Publications

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  • 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

    Absolute, relative, and subjective notions of affordability may create barriers to healthy eating.

  • 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.

  • Carrot Consumption Varies With Age, Income, and Race

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    People choose which vegetables to eat based on vegetable prices and individual incomes and preferences, which reflect certain demographic characteristics, such as people’s age, education, race/ethnicity, and where they live. These demographically shaped preferences are noticeable in the consumption patterns for one long-time American favorite—the carrot.

  • Cattle Sector Production Practices and Regional Price Differences

    LDPM-202-1, April 26, 2011

    This report outlines the tendency for fed cattle from the Southern Plains to typically sell at a premium over cattle from the Northern Central Plains, describing the nuances in regional production and marketing practices that underlie the price relationship referred to as "the North-South spread."

  • Cellulosic Ethanol From Crop Residue Is No Free Lunch?

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    Harvesting crop residues for use as biofuel feedstocks may provide revenue to farmers but can also impose costs by reducing soil productivity and increasing loss of nutrients. Changes in soil erosion and fertilizer use may also result in off-farm environmental impacts.

  • Challenges Facing USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    Reductions in maximum CRP acres mandated by the 2008 Farm Act, along with relatively high agricultural commodity prices, could lead to reduced overall environmental benefits and higher program costs. Alternative enrollment policies and practices could increase benefits per enrolled acre and lower program costs

  • Change in U.S. Livestock Production, 1969-92

    AER-754, July 01, 1997

    This report examines geographic changes in U.S. livestock production during 1969-92 from the standpoint of industry concentration and structure. Farm numbers declined 30 percent from 1969 to 1992, but hog and dairy operations were down 70 percent, farms producing eggs dropped 85 percent, and broiler operations declined 35 percent. Operations feeding cattle declined 40 percent from 1978 to 1992. Despite fewer farms, production was generally stable for most commodities with changes that reflected shifts in consumer demand for livestock products. With fewer farms producing more product, structural change in the production of most major livestock commodities was substantial. However, the magnitude and geography of change varied by commodity.

  • Changes in Access to Healthy Foods after Implementation of the WIC Food Package Revisions

    CCR-66, April 01, 2011

    Recent revisions to the food packages provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) added healthy foods and required WIC-authorized stores to make these foods available. This study examined the availability, variety, and prices of healthy foods before and after implementation of the food package revisions in 252 convenience and nonchain grocery stores in Connecticut.

  • Changes in Agricultural Markets in Transition Economies

    AER-806, March 01, 2002

    The report examines how economic reform in the transition countries of the former Soviet bloc has transformed the volume and mix of these countries' agricultural production, consumption, and trade. The report concludes that output decline has been an inevitable part of market reform and that the main goal of agricultural policy in the transition countries should not be to return output to pre-reform levels but rather to increase the productivity of input use.

  • Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010

    ERR-161, January 16, 2014

    Survey data show diet quality improvements from 2005 to 2010 among working-age adults, with changes in intake of calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and fiber, and fewer meals outside the home.

  • Changes in Farmers’ Financial Status May Affect Crop Insurance Demand

    Amber Waves, November 07, 2016

    Many farmers in the U.S. use crop insurance to manage the risk of crop failure or low prices. ERS finds that, when examined over multiple years, farmers’ demand for crop insurance is driven more by a farmer’s wealth and the available financial options than by a farmer’s attitude toward risk.