Publications

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  • 2014 Farm Act Shifts Crop Commodity Programs Away From Fixed Payments and Expands Program Choices

    Amber Waves, July 07, 2014

    The new Farm Act continues a shift toward closer links between commodity programs and Federal crop insurance, involving complex trade-offs for producers. Read about it in the July issue of Amber Waves magazine.

  • Agriculture in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    ERR-176, October 28, 2014

    The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is expected to increase the value of intraregional agricultural trade by about 6 percent in 2025, and increase U.S. agricultural exports to the region by 5 percent, compared with the baseline.

  • Alternative Policies to Agricultural Export Taxes That Are Less Market Distorting

    ERR-187, June 09, 2015

    ERS examines effects of alternative policies to conventional export taxes on countries' domestic and trade markets for agricultural products -- policies that are less market distorting and less welfare diminishing.

  • California’s Irrigation Varies by Crop

    Amber Waves, July 06, 2015

    Farmers in California grow a wide variety of crops using off-farm surface water, groundwater, and to a limited extent, on-farm surface water. Differences in the source of irrigation water play a major role in how vulnerable different crops are to shortfalls in surface water supplies due to drought. Farmers of different crops also have differing levels of investment in irrigation technologies.

  • Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Rice Farms

    SB-974-7, March 31, 2004

    The average cost of producing a hundred pounds (cwt) of rice was $6.00 for U.S. producers surveyed in 2000, ranging from about $2 per cwt to more than $10. Producers in the lowest quartile of production costs averaged $3.99 per cwt compared with $8.94 for producers in the highest quartile. Regional differences in production practices, farm characteristics, and growing conditions were major influences on production costs among rice producers. More than half of the low-cost farms were located in the Arkansas Non-Delta, the largest rice region. Most high-cost farms were in California and the Gulf Coast regions. Three-quarters of rice production was concentrated on large and very large farms, categories that included nearly two-thirds of all rice farms, but the link between size of enterprise and production costs for rice is weaker than for other commodities. At the marketing-year average price of $5.61 per hundredweight, 78 percent of rice farms were able to cover operating costs and 43 percent covered both their operating and ownership costs of rice production in 2000. After accounting for Government payments, nearly all rice farms (97 percent) were able to cover operating costs in 2000, and about 84 percent were able to cover both operating and ownership costs.

  • Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector

    RCS-11D01, April 21, 2011

    This report examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry has evolved over the past two decades, including a reduction in the number of farms, increased average farm size, and the shifting concentration of rice production away from higher-cost production regions. The authors analyze the economic factors driving these structural changes and explore the implications of those changes for market efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry.

  • Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption, 1970-2005

    EIB-33, March 28, 2008

    ERS investigates trends in U.S. food consumption from 1970 to 2005. Results suggest many Americans still fall short of Federal dietary recommendations for whole grains, lower fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables.

  • Effects of Recent Energy Price Reductions on U.S. Agriculture

    BIO-04, June 02, 2015

    Sharply lower energy prices begun in late 2014 will benefit the agriculture sector mainly through lower transport and production costs. Energy price decreases are projected to lower production costs by about $5 billion in 2015 and in 2016.

  • 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.

  • Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry

    EIB-55, June 03, 2009

    Consumer demand for organic products has widened over the last decade. While new producers have emerged to help meet demand, market participants report that a supply squeeze is constraining growth for both individual firms and the organic sector overall. Partly in response to shortages in organic supply, Congress in 2008 included provisions in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (2008 Farm Act) that, for the first time, provide financial support to farmers to convert to organic production. This report examines recent economic research on the adoption of organic farming systems, organic production costs and returns, and market conditions to gain a better understanding of the organic supply squeeze and other emerging issues in this rapidly changing industry.

  • Factors Behind the Rise in Global Rice Prices in 2008

    RCS-09D01, May 07, 2009

    Global rice prices rose to record highs in the spring of 2008, with trading prices tripling from November 2007 to late April 2008. The price increase was not due to crop failure or a particularly tight global rice supply situation. Instead, trade restrictions by major suppliers, panic buying by several large importers, a weak dollar, and record oil prices were the immediate cause of the rise in rice prices. Because rice is critical to the diet of about half the world's population, the rapid increase in global rice prices in late 2007 and early 2008 had a detrimental impact on those rice consumers' well-being. Although rice prices have dropped more than 40 percent from their April 2008 highs, they remain well above pre-2007 levels.

  • Factors Influencing ACRE Program Enrollment

    ERR-84, December 29, 2009

    ERS applied requirements of the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program to eligible crops from 1996 to 2008 and analyzed whether farmers would have benefited more from ACRE than from the programs available during that time

  • Food Policy and Productivity Key to India Outlook

    Amber Waves, July 06, 2015

    India is likely to remain an important player in global agriculture markets as an importer of vegetable oils and pulses, and an exporter of rice, cotton, and beef.

  • Global Agricultural Supply and Demand: Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in Food Commodity Prices

    WRS-0801, July 23, 2008

    World market prices for major food commodities such as grains and vegetable oils have risen sharply to historic highs of more than 60 percent above levels just 2 years ago. Many factors have contributed to the runup in food commodity prices. Some factors reflect trends of slower growth in production and more rapid growth in demand, which have contributed to a tightening of world balances of grains and oilseeds over the last decade. Recent factors that have further tightened world markets include increased global demand for biofuels feedstocks and adverse weather conditions in 2006 and 2007 in some major grain and oilseed producing areas. Other factors that have added to global food commodity price inflation include the declining value of the U.S. dollar, rising energy prices, increasing agricultural costs of production, growing foreign exchange holdings by major food importing countries, and policies adopted recently by some exporting and importing countries to mitigate their own food price inflation.

  • Haiti's U.S. Rice Imports

    RCS-16A-01, February 01, 2016

    Imports make up about 80 percent of rice availability in Haiti, a major market for U.S. rice. Efforts are underway in Haiti to raise productivity, but it is still likely to rely on U.S. rice for a large share of its food supply.

  • Identifying Overlap in the Farm Safety Net

    EIB-87, November 22, 2011

    ERS offers a conceptual framework for identifying overlap in farm safety net programs, including how to define and measure overlap. The study also suggests a direction for further analysis.

  • Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies and the Implications of Reform

    ERR-41, May 03, 2007

    The pronounced market cycles and declines in per capita consumption of India's major food staples, as well as budgetary concerns, are creating pressure for Indian policymakers to adjust longstanding policies.

  • International Food Security Assessment, 2011-21

    GFA-22, July 15, 2011

    ERS assesses the food security situation in 77 developing countries, including estimates for 2011 and projections for the next decade. The report is the latest in an annual series.

  • Japan's Agri-Food Sector and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    EIB-129, October 28, 2014

    The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership would increase agricultural exports to Japan from TPP partners, especially in the rice, beef, and dairy sectors, but would have only a marginal impact on Japan's agricultural production.

  • Japan, Vietnam, and the Asian Model of Agricultural Development and Trade

    Amber Waves, February 02, 2015

    Fast-developing Vietnam is following in the footsteps of Japan and its model of export-oriented industrialization. Vietnamese agricultural imports are rising fast and appear to be following the historical growth pattern of Japan’s imports. Trade policy in both countries has protected agricultural imports, selectively favoring imported inputs relative to consumer-ready products.