Amber Waves

Amber Waves presents the broad scope of ERS research and analysis on the economics of food, farming, natural resources, and rural America. The December 2017 issue includes articles on land use in the United States, U.S. households and childhood obesity, global ethanol mandates, and fast food restaurants.

New from ERS


The Evolving Distribution of Payments From Commodity, Conservation, and Federal Crop Insurance Programs

Changes in U.S. agricultural structure have changed the distribution of Government farm payments over time. Commodity program payments, some conservation program payments, and Federal crop insurance indemnities have shifted to larger farms.


Independent Grocery Stores in the Changing Landscape of the U.S. Food Retail Industry

Independent grocery stores are a large part of the U.S. food retail industry. In 2015, independent grocery stores generated $70 billion in sales, and, on average, outnumbered chain stores in remote rural counties.


An Assessment of Product Turnover in the U.S. Food Industry and Effects on Nutrient Content

ERS researchers assess U.S. food products’ marketplace entry and exit rates in 2008-12 and break down these changes across food categories. They also examine some of the implications product turnover may hold for nutritional content.


Beyond Nutrition and Organic Labels—30 Years of Experience With Intervening in Food Labels

ERS researchers examine five food label case studies that show the economic effects and tradeoffs involved in setting product standards, verifying claims, and enforcing truthfulness.


Rural America at a Glance, 2017 Edition

The rural population is shrinking due to outmigration of young adults, fewer births, increased mortality among working-age adults, and an aging population. Rural job growth since 2011 has been well below the urban growth rate.