gives an indication of cash income generated from the farm business, was estimated at a record $68.6 billion in 2003, up 35 percent from the $50.8 billion earned in 2002 and about 20 percent above the 10-year average. The farm sector was estimated to have contributed a record $101.4 billion in value-added to U.S. national economic output in 2003, up 29 percent from 2002 and 16 percent above the 10-year average. Farm income forecasts for 2004 will be updated on November 9.