Publications

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  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2017

    OCE-2008-1, February 12, 2008

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2017. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Hog Farms, 2004

    EIB-32, December 27, 2007

    Once dominated by small, owner-operated crop-hog farms, hog ownership is increasingly concentrated. Traditional farrow-to-finish operations are being replaced by operations specializing in a single production phase.

  • Did You Know?

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Did You Know? page from November 2007 issue of Amber Waves

  • How Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) Has Affected World Poultry-Meat Trade

    LDPM-15902, October 05, 2007

    In 2003, outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus had a major negative impact on the global poultry industry. Initially, import demand for both uncooked and cooked poultry declined substantially, due to consumers' fear of contracting avian influenza by eating poultry meat. Consumer fears adversely affected poultry consumption in many countries, leading to lower domestic prices, decreased production, and lower poultry-meat exports. These reductions proved to be short-lived, as prices, consumption, production, and exports returned to preoutbreak levels in a relatively short time. As consumers gained confidence that poultry was safe if properly handled and cooked, world demand for cooked poultry increased. The cooked-poultry share of total cooked and uncooked global exports nearly doubled from 2004 to 2006. In 2006, the world poultry industry was again under pressure due to HPAI H5N1 outbreaks, this time in Europe. By the end of the year, however, world poultry-meat output had reached a new high, although, for some European countries, it was slightly below the 2005 level.

  • Beef Production, Markets, and Trade in Argentina and Uruguay: An Overview

    LDPM-15901, September 24, 2007

    Argentina and Uruguay (A/U) are significant beef exporters and among the world's greatest consumers of beef on a per capita basis. Between 13 and 20 percent of U.S. beef imports, on a tonnage basis, come from these two countries annually, and it is mostly grass-fed beef. Currently, only 10-20 percent of A/U beef production involves a feedlot. Both countries have recently implemented national animal identification systems, and their export slaughter facilities are up to the World Trade Organization's sanitary standards. Both countries are considered free from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by virtue of their pasture-based production technologies, but wrestle with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Argentine cattle/beef markets and trade are clearly and significantly affected by Government interventions in the domestic market. In contrast, Uruguay focuses on exporting beef.

  • Profits, Costs, and the Changing Structure of Dairy Farming

    ERR-47, September 04, 2007

    ERS examines economic factors in the dramatic decline in the number of dairy farms over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration in the industry.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Indicators tables from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Update-State Exports

    FAU-123, June 29, 2007

    U.S. agricultural exports reached a record in fiscal 2006 at $68.7 billion, some $6.2 billion higher than the record set in fiscal 2005. California, Iowa, Texas, and Illinois continued their reign as top exporting States, while Minnesota dropped to seventh position behind Nebraska and Kansas. North Carolina joined the top 10, displacing North Dakota at the number nine position. Feed grain exports moved ahead of soybean exports, with Iowa and Illinois dominating in those markets. California continued to dominate vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, seeds, and dairy.

  • Retail and Consumer Aspects of the Organic Milk Market

    LDPM-155-01, May 22, 2007

    Consumer interest in organic milk has burgeoned, resulting in rapid growth in retail sales of organic milk. New analysis of scanner data from 2004 finds that most purchasers of organic milk are White, high income, and well educated. The data indicate that organic milk purchased carries the USDA organic seal about 60 percent of the time, most organic milk is sold in supermarkets, organic price premiums are large and vary by region, and most organic milk is branded.

  • Ethanol Expansion in the United States: How Will the Agricultural Sector Adjust?

    FDS-07D-01, May 18, 2007

    A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States. Cellulosic sources of feedstocks for ethanol production hold some promise for the future, but the primary feedstock in the United States currently is corn. Market adjustments to this increased demand extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and demand for other crops, such as soybeans and cotton, as well as to U.S. livestock industries. USDA's long-term projections, augmented by farmers' planting intentions for 2007, are used to illustrate anticipated changes in the agricultural sector.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: December 2006

    LDPM-15001, December 27, 2006

    Organic poultry and egg markets in the United States are expanding rapidly. Statistics for the sector, especially the number of organic broilers, also signal expanding domestic supply. This report examines trends in markets, animal numbers, and prices for organic poultry and eggs. Price comparisons between organic and conventional show significant organic price premiums for both broilers and eggs.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2006

    Research area charts from the November 2006 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2006

    Indicators tables from the November 2006 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Animal Products Markets in 2005 and Forecasts for 2006

    LDPM-14601, September 08, 2006

    Uncertainty continues to shape the forecasts for animal products markets in 2006. Potential and actual animal disease outbreaks, consumer sensitivities, volatile exchange rates, and growing competition from producers in other countries cloud U.S. trade prospects for major meats. Loss of U.S. trade market share, partly caused by disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions that have affected animal product exports since 2003, compounds the problem. The outlook for U.S. meat, poultry, and dairy markets in 2006 depends on how well domestic production adjusts to changes in input costs, the effect of exchange rates on trade, the continuing effects of disease and trade restrictions on exports, and the increasing competitiveness of emerging animal products exporters.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2006

    Research area charts from the September 2006 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Dairy Backgrounder

    LDPM-14501, July 24, 2006

    Over time, shifts in consumer demands, in the location and structure of milk production, in industry concentration, in international markets, and in trade agreements have dramatically altered the U.S. dairy industry and changed the context for dairy policies and the sector as a whole. In the future, the U.S. dairy industry is likely to become more fully integrated with international markets. At the same time, dairy products such as fluid milk, butter, and cheese are likely to continue to be increasingly used as ingredients for restaurants and in processed foods while still being sold in their traditional forms.

  • An Economic Chronology of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in North America

    LDPM-14301, June 09, 2006

    The first confirmed cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada and the United States had significant effects on trade and prices of U.S. cattle and beef. However, these incidents occurred during a period of low U.S. beef supplies, near-record beef prices, and strong domestic demand for beef that was largely unshaken by the BSE announcement. Also, U.S. reliance on beef and cattle exports, roughly 10 percent of production, was not so great as to cause burdensome increases in domestic supplies. Increased regulations, however, imposed additional costs on beef production and processing sectors.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    Research area charts from the June 2006 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Trade Liberalization in International Dairy Markets: Estimated Impacts

    ERR-16, February 22, 2006

    This report examines issues related to modeling complex policy regimes that affect international dairy markets using a partial equilibrium, multiple-commodity, multiregion model of agricultural policy and trade. Average bound tariffs for dairy remain among the highest of all agricultural commodities and dairy trade is characterized by a large number of megatariffs and tariff-rate quotas (TRQs). In addition to tariffs and TRQs, countries have used milk production quotas to control milk production. Modeling results indicate that liberalization would reduce world dairy product supplies and increase the value of dairy trade.

  • Effect of Food Industry Mergers and Acquisitions on Employment and Wages

    ERR-13, December 09, 2005

    Empirical analysis of mergers and acquisitions in eight important food industries suggests that workers in acquired plants realized modest increases in employment and wages relative to other workers. Results also show that mergers and acquisitions reduced the likelihood of plant closures while high relative labor costs encouraged plant shutdowns. These results differ from commonly held views that mergers and acquisitions lead to fewer jobs, wage cuts, and plant shutdowns.