Publications

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  • The Potential Impact of Changes in Immigration Policy on U.S. Agriculture and the Market for Hired Farm Labor: A Simulation Analysis

    ERR-135, May 22, 2012

    ERS examines potential impacts on agriculture of large shifts in the supply of foreign-born labor that might result in the event of substantial changes in U.S. immigration laws or policies.

  • The 2008-09 Recession and Recovery Implications for the Growth and Financial Health of U.S. Agriculture

    WRS-1201, May 22, 2012

    U.S. agriculture was better positioned than most U.S. industries entering the recession, was less affected by the recession than most other U.S. industries, and is well positioned to continue to do well in the years ahead.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • China’s Hog Cycle Boosts U.S. Pork Exports

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    High pork prices in the Chinese market have created opportunities for the U.S. pork industry. However, U.S. pork sales to China have not risen at a steady rate. They tend to rise and fall in rhythm with cyclical changes in China's hog sector.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Long-Term Growth Prospects for Wheat Production in Afghanistan

    WHS-11L01, January 04, 2012

    Given expected increases in demand, imports are likely to grow in coming years even if Afghanistan's rapid post-1990 production growth is sustained, suggesting growing dependence on supplies from Pakistan and other countries.

  • 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.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: December 2011

    LDPM-210, December 15, 2011

    Disproportionally large cow slaughter has kept average dressed weights lower during most of 2011 than if steers had constituted half or more of beef slaughter, as they typically do. Packer margins and high feed and feeder cattle prices are exerting downward pressure on fed cattle prices.

  • The NAFTA Countries Build on Free Trade

    Amber Waves, December 09, 2011

    The NAFTA governments are seeking more open trading relationships with non-NAFTA countries, such as China, Colombia, Panama, Japan, and South Korea, as well as increased commerce within the North American free-trade area.

  • Can Brazil Meet the World’s Growing Need for Ethanol?

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    Brazil's ethanol industry has been aided by increased capacity to produce sugarcane as an ethanol feedstock, supportive government policies, and efficiency improvements. Other factors, however, may affect its ability to fill growing world demand for ethanol.

  • Market Potential for U.S. Distillers’ Grains Exceeds Likely Supply Growth

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    U.S. production of distillers’ grains (DGs) has quadrupled since 2004/05. For the foreseeable future, however, potential feed use of DGs in the U.S. will significantly exceed projected supply.

  • U.S. Ethanol Dampens Global Crude Oil Prices

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    The U.S. is the world’s largest ethanol producer and currently holds a 57-percent share of global ethanol production. A one-time 5-percent increase in U.S. ethanol use will lower the crude oil price by an estimated 8 cents per barrel over 12 months.

  • Where's the (Not) Meat?-Byproducts From Beef and Pork Production

    LDPM-209-01, November 21, 2011

    The report describes the many uses for animal byproducts-both inedible and edible-and estimates the volume of production of beef and pork variety meats in the United States in addition to the proportion of value added to the live animal from the byproducts. The value added to U.S. meat trade and the role of variety meats in the global marketplace is also evaluated.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: October 2011

    LDPM-208, October 18, 2011

    Drought-induced cow-herd liquidation has reduced average dressed weights and resulted in relatively more ground products but fewer middle cuts. Wheat pasture could be priced at a premium this winter. Cattle feeding margins remain negative despite higher fed cattle prices.

  • 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.

  • Rising Food Prices and Declining Food Security: Evidence From Afghanistan

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Afghanistan is particularly vulnerable to food and fuel price shocks, which, in 2007/08, led to an increase in household food insecurity.

  • Trade, the Expanding Mexican Beef Industry, and Feedlot and Stocker Cattle Production in Mexico

    LDPM-206-01, August 22, 2011

    This report characterizes Mexican feeder-calf and fed cattle production systems in the context of the imports of Mexican feeder cattle into the United States. The increase in cattle feeding in Mexico will increasingly affect U.S. feeder cattle imports and U.S. beef exports to Mexico in ambiguous ways as Mexican population and incomes increase. Cattle production also depends on geo-climatic factors, disease and pest challenges, feeding systems, and feeder cattle export patterns.