Publications

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  • Processing and Marketing Blunt the Impact of Volatile Farm Prices on Retail Dairy Prices

    Amber Waves, August 01, 2016

    Despite volatile farm-level milk prices over the last decade, fluctuations in retail prices for whole milk and Cheddar cheese have been comparatively moderate, with farm prices and retail prices tracking more closely for whole milk than for Cheddar cheese.

  • Thinning Markets in U.S. Agriculture

    EIB-148, March 16, 2016

    As U.S. agriculture becomes increasingly concentrated and markets become thinner (smaller number of ag product purchasers), increased producer-processor coordination could provide substantial efficiency gains despite some challenges.

  • ERS Tracks Meat Prices at the Retail, Wholesale, and Farm Levels

    Amber Waves, October 05, 2015

    Each month the Economic Research Service calculates farm-to-wholesale and wholesale-to-retail price spreads for beef, pork, and broilers. These price spreads show the difference between what consumers pay for a certain type of meat at the retail store and what producers actually receive for that meat.

  • Mandatory Price Reporting, Market Efficiency, and Price Discovery in Livestock Markets

    LDPM-254-01, September 03, 2015

    ERS found that the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act, up for renewal in 2015, has improved the markets' overall speed in absorbing new information and that it generally benefits livestock feeders, meatpackers, and-ultimately-consumers.

  • Avian Influenza Boosted Japan’s Imports of Dried Egg Products

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    ERS analysis of the effects of the 2004 outbreak of avian influenza in Japan showed evidence of a willingness of Japanese consumers to substitute processed dried egg products for fresh shell eggs. These changes in preference affect U.S. exports of shell eggs and egg products.

  • Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management Fiscal 2003-2011 Activities

    AP-056, May 16, 2011

    Under the Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM), ERS conducts intramural research and funds extramural research to support the economic basis of decisionmaking concerning invasive species issues, policies, and programs. The report, Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management: Fiscal 2003-2011 Activities details the objectives and activities of PREISM and reports important accomplishments for fiscal years 2003-2011. Included are descriptions of the extramural research program and all funded projects, and a list of project outputs.

  • Comparing Two Sources of Retail Meat Price Data

    ERR-88, November 17, 2009

    The livestock industry uses information on meat prices at different stages in the marketing system to make production decisions. When grocery stores began using electronic scanners to capture prices paid for meat, it was assumed that the livestock industry could capitalize on having these point-of-sale data available as a measure of the value of its products. This report compares scanner price data with publicly available data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Of the two data types, scanner data provide more information about retail meat markets, including a wider variety of meat-cut prices, multiple measures of an average price, the volume of sales, and the relative importance of discounted prices. The scanner data sample, however, is not statistically drawn, and complicated processing requirements delay its release, which makes scanner data less useful than BLS data for analyzing current market conditions.

  • Did the Mandatory Requirement Aid the Market? Impact of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act

    LDPM-135-01, September 16, 2005

    This study focuses on fed cattle markets to compare the mandatory price reporting system developed by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in 2001 with the previous voluntary reporting system. The study also evaluates whether the mandatory system has improved the amount and quality of information available to the market. Results show that mandatory reporting has given the market additional information about prices for different kinds of sales transactions. The trend toward formula purchases has slowed since mandatory price reporting was implemented, and the volume of cattle moving under negotiated purchases has increased.

  • Market Integration of the North American Animal Products Complex

    LDPM-13101, May 26, 2005

    The beef, pork, and poultry industries of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have tended to become more economically integrated over the past two decades. Sanitary barriers, which are designed to protect people and animals from diseases, are some of the most significant barriers to fuller integration of meat and animal markets. In addition, diseases such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, have caused major disruptions to beef and cattle trade.

  • Slow Price Adjustments Benefit Beef and Pork Producers

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    The slow and asymmetric adjustment of cattle prices to changes in supply-and-demand conditions keeps them about 4 percent higher on average than they would be under complete adjustment. Hog prices average around 1 percent higher.

  • Behind the Data

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2004

    Indicators behind the data - June 2004

  • Beef and Pork Values and Price Spreads Explained

    LDPM-11801, May 10, 2004

    Livestock and meat prices vary more in the short run than costs of production, processing, and marketing. ERS research shows that month-to-month changes in livestock and meat prices are driven by dynamic adjustment. It takes time for prices to adjust, and they tend to adjust more rapidly when they are increasing than when they are decreasing. When rates depend on direction, price adjustment is called asymmetric. The slow and asymmetric adjustment of prices does not appear to work against livestock producers. This report examines these price transmission issues and also explains price spread calculations and analyzes the relationship between marketing costs and livestock prices in the long run.

  • U.S.-Mexico Broiler Trade: A Bird's Eye View

    LDPM-102-01, December 06, 2002

    This study examines sanitary requirements and regulations currently governing the U.S.-Mexico broiler trade. A sensitivity analysis, using a cost-minimization mathematical programming model, detects minimal economic impact on the U.S. broiler market if Mexico is allowed to ship fresh, chilled, and frozen poultry to the United States.

  • U.S. Beef Industry: Cattle Cycles, Price Spreads, and Packer Concentration

    TB-1874, April 01, 1999

    This report examines the cattle cycle of the 1990's to determine if there are differences from previous cattle cycles and, if so, how and why any differences occurred.