Publications

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  • New Market Realities Affect Crop Program Choices

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2008

    Even as farmers enjoy record high commodity prices and income, they face an array of risks, including high production costs and greater price volatility. Rising crop prices mean increased Federal crop insurance program payments but reduce the likelihood commodity program payments based on fixed price targets. The new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program offers revenue protection but participating farmers must forgo some benefits of traditional commodity programs.

  • New Traders in Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Futures Markets Scrutinized

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    The growing participation of nontraditional traders in futures markets, such as index funds and swap dealers, has coincided with increasing volatility in commodity markets and a weakening of the usual correlation between futures and cash prices. ERS research, however, finds no link between these trends and the growing presence of nontraditional traders.

  • Newly Updated ERS Data Show 2016 Production, Trade Volume, and Per Capita Availability of Vegetables and Pulses

    Amber Waves, August 07, 2017

    ERS provides economic analyses and data on vegetables and pulses for the fresh market and for processing use. The Vegetables and Pulses Yearbook provides current and historical data on supply, use, value, prices, and trade for the sector and for individual commodities.

  • Next-Generation Biofuels: Near-Term Challenges and Implications for Agriculture

    BIO-01-01, May 14, 2010

    This report assesses the short-term outlook for production of next-generation biofuels and the near-term challenges facing the sector. Next-generation U.S. biofuel capacity should reach about 88 million gallons in 2010, thanks in large measure to one plant becoming commercially operational in 2010, using noncellulosic animal fat to produce green diesel. U.S. production capacity for cellulosic biofuels is estimated to be 10 million gallons for 2010, much less than the 100 million gallons originally mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Near-term sector challenges include reducing high capital and production costs, acquiring financial resources for precommercial development, developing new biomass supply arrangements, many of which will be with U.S. farmers, and overcoming the constraints of ethanol's current 10-percent blending limit with gasoline.

  • Nitrogen Management on U.S. Corn Acres, 2001-10

    EB-20, November 14, 2012

    Nitrogen is a critical input in agriculture, and corn is the largest user of nitrogen. An examination of nitrogen management on corn cropland indicates that corn producers appear to be applying less excess nitrogen.

  • Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

    ERR-127, September 22, 2011

    Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for crop production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. This report explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agriculture and assesses changes in nutrient management by farmers that may improve nitrogen use efficiency. It also reviews a number of policy approaches for improving nitrogen management and identifies issues affecting their potential performance. Findings reveal that about two-thirds of U.S. cropland is not meeting three criteria for good nitrogen management related to the rate, timing, and method of application. Several policy approaches, including financial incentives, nitrogen management as a condition of farm program eligibility, and regulation, could induce farmers to improve their nitrogen management and reduce nitrogen losses to the environment.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: November 2012

    OCS-12K, November 13, 2012

    ERS -- working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies -- conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: October 2012

    OCS-12J, October 12, 2012

    ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: September 2012

    OCS-12I, September 13, 2012

    ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • Oil Prices and Ethanol Demand Drive Changes in Agricultural Commodity Production in Brazil

    Amber Waves, July 05, 2016

    Prices of oil and biofuels, agricultural land use, and commodity markets are linked through a complex web of interactions. In Brazil, a major consumer and producer of ethanol and a leading commodity exporter, changes in oil prices could lead to major shifts in the country’s cropping patterns and, as a result, changes in world commodity prices.

  • On the Doorstep of the Information Age: Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture

    EIB-80, August 24, 2011

    The adoption of precision agriculture, which encompasses a suite of farm-level information technologies, can improve the efficiency of input use and reduce environmental harm from the overapplication of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Still, the adoption of precision agricultural technologies and practices has been less rapid than envisioned a decade ago. Using Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data collected over the past 10 years, this report examines trends in the adoption of four key information technologies-yield monitors, variable-rate application technologies, guidance systems, and GPS maps-in the production of major field crops. While yield monitoring is now used on over 40 percent of U.S. grain crop acres, very few producers have adopted GPS maps or variable-rate input application technologies.

  • On the Map: California, Florida, and Washington Are Nation's Largest Fruit-Producing States

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    California accounts for about half of U.S. bearing fruit acreage, Florida almost one-fourth, and Washington around one-tenth.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

    AES-77, February 21, 2013

    Fiscal 2013 U.S. agricultural exports are forecast at a record $142 billion, $6.2 billion above 2012 exports. U.S. imports are forecast at a record $112.5 billion, $9.1 billion higher than in fiscal 2012.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

    AES-81, February 20, 2014

    The February 2014 quarterly USDA forecasts for agricultural trade in the United States in FY 2014 are presented and discussed in this report.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

    AES-80, December 02, 2013

    U.S. agricultural exports to fall 3 percent in fiscal 2014. Imports to rise 5 percent to record high.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

    AES-90, December 01, 2015

    November 2015 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2016 are discussed in this report. Exports are forecast at $131.5 billion in 2016; imports to reach record high.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2012

    AES-75, August 30, 2012

    This outlook report offers, on a quarterly basis, the U.S. agricultural import and export outlook, as well as the year-to-date value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports and imports, by commodity and region.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2013

    AES-79, August 29, 2013

    U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal 2014 are forecast down from the previous year's record-high. Exports are expected to fall $5 billion to $135 billion. Imports in fiscal 2014 are expected reach a record $113 billion.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2014

    AES-83, August 28, 2014

    August 2014 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2014 and 2015 are discussed in this report. Record-high imports and exports expected in 2014. Exports to fall 7 percent in 2015; imports to reach new record.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2015

    AES-89, August 27, 2015

    This report discusses August 2015 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY 2015 and 2016. Exports are expected to fall $1 billion in 2016; imports to reach record high.