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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.

  • Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation and Regulatory Offset Programs

    ERR-170, July 28, 2014

    "Additionality," achieved when a voluntary payment to farmers causes a change in conservation practice leading to an improvement in environmental quality, varies by type of practice.

  • Afghanistan's Wheat Flour Market: Policies and Prospects

    WHS-13I-01, October 23, 2013

    Afghanistan's milling industry has been slow to rebuild, due to highly variable domestic wheat supplies and competition from imported flour, largely from Pakistan where wheat producers and flour millers receive Government support.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Barley: Background For 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-8965, December 01, 1989

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for barley, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Barley is the third leading feed grain grown in the United States. Production is concentrated in the Northern Plains and Pacific regions. Barley is mainly used for livestock feed and the manufacture of malt beverages. Feed use often accounts for well over half of total use. Barley is the most important grain product used by brewers. Exports are much smaller than domestic use and are highly variable. Barley yields have steadily risen, but production costs have also increased relative to returns. Government loan rates and target prices for barley are based on those for corn. Returns above cash expenses in recent years were considerably lower than during 1975-80. Returns have increased gradually since 1986. Government payments to barley growers, while relatively small compared with corn, have been a significant portion of barley net returns in recent years.

  • Black Sea Grain Exports: Will They Be Moderate or Large?

    WRS-04-05-02, October 12, 2004

    This report examines the prospects for grain exports by the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States (NIS) that export through the Black Sea, the largest being Russia and Ukraine. If productivity growth in the region is high, annual grain exports by Black Sea countries could rise to 30-40 million tons. Such high exports would strongly affect the world grain market, since total annual world grain exports during 2000-03 averaged 237 million metric tons. This report is the second in a two-part series on the integration of CEE and NIS countries into global commodity markets.

  • Changes in Retail Organic Price Premiums from 2004 to 2010

    ERR-209, May 24, 2016

    Of 17 organic food products ERS analyzed, most retail price premiums fluctuated between 2004 and 2010, neither increasing nor decreasing steadily. Only three products-fresh spinach, canned beans, and coffee-showed steady premium decreases.

  • 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.

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

    SB-974-5, July 15, 2002

    The average cost of producing a bushel of wheat was $3.97 for producers surveyed in 1998, ranging from about $1.25 to more than $6 per bushel. The cost of producing wheat generally declined as farm size increased. Regional differences in production practices and growing conditions were major influences on production costs and yields among wheat producers. Producers in the Prairie Gateway, a major wheat region, produced wheat at an average cost of $3.63 per bushel, the lowest cost among regions. Most high-cost farms and very large farms were in the Southeast region; these farms tended to be more diversified than farms in other regions, so wheat contributed a smaller share to their total farm income.

  • Characteristics of U.S. Wheat Farming: A Snapshot

    SB-968, June 07, 2000

    Wheat growers' choice of production practices and geographic location were the major determinants of their costs of production, according to the findings of a 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One-fourth of surveyed farms reported using some form of conservation tillage, especially farms in the North Central, Northern Plains, and Southeast regions. On a per-bushel basis, low-cost farms tended to be small in terms of wheat acreage and total farm acreage. Differences in capitalization, tenure, and the use of custom services accounted for nearly 81 percent of the variation in the cost of producing wheat. Most size economies were realized at around 200 to 300 wheat acres.

  • 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.

  • Consumer Preferences Change Wheat Flour Use

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2008

    Between 1997 and 2002, per capita flour use declined with the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets. The industry responded with the introduction of a wide array of new products, to satisfy these new dietary preferences, particularly the increased demand for higher fiber and protein. As a result, 2007 saw a rise in per capita flour use.

  • Deconstructing Wheat Price Spikes: A Model of Supply and Demand, Financial Speculation, and Commodity Price Comovement

    ERR-165, April 29, 2014

    An ERS econometric model shows that supply-and-demand factors specific to the wheat market largely accounted for observed price variation in 2008. In contrast, speculation by index traders had comparatively little influence on prices.

  • 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.

  • Economic Implications of Cleaning Barley in the United States

    AER-745, November 01, 1996

    The costs of cleaning barley beyond the current level of cleanliness would outweigh the potential benefits. There is little commercial interest in the cleaning of barley moving into domestic malting and feed barley markets. The export market demand is primarily for feed barley.

  • Effect of Food Industry Mergers and Acquisitions on Employment and Wages

    ERR-13, December 09, 2005

    Empirical analysis of mergers and acquisitions in eight important food industries suggests that workers in acquired plants realized modest increases in employment and wages relative to other workers. Results also show that mergers and acquisitions reduced the likelihood of plant closures while high relative labor costs encouraged plant shutdowns. These results differ from commonly held views that mergers and acquisitions lead to fewer jobs, wage cuts, and plant shutdowns.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ethanol Expansion in the United States: How Will the Agricultural Sector Adjust?

    FDS-07D-01, May 18, 2007

    A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States. Cellulosic sources of feedstocks for ethanol production hold some promise for the future, but the primary feedstock in the United States currently is corn. Market adjustments to this increased demand extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and demand for other crops, such as soybeans and cotton, as well as to U.S. livestock industries. USDA's long-term projections, augmented by farmers' planting intentions for 2007, are used to illustrate anticipated changes in the agricultural sector.