Current Activities

Conservation Reserve Program Signup Options Considered

In 2007-08, contracts covering about half the acres enrolled in USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program will expire, requiring several new signups. ERS economist Daniel Hellerstein participated in an interagency team that examined various signup alternatives in terms of cost, administrative burden, and possible environmental consequences. Their goal was to provide information to policymakers who will choose among signup options. Daniel Hellerstein

State Fact Sheets Updated

The U.S. State Fact Sheets are one of the most popular items on the ERS website, with over 20,000 unique users each month. They contain the most current data in an easy-to-read style on population, per capita income, earnings per job, poverty rate, total number of jobs, unemployment rate, percentage employment change, farm and farm-related jobs, top export commodities, farm characteristics, and farm financial indicators for each State and the United States. Recent updates include the addition of several types of data—2002 Census of Agriculture data on State farm characteristics, 2002 rural and urban poverty rates, and 2003 farm financial information—as well as new features, such as downloadable spreadsheets and frequently asked questions. Future enhancements will include graphical interfaces to develop charts and maps. Timothy Parker

Examining Southeast Asia's Dynamic Agricultural Markets

ERS is undertaking several activities to better understand the food, agriculture, and policy developments in Southeast Asia, which is both a growing market and a significant competitor for U.S. agriculture. The region, with over 500 million people, is one of the most dynamic parts of the world trade in agriculture. Rapid economic growth has led to changing diets in much of the region, fueling growing imports of feedstuffs, wheat, and processed products. Large investments in agriculture and food processing, continuing for decades, have also made Southeast Asia a major food-exporting region. ERS, with funding from the Emerging Markets Program of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, is beginning collaborative work with agriculture ministries and institutes in the Philippines and Vietnam. This work includes studies of trade patterns and the broiler sector, as well as a conference session on changes in the structure of the region’s food retailing. John Dyck

Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management

ERS is seeking proposals for the 2005 Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM) competitive award program. Proposals should focus on applied economic research and/or decision support system development for USDA policies and programs related to invasive species.

Priority research areas include: (1) Institutions and Incentives for Efficient Invasive Species Prevention and Management, (2) Practical Decision Analysis for Invasive Species Management, and (3) International Dimensions of Invasive Species Management. Anticipated funding is approximately $1 million. Proposals are due April 29, 2005. Craig Osteen and Donna Roberts