Publications

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  • Feed Outlook: March 2012

    FDS-12C, March 13, 2012

    World 2011/12 coarse grain production and use are projected higher this month, but the increase in consumption is larger, trimming prospects for ending stocks. Brazil's corn production and exports are increased based on higher area for second-crop corn. Forecast EU corn feed use is increased, offsetting a reduction in expected wheat feeding. U.S. 2011/12 supply-and-use forecasts for feed grains are unchanged this month except for a small increase in oats imports and a corresponding increase in oats ending stocks. Projected ranges for 2011/12 farm prices for all feed grains are adjusted, but the midpoints of the ranges for corn and sorghum are unchanged. The midpoint of the projected price range for barley is lowered 5 cents per bushel and the range for oats is raised 5 cents per bushel.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: March 2012

    OCS-12C, March 12, 2012

    Based on shrinking prospects for South American crops, USDA's forecast of the 2011/12-average soybean price received by U.S. farmers fell to $11.40-$12.60 per bushel from $11.10-$12.30 last month. Similarly, USDA raised its forecast of the season-average price for soybean meal to $310-$340 per short ton from $290-$320 last month.

  • Feed Outlook: February 2012

    FDS-12B, February 13, 2012

    U.S. 2011/12 corn exports are increased 50 million bushels this month to 1.7 billion as lower production prospects in Argentina reduce competition in global markets. U.S. corn supplies are projected up slightly due to increased imports, but the larger increase in exports leaves ending stocks down. Global corn trade is up, supported by increased imports by the EU. World coarse grain production is forecast lower mostly due to a 4.0- million-ton reduction in projected corn production in Argentina. With world coarse grain use projected nearly unchanged, global ending stocks decline.

  • Feed Outlook: January 2012

    FDS-12A, January 17, 2012

    The National Agricultural Statistics Service's Crop Production 2011 Summary and January Grain Stocks reports revealed larger than expected corn supplies this month. Feed grain production for 2011/12 is estimated at 323.5 million tons, up 0.4 million from last month as higher estimated corn production more than offset lower sorghum output. Feed grain ending stocks are forecast down 0.3 million tons to 23.8 million tons. Corn production is estimated 48 million bushels higher, with harvested acreage advanced 45,000 acres and the national average yield raised 0.5 bushels per acre. Projected 2011/12 corn ending stocks are lowered 2 million bushels, as a 50-million-bushel increase in exports more than offsets the larger supply. Ending stocks at 6.7 percent of projected usage will be the tightest since 1995/96. The projected season average prices are lowered for corn, sorghum, and barley. Global coarse grain production is up slightly as a sharp reduction in prospects for Argentina is offset by increases for Ukraine and other countries. Reduced Argentine exports and increased imports by China support increased U.S. corn exports. Foreign 2011/12 coarse grain ending stocks are forecast higher this month, up 3 percent from a year.

  • Identifying Overlap in the Farm Safety Net

    EIB-87, November 22, 2011

    ERS offers a conceptual framework for identifying overlap in farm safety net programs, including how to define and measure overlap. The study also suggests a direction for further analysis.

  • The Renewable Identification Number System and U.S. Biofuel Mandates

    BIO-03, November 08, 2011

    This report provides an overview of how the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market works to ensure compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard provision of the Energy Independence and Security Act, as well as how RIN prices are determined and which factors influence their prices.

  • Estimating the Substitution of Distillers' Grains for Corn and Soybean Meal in the U.S. Feed Complex

    FDS-11I01, October 13, 2011

    Corn-based dry-mill ethanol production and its coproducts - notably distillers' dried grains with soluble (DDGS) - have surged in recent years. The report estimates the potential substitution of DDGS for corn and soybean meal in livestock feeding and the impact of substitution upon the U.S. feed complex.

  • On the Doorstep of the Information Age: Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture

    EIB-80, August 24, 2011

    The adoption of precision agriculture, which encompasses a suite of farm-level information technologies, can improve the efficiency of input use and reduce environmental harm from the overapplication of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Still, the adoption of precision agricultural technologies and practices has been less rapid than envisioned a decade ago. Using Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data collected over the past 10 years, this report examines trends in the adoption of four key information technologies-yield monitors, variable-rate application technologies, guidance systems, and GPS maps-in the production of major field crops. While yield monitoring is now used on over 40 percent of U.S. grain crop acres, very few producers have adopted GPS maps or variable-rate input application technologies.

  • The Ethanol Decade: An Expansion of U.S. Corn Production, 2000-09

    EIB-79, August 18, 2011

    ERS examines how the farm sector reacted to increased demand for corn needed to fuel a 9-billion-gallon rise in ethanol production in the past decade. In the United States, corn is the primary ethanol feedstock.

  • International Food Security Assessment, 2011-21

    GFA-22, July 15, 2011

    ERS assesses the food security situation in 77 developing countries, including estimates for 2011 and projections for the next decade. The report is the latest in an annual series.

  • Selected Trade Agreements and Implications for U.S. Agriculture

    ERR-115, April 15, 2011

    ERS examines possible impacts of recently implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) where the United States is not a partner, and potential effects of pending U.S. agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2020

    OCE-111, February 14, 2011

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2020. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Measuring the Indirect Land-Use Change Associated With Increased Biofuel Feedstock Production: A Review of Modeling Efforts: Report to Congress

    AP-054, February 10, 2011

    The House Report 111-181 accompanying H.R. 2997, the 2010 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, requested the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Economist, to conduct a study of land-use changes for renewable fuels and feedstocks used to produce them. This report summarizes the current state of knowledge of the drivers of land-use change and describes the analytic methods used to estimate the impact of biofuel feedstock production on land use. The models used to assess policy impacts have incorporated some of the major uncertainties inherent in making projections of future conditions, but some uncertainties will continue exist. The larger the impact of domestic biofuels feedstock production on commodity prices and the availability of exports, the larger the international land-use effects of likely to be. The amount of pressure placed on land internationally will depend in part on how much of the land needed for biofuel production is met through an expansion of agricultural land in the United States. If crop yield per acre increases through more intensive management or new crop varieties, then less land is needed to grow a particular amount of that crop.

  • Market Issues and Prospects for U.S. Distillers' Grains Supply, Use, and Price Relationships

    FDS-10K-01, December 09, 2010

    Growth in corn dry-mill ethanol production has surged in the past several years, simultaneously creating a coproduct-distillers' grains (DDGS). Many in the U.S. feed industry were concerned about the size of this new feed source and whether it could be used entirely by the feed industry, but they also worried about the price discovery process for the product. The authors of this report provide a transparent methodology to estimate U.S. supply and consumption of DDGS. Potential domestic and export use of U.S. DDGS exceeds current production and is likely to exceed future production as ethanol production continues to grow. The authors identify the DDGS price discovery process along with the price relationships of distillers' grains, corn, and soybean meal.

  • 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.

  • Japan's Beef Market

    LDPM-194-01, August 30, 2010

    This report provides a broad overview of the beef market in Japan, including consumer's preferences, domestic production practices, domestic and trade policies, and market outlook.

  • 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.

  • China’s Corn Surplus Persists, Despite Industrial-Processing Boom

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    China is using more of its corn to manufacture hundreds of industrial products, including starches, sweeteners, alcohol, amino acids, and citric acid. But despite a decade of booming industrial use, China’s corn supply still exceeds its demand.

  • 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.