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  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: May 2012

    SSSM-285, May 15, 2012

    Projected U.S. sugar supply for fiscal year (FY) 2013 is down 2.4 percent from FY 2012, as lower imports more than offset higher production and beginning stocks. Higher beet sugar production reflects higher area and trend yields, while cane sugar production is nearly unchanged from a year earlier. Imports under the tariff rate quota (TRQ) reflect the minimum of U.S. commitments to import raw and refined sugar and the projected shortfall. The Secretary of Agriculture will establish the TRQ at a later date. Imports from Mexico are up, mainly due to higher production in Mexico. Total use is up 1 percent.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: February 2011

    SSSM-270, May 08, 2012

    The two primary determinants of U.S. sugar supply and use over the long-term projection period are the sugar and energy provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Act) and reliance on sugar imports from Mexico to maintain a balance in the U.S. sugar market.

  • 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.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: March 2012

    FTS-351, March 30, 2012

    USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its March citrus production forecast for marketing year 2011/12 on March 9. Total U.S. citrus production is forecast at 11.6 million tons, down less than 1 percent from 2010/11 and less than 1 percent below the initial October citrus forecast. Production gains for oranges are offset by declines in grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine and mandarin production. NASS forecasts California's 2011/12 all orange crop down 6 percent from last season to 2.3 million tons. This production decline is due to an 8-percent smaller navel crop of 1.8 million tons. California Valencia production is estimated upward to 560,000 tons. The smaller crop has not boosted prices substantially so far this season, but they have remained strong and should increase as supplies dwindle toward the end of the season.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: March 2012

    SSSM-283, March 14, 2012

    Based on revised analysis of data from the Comite Nacional Para El Desarrollo Sustentable de la Cana de Azucar (CNDSCA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made corrections to its Mexico 2010/11 sugar supply and sweetener use from last month. Sugar for human consumption is estimated at 3.950 million metric tons (mt) and ending stocks are estimated at 759,906 mt. Also, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) consumption is estimated at 1.635 million mt, dry weight.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: February 2012

    SSSM-282, February 14, 2012

    The Comite Nacional Para El Desarrollo Sustentable de la Cana de Azucar (CNDSCA) in Mexico recently published revised supply and use data for 2010/11 and the Secretariat of the Economy (Economia) released full marketing year data for sugar exports and imports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revised its Mexico supply and balance estimates as a consequence.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2021

    OCE-121, February 13, 2012

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2021. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2012

    SSSM-281, January 18, 2012

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects 2011/12 sugar production in Mexico at 5.000 million metric tons (mt), a decrease of 330,000 mt from last month's projection. The forecast is based on lower than expected harvest progress through January 7, 2012 and consequent implications for the rest of the harvest cycle. The USDA lowered its forecast of Mexican sugar imports from 449,000 mt to 310,000 mt. The decrease is attributable to a lower import pace-to-date from the two tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) opened earlier in the year by Mexico and scheduled to close by the end of January. Lower estandar sugar prices in Mexico contributed to the lower than expected fill level. The USDA did not change its forecast of sugar deliveries or ending stock levels. The USDA lowered its forecast of Mexico sugar exports by 469,000 mt to 892,000 mt in order to balance sugar use with the sugar supply reductions.

  • Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide: Executive Summary

    EIB-90, December 30, 2011

    Meeting growing global demand for food, fiber, and biofuel requires robust investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) from both public and private sectors. This report highlights the major findings of a study examining global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural input sectors, food manufacturing, and biofuel and describes the changing structure of these industries. For the full report, see Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide, ERR-130. In 2007 (the latest year for which comprehensive estimates are available), the private sector spent $19.7 billion on food and agricultural research (56 percent in food manufacturing and 44 percent in agricultural input sectors) and accounted for about half of total public and private spending on food and agricultural R&D in high-income countries. In R&D related to biofuel, annual private-sector investments are estimated to have reached $1.47 billion worldwide by 2009. Incentives to invest in R&D are influenced by market structure and other factors. Agricultural input industries have undergone significant structural change over the past two decades, with industry concentration on the rise. A relatively small number of large, multinational firms with global R&D and marketing networks account for most R&D in each input industry. Rising market concentration has not generally been associated with increased R&D investment as a percentage of industry sales.

  • Estimating the Substitution of Distillers' Grains for Corn and Soybean Meal in the U.S. Feed Complex

    FDS-11I01, October 13, 2011

    Corn-based dry-mill ethanol production and its coproducts - notably distillers' dried grains with soluble (DDGS) - have surged in recent years. The report estimates the potential substitution of DDGS for corn and soybean meal in livestock feeding and the impact of substitution upon the U.S. feed complex.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: September 2011

    SSSM-277, September 15, 2011

    On September 12, 2011, the USDA released its latest U.S. and Mexico sugar supply and use estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2011 and projections for FY 2012 in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. For FY 2011, the USDA increased its estimate of tariff-rate quota (TRQ) shortfall and accounted for early entry of imports from the FY 2012 raw sugar TRQ and deferral of some FY 2011 raw sugar TRQ imports until the first month of the next fiscal year. For FY 2012, the USDA reduced its projection of beet sugar production to 4.575 million short tons, raw value (STRV), a reduction of 175,000 STRV, or 3.7 percent, compared with last month's projection. The reduction was made in response to lower sugarbeet production forecasts by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS forecast sugarbeet production at 29.180 million tons, a reduction of 1.213 million tons, or 4.0 percent compared with last month's forecast. NASS cited wet field conditions, along with disease and hail damage, in half of the sugarbeet growing areas as reasons for reduced production prospects. No change was made to the FY 2012 cane sugar production forecast. Trade and total use projections remained the same as last month's as well. Ending stocks projected for FY 2012 are decreased 215,000 STRV (lower beet sugar production combined with fewer beginning stocks) to 1.127 million STRV. The implied stocks-to-use ratio is 9.8 percent, a drop of 1.9 percentage points from last month. Supply and use estimates and forecasts in Mexico remained the same as those for last month.

  • Where Did the Corn Come From To Fuel the Expansion in Ethanol Production?

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Between 2000 and 2009, U.S. ethanol production increased from 1.6 billion gallons to 10.8 billion gallons, almost all of which was produced from corn. Some of the corn came from increased yields and some was diverted from other uses, but much of the corn needed to produce ethanol came from expanding planted acreage.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2011

    VGS-346, August 25, 2011

    The farm value of all mushroom (Agaricus and others) sales during the 2010/11 crop year (July-June) reached a new high of $1 billion, up 8 percent from a year earlier. Partly reflecting modest gains in the economy, mushroom sales volume rose 9 percent to 862 million pounds, the second highest level on record. In line with higher output, per capita disappearance (use) of all mushrooms grew 8 percent to 3.82 pounds in 2010/11.

  • 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.

  • The Ethanol Decade: An Expansion of U.S. Corn Production, 2000-09

    EIB-79, August 18, 2011

    ERS examines how the farm sector reacted to increased demand for corn needed to fuel a 9-billion-gallon rise in ethanol production in the past decade. In the United States, corn is the primary ethanol feedstock.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: August 2011

    SSSM-276, August 16, 2011

    The FY 2012 TRQ for raw cane sugar is set at 1,231,497 short tons, raw value (STRV), or 1,117,195 metric tons, raw value (MTRV), the minimum to which the United States is committed under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: July 2011

    FTS-348, July 29, 2011

    The index of prices received by fruit and tree nut growers in June, at 157 (1990-92=100), rose 9 percent from the May index and increased 18 percent above the June 2010 index. Year-to-year price increases in June for process grapefruit and fresh-market apples, grapes, peaches, pears, and strawberries drove the index up over the previous year, offsetting price declines for fresh-market lemons and oranges.

  • Wheat Flour Price Shocks and Household Food Security in Afghanistan

    ERR-121, July 12, 2011

    Using a nationally representative household survey from Afghanistan, ERS analyzes the impact of increases in wheat flour prices before and during the 2007/08 global food price crisis.

  • Why Have Food Commodity Prices Risen Again?

    WRS-1103, June 28, 2011

    The report describes the factors that have contributed to the large and rapid increase in agricultural prices during the past year. The report focuses particularly on food commodity prices-which have risen 60 percent since June 2010.