Publications

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  • A Historic Enlargement: Ten Countries Prepare To Join the European Union

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2004

    In May 2004, eight Central and Eastern European countries (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), plus Cyprus and Malta, will join the European Union (EU). This enlargement of the EU, the largest in its history, will bring profound changes.

  • A New Outlook for the U.S.-Mexico Sugar and Sweetener Market

    SSSM-335-01, August 11, 2016

    ERS examines the U.S. trade remedy investigations on sugar imports from Mexico and considers how the recent "suspension agreement" restrictions on these imports change the outlook for the integrated U.S.-Mexico sweetener market.

  • 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.

  • Agricultural Income and Finance Outlook, 2010 Edition

    AIS-90, December 15, 2010

    Net farm income is forecast at $81.6 billion in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009 and 26 percent higher than the 10-year average of $64.8 billion for 2000 to 2009. Net cash income at $92.5 billion would be a nominal record, 2.3 percent above the prior record attained in 2008. Net value added is expected to increase by almost $20 billion in 2010 to $132.0 billion. Production expenses are forecast to rise moderately, reversing the significant declines seen in 2009. However, nominal total production expenses in 2010 and 2009 still constitute the second- and third-highest totals ever. Farm business equity (assets minus debt) is expected to rise nearly 4 percent, largely due to an expected 3-percent increase in the value of farm business real estate and a 2-percent decline in farm business debt. The farm business sector's debt-to-asset ratio is expected to decline to 11.3 percent and the debt-to-equity ratio is expected to decline to 12.8 percent in 2010, indicating that the farm sector's solvency position remains strong. Average net cash income for farm businesses is expected to increase throughout much of the country in 2010. The expected strong recovery in dairy, hog, and cattle receipts will result in much higher average net cash incomes for farm businesses in the Northern Crescent, Basin and Range, and Prairie Gateway. In the Northern Crescent, where dairy is a prominent commodity, average net cash income for farm businesses is forecast to increase by over 58 percent. Incomes are expected to be almost 50 percent higher in 2010 for farm businesses in the Basin and Range region where cattle are an important commodity, a region that showed the Average farm household income of principal farm operators-from farm and off-farm sources-is forecast to be $83,194 in 2010, up 7.8 percent from 2009. This contrasts with the change for the 2008 to 2009 period, when average farm household income declined by 3.3 percent.

  • Agricultural Income and Finance Outlook, 2011 Edition

    AIS-91, December 14, 2011

    Net farm income is forecast at $100.9 billion in 2011, up 28 percent from 2010 and 50 percent higher than the 10-year average of $67.4 billion for 2001-2010. Net cash income at $109.8 billion would be a nominal record, 19 percent above the prior record attained in 2010. Net value added is expected to increase by almost $24 billion in 2011 to $153.7 billion. Production expenses are forecast to jump substantially in 2011 to a record nominal high exceeding $300 billion. Prices paid indexes drive the forecast increase. Inflation-adjusted 2011 production expenses will exceed the previous peak reached in 1979. The values of farm business sector assets and equity (assets minus debt) are forecast to rise in 2011, while farm debt is forecast to decline from 2010 levels. Farm sector asset values are expected to rise by 6.8 percent in 2011 as the values of land and farm buildings, crop inventories, purchased inputs, machinery and equipment and financial assets are all expected to rise in 2011. Farm sector debt is expected to fall from about $247 billion in 2010 to about $243 billion in 2011. The decline in real estate debt is expected to be about $4 billion (-3.0 percent). The farm business sector's debt-to-asset ratio is expected to decline to 10.4 percent and debt-to-equity is expected to decline to 11.6 percent in 2011, indicating that the farm sector's solvency position remains strong. Average net cash income for farm businesses is expected to increase throughout most of the country in 2011, although income growth is not as high as experienced in 2010. High commodity prices for both crops and livestock are driving these increases, despite increasing expenses in all categories other than labor. Except for poultry, high prices in 2011 have helped the livestock sector to continue the strong performance of 2010 despite an environment of increasing feed expenses. Driven by the gains in most crop and livestock farms, all regions other than the Southern Seaboard are expected to experience at least a 7-percent improvement in average net cash income over 2010. Median farm household income increased by 3.7 percent in 2010 to $54,162 and is forecast to be higher in 2011. Bolstered by higher farm asset values, the balance sheet of farm households improved in 2010, with median net worth increasing by 6.5 percent to $576,745.

  • Agriculture Risk Coverage Program Proves More Popular Than the Supplemental Coverage Option

    Amber Waves, January 12, 2016

    The 2014 Farm Act provides eligible farmers new commodity support programs, including Agricultural Risk Coverage, Supplemental Coverage Option, and Price Loss Coverage. Findings reveal how various combinations of the programs affect producer revenues, producer well-being, and expected program costs.

  • Agriculture's Supply and Demand for Energy and Energy Products

    EIB-112, May 13, 2013

    Farmers have adapted to rising energy prices and evolving policies by adjusting their use of energy-based agricultural inputs, altering energy-intensive production practices, and growing more energy-feedstock crops.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms: 2014 Edition

    EIB-133, December 22, 2014

    Farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-seven percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 85 percent of farm production. Small farms make up 90 percent of the farm count and operate half of the Nation's farmland. Most farm production, however, occurs on midsize and large-scale family farms.

  • America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2017 Edition

    EIB-185, December 15, 2017

    99% of U.S. farms are family farms, accounting for 90% of production. Small family farms make up 90% of all farms and operate over half of farmland. Still, large family farms accounted for the largest share of farm production, 45%, in 2016.

  • An Initial Assessment of the Payment-in-Kind Program

    AP-039, April 29, 1983

    Weak domestic demand, the first drop in exports in more than a decade, and large farm surpluses placed significant downward pressure on commodity prices and farm incomes and created the potential for large government outlays. The payment-in-kind (PIK) program was designed to idle substantial acreage without increasing government program costs. This report provides an assessment of the PIK program on production, prices, and incomes.

  • Before Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Rule: A Survey of U.S. Produce Growers

    EIB-194, August 06, 2018

    Among produce growers, larger growers (measured by annual produce sales) had adopted food safety practices at higher rates than smaller growers in advance of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule.

  • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

    EIB-53, May 15, 2009

    Beginning farmers and ranchers accounted for 10 percent of the sector's total value of production in 2007. ERS provides an overview of their characteristics and the farm businesses they operate.

  • 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.

  • Brazil's Ethanol Industry: Looking Forward

    BIO-02, June 27, 2011

    This report profiles and analyzes Brazil's ethanol industry, providing information on the policy environment that enabled the development of feedstock and processing sectors, and discusses the various opportunities and challenges to face the industry over the next decade.

  • Bt Corn Adoption by U.S. Farmers Increases Yields and Profits

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    Genetically engineered varieties of corn with enhanced pest management traits have been widely adopted by U.S. farmers. ERS examined data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey to determine the reasons farmers planted Bt corn and the resulting impact on corn yields, profits, and insecticide use.

  • Can Commodity Program Payments Encourage Better Nutrient Management?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Can commodity program payments be further leveraged to obtain better nutrient management on land in crop production? The answer depends on the extent to which areas receiving these payments coincide with the location of nutrient runoff problems and whether payments are large enough to offset the cost of reducing runoff.

  • Changes in Farmers’ Financial Status May Affect Crop Insurance Demand

    Amber Waves, November 07, 2016

    Many farmers in the U.S. use crop insurance to manage the risk of crop failure or low prices. ERS finds that, when examined over multiple years, farmers’ demand for crop insurance is driven more by a farmer’s wealth and the available financial options than by a farmer’s attitude toward risk.

  • 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.

  • Changes to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program Under the Agricultural Act of 2014: Their Potential Risk Reduction Impacts

    EIB-172, May 25, 2017

    ERS researchers find that the new NAP Buy-Up coverage can mitigate low-yield risk more than the NAP Basic and slightly increase a farmer's revenue

  • Changing Farm Structure and the Distribution of Farm Payments and Federal Crop Insurance

    EIB-91, February 06, 2012

    A long-term shift in production toward larger farms has affected the distribution of commodity-related Federal program payments and Federal crop insurance, with the share of payments going to larger farms increasing.