New Releases

Animal Agriculture Affects Air and Water Quality

Animal agriculture produces a variety of pollutants. These pollutants pose challenges to farmers and to resource managers because they can affect multiple resources (air and water), while environmental laws typically focus on only a single resource. Regulations to restrict emissions from animal operations to water might inadvertently increase emissions to the air and vice versa. A recent ERS report, Managing Manure To Improve Air and Water Quality, assesses the economic and environmental tradeoffs between water and air quality policies that could require the animal sector to take potentially costly measures to abate pollution. The findings are based on a farm-level analysis of hog farms, a national analysis that includes all sectors, and a regional assessment in an area with high animal numbers. Marc Ribaudo.

Feed Grains Database Redesigned

The ERS Feed Grains Database has recently been expanded and redesigned to offer users more statistics on corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, hay, and related items. In addition to supply (beginning stocks, production, and imports), demand (food use; industrial uses; seed, feed and residual uses; exports; and ending stocks), and price data (farm and market prices), users can now query the database for quantities fed, feed-price ratios, and much more. Data are monthly, quarterly, and/or annual, depending on the data series.

Commodity Background Reports

ERS recently released Peanut Backgrounder, the first of a series of nine background reports on key U.S. commodities to be issued over the next few months. Published every 5 years, these backgrounders provide a concise overview of important sectors of the agricultural economy. They contain information on production areas, new uses, export markets, policy changes, farm households, and other information that provides insights into key issues confronting each commodity. Eric Dohlman and Linwood Hoffman.

Current Indicators on Rural America

The latest edition in the annual Rural America At A Glance series includes the most current indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural people and their communities. This edition focuses on the importance of recreation and tourism for rural areas, rural employment growth, rural poverty, and the effect of immigration on rural population growth. Karen Hamrick.