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  • Canned Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in the United States: An Updated Report to Congress

    AP-050, November 10, 2010

    The Senate Report 111-039 accompanying S. 1406, the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) prepare and publish a report regarding consumer perceptions of canned fruits and vegetables. In the absence of consumer surveys, the report relies on consumption and spending estimates to reveal attitudes of the U.S. population toward canned produce. This report updates Canned Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in the United States: Report to Congress (October 2008), using more recent data through 2008, where available.

  • ACRE Program Payments and Risk Reduction: An Analysis Based on Simulations of Crop Revenue Variability

    ERR-101, September 17, 2010

    ERS analyzes the distribution, by crop and region, of potential farm payments and risk reduction in the revenue-based Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. The report focuses on corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Indicators tables from the September 2010 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

  • Next-Generation Biofuels: Near-Term Challenges and Implications for Agriculture

    BIO-01-01, May 14, 2010

    This report assesses the short-term outlook for production of next-generation biofuels and the near-term challenges facing the sector. Next-generation U.S. biofuel capacity should reach about 88 million gallons in 2010, thanks in large measure to one plant becoming commercially operational in 2010, using noncellulosic animal fat to produce green diesel. U.S. production capacity for cellulosic biofuels is estimated to be 10 million gallons for 2010, much less than the 100 million gallons originally mandated by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Near-term sector challenges include reducing high capital and production costs, acquiring financial resources for precommercial development, developing new biomass supply arrangements, many of which will be with U.S. farmers, and overcoming the constraints of ethanol's current 10-percent blending limit with gasoline.

  • Indian Sugar Sector Cycles Down, Poised To Rebound

    SSSM-260-01, April 22, 2010

    This report describes and analyses the current situation and outlook for supply, demand, and trade of sugar by India, the world's second largest sugar producer. A decline in sugar production has shifted India from net exporter to net importer during 2009/10, contributing to a runup in global sugar prices. A key finding is that the production decline is primarily due to a policy-induced cycle that is becoming increasingly pronounced. While output is poised to rebound in 2010/11, moderating future cyclical swings in output and trade may hinge on the success of a dialogue on policy reform between the government and the sugar industry.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

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

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: February 2010

    SSSM-258, February 10, 2010

    In the February 2010 World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), projected fiscal year (FY) 2010 production for Mexico is reduced 200,000 metric tons, raw value (MTRV) from last month based on weather-reduced sugar yields to date. Exports are reduced by the same amount. Projected FY 2010 U.S. sugar supply is decreased by 85,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) from last month due to lower imports from Mexico, more than offsetting higher sugar production. Imports from Mexico are reduced by 220,000 STRV.

  • Peanut Outlook: Impacts of the 2008-09 Foodborne Illness Outbreak Linked to Salmonella in Peanuts

    OCS-10A-01, February 01, 2010

    The 2009 foodborne illness outbreak linked to Salmonella in peanut products resulted in one of the largest food safety recalls ever in the United States. The source of the outbreak handled a small share of the U.S. peanut supply, but the scope of the recalls was magnified because the peanut products were used as ingredients in more than 3,900 products. Consumer purchases of peanut-containing products initially slowed during the recalls, but retail purchases soon returned to normal and peanut processing held steady. The recalls do not appear to have had a lasting impact on peanut demand and production.

  • Factors Influencing ACRE Program Enrollment

    ERR-84, December 29, 2009

    ERS applied requirements of the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program to eligible crops from 1996 to 2008 and analyzed whether farmers would have benefited more from ACRE than from the programs available during that time

  • Feed Outlook: December 2009

    FDS-09K-01, December 14, 2009

    China's corn imports are minimal, even though it is using a growing proportion of its corn to produce starch, ethanol, and other industrial products. The corn-processing industry's growth was encouraged by Chinese government policy, but the industry now has excess capacity. Many of the corn-based industrial products are exported. China's price support for corn during 2008/09 increased raw material costs for the industry and slowed its growth.

  • 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.

  • In the Long Run: Despite Legislative Changes, Peanut Availability Remains Within Historical Range

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    The 2002 Farm Act removed longstanding regulatory quotas on peanuts that limited supplies by issuing annual marketing rights to farmers. Following the policy change, the availability of peanuts grew over the next several years but remained below the historical high of 1989.

  • New Traders in Corn, Soybean, and Wheat Futures Markets Scrutinized

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    The growing participation of nontraditional traders in futures markets, such as index funds and swap dealers, has coincided with increasing volatility in commodity markets and a weakening of the usual correlation between futures and cash prices. ERS research, however, finds no link between these trends and the growing presence of nontraditional traders.

  • Ethanol and a Changing Agricultural Landscape

    ERR-86, November 18, 2009

    The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 established specific targets for the production of biofuel in the United States. Until advanced technologies become commercially viable, meeting these targets will increase demand for traditional agricultural commodities used to produce ethanol, resulting in land-use, production, and price changes throughout the farm sector. This report summarizes the estimated effects of meeting the EISA targets for 2015 on regional agricultural production and the environment. Meeting EISA targets for ethanol production is estimated to expand U.S. cropped acreage by nearly 5 million acres by 2015, an increase of 1.6 percent over what would otherwise be expected. Much of the growth comes from corn acreage, which increases by 3.5 percent over baseline projections. Water quality and soil carbon will also be affected, in some cases by greater percentages than suggested by changes in the amount of cropped land. The economic and environmental implications of displacing a portion of corn ethanol production with ethanol produced from crop residues are also estimated.

  • The Post-Buyout Experience: Peanut and Tobacco Sectors Adapt to Policy Reform

    EIB-60, November 16, 2009

    ERS identifies market forces that have affected the peanut and tobacco industries following the end of longstanding system protections - in 2002 for peanuts and 2004 for tobacco.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: October 2009

    SSS-256, October 05, 2009

    The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, requires that sugar marketing allotments be in effect in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The act requires that the Overall Allotment Quantity (OAQ) be set at no less than 85 percent of the estimated quantity of sugar for domestic consumption. On September 25, the Secretary of Agriculture announced that the FY 2010 OAQ is set at 9,235,250 short tons, raw value (STRV). This amount is above the minimum 85 percent level of the estimated sugar for domestic consumption.

    The report includes the special article "Tight Supplies Expected To Sustain High U.S. Sugar Prices into 2009/10."

    Listen to a podcast based on this article.

  • U.S. Cotton Prices and the World Cotton Market: Forecasting and Structural Change

    ERR-80, September 09, 2009

    This report analyzes recent structural changes in the world cotton industry and develops a statistical model that reflects current drivers of U.S. cotton prices. Legislative changes in 2008 authorized USDA to resume publishing cotton price forecasts for the first time in nearly 80 years. Systematic problems have become apparent in the forecasting models used by USDA and elsewhere, highlighting the need for an updated review of price relationships. A structural break in the U.S. cotton industry occurred in 1999, and world cotton supply has become an important determinant of U.S. cotton prices, along with China's trade and production policy. The model developed here forecasts changes in the U.S. upland cotton farm price based on changes in U.S. cotton supply, the U.S. stocks-to-use ratio (S/U), China's net imports as a share of world consumption, the foreign supply of cotton, and selected farm policy parameters.

  • In the Long Run: Growth in Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops Continues in U.S.

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    U.S. farmers have rapidly adopted genetically engineered soybeans, cotton, and corn since their commercial introduction in 1996 because of their economic benefits.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2009

    VGS-333-01, August 19, 2009

    Growth over time in the demand for fresh vegetables for at-home consumption may slow because of differences in the behavior of younger and older birth cohorts. A birth cohort includes people born in the same year and is similar in concept to a generation. People born around the same point in history may share common behaviors that they carry throughout their lives independent of age. People born more recently are found to spend less money for fresh vegetables than older Americans do. Changes in how people purchase and consume food may help to explain these effects.

  • U.S. Food Import Patterns, 1998-2007

    FAU-125, August 06, 2009

    Using import data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this study examines patterns of U.S. food imports for fiscal years 1998-2007. Results indicate faster import growth trends for consumer-ready foods, such as fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, and processed food products. Although the United States imported most bulk food commodities and perishable consumer-ready products, such as fruit and vegetables, from neighboring countries in the Western Hemisphere, it imported processed foods, spices, and other tropical products from more global sources, with rising import shares for many countries in Asia.