Publications

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  • Biodiesel Development: New Markets for Conventional and Genetically Modified Agricultural Products

    AER-770, September 01, 1998

    With environmental and energy source concerns on the rise, using agricultural fats and oils as fuel in diesel engines has captured increasing attention. Substituting petroleum diesel with biodiesel may reduce air emissions, increase the domestic supply of fuel, and create new markets for farmers. U.S. agricultural fats and oils could support a large amount of biodiesel, but high production costs and competing uses for biodiesel feedstocks will likely prevent mass adoption of biodiesel fuel. Higher-priced niche markets could develop for biodiesels as a result of environmental regulations. Biodiesel has many environmental advantages relative to petroleum diesel, such as lower CO, CO2, SOx, and particulate matter emissions. Enhancing fuel properties by genetically modifying oil crops could improve NOx emissions, cold flow, and oxidative stability, which have been identified as potential problems for biodiesel. Research activities need to be directed toward cost reduction, improving fuel properties, and analyzing the economic effects of biodiesel development on U.S. agriculture.

  • Biofuel Use in International Markets: The Importance of Trade

    EIB-144, September 01, 2015

    The U.S. has emerged as a major exporter of biofuels, yet it still imports biofuels in order to meet government mandates. Several other countries have emerged as major exporters, and some have taken steps to restrict biofuel trade.

  • Biofuels and Land-Use Change: Estimation Challenges

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    Most studies estimate significant increases in land-use requirements for agricultural production resulting from scaled-up biofuel production. Additional research on variables, such as projected crop yields, will be instrumental in narrowing the bands of uncertainty associated with such projections.

  • Biotechnology and Food Security

    AIB-765-11, June 12, 2001

    This Food Security briefing paper describes ERS research on biotechnology in improving agricultural productivity and the role of research institutions to facilitate access to biotechnology in developing countries to produce more food for their growing population.

  • Birth Year Affects Demand for At-Home Fresh Vegetables

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    Spending less money for fresh vegetables at grocery stores suggests that younger generations are buying smaller quantities, or purchasing less expensive vegetables, or both. If younger Americans are consuming less at-home fresh vegetables, the quality of their diets may suffer unless they consume more vegetables in prepared foods or when eating out.

  • Black Sea Grain Exports: Will They Be Moderate or Large?

    WRS-04-05-02, October 12, 2004

    This report examines the prospects for grain exports by the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States (NIS) that export through the Black Sea, the largest being Russia and Ukraine. If productivity growth in the region is high, annual grain exports by Black Sea countries could rise to 30-40 million tons. Such high exports would strongly affect the world grain market, since total annual world grain exports during 2000-03 averaged 237 million metric tons. This report is the second in a two-part series on the integration of CEE and NIS countries into global commodity markets.

  • Blood Levels of Trans Fats Among American Adults Fell from 1999 to 2010

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2017

    Dietary advice to limit intake of trans fats and mandatory trans-fat labeling of foods have been followed by a 53-percent reduction, on average, in trans-fat levels in the blood plasma of American adults.

  • Body Weight Fell Following Mandatory Calorie-Labeling Laws for New York Restaurant Menus

    Amber Waves, February 06, 2017

    An ERS researcher used the staggered adoption across New York counties of local mandatory calorie labeling laws for chain restaurant menus to estimate the impact of calorie labeling on body mass index.

  • Booming China Trade Presents New Challenges for Rural America

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2004

    The increasing prevalence of "made in China" labels signals greater competition for many businesses in the rural United States. China's economic growth is also creating business opportunities for U.S. exporters. Rural U.S. businesses may find many smaller market niches as China grows and opens its retail market to the outside world.

  • Brazil Emerges As Major Force in Global Meat Markets

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2006

    Since 2004, Brazil has been the world's largest beef and poultry exporter and fourth-largest pork exporter, with total meat sales generating over US$8 billion. Exports have been driven by the combination of rising incomes in many parts of the world and Brazil's ready availability of land and feed resources to support meat production. Brazil's poultry meat exports account for 41 percent of global trade. Export destinations include the EU-25, Middle Eastern countries, Japan, Russia, and Hong Kong.

  • Brazil's Agricultural Land Use and Trade: Effects of Changes in Oil Prices and Ethanol Demand

    ERR-210, June 29, 2016

    ERS examines the extent to which changes in oil prices could affect Brazil's ethanol sector and the agricultural land-use decisions on production of sugarcane-Brazil's main ethanol feedstock-versus other crop and livestock activities.

  • Brazil's Booming Agriculture Faces Obstacles

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2006

    Rising global income and Brazil's ready availability of land, water, and labor has allowed Brazil to increase crop and meat production and expand exports. However, the long-term growth of Brazilian agriculture could slow due to supply side factors. Furthermore, continued growth in domestic food demand and the changing composition of food demand could dampen growth in processed and high-value agro-food exports.

  • Brazil's Corn Industry and the Effect on the Seasonal Pattern of U.S. Corn Exports

    AES-93, June 15, 2016

    Brazil's corn exports are now concentrated in months traditionally dominated by Northern Hemisphere exporters, particularly the United States. Greater competition from Brazil could alter the seasonal pattern of U.S. corn exports and prices.

  • 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.

  • 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 Agricultural Productivity Growth Spurred by Research

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Over the last 25 years, Brazil emerged as a major agricultural producer and exporter, with agricultural production rising 77 percent between 1985 and 2006. Government investments in infrastructure and agricultural research, led to increases in agricultural productivity and expansion of cultivated area.

  • Breastfeeding Promotion Research: The ES/WIC Nutrition Education Initiative and Economic Considerations

    AIB-744, September 01, 1998

    Educating low-income women about the advantages of breastfeeding their babies increases the number who breastfeed. This report summarizes the results of four projects that focused primarily on promoting breastfeeding, which is considered to be the most healthful and beneficial feeding method for most infants. Research has shown that breastfeeding improves the general health, growth, and development of infants and significantly reduces the risk of several health problems both during early life and in later years. Lower income women have been less likely to breastfeed than higher income women. One step the USDA has taken to promote breastfeeding is the ES/WIC Nutrition Education Initiative. This combines the strengths of two nutrition programs for low-income families, the Cooperative Extension System's Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Food and Nutrition Service's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. This report shows that breastfeeding education before delivery increases the initiation of breastfeeding among low-income women. The results also indicate that breastfeeding support soon after delivery increases the duration of breastfeeding.

  • Broadband Internet Service Helping Create a Rural Digital Economy

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    Investment in rural broadband Internet access seems to lead to a more competitive rural economy and rural economic growth, helping create a rural digital economy. A comparison of the economic growth of counties with broadband access in 2000 with that of otherwise similar counties without broadband shows that broadband availability helped spur the formation of new businesses and increased the growth of existing firms.

  • Broadband Internet's Value for Rural America

    ERR-78, August 17, 2009

    Broadband access is necessary to fully utilize Internet potential, and rural areas without broadband access may be disadvantaged. ERS examines recent growth in broadband access in rural areas and the impacts of broadband on their economies.

  • Broiler Farms' Organization, Management, and Performance

    AIB-748, March 01, 1999

    This study provides a comprehensive view of the organization, management, and financial performance of U.S. broiler farms. Using data from USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Study (ARMS, formerly known as the Farm Costs and Returns Survey), we examine farm size, financial structure, household income, management practices, and spousal participation in decisionmaking. We compare broiler operations with other farming enterprises and their earnings with that of the average U.S. household. Because most of the 7 billion broilers produced in the United States in 1995 were raised under contract, we also explore the use of contracts and the effects of contracting on the broiler sector.