Publications

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  • World Raw Sugar Prices: The Influence of Brazilian Costs of Production and World Surplus/Deficit Measures

    SSSM-297-01, May 29, 2013

    Brazil is the world's leading sugar producer and, over the long term, world sugar prices are determined by production costs in Center/South Brazil, as well as the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Brazilian real .

  • Why Hasn't Crop Insurance Eliminated Disaster Assistance?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    In 1995, 80 percent of eligible U.S. farm acreage was enrolled in crop insurance. Still, Congress has continued to pass ad hoc disaster assistance measures in reaction to drought and other adverse events. Since 2000, four such programs have been authorized, covering 6 crop years for a total cost of about $10 billion.

  • Whole-Farm Approaches to a Safety Net

    EIB-15, June 28, 2006

    In recent U.S. farm policy debates, several "whole-farm revenue" programs have been proposed as a new form of safety net that would be available to all U.S. farms. A whole-farm program is based on revenues from all farming activities added together and is not linked to the production of particular commodities. This report looks at the risk management potential for such programs and the obstacles to implementing such a whole-farm revenue approach to a farm safety net.

  • Who Gets Farm Program Payments?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    This article discusses the sources, distribution, and year-to-year variation in government payments from farm programs.

  • Wheat: Background and Issues for Farm Legislation

    WHS-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. wheat sector and examines alternative policy choices.

  • Visualizing Farm Program Participation and Benefits Across the U.S.

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    ERS's Farm Program Atlas provides access to an array of public data that enable users to visually explore the geographic distribution of participation and benefits from seven key Federal farm programs at national, State, and county levels.

  • Valuing Counter-Cyclical Payments: Implications for Producer Risk Management and Program Administration

    ERR-39, February 22, 2007

    Counter-cyclical payments supplement incomes of eligible producers enrolled in commodity programs. ERS developed a computer program that improved upon USDA's method of estimating payment rates and that producers and forecasters can use.

  • Updating the ERS Farm Typology

    EIB-110, April 04, 2013

    ERS updated the farm typology to reflect commodity price inflation and a shift in production toward larger farms. The revised typology (now measuring by gross cash farm income) slightly increases the share of farms classified as small.

  • USDA Microloans for Farmers: Participation Patterns and Effects of Outreach

    ERR-222, December 30, 2016

    In 2013-15, 89 percent of USDA/FSA Microloans went to recipients from targeted groups (beginning farmers and ranchers, women, minorities, and veterans). Also, in 2013-15, new FSA direct loan borrowers received a majority of Microloans.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2022

    OCE-131, February 11, 2013

    USDA's longrun projections for global agriculture reflect steady world economic growth and continued demand for biofuels, which combine to support increases in consumption, trade, and prices.

  • U.S. Sugar April 2012

    SSSM-284, April 16, 2012

    On March 30, 2012, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published Prospective Plantings, with forecasts included for planted-area intentions for the 2012/13 U.S. sugarbeet crop. Planted area is forecast at 1.241 million acres. While this amount is less than a percentage point above last year's realized planted area of 1.233 million acres, it is 4.6 percent above last year's intended area projected in March 2011. With the assumption of normal growing conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) expects an additional 130,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) of beet sugar production to occur before the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2012 for a total of 4.655 million STRV. There were no changes from last month for FY 2012 cane sugar production.

  • U.S. Peanut Sector Adapts to Major Policy Changes

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2004

    "U.S. Peanut Sector Adapts to Major Policy Changes" 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, and 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.

  • Trends in U.S. Tobacco Farming

    TBS-25702, November 08, 2004

    Tobacco farms are becoming fewer in number and U.S. tobacco acreage has declined since the 1950s. This article provides a snapshot of tobacco farm characteristics as of 2002. The number of farms growing tobacco in the United States dropped from 512,000 in 1954 to 56,977 in 2002, with 37,013 classified at tobacco farms, that is, tobacco constituted at least 50 percent of their sales. All farms producing tobacco averaged about 7.5 acres in 2002, compared with 9.0 acres in 1997. Tobacco farms averaged only 62 acres of harvested cropland and 175 acres of total farmland.

  • Thinning Markets in U.S. Agriculture

    EIB-148, March 16, 2016

    As U.S. agriculture becomes increasingly concentrated and markets become thinner (smaller number of ag product purchasers), increased producer-processor coordination could provide substantial efficiency gains despite some challenges.

  • Thin Markets Raise Concerns, But Many Are Capable of Paying Producers Fair Prices

    Amber Waves, March 16, 2016

    U.S. agriculture is growing more concentrated as markets have fewer purchases, low trading volume, and low liquidity. This raises concerns about equity for producers and efficiency in market performance.

  • The Role of Conservation Programs in Drought Risk Adaptation

    ERR-148, April 30, 2013

    Farms in more drought-prone areas are more likely to offer land to the Conservation Reserve Program or participate in other conservation programs. If climate change increases drought risk, farmer interest in these programs will likely grow.

  • The Profit Potential of Certified Organic Field Crop Production

    ERR-188, July 27, 2015

    Organic corn, soybean, and wheat production has higher total economic costs and lower yields than conventional production. However, price premiums paid to organic producers are an important factor offsetting the higher costs.

  • The Post-Buyout Experience: Peanut and Tobacco Sectors Adapt to Policy Reform

    EIB-60, November 16, 2009

    ERS identifies market forces that have affected the peanut and tobacco industries following the end of longstanding system protections - in 2002 for peanuts and 2004 for tobacco.

  • The Importance of Federal Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies

    Amber Waves, October 20, 2014

    Growth in Federal Crop Insurance (FCI) has generally been attributed to the increase in crop insurance premium subsidies. While ERS research results show the lower costs had only small effects on acreage enrollment, those already enrolled showed an adoption of higher levels of coverage. Results suggest that increasing premium subsidies could cause Government costs to increase rapidly.

  • The Future of Environmental Compliance Incentives in U.S. Agriculture

    EIB-94, March 14, 2012

    If direct payment programs, which are now subject to environmental compliance, are reduced or eliminated, what would be some impacts of applying environmental compliance provisions to crop insurance?