Publications

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  • 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.

  • Brazil's Ethanol Industry: Looking Forward

    BIO-02, June 27, 2011

    This report profiles and analyzes Brazil's ethanol industry, providing information on the policy environment that enabled the development of feedstock and processing sectors, and discusses the various opportunities and challenges to face the industry over the next decade.

  • Brazil's Cotton Industry: Economic Reform and Development

    CWS-11D01, June 17, 2011

    This report identifies the factors contributing to the cycles in Brazil's cotton production and exports that have made the country both an important market for U.S. cotton exports and now a competitor with U.S. cotton producers since 1990.

  • Vegetable Production Concentrated on Very Large Farms

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    Very large commercial farms (with $1 million or more of agricultural sales per year) accounted for about 8 percent of all U.S. specialized vegetable and melon farms during 2005-07.

  • On the Map: California, Florida, and Washington Are Nation's Largest Fruit-Producing States

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    California accounts for about half of U.S. bearing fruit acreage, Florida almost one-fourth, and Washington around one-tenth.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: June 2011

    SSSM-274, June 14, 2011

    On May 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the World Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD) for centrifugal sugar. World exports are projected to increase 3.1 million metric tons raw value (MTRV) to 55.7 million MTRV in 2011/12. Significant export growth is expected in Brazil, Thailand, and India. At the same time, imports are projected to decline by 3.05 million MTRV in 2011/12. The USDA projects a 2011/12 world sugar surplus (world production less consumption) of 6.480 million MTRV. This surplus builds on the estimated 2010/11 world sugar surplus of 1.626 million MTRV in 2010/11.

  • Policy Reform in the Tobacco Industry: Producers Adapt to a Changing Market

    EIB-77, May 26, 2011

    ERS analyzes tobacco producers' adjustments in production, investment, labor requirements, and contracting practices following elimination of tobacco quotas and tobacco price supports.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: May 2011

    SSSM-273, May 16, 2011

    The Sugar and Sweetener Team of the Economic Research Service (ERS) makes calendar year estimates of total and per capita sweetener deliveries that are available for food and beverage consumption by U.S. consumers. U.S. sweetener deliveries for 2010 were 131.9 pounds per capita, up slightly from 2009, but down 19.4 pounds from the per capita high of 151.3 pounds in 1999. Per capita sugar consumption in 2010 was 66.0 pounds, its highest level since 1999, while corn sweetener per capita consumption at 64.5 pounds was at its lowest level since 1986. For the first time since 1985, total sugar available for consumption exceeded total corn sweeteners (the sum of high fructose corn syrup, glucose syrup, and dextrose).

  • Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector

    RCS-11D01, April 21, 2011

    This report examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry has evolved over the past two decades, including a reduction in the number of farms, increased average farm size, and the shifting concentration of rice production away from higher-cost production regions. The authors analyze the economic factors driving these structural changes and explore the implications of those changes for market efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: April 2011

    SSSM-272, April 01, 2011

    LMC International provides estimates of world sugar and high fructose syrup (HFS) costs of production. The data go back to 1979/80 and extend through 2009/10. Field, factory, and administrative costs are detailed for 35 beet producing countries and for 61 cane producing countries. HFS production costs are presented for 18 countries.1 Costs of production for regions within certain important producing countries are presented as well. These countries include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China, Thailand, and South Africa, among others. Articles in Sugar and Sweetener Outlook of the Economic Research Service (ERS) reports have previously described data through 2006/07. This report updates the earlier articles.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: March 2011

    SSSM-271, March 15, 2011

    Analysis of competitiveness in global sugar/sweetener markets is complicated by the fact that markets are generally characterized by domestic and trade-related policy distortions that make it difficult to discern the underlying competitive position of individual market participants.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2020

    OCE-111, February 14, 2011

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2020. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions: Analyzing the Processing Cucumber Market

    VGS-342-02, February 10, 2011

    This report highlights the anticipated consequences of the 2008 Farm Act's Planting Transferability Pilot Program (PTPP) on processing (pickling) cucumber plantings. PTPP allows program crop growers in seven Upper Midwestern States to reduce base acres and plant select vegetables for processing on those acres without reducing Government payments on their remaining base acres.

  • Measuring the Indirect Land-Use Change Associated With Increased Biofuel Feedstock Production: A Review of Modeling Efforts: Report to Congress

    AP-054, February 10, 2011

    The House Report 111-181 accompanying H.R. 2997, the 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, requested the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Economist, to conduct a study of land-use changes for renewable fuels and feedstocks used to produce them. This report summarizes the current state of knowledge of the drivers of land-use change and describes the analytic methods used to estimate the impact of biofuel feedstock production on land use. The models used to assess policy impacts have incorporated some of the major uncertainties inherent in making projections of future conditions, but some uncertainties will continue exist. The larger the impact of domestic biofuels feedstock production on commodity prices and the availability of exports, the larger the international land-use effects of likely to be. The amount of pressure placed on land internationally will depend in part on how much of the land needed for biofuel production is met through an expansion of agricultural land in the United States. If crop yield per acre increases through more intensive management or new crop varieties, then less land is needed to grow a particular amount of that crop.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2011

    SSSM-269, January 18, 2011

    In the World Agricultural Demand and Supply Estimates (WASDE) released on January 12, 2011, projected U.S. sugar supply for fiscal year (FY) 2011 is decreased 88,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) from last month. Cane sugar production in Florida is reduced 100,000 STRV to 1.6 million STRV, based on processor forecasts. In mid-December, the Florida sugarcane-producing area experienced a severe freeze. According to processor reports, this freeze resulted in widespread damage to existing sugarcane crops awaiting harvest and recently planted sugarcane meant for harvest next year.

  • Consumer-Level Food Loss Estimates and Their Use in the ERS Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data

    TB-1927, January 03, 2011

    The Food Availability (per capita) Data System developed by USDA's Economic Research Service tracks annual food and nutrient availability for many commodities. The Food Availability data series in this system overstates actual consumption, so ERS has included an additional series, the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data, to adjust the Food Availability data for nonedible food parts and food losses, including losses from farm to retail, at retail, and at the consumer level. In this report, we propose new consumer-level loss estimates for "cooking loss and uneaten food" of the edible share to replace those currently used in the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data and propose their adoption for the entire data span (1970 to the most recent year in the series). The proposed loss percentages are calculated by subtracting food consumption estimates from food purchase or availability estimates for each food. These calculations are adjusted with information from an expert panel experienced in analyzing food consumption data. In general, the proposed food loss estimates for individual foods indicate substantial differences from the currently used estimates. Although some estimates indicate smaller loss percentages than the currently used estimates, many are larger. Overall, if the proposed loss estimates are used in the ERS loss-adjusted series, the average American would consume 17.3 pounds less each year, or 41.9 fewer calories per day, than suggested by the currently used loss estimates.

  • Peru: An Emerging Exporter of Fruits and Vegetables

    FTS-34501, December 16, 2010

    This report provides an overview of performance, advantages, and challenges of the Peruvian fruits and vegetables export industry. Three commodity case studies-asparagus, processed artichokes, and table grapes-highlight different degrees of competition with U.S. industries and impacts on U.S. growers.