Publications

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  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: November 2017

    AES-102, November 30, 2017

    This report discusses November 2017 USDA forecasts for U.S. agricultural trade in FY2018. Exports are forecast at $140.0 billion in FY2018 and imports are expected to reach $117.0 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $23.0 billion.

  • Peanut Policy Change and Adjustment Under the 2002 Farm Act

    OCS-04G01, July 15, 2004

    This report examines the experience of the peanut sector following the 2002 Farm Act's elimination of the marketing quota system, and identifies factors affecting the transition to a more market-oriented system. Although peanut prices and acreage declined following passage of the 2002 Farm Act, it appears that producers are taking advantage of increased planting flexibility to expand production in higher yielding areas. Moreover, the transition has been cushioned by rising demand, and additional sources of revenue from government payments and other sources of farm and off-farm income.

  • Pesticide Use in U.S. Agriculture: 21 Selected Crops, 1960-2008

    EIB-124, May 16, 2014

    Pesticide use on 21 selected crops more than tripled from 1960 to 1981, but has since declined from 632 million pounds to 516 million pounds in 2008, partly due to more efficient active ingredients, Integrated Pest Management, and GE seeds.

  • Potential Farm-Level Effects of Eliminating Direct Payments

    EIB-103, November 16, 2012

    A number of Farm Act proposals call for ending the direct payment program. ERS analysis suggests that for the majority of farms receiving direct payments, this would not result in substantial decline in financial well-being.

  • Price Premiums Behind Organic Field Crop Profitability

    Amber Waves, September 25, 2015

    Organic corn and soybeans have been profitable, primarily due to the significant price premiums paid for certified organic crops that more than offset the additional economic costs. Organic wheat has been less profitable.

  • Production, Transportation, and Policy Factors Determine U.S. Export Competitiveness in World Corn and Soybean Markets

    Amber Waves, July 05, 2016

    A new infographic looks at export competitiveness of soybeans and corn in the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil by comparing farm-level production costs, the costs of internal transportation and handling, and the costs of shipping to a common export destination.

  • Program Provisions for Rye, Dry Edible Beans, Oil Crops, Tobacco, Sugar, Honey, Wool, Mohair, Gum Naval Stores, and Dairy Products: A Database for 1961-90

    AGES-9128, June 03, 1991

    This report opens with a look at the legislative authority for commodity support programs. However, the main body of this report is devoted to program provisions for 1961-90 commodities: rye, dry edible beans, oil crops (cottonseed, flaxseed, peanuts, soybeans, and tung nuts), tobacco, sugar beets and sugarcane, honey, wool and mohair, gum naval stores (rosin and crude pine gum), and dairy products. These provisions are presented in the tables.

  • Provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985

    AIB-498, April 01, 1986

    The Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198) establishes a comprehensive framework within which the Secretary of Agriculture will administer agriculture and food programs from 1986 through 1990. This report describes the Act's provisions for dairy, wool and mohair, wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, and sugar (including income and price supports, disaster payments, and acreage reductions); other general commodity provisions; trade; conservation; credit; research, extension, and teaching; food stamps; and marketings. These provisions are compared with earlier legislation.

  • Recent Convergence Performance of Futures and Cash Prices for Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat

    FDS-13L-01, December 30, 2013

    From 2005 to 2011, there were growing discrepancies between expiring futures prices and cash prices for wheat, corn, and soybeans--a problem known as non-convergence. Changes to futures contracts have improved convergence since 2011.

  • Selected Trade Agreements and Implications for U.S. Agriculture

    ERR-115, April 15, 2011

    ERS examines possible impacts of recently implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) where the United States is not a partner, and potential effects of pending U.S. agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

  • Soybean Backgrounder

    OCS-200601, April 04, 2006

    This report addresses key domestic and international market and policy developments that have affected the U.S. soybean sector in recent years. It provides an analysis of the competition between crops for domestic farmland and the international supply and demand for soybean products. Also covered are domestic and trade policy, farm program costs, and a profile of operating and financial characteristics of U.S. farms producing soybeans.

  • Soybeans: Background and Issues for Farm Legislation

    OCS-0701-01, August 01, 2001

    Congress is considering new farm legislation to replace the expiring Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996. As background for these deliberations, this report provides information on supply, demand, and prices in the U.S. soybean sector. Domestic policy effects on U.S. exports and trade agreements are also evaluated because international trade is an important component of soybean demand. A description of the major features of the current soybean program is included, as well as a discussion of some proposed policy changes.

  • Structural Change Brings New Challenges to Soybean Price Forecasters

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    South America has surpassed the U.S. in soybean production and displaced the U.S. as the dominant player in the global soybean market. This has put downward pressure on U.S. soybean prices, changing the market dynamics of the soybean sector and the economic relationships that have traditionally been used by USDA for price forecasting.

  • Summer Weather Most Important for Corn and Soybean Yields

    Amber Waves, October 24, 2013

    To measure the impact of weather on crops, ERS developed statistical models for corn and soybean yields based on 25 years of historical data. July tends to be the most important month for determining corn yields since many of the critical stages of crop development, particularly pollination, typically occur during that month. Weather in both July and August are important for soybean yields.

  • Support for the Organic Sector Expands in the 2014 Farm Act

    Amber Waves, July 07, 2014

    Organic program provisions in the 2014 Farm Act cover a broad set of objectives—assisting with organic certification costs, expanding organic research and data collection, improving technical assistance and crop insurance, strengthening enforcement of organic regulations, and expanding market opportunities for producers.

  • The 2002 Farm Bill: Provisions and Economic Implications

    AP-022, January 23, 2008

    The Farm Security Act of 2002, which governs Federal farm programs for 2002-07, was signed into law on May 13, 2002. This publication presents an overview of the Act and a side-by-side comparison of 1996-2001 farm legislation and the 2002 Act. For selected programs, information is provided to additional analyses of key changes, program overview, and economic implications.

  • The 2014 Farm Act Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, and Supplemental Coverage Option Programs' Effects on Crop Revenue

    ERR-204, January 12, 2016

    ERS examines the underlying mechanics of the Agriculture Risk Coverage, the Price Loss Coverage, and the Supplemental Coverage Option programs to see how they affect producer revenues and risk as well as expected program costs.

  • The Changing Face of the U.S. Grain System

    ERR-35, February 28, 2007

    Specialty grains coming onto the market (e.g., fiber-enriched wheat) are requiring adjustments in the marketing system, including information documentation and management, in order to preserve their added value or prevent accidental commingling with standard grains.

  • The Economics of Glyphosate Resistance Management in Corn and Soybean Production

    ERR-184, April 30, 2015

    Corn and soybean growers have an economic incentive to encourage neighbors to manage (rather than ignore) weed resistance to the herbicide glyphosate.

  • The Effects of Premium Subsidies on Demand for Crop Insurance

    ERR-169, July 07, 2014

    Increases to premium subsidies can induce farmers to enroll more land in the crop insurance program, but they primarily encourage them to adopt higher levels of coverage on land already enrolled. Effects vary by region and crop type.