Publications

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  • Profit Margin Increases With Farm Size

    Amber Waves, February 02, 2015

    Given the broad USDA definition of a farm, most U.S. farms are not profitable as ongoing businesses. One commonly used measure of profitability is the farm’s operating profit margin (OPM), the ratio of operating profit to gross farm income.

  • 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.

  • Program Provisions for Program Crops: A Database for 1961-90

    AGES-9010, March 01, 1990

    This report opens with a look at legislation which provided the foundation for commodity support programs and highlights legislation which revised and supplemented the basic structure of these programs. However, the main body of this report is devoted to program provisions for 1961-90 crops of corn, sorghum, barley, oats, wheat, rice, upland cotton, and extra-long staple cotton which are presented in tables with extensive footnotes clarifying the program specifics.

  • Promising Economic Outlook for Agricultural Sector Continues in 2007

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2007

    Promising Economic Outlook for Agricultural Sector Continues in 2007

  • Public Agricultural Research Investment Helps Determine Productivity Growth

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    The main driver of agricultural productivity growth over the last 50 years has been the application of new technologies to farming. Robust productivity growth has allowed U.S. agriculture to hold down the cost and environmental consequences of growing more food and fiber.

  • R&D and Productivity Lag in Food Manufacturing

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    R&D expenditures by the global food manufacturing industry reached $11.5 billion in 2007, with the U.S. accounting for $3.1 billion of the total. However, research spending relative to the value of production in U.S. food manufacturing is relatively low, at about 1.5 percent, compared with 10 percent for total U.S. manufacturing.

  • Record Levels of Cash Receipts and Income Forecast in 2008

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    The 2008 outlook for commodity market receipts, production expenses, and government payments translates into record amounts of all three measures of farm sector income-net value added, net farm income, and net cash income. Production and sales of feed grains and oilseeds will contribute significantly to record-level crop receipts in 2008. Total agricultural production expenses are forecast to increase 8.6 percent to $279.2 billion, largely due to higher feed and fertilizer costs. This article presents the latest farm income forecasts from ERS.

  • Removal of Government Controls Opens Peanut and Tobacco Sectors to Market Forces

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    Farm legislation in the early 2000s eliminated longstanding supply controls and geographic restrictions on the production of peanuts and tobacco. The ensuing consolidation produced fewer but larger farms for each crop that are more efficient and responsive to market developments.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Research area charts from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2007

    Research area charts from the February 2007 issue of Amber Waves

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2006

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

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Selected statistics on agriculture and trade, diet and health, natural resources, and rural America

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2006

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

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2006

    Research Areas: Markets and Trade, Diet and Health, Farms Firms and Households and Rural America - April 2006

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2009

    This page contains research area charts from the March 2009 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the June 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the April 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    Resource area charts from the April 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

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

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2004

    Research Areas page from the June 2004 issue of Amber Waves