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.

  • ACRE Program Payments and Risk Reduction: An Analysis Based on Simulations of Crop Revenue Variability

    ERR-101, September 17, 2010

    ERS analyzes the distribution, by crop and region, of potential farm payments and risk reduction in the revenue-based Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. The report focuses on corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.

  • Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops by U.S. Farmers Has Increased Steadily for Over 15 Years

    Amber Waves, March 04, 2014

    Farmers planted about 170 million acres of GE crops in 2013.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Biofuel Use in International Markets: The Importance of Trade

    EIB-144, September 01, 2015

    The U.S. has emerged as a major exporter of biofuels, yet it still imports biofuels in order to meet government mandates. Several other countries have emerged as major exporters, and some have taken steps to restrict biofuel trade.

  • Brazil's Agricultural Land Use and Trade: Effects of Changes in Oil Prices and Ethanol Demand

    ERR-210, June 29, 2016

    ERS examines the extent to which changes in oil prices could affect Brazil's ethanol sector and the agricultural land-use decisions on production of sugarcane-Brazil's main ethanol feedstock-versus other crop and livestock activities.

  • Brazil's Corn Industry and the Effect on the Seasonal Pattern of U.S. Corn Exports

    AES-93, June 15, 2016

    Brazil's corn exports are now concentrated in months traditionally dominated by Northern Hemisphere exporters, particularly the United States. Greater competition from Brazil could alter the seasonal pattern of U.S. corn exports and prices.

  • Changing Crop Area in the Former Soviet Union Region

    FDS-17B-01, February 21, 2017

    Total crop area fell substantially in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan during the 1990's. Though area has rebounded somewhat in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, it is still far below the levels of the late Soviet period in Russia and Kazakhstan.

  • China in the Next Decade: Rising Meat Demand and Growing Imports of Feed

    Amber Waves, April 07, 2014

    USDA anticipates that China’s soybean and corn imports will continue to rise, with soybean imports meeting nearly all soybean meal demand and imports accounting for about 10 percent of corn supplies by 2023. Meat imports are also projected to rise, but remain a small share of consumption.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Corn and Soybean Production Costs and Export Competitiveness in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States

    EIB-154, June 20, 2016

    Lower shipping costs have helped keep the U.S. competitive with South America in international markets, but that could change with recent reductions in export taxes, export restrictions, and transportation costs in Brazil and Argentina.

  • Despite Profit Potential, Organic Field Crop Acreage Remains Low

    Amber Waves, November 02, 2015

    USDA survey data show that organic systems had lower yields and higher total economic costs than conventional systems. Organic corn and soybeans have been profitable, primarily due to the significant price premiums paid for certified organic crops that more than offset the additional economic costs. Organic wheat has been less profitable.

  • Development of China's Feed Industry and Demand for Imported Commodities

    FDS-15K-01, November 19, 2015

    China's commercial feed industry plays a critical role in supporting growth of the country's livestock sector. The feed industry's need for raw materials has been key to lowering China's barriers to agricultural imports.

  • Economic Impacts of Feed-Related Regulatory Responses to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    LDPM-170-01, September 04, 2008

    Animal and poultry disease outbreaks often lead to new or amended policies and regulations. The economic effects induced by these policies can be much greater and much longer lasting than the immediate effect of the disease outbreak alone. Using Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) as an example, this paper demonstrates the pervasiveness of the effects of restrictive feed policies and regulations, particularly as they relate to meat and bone meal and other protein feeds. Costs evaluated include those assumed by consumers via changes in supplies of secondary and final products; environmental costs associated with disposal of hazardous materials; lost value of products to the rendering industry, including a decline in value of meat and bone meal; and supply disruptions and substitutions within the feed market sector increase the total costs of disease mitigation regulations. Benefits from new or amended policies accrue but are not easily measured.

  • 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.

  • Economic Issues in the Coexistence of Organic, Genetically Engineered (GE), and Non-GE Crops

    EIB-149, February 24, 2016

    ERS synthesizes production data on GE crop varieties, organic crops (which exclude GE seed), and conventionally grown non-GE crops, and considers coexistence practices and economic losses due to unintended presence of GE material.