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  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

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

  • Agricultural Contracting Update, 2005

    EIB-35, April 01, 2008

    Over half of all transactions for U.S. farm products involved commodities bought and sold in open markets. But formal contractual arrangements cover a growing share of production.

  • Equilibrium Displacement Mathematical Programming Models: Methodology and a Model of the U.S. Agricultural Sector

    TB-1918, February 11, 2008

    The objective of this research is to extend and generalize the equilibrium displacement methodology by combining it with mathematical programming methods and existing knowledge of farm sector relationships to develop sectoral adjustment models that can operate in pure competition, monopoly/monopsony, or mixed-competition. A model of the U.S. agricultural sector at the national aggregate level is presented to illustrate the methods. An appendix contains a user's manual describing the operation of the model. Further appendices contain documentation of the structure of the spreadsheets, the programming tableau, and the SAS solution program.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Amber Waves presents the broad scope of ERS's research and analysis. The magazine covers the economics of agriculture, food and nutrition, the food industry, trade, rural America, and farm-related environmental topics.

  • Agricultural Research Sustains Productivity Growth and Earns High Returns

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Twenty-seven studies evaluated the economic impact of U.S. agricultural research. Four-fifths of the studies found the annual social rate of return to research to be between 20 percent and 60 percent.

  • 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.

  • The 2002 Farm Bill: Provisions and Economic Implications

    AP-022, January 23, 2008

    The Farm Security Act of 2002, which governs Federal farm programs for 2002-07, was signed into law on May 13, 2002. This publication presents an overview of the Act and a side-by-side comparison of 1996-2001 farm legislation and the 2002 Act. For selected programs, information is provided to additional analyses of key changes, program overview, and economic implications.

  • Farm-Based Recreation: A Statistical Profile

    ERR-53, December 31, 2007

    Farm-based recreation provides an important niche market for farmers, but limited empirical information is available on the topic. Access to two USDA databases, the 2004 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the 2000 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, provided researchers with a deeper understanding of who operates farm-based recreation enterprises, such as hunting and fishing operations, horseback riding businesses, on-farm rodeos, and petting zoos. Regression analysis identified the importance of various farmer and farm characteristics, as well as local and regional factors associated with farmer operation of, and income derived from, farm-based recreation.

  • The Changing Economics of U.S. Hog Production

    ERR-52, December 27, 2007

    ERS examines the economic factors that underlie the dramatic decline in number of hog operations over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration of production on large, specialized hog farms.

  • Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Hog Farms, 2004

    EIB-32, December 27, 2007

    Once dominated by small, owner-operated crop-hog farms, hog ownership is increasingly concentrated. Traditional farrow-to-finish operations are being replaced by operations specializing in a single production phase.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Nearly Half of Sales Come From Million-Dollar Farms

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    About half of all U.S. farm commodity sales come from "million-dollar farms," with most of the farms classified as family farms.

  • Data Feature

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    The changing size distribution of farms makes it difficult to capture the trends in a simple measure, such as the average or median farm size, but an acre-weighted median reflects both the increasing concentration of production on large farms and the growth in the number of small farms.

  • Effects of Reducing the Income Cap on Eligibility for Farm Program Payments

    EIB-27, September 04, 2007

    Could a single program support farm income and encourage environmentally sound farm practices? ERS looks at some hypothetical program scenarios.

  • 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.

  • Economic Returns to Public Agricultural Research

    EB-10, September 04, 2007

    Over the last several decades, the U.S. agricultural sector has sustained impressive productivity growth. The Nation's agricultural research system, including Federal-State public research as well as private-sector research, has been a key driver of this growth. Economic analysis finds strong and consistent evidence that investment in agricultural research has yielded high returns per dollar spent. These returns include benefits not only to the farm sector but also to the food industry and consumers in the form of more abundant commodities at lower prices.

  • U.S. Ethanol Expansion Driving Changes Throughout the Agricultural Sector

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States, spurred by high oil prices and energy policies. Although corn is the primary feedstock used to produce ethanol in the United States, market adjustments to the ethanol expansion extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and demand for other crops, as well as to the livestock sector, farm income, government payments, and food prices. Adjustments in the agricultural sector to increased demand for biofuels will continue as interest grows in renewable sources of energy to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Indicators tables from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

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

  • Managing Environmental Risk at the Rural-Urban Fringe

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Concerns over environmental quality by nonfarm residents in close proximity to farms may influence farmers' choice of management practices. Detailed analysis of corn farms yields insight into this relationship and its implications for the use of cropland best management practices.