Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Low-Income and Low-Supermarket-Access Census Tracts, 2010-2015

    EIB-165, January 18, 2017

    Across three proximity measures, supermarket access improved from 2010 to 2015 though income measures did not, resulting in more low-income, low-access census tracts. Over the same period, vehicle availability for households decreased

  • Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Updated Estimates of Distance to Supermarkets Using 2010 Data

    ERR-143, November 28, 2012

    ERS updates data on spatial access to affordable, healthy food, measuring distance to the nearest supermarkets for the U.S. population and considering factors like vehicle ownership and income level of households and areas.

  • Visualizing Farm Program Participation and Benefits Across the U.S.

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    ERS's Farm Program Atlas provides access to an array of public data that enable users to visually explore the geographic distribution of participation and benefits from seven key Federal farm programs at national, State, and county levels.

  • Mapping Population and Economic Trends in Rural and Small-Town America

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    The ERS Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America helps shed light on the overall scope and diversity of demographic, economic, and social trends across the United States by providing county-level mapping of over 60 statistical indicators.

  • Compare Your Area's Food Environment With the Rest of the Country

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    With over 90 food environment indicators, the ERS Food Environment Atlas provides a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so.

  • Broadband Internet's Value for Rural America

    ERR-78, August 17, 2009

    Broadband access is necessary to fully utilize Internet potential, and rural areas without broadband access may be disadvantaged. ERS examines recent growth in broadband access in rural areas and the impacts of broadband on their economies.

  • Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food-Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress

    AP-036, June 25, 2009

    This report fills a request for a study of food deserts-areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food-from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. The report summarizes findings of a national-level assessment of the extent and characteristics of food deserts, analysis of the consequences of food deserts, lessons learned from related Federal programs, and a discussion of policy options for alleviating the effects of food deserts. Overall, findings show that a small percentage of consumers are constrained in their ability to access affordable nutritious food because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation.

  • Eliminating Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions: How Would Markets Be Affected?

    ERR-30, November 08, 2006

    Participants in U.S. farm programs are restricted from planting and harvesting wild rice, fruit, and most vegetables (nonprogram crops) on acreage historically used for program crops (known as base acreage). However, a recent World Trade Organization challenge to U.S. programs has created pressure to eliminate planting restrictions. Although eliminating restrictions would not lead to substantial market impacts for most fruit or vegetables, the effects on individual producers could be significant. Some producers who are already producing fruit and vegetables could find that it is no longer profitable, while others could profitably move into producing these crops. Producers with base acreage are the most likely to benefit because they would no longer face payment reductions.

  • Behind the Data: Population Interaction Zones for Agriculture

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    Indicators: Behind the Data - June 2005

  • Technical Documentation of the Regional Manure Management Model for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

    TB-1913, March 18, 2005

    As part of a broader ERS assessment of the costs of manure management, a regional modeling framework was developed to evaluate the effect of Federal guidelines for farmland application of manure on the costs of hauling and spreading manure. This report presents technical details of the regional modeling system, applied to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The report includes an overview of the model's scope and structure, data sources, and modeling assumptions. Results from an initial application of the modeling system are featured in the ERS publication Manure Management for Water Quality: Costs to Animal Feeding Operations of Applying Manure Nutrients to Land (AER-824, June 2003).

  • Environmental Compliance in U.S. Agricultural Policy: Past Performance and Future Potential

    AER-832, May 28, 2004

    Since 1985, U.S. agricultural producers have been required to practice soil conservation on highly erodible cropland and conserve wetlands as a condition of farm program eligibility. This report discusses the general characteristics of compliance incentives, evaluates their effectiveness in reducing erosion in the program's current form, and explores the potential for expanding the compliance approach to address nutrient runoff from crop production. While soil erosion has, in fact, been reduced on land subject to Conservation Compliance, erosion is also down on land not subject to Conservation Compliance, indicating the influence of other factors. Analysis to isolate the influence of Conservation Compliance incentives from other factors suggests that about 25 percent of the decline in soil erosion between 1982 and 1997 can be attributed to Conservation Compliance. This report also finds that compliance incentives have likely deterred conversion of noncropped highly erodible land and wetland to cropland, and that a compliance approach could be used effectively to address nutrient runoff from crop production.

  • Economic and Policy Implications of Wind-Borne Entry of Asian Soybean Rust into the United States

    OCS-04D02, April 27, 2004

    American soybean producers and the research, regulatory, and extension institutions supporting them are preparing for the potential wind-borne entry of Asian soybean rust into the United States. This report examines how the economic impacts of soybean rust establishment will depend on the timing, location, spread, and severity of rust infestation and on how soybean and other crop producers, livestock producers, and consumers of agricultural commodities respond to this new pathogen.

  • Manure Management for Water Quality: Costs to Animal Feeding Operations of Applying Manure Nutrients to Land

    AER-824, June 19, 2003

    Nutrients from livestock and poultry manure are key sources of water pollution. This report's farm-level analysis examines onfarm technical choice and producer costs across major U.S. production areas. A regional analysis focuses on off-farm competition for land to spread surplus manure, using the Chesapeake Bay region as a case study. Finally, a sectorwide analysis addresses potential long-term structural adjustments at the national level and ultimate costs to consumers and producers.

  • Agri-Environmental Policy at the Crossroads: Guideposts on a Changing Landscape

    AER-794, January 25, 2001

    Agri-environmental policy is at a crossroads. Over the past 20 years, a wide range of policies addressing the environmental implications of agricultural production have been implemented at the Federal level. Those policies have played an important role in reducing soil erosion, protecting and restoring wetlands, and creating wildlife habitat. However, emerging agri-environmental issues, evolution of farm income support policies, and limits imposed by trade agreements may point toward a rethinking of agri-environmental policy. This report identifies the types of policy tools available and the design features that have improved the effectiveness of current programs. It provides an indepth analysis of one policy tool that may be an important component of a future policy package-agri-environmental payments. The analysis focuses on issues and tradeoffs that policymakers would face in designing a program of agri-environmental payments.

  • Economic Assessment of the 1999 Drought: Agricultural Impacts Are Severe Locally, but Limited Nationally

    AIB-755, November 01, 1999

    While the 1999 drought has had severe financial impacts on agricultural producers in the drought regions, its impact on U.S. agricultural production has been limited. The drought will reduce commodity receipts relative to 1998 by an estimated $1.29 billion. Estimated farm net income losses, including expected yield losses, increases in expenses, and insurance indemnities, will total $1.35 billion, about 3 percent of expected 1999 U.S. net farm income. Drought impacts in areas of the Northeast designated as extreme and severe drought are expected to reduce farmers' net income by nearly $840 million. The regions affected, the crops grown in those regions, the increased use of irrigation, and crop insurance coverage limited the drought's impacts on agriculture nationally. Drought also affects the rural population by reducing water supplies available for human and livestock consumption.