Publications

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  • Butter and Margarine Availability Over the Last Century

    Amber Waves, July 05, 2016

    Between 1942 and 1972, butter availability in the United States fell from 16 to 5 pounds per person per year, while annual per person availability of margarine increased from 3 to 11 pounds. In the second half of the 1970s, U.S. margarine availability began trending downward, and by 2005, margarine consumption had fallen below butter consumption.

  • Buying Power of WIC Fruit and Vegetable Voucher Varies Across the Country

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Findings from a 2011 ERS study show that due to geographical food-price variation, the new fruit and vegetable voucher for WIC buys substantially smaller amounts in some U.S. areas than in others.

  • CAP Reform of 2003-04

    WRS-0407, August 25, 2004

    The European Union continued to reform its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2003-04, building on the reforms of 1992 and 1999. The centerpiece of the latest reforms is the introduction of a single farm payment (SFP), which is paid to EU farmers based on historical payments unrelated to current production decisions. These recent reforms allow the EU to assume an aggressive position in World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on agriculture, while allowing farmers to make production decisions based more on market signals than on EU policy interventions.

  • Calculating the Cost of Foodborne Illness: A New Tool to Value Food Safety Risks

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2003

    Seventy-six million Americans fall ill each year from eating foods contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. If you have ever been one of them, you are acquainted with some of the costs these diseases inflict. Discomfort, pain, time lost from normal activities, forgone earnings, spending on medications, long-term medical treatment, and even death are all among the possible consequences of foodborne illness. Possible financial costs can run to millions of dollars.

  • Calculating the Jobs Associated With U.S. Agricultural Exports

    Amber Waves, May 04, 2015

    In calendar year 2013, the $144.38 billion of U.S. agricultural exports produced an additional $176 billion in economic activity for a total of $320.3 billion of economic output. U.S. agricultural exports supported 1,094,400 full-time civilian jobs in 2013, including 793,900 jobs in the non-farm sector.

  • California and Iowa Remain Top U.S. Agricultural Exporting States in Fiscal 2005

    FAU-11401, June 30, 2006

    U.S. agricultural exports reached a new record in fiscal 2005 at $62.4 billion, but only $1 million higher than the record set in fiscal 2004. While California and Iowa continued their reign as top exporting states, Texas regained its third place position ahead of Illinois; Indiana moved back into the top 10. Iowa moved ahead of Illinois in soybean exports; California continued to dominate vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, seeds, and dairy.

  • California’s Irrigation Varies by Crop

    Amber Waves, July 06, 2015

    Farmers in California grow a wide variety of crops using off-farm surface water, groundwater, and to a limited extent, on-farm surface water. Differences in the source of irrigation water play a major role in how vulnerable different crops are to shortfalls in surface water supplies due to drought. Farmers of different crops also have differing levels of investment in irrigation technologies.

  • Calorie Labeling on Restaurant Menus—Who Is Likely to Use It?

    Amber Waves, September 08, 2014

    Consumers who value health are more likely to use nutrition information when eating out. Those who engage in healthy eating behaviors at home—such as consulting Nutrition Facts labels on grocery store foods or keeping dark green vegetables in their refrigerators, freezers, or pantry shelves—are more likely to use nutrition information when eating out.

  • 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.

  • Can Commodity Program Payments Encourage Better Nutrient Management?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Can commodity program payments be further leveraged to obtain better nutrient management on land in crop production? The answer depends on the extent to which areas receiving these payments coincide with the location of nutrient runoff problems and whether payments are large enough to offset the cost of reducing runoff.

  • Can Food Stamps Do More To Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective

    EIB-29, September 27, 2007

    Eight economic information bulletins compile evidence to address the question of whether the Food Stamp Program could do more to encourage healthful food choices.

  • Can Food Stamps Do More to Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective-Making Healthy Food Choices Easier: Ideas From Behavioral Economics

    EIB-29-7, September 27, 2007

    With obesity the most prevalent nutrition problem facing Americans at all economic levels, promoting diets that provide adequate nutrition without too many calories has become an important objective for the Food Stamp Program. Findings from behavioral economics suggest innovative, low-cost ways to improve the diet quality of food stamp participants without restricting their freedom of choice. Unlike more traditional economic interventions, such as changing prices or banning specific foods, the strategies explored in this brief can be targeted to those participants who want help making more healthful food choices.

  • Can Food Stamps Do More to Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective-Stretching the Food Stamp Dollar: Regional Price Differences Affect Affordability of Food

    EIB-29-2, September 27, 2007

    Significant regional differences in food prices affect how far food stamp benefits can go toward enhancing the diet of low-income consumers in a given region. In regions where average food prices exceed the national average, food stamp benefits may not provide the same level of coverage as the same benefit would in below-average-price regions. This report measures average prices paid across U.S. regions. Results show that a household made up of a family of four in the East or West could spend $32-$48 more per month for a similar amount of food than the average U.S. household, whereas a household in the South and Midwest could spend $12-28 less per month than the average U.S. household.

  • Can Food Stamps Do More to Improve Food Choices? An Economic Perspective—Nutrition Information: Can It Improve the Diets of Low-Income Households?

    EIB-29-6, September 03, 2007

    The Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) component of the Food Stamp Program is intended to improve the food choices, diet quality, and health of program participants. This brief discusses the FSNE program, how it operates, and how it has grown over time. The brief also considers the challenges of nutrition education in general and discusses the research and evaluation needs suggested by the findings.

  • Can Low-Income Americans Afford a Healthy Diet?

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2008

    Low-income households that receive maximum food assistance benefits usually can afford a healthy diet; others may have more difficulty.

  • Canada: A Macroeconomic Study of the United States' Most Important Trade Partner

    WRS-0602, September 15, 2006

    Canada has become the United States' most important trading partner. Canada is a large exporter to the United States of critical raw materials-including natural gas, petroleum, and wood products-and a substantial importer of finished industrial and consumer goods. Canada's agricultural trade continues to grow in importance reflecting trade liberalization and greater integration of agricultural markets. The trade outlook is enhanced by Canada's prospects for long-term economic growth of about 3 percent per year, which is underpinned by expected moderate growth in working-age population and labor productivity.

  • Canadian Dollar Reaches Parity With U.S. Dollar

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    For the first time since 1976, the Canadian dollar is at parity with the U.S. dollar. In keeping with macroeconomic theory, the result has been accelerating growth in U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and slower growth of imports from Canada.

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

    AP-032, September 12, 2008

    In response to Senate Report 110-134, accompanying S. 1859, the 2008 the Agriculture Appropriations Bill, ERS researchers published a report about consumer perceptions and consumption of canned fruits and vegetables using USDA's food consumption survey data, Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey data, and the ERS Food Availability Data System. If current trends prevail, total fruit and vegetable availability will continue to increase but canned fruits and vegetables will account for a declining share of that total. However, there are several divergent and offsetting forces that make it difficult to predict the future demand for canned produce.

  • 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.

  • Carbon Prices and the Adoption of Methane Digesters on Dairy and Hog Farms

    EB-16, February 07, 2011

    Biogas recovery systems collect methane from manure and burn it to generate electricity or heat. Burning methane reduces its global warming potential, thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Climate change mitigation policies that effectively put a price on GHG emissions could allow livestock producers to "sell" these reductions to other greenhouse gas emitters who face emissions caps or who voluntarily wish to offset their own emissions. Depending on the direction and scope of future climate change legislation, income from carbon off set sales could make methane digesters profitable for many livestock producers. By modeling the main determinants of producers' decisions to adopt biogas recovery systems, we illustrate how the price of carbon influences this decision and the potential supply of carbon offsets from the livestock sector.