Publications

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  • International Trade, Biofuel Initiatives Reshaping the Soybean Sector

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    U.S. soybean production has risen rapidly due to increased domestic and foreign demand. The future of the sector, however, will depend on raising export competitiveness and the possible diversion of acreage away from soybeans into corn to satisfy the growing demand for ethanol.

  • ERS Bioenergy Research Plans 2007-8

    AP-024-1, May 01, 2007

    The tremendous expansion of bioenergy production raises several key questions: Where will ethanol producers get the corn needed to increase their output? How will increased demand for biodiesel affect soybean markets? What will be the impact on livestock production of increased use of crops for energy? How will international markets for commodities and renewable energy be affected? Will rural communities benefit from local production of ethanol? Will food prices increase due to competing uses for grains? How will increased bioenergy production impact environmental quality? Although grain-based ethanol is currently the major source of biofuels in the U.S., continued research to improve the conversion efficiency of cellulosic biomass feedstocks eventually will increase the range of crops that can be grown for energy production in the future.

  • Ethanol Reduces Government Support for U.S. Feed Grain Sector

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Increasing use of corn for ethanol production has brought a shift in the type of Government support received by U.S. corn producers. Previously, income support comprised the largest share of support going to the corn sector. Now, however, feed grain producers are relying more on indirect demand enhancement coming from government policies stimulating ethanol production. The most important instrument is a blenders tax credit available to gasoline marketers.

  • Feed Grains Backgrounder

    FDS-07C01, March 30, 2007

    The U.S. feed grain sector, largest of the major U.S. field crops, faces unprecedented demand conditions. The size and speed of the expanding use of corn by the ethanol industry is raising widespread issues throughout U.S. agriculture. Debate is ongoing over the use of grain for fuel instead of for food or feed and the adequacy of future grain supplies. Increased productivity (yield) and additional area from land planted to competing crops, land enrolled in conservation programs, or idled land is expected to provide an increased supply of feed grains. The outlook is for higher feed grain prices, in part, as a result of renewable energy policies and high energy prices, with feed grain prices rising above farm program support levels. During the ongoing farm policy debate, the U.S. feed grain sector faces uncertainty about the future level and type of government support.

  • ERS Bioenergy Information and Research, March 2007

    AP-023-1, March 01, 2007

    The tremendous expansion of bioenergy production raises several key questions: Where will ethanol producers get the corn needed to increase their output? How will increased demand for biodiesel affect soybean markets? What will be the impact on livestock production of increased use of crops for energy? How will international markets for commodities and renewable energy be affected? Will rural communities benefit from local production of ethanol? Will food prices increase due to competing uses for grains? How will increased bioenergy production impact environmental quality? Although grain-based ethanol is currently the major source of biofuels in the U.S., continued research to improve the conversion efficiency of cellulosic biomass feedstocks eventually will increase the range of crops that can be grown for energy production in the future.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2016

    OCE-2007-1, February 14, 2007

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2016. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • International Trade, Biofuel Initiatives Reshaping the Soybean Sector

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2006

    U.S. soybean production has risen rapidly due to increased domestic and foreign demand. The future of the sector, however, will depend on raising export competitiveness and the possible diversion of acreage away from soybeans into corn to satisfy the growing demand for ethanol.

  • Ethanol Reshapes the Corn Market

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2006

    This article examines the possible market impacts of the ongoing expansion of the U.S. ethanol sector. To meet the sector's growing demand for corn, some of the corn produced in the United States is likely to be diverted from exports. In the future, corn may cease to be the main feedstock for U.S. ethanol production if cellulosic biomass is successfully developed as an alternative.

  • The Effects of Information on Consumer Demand for Biotech Foods: Evidence from Experimental Auctions

    TB-1903, April 04, 2003

    Consumers' willingness to pay for food products decreases when the food label indicates that a food product is produced with the aid of modern biotechnology. This bulletin presents empirical evidence on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods based on the presence or absence of labels advising that the food was prepared with the aid of biotechnology. The authors designed and conducted an experimental auction to elicit consumers' willingness to pay for "genetically modified" (GM)-labeled and standard-labeled foods under different information regimes. The evidence gathered for vegetable oil, tortilla chips, and potatoes shows that labels matter. In particular, under all information treatments, consumers discounted food items labeled "GM" by an average of 14 percent. While gender, income, and other demographic characteristics appeared to have only a slight impact on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods, information from interested parties and third-party (independent) sources was found to have a strong impact.