Publications

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  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2018

    OCE-2009-1, February 12, 2009

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2018. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Factors Shaping Expanding U.S. Red Meat Trade

    LDPM-175-01, February 10, 2009

    U.S. imports and exports of red meats-beef, pork, lamb, and mutton-have expanded rapidly over the last several decades, linking livestock sectors of the United States to those of several major trading partners. Factors driving this trade growth include not only rising incomes, but also the preference of U.S. and foreign consumers for a greater variety of red meat cuts, facilitated by the expansion of free trade agreements. Changes in currency values, including the recent depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of key trading partners, have also been important influences in expanding trade in U.S. red meat products. Domestic production continues to provide the main share of beef and pork consumed in the United States, while the share of U.S. lamb consumption from imports has increased significantly. While the red meat (and poultry) markets have been punctuated by animal disease issues over the last few years, the integration of trade is expected to continue.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2017

    OCE-2008-1, February 12, 2008

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2017. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • 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.

  • Impact of Rising Natural Gas Prices on U.S. Ammonia Supply

    WRS-0702, August 06, 2007

    The volatile and upward trend in U.S. natural gas prices from 2000-06 has led to a 17-percent decline in the Nation's annual aggregate supply of ammonia. During the period, U.S. ammonia production declined 44 percent, while U.S. ammonia imports increased 115 percent. Also, the share of U.S.-produced ammonia in the U.S. aggregate supply of ammonia dropped from 80 to 55 percent, while the share from imports increased from 15 percent to 42 percent. Meanwhile, ammonia prices paid by farmers increased from $227 per ton in 2000 to $521 per ton in 2006, an increase of 130 percent. Natural gas is the main input used to produce ammonia. Additional increases in U.S. natural gas prices could lead to a further decline in domestic ammonia production and an even greater rise in ammonia imports.

  • Feed Grains Backgrounder

    FDS-07C01, March 30, 2007

    The U.S. feed grain sector, largest of the major U.S. field crops, faces unprecedented demand conditions. The size and speed of the expanding use of corn by the ethanol industry is raising widespread issues throughout U.S. agriculture. Debate is ongoing over the use of grain for fuel instead of for food or feed and the adequacy of future grain supplies. Increased productivity (yield) and additional area from land planted to competing crops, land enrolled in conservation programs, or idled land is expected to provide an increased supply of feed grains. The outlook is for higher feed grain prices, in part, as a result of renewable energy policies and high energy prices, with feed grain prices rising above farm program support levels. During the ongoing farm policy debate, the U.S. feed grain sector faces uncertainty about the future level and type of government support.

  • Cotton Backgrounder

    CWS-07B01, March 30, 2007

    U.S. cotton growers, like producers of other agricultural commodities in recent years, have confronted pressures from market forces and the impacts of policy developments, both domestic and international. Most notably, the ending of the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) sent a ripple effect throughout the global cotton industry. While adjustments in the textile and apparel sectors of many countries, including the United States, continue to evolve, dramatic changes have already been seen for some. World cotton mill use has accelerated along with economic growth since 1999, particularly in China, and U.S. cotton producers have benefited as foreign import demand has reached new heights. Government payments contribute a considerable portion of total revenue to the cotton sector, and adjustments to this program or any other commodity program in the 2007 farm legislation will be driven by factors such as domestic market conditions, multilateral trade negotiations, and the Federal budget deficit.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: March 2007

    VGS-31901, March 06, 2007

    Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables in the United States and fresh-market carrot consumption has been increasing over the past few decades. Using a combination of ACNielsen Homescan panel data and USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals, this article examines where and how much fresh and processed carrots are eaten and links this consumption to various economic, social, and demographic characteristics of consumers. The analysis indicates that per capita carrot consumption is greatest in the East and Central regions of the country. About 80 percent of fresh-market carrots are purchased at retail and consumed at home, with the majority consisting of fresh-cut (including baby) carrots.

  • Animal Products Markets in 2005 and Forecasts for 2006

    LDPM-14601, September 08, 2006

    Uncertainty continues to shape the forecasts for animal products markets in 2006. Potential and actual animal disease outbreaks, consumer sensitivities, volatile exchange rates, and growing competition from producers in other countries cloud U.S. trade prospects for major meats. Loss of U.S. trade market share, partly caused by disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions that have affected animal product exports since 2003, compounds the problem. The outlook for U.S. meat, poultry, and dairy markets in 2006 depends on how well domestic production adjusts to changes in input costs, the effect of exchange rates on trade, the continuing effects of disease and trade restrictions on exports, and the increasing competitiveness of emerging animal products exporters.

  • Trade Liberalization in International Dairy Markets: Estimated Impacts

    ERR-16, February 22, 2006

    This report examines issues related to modeling complex policy regimes that affect international dairy markets using a partial equilibrium, multiple-commodity, multiregion model of agricultural policy and trade. Average bound tariffs for dairy remain among the highest of all agricultural commodities and dairy trade is characterized by a large number of megatariffs and tariff-rate quotas (TRQs). In addition to tariffs and TRQs, countries have used milk production quotas to control milk production. Modeling results indicate that liberalization would reduce world dairy product supplies and increase the value of dairy trade.

  • U. S. Tobacco Import Update 2003/04

    TBS-25901, September 30, 2005

    U.S. tobacco product manufacturers use foreign-produced leaf in items such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco. Imports peaked in the mid-1990s, but remain at historically high levels. The popularity of generic cigarettes-which use cheaper imported leaf-and increases in domestic leaf prices were the chief reasons for heightened dependence on tobacco imports. Disappearance (use) of foreign-grown tobacco followed a similar upward trend. As tobacco exports and domestic sales of generic cigarettes advanced, imported leaf use rose. During the past year, use of imported tobacco advanced 14 percent. Imported flue-cured and burley use gained and Oriental leaf use was steady. Foreign-grown cigar leaf use advanced as domestic cigar production rose. Imports of flue-cured and burley tobacco continue to be regulated by a tariff-rate quota.

  • Did the Mandatory Requirement Aid the Market? Impact of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act

    LDPM-135-01, September 16, 2005

    This study focuses on fed cattle markets to compare the mandatory price reporting system developed by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service in 2001 with the previous voluntary reporting system. The study also evaluates whether the mandatory system has improved the amount and quality of information available to the market. Results show that mandatory reporting has given the market additional information about prices for different kinds of sales transactions. The trend toward formula purchases has slowed since mandatory price reporting was implemented, and the volume of cattle moving under negotiated purchases has increased.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    Farm, Rural, Natural Resources and Food and Fiber Sector Indicators - September 2005

  • In the Long Run: Another Look at Farm Poverty

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    In 1991, the last year it was estimated by the Census Bureau, the farm poverty rate was 12.5 percent. Using 2000 Census data, ERS estimated the poverty rate for people living on farms at 9.7 percent.

  • Behind the Data: Estimating the Raw-Fiber Equivalent of U.S. Cotton Textile and Apparel Imports

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    The data behind the ERS raw-fiber equivalent estimates come from product-specific shipment volumes collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce. More than 3,000 different textile and apparel products containing cotton are imported by the U.S. annually and are converted to raw-fiber equivalents using factors developed by ERS.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    Indicators: Markets and Trade, Diet and Health, Resources and Environment and Rural America - September 2005

  • Dairy Policies in Japan

    LDPM-134-01, August 24, 2005

    This report provides a detailed description and analysis of Japan's policies that support its milk producers and regulate dairy markets. Domestic supply controls boost the milk price, and government subsidies for producing manufacturing milk, for environmental improvements, and for hazard insurance provide additional support to farms. Regulations about milk labeling have affected milk powder use. At the border, tariff-rate quotas offer limited opportunities to private firms within the quota amounts, and impose very high tariffs on imports of dairy products outside the quota. If Japan's policies were liberalized, prices and production in Japan would fall, but sizable milk production would remain.

  • U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Imports Outpace Exports

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    The U.S., traditionally a net exporter of fruits and vegetables, has become a large net importer, with imports more than doubling between 1994 and 2004 to reach $12.7 billion. U.S. exports of fruits and vegetables have also risen but less rapidly, reaching $9.7 billion in 2004.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    Selected statistics on agriculture and trade, diet and health, natural resources, and rural America, June 2014 June 2005

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2005

    Indicators: Markets and Trade, Diet and Health, Resources and Environment and Rural America - June 2005