Publications

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  • Provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985

    AIB-498, April 01, 1986

    The Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198) establishes a comprehensive framework within which the Secretary of Agriculture will administer agriculture and food programs from 1986 through 1990. This report describes the Act's provisions for dairy, wool and mohair, wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, and sugar (including income and price supports, disaster payments, and acreage reductions); other general commodity provisions; trade; conservation; credit; research, extension, and teaching; food stamps; and marketings. These provisions are compared with earlier legislation.

  • Program Provisions for Rye, Dry Edible Beans, Oil Crops, Tobacco, Sugar, Honey, Wool, Mohair, Gum Naval Stores, and Dairy Products: A Database for 1961-90

    AGES-9128, June 03, 1991

    This report opens with a look at the legislative authority for commodity support programs. However, the main body of this report is devoted to program provisions for 1961-90 commodities: rye, dry edible beans, oil crops (cottonseed, flaxseed, peanuts, soybeans, and tung nuts), tobacco, sugar beets and sugarcane, honey, wool and mohair, gum naval stores (rosin and crude pine gum), and dairy products. These provisions are presented in the tables.

  • Oilseeds: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation

    AER-715, May 01, 1995

    This report address considerations in the 1995 farm bill debate for oilseeds, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. International trade agreements and greater acreage flexibility have improved the outlook for U.S. oilseed production and trade. Issues for 1995 farm legislation that will affect oilseeds will include: setting marketing loans and loan rates; determining payment acres for program crops; extension of acreage-idling policies; resumption of the Export Enhancement Program for vegetable oils; continued funding for the Conservation Reserve Program and other land use policies; and revenue assurance.

  • Economic Implications of Cleaning Soybeans in the United States

    AER-737, September 23, 1996

    Overall, the costs of delivering cleaner soybeans on a universal basis exceed domestic benefits. The cost of cleaning export soybeans beyond current levels at the least net-cost locations (both river elevators and inland subterminals), at minimum, exceeds domestic benefits by $26 million per year. However, a small percentage of producers could lower soybean foreign material (FM) with no or little additional cost by changing harvesting and handling practices. Most FM originates from the farm. Although soybean cleaning is not common, producers can alter production and harvesting practices to reduce FM, which mainly consists of plant parts, broken beans, weed seed, and dirt. One strategy to address the soybean cleanliness issue is to create incentives for producers to alter production and harvesting practices, such as better weed control and combine adjustment.

  • Commodity Program Provisions Under the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977

    AER-389, October 01, 1997

    Commodity program provisions of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 are summarized. Price support, loan level, disaster payment, program acreage, and other provisions of the legislation are discussed for wheat and feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sugar, dairy products, and wool and mohair. Miscellaneous provisions and those applying to grain reserves and to the beekeeper indemnity program are also summarized.

  • Biodiesel Development: New Markets for Conventional and Genetically Modified Agricultural Products

    AER-770, September 01, 1998

    With environmental and energy source concerns on the rise, using agricultural fats and oils as fuel in diesel engines has captured increasing attention. Substituting petroleum diesel with biodiesel may reduce air emissions, increase the domestic supply of fuel, and create new markets for farmers. U.S. agricultural fats and oils could support a large amount of biodiesel, but high production costs and competing uses for biodiesel feedstocks will likely prevent mass adoption of biodiesel fuel. Higher-priced niche markets could develop for biodiesels as a result of environmental regulations. Biodiesel has many environmental advantages relative to petroleum diesel, such as lower CO, CO2, SOx, and particulate matter emissions. Enhancing fuel properties by genetically modifying oil crops could improve NOx emissions, cold flow, and oxidative stability, which have been identified as potential problems for biodiesel. Research activities need to be directed toward cost reduction, improving fuel properties, and analyzing the economic effects of biodiesel development on U.S. agriculture.

  • Soybeans: Background and Issues for Farm Legislation

    OCS-0701-01, August 01, 2001

    Congress is considering new farm legislation to replace the expiring Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996. As background for these deliberations, this report provides information on supply, demand, and prices in the U.S. soybean sector. Domestic policy effects on U.S. exports and trade agreements are also evaluated because international trade is an important component of soybean demand. A description of the major features of the current soybean program is included, as well as a discussion of some proposed policy changes.

  • The Soybean Processing Decision

    TB-1897, December 04, 2001

    The gross soybean processing margin (the gross return per bushel of soybeans processed) is the main decision variable that processors use in deciding when and if to make binding commitments to process soybeans on future dates. Understanding how processors choose processing margins for future processing dates from among those available on successive days may help to resolve the ongoing concern about the level of competitiveness in processing agricultural commodities. Processing returns are treated as being equivalent to the returns to a call option. This approach provides the opportunity to simulate processor choice of processing margin by evaluating the incentive of waiting for a larger processing margin versus the incentive of locking in the currently available processing margin for a future date. The approach captures the irreversibility of the decision to process soybeans. Once the decision is made to process soybeans it cannot be economically reversed because of the contractual penalties involved. Processing margins selected using evaluations of these incentives explained variation in soybean crush, whereas spot margins for the corresponding processing dates did not.

  • Agriculture in Brazil and Argentina: Developments and Prospects for Major Field Crops

    WRS-013, December 28, 2001

    This report identifies key factors underlying the agricultural productivity growth and enhanced international competitiveness of Brazil and Argentina in the past decade. Economic and policy reforms, infrastructure development, and enhanced use of agricultural inputs that drove output growth during the 1990s are discussed. This report also compares Brazilian, Argentine, and U.S. soybean production costs and evaluates the combined impact of production, marketing, and transportation costs on the overall export competitiveness of each country's soybean producers. Finally, the outlook for continued growth in output and exports of key commodities is assessed.

  • Agricultural Exports From Grain and Soybean Producing States Rose in Fiscal 2002

    FAU-78-01, June 30, 2003

    Fiscal 2002 U.S. agricultural exports rose slightly from 2001. Most of the gain occurred in soybeans, feed grains, and wheat, as prices of those commodities increased. As a result, soybean and feed grain or wheat exporting States, such as Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Indiana, increased exports in 2002. North Dakota particularly benefited from increased wheat exports. California, which produces and exports primarily fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and other agricultural products had slightly reduced exports in 2002, even though it remained by far the largest agricultural exporting State.

  • India's Edible Oil Sector: Imports Fill Rising Demand

    OCS-090301, November 07, 2003

    India is the world's leading importer of edible oils and is likely to remain an important source of global import demand for the foreseeable future. Income and population growth and key changes in trade policy are important contributors to India's increasing consumption and imports. This report evaluates policy and market factors underlying production, processing, and trade in India's edible oil sector, and the market potential for U.S. exporters.

  • India's Poultry Sector: Development and Prospects

    WRS-0403, February 02, 2004

    Poultry meat is the fastest growing component of global meat demand, and India, the world's second largest developing country, is experiencing rapid growth in its poultry sector. In India, poultry sector growth is being driven by rising incomes and a rapidly expanding middle class, together with the emergence of vertically integrated poultry producers that have reduced consumer prices by lowering production and marketing costs. Integrated production, market transition from live birds to chilled and frozen products, and policies that ensure supplies of competitively priced domestic or imported corn and soybeans are keys to future poultry industry growth in India.

  • How Does Structural Change in the Global Soybean Market Affect the U.S. Price?

    OCS-04D01, April 13, 2004

    South American soybean production, combined with the U.S. soybean stocks-to-use ratio, provides a strong basis for forecasting U.S. soybean prices. South American soybean production accounts for much of the global structural change that has altered the relationships among U.S. soybean production, use, stocks, and price. The article estimates that a 1-percent increase in South American soybean production decreases U.S. soybean prices by about one-quarter percent.

  • 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.

  • Peanut Policy Change and Adjustment Under the 2002 Farm Act

    OCS-04G01, July 15, 2004

    This report examines the experience of the peanut sector following the 2002 Farm Act's elimination of the marketing quota system, and identifies factors affecting the transition to a more market-oriented system. Although peanut prices and acreage declined following passage of the 2002 Farm Act, it appears that producers are taking advantage of increased planting flexibility to expand production in higher yielding areas. Moreover, the transition has been cushioned by rising demand, and additional sources of revenue from government payments and other sources of farm and off-farm income.

  • Structural Change Brings New Challenges to Soybean Price Forecasters

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    South America has surpassed the U.S. in soybean production and displaced the U.S. as the dominant player in the global soybean market. This has put downward pressure on U.S. soybean prices, changing the market dynamics of the soybean sector and the economic relationships that have traditionally been used by USDA for price forecasting.

  • Economic Risks of Soybean Rust in the U.S. Vary by Region

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    An outbreak of soybean rust in the U.S. could pose economic risks for producers and consumers and affect agricultural and environmental programs. Fortunately, most U.S. soybean production is in the middle part of the country, where climate is less supportive of infestation.

  • China's Soybean Imports Expected To Grow Despite Short-Term Disruptions

    OCS-04J01, October 29, 2004

    Rapid demand growth for soybeans and soybean products has outstripped supply in China over the past two decades. Liberalization in production and trade policies has facilitated the country's booming soybean imports, though some recent policy changes have disrupted imports. Despite short-term disruptions, however, China's demand for soybean and soybean products continues to look strong and provides favorable opportunities for U.S. soybean exports.

  • China's Agricultural Imports Boomed During 2003-04

    WRS-0504, May 06, 2005

    China's agricultural imports more than doubled between 2002 and 2004 due to surging demand for basic commodities, a more open trade regime, and tighter commodity supplies in the Chinese domestic market. U.S. agricultural exports to China jumped to a record $5.5 billion in 2004 due to dramatic growth in U.S. exports of soybeans, cotton, and wheat. China was the fourth-largest overseas market for U.S. farmers during 2004, accounting for 9 percent of U.S. agricultural exports. China's agricultural exports continued to climb as well, but at a rate slower than its growth in imports. The outlook for Chinese imports is favorable due to strong economic growth and continued liberalization of the economy.

  • Soybean Backgrounder

    OCS-200601, April 04, 2006

    This report addresses key domestic and international market and policy developments that have affected the U.S. soybean sector in recent years. It provides an analysis of the competition between crops for domestic farmland and the international supply and demand for soybean products. Also covered are domestic and trade policy, farm program costs, and a profile of operating and financial characteristics of U.S. farms producing soybeans.