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  • Market Access for High-Value Foods

    AER-840, February 01, 2005

    This report examines global food trade patterns and the role of WTO market access rules in shaping the composition of global food trade.

  • Market Issues and Prospects for U.S. Distillers' Grains Supply, Use, and Price Relationships

    FDS-10K-01, December 09, 2010

    Growth in corn dry-mill ethanol production has surged in the past several years, simultaneously creating a coproduct-distillers' grains (DDGS). Many in the U.S. feed industry were concerned about the size of this new feed source and whether it could be used entirely by the feed industry, but they also worried about the price discovery process for the product. The authors of this report provide a transparent methodology to estimate U.S. supply and consumption of DDGS. Potential domestic and export use of U.S. DDGS exceeds current production and is likely to exceed future production as ethanol production continues to grow. The authors identify the DDGS price discovery process along with the price relationships of distillers' grains, corn, and soybean meal.

  • Measurement of U.S. Agricultural Productivity: A 2014 Review of Current Statistics and Proposals for Change

    CCR-69, August 29, 2017

    The USDA Economic Research Service has developed national and state-level agricultural productivity measures. These productivity measures are widely referred to and used, and international sectoralcomparisons rely on the ERS production accounts for foundation methodology in constructing agricultural productivity accounts in other countries. ERS engaged an external review committee to examine the data sources, methodology, ongoing research, documentation, and reporting of the ERS agricultural productivity accounts. This report represents the outcome of that review.

  • Mergers and Competition in Seed and Agricultural Chemical Markets

    Amber Waves, April 03, 2017

    Under recent merger proposals, the six global firms that dominate private agricultural chemical and seed research and production would be reduced to four. The mergers are subject to antitrust reviews in both the U.S. and the EU. The reviews will evaluate the likely effects of the mergers on specific seed and agricultural chemical markets, prices, and innovation.

  • Milk Production Continues Shifting to Large-Scale Farms

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2014

    Production has shifted to larger farms in most agricultural commodity sectors over the last two decades. This is especially true for dairy farms, where a major transformation of the sector has reduced the number of dairy farms by nearly 60 percent over the past 20 years, even as total milk production increased by one-third.

  • Million-Dollar Farms Dominate Production of Some Commodities

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2009

    In 2007, 37,300 farms—2 percent of U.S. farming operations—accounted for half of U.S. agricultural production, according to the Agricultural Resource Management Survey. These farms were million dollar farms—that is, they had sales of $1 million or more.

  • Million-Dollar Farms in the New Century

    EIB-42, December 30, 2008

    ERS documents the growing importance of very large farms in agricultural production. While a large majority of U.S. farms are small, those with annual sales above $1 million account for roughly half of agricultural sales.

  • Multi-Enterprising Farm Households: The Importance of Their Alternative Business Ventures in the Rural Economy

    EIB-101, October 31, 2012

    Nearly a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income in 2007, from both on- and off-farm enterprises.

  • Nearly 14,000 USDA Microloans Issued Between 2013 and 2015

    Amber Waves, March 06, 2017

    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.

  • Nearly Half of Sales Come From Million-Dollar Farms

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    About half of all U.S. farm commodity sales come from "million-dollar farms," with most of the farms classified as family farms.

  • Net Farm Income Expected To Increase 20 Percent in 2011

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    Net value added, net farm income, and net cash income—the three key U.S. farm sector financial indicators—are expected to improve in 2011.

  • Net Farm Income Is Expected To Decline in 2012 But Remain at a Near Record Level

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    After 2 straight years of rapid growth, U.S. net farm income is forecast to decline by 6.5 percent in 2012 to $91.7 billion.

  • Net Farm and Net Cash Income Forecast Below 10-Year Moving Average for First Time Since 2009

    Amber Waves, April 06, 2015

    Net farm income is forecast at $73.6 billion for 2015—a 32 percent decline from 2014—due primarily to declining crop and dairy receipts. Both net farm income and net cash income are expected to dip below their respective 10-year moving averages for the first time since 2009.

  • New Evidence Points to Robust But Uneven Productivity Growth in Global Agriculture

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Total factor productivity-–a key measure of agricultural productivity-–is showing rapid growth globally, led by improvement in China and Brazil. See this and other features in the September <i>Amber Waves</i>.

  • New Payment Limits, Lower Income Cap Unlikely To Have Significant Impact

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2008

    Despite payment limits and an income cap on eligibility for farm program payments, a substantial portion of payments continue to go to large farms. The 2008 Farm Act makes a number of changes to these provisions but is unlikely to have a significant impact on the distribution of farm program payments.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Onfarm Energy Use Fairly Steady in 2001-11, But Share of Production Costs Rose

    Amber Waves, June 03, 2013

    Although agriculture’s demand for energy has historically been less than 2 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, energy-based inputs account for a significant share of agricultural production costs. For example, over 30 percent of total production expenditures by corn, sorghum, and rice farmers in 2011 were for energy-intensive inputs.

  • Partial Interests in Land: Policy Tools for Resource Use and Conservation

    AER-744, November 29, 1996

    Property rights arise out of law, custom, and the operation of private markets, with important implications for how land and other natural resources are used and conserved. Over the past several years, debate about the nature and scope of property rights has combined with budget concerns and reauthorization of the Farm Bill, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act to focus public attention on Federal natural resource policy. This report examines the nature of land ownership and the evolving Federal role in land use and conservation, with particular attention to the voluntary acquisition and conveyance of conservation easements and other partial interests in land.