Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Rice: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-8949, November 01, 1989

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for rice, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Rice ranks ninth among major U.S. field crops in terms of value of production. All U.S. rice production is irrigated, providing more stable yields than many other crops. Three classes of rice are produced in the United States-long, medium, and short grain-with long grain predominant. Domestic use and exports of U.S. rice have increased in recent years due in part to the implementation of the marketing loan program in the mid-1980s following declines in both domestic use and exports in the early 1980s. As a result, carryover stocks have declined from a record high of 77.3 million cwt in 1985/86 to 32.4 million cwt in 1988/89. Costs of rice programs, however, rose to an estimated record $1 billion in fiscal year 1989 due to marketing loan costs and increased deficiency payments. Rice growers in the southern rice growing States are rapidly adopting high-yielding, semidwarf varieties of long-grain rice which could raise U.S. production. Rice issues facing farm legislators relate to rising production capacity, stagnant world trade, multilateral trade negotiations, high costs of marketing loans and other rice programs, loan rate differentials between long and medium/short grains, and adjusting the world price formula to further enhance U.S. competitiveness in the world rice market.

  • Barley: Background For 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-8965, December 01, 1989

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for barley, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Barley is the third leading feed grain grown in the United States. Production is concentrated in the Northern Plains and Pacific regions. Barley is mainly used for livestock feed and the manufacture of malt beverages. Feed use often accounts for well over half of total use. Barley is the most important grain product used by brewers. Exports are much smaller than domestic use and are highly variable. Barley yields have steadily risen, but production costs have also increased relative to returns. Government loan rates and target prices for barley are based on those for corn. Returns above cash expenses in recent years were considerably lower than during 1975-80. Returns have increased gradually since 1986. Government payments to barley growers, while relatively small compared with corn, have been a significant portion of barley net returns in recent years.

  • Sorghum: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-8967, December 01, 1989

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for grain sorghum, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. U.S. sorghum acreage and use have trended down slightly since the early 1970s. Large sorghum harvests, greater corn and wheat feed use, and high foreign currency prices of sorghum helped raise U.S sorghum stocks in the early 1980s. Sorghum stocks buildup (especially CCC stocks) became more pronounced in the mid-1980s as a result of high yields and large harvests. Government payments to sorghum producers climbed from one-seventh of total sorghum returns above cash expenses in 1980 to three fourths by 1987. Growth in U.S. sorghum demand will likely come from exports, mainly determined by U.S. and foreign government policies, growth in foreign incomes and livestock output, and export credit availability. Policy issues for 1990 legislation include the level and flexibility of price and income supports relative to corn, the buildup of sorghum CCC stocks, and policy effects on trade, the livestock sector, resources, consumers, and taxpayers. Corn and wheat policies usually have been major factors affecting the consequences of sorghum policy.

  • Sugar: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-9006, February 01, 1990

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for sugar, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The sugar support program and rapid adoption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) played important roles in transforming the U.S. sugar industry in the 1980's. While sugar output and productivity increased, consumption of sugar fell dramatically as HFCS displaced sugar in many uses, particularly beverages. After a decade of steady decline, sugar consumption in 1987 began rising at a slow rate. U.S. imports of sugar for consumption fell from an average of over 4 million short tons in 1979-81, to about 1 million tons in 1988. U.S. sugar import quotas have been binding since May 1982, to keep prices at levels required by the sugar program. Regional sugar balances have altered in the 1980's, and beet sugar now provides about 45 percent of U.S. sugar use, up from about 30 percent. The world sugar market changed much in the past decade, moderating the price cycle and extending the period of persistently low prices.

  • The Conservation Reserve Program: An Economic Assessment

    AER-626, February 01, 1990

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will boost net farm income and improve environmental quality over the life of the program (1986-99). These gains will come at the cost of somewhat higher food prices and Government administrative expenses, and potential downturns in farm input industries and other local economic activity tied to farming where enrollment is heavy. The authors estimated the net economic benefits of the program to range between $3.4 billion and $11.0 billion in present value, based on the effects covered in this report. Any estimate of the net Government expense of the CRP is highly dependent upon projected commodity market conditions and assumed levels of the acreage reduction program in the absence of the CRP. Prior to the 1988 drought, the authors estimated a small net Government expense. A more recent estimate made after the 1988 drought and with higher assumed acreage reduction levels in the absence of the CRP resulted in a significantly higher net Government expense.

  • Fibers: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AIB-591, March 01, 1990

    This report provides an overview of the cotton, wool, and mohair sectors and addresses considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Cotton acreage, production, and prices have been influenced by Government programs since the 1930s in an attempt to meet market needs, with varying degrees of success. The Food Security Act of 1985 is generally considered successful in dealing with the cotton sector despite several problems. While the general preference for 1990 legislation for cotton will likely be for stability, the combination of budget, trade, environment, and flexibility issues may result in more than fine tuning of the current act. Wool and mohair have been declining industries. Sheep inventories are a fifth of their World War II level; goat numbers are a third of their mid-1960s level. Policymakers have had limited control over wool program costs given the formula-based Government support price, the trend of declining textile market share, rising raw wool textile imports, stagnant lamb and mutton consumption, and the dominance of Australia and New Zealand in the world wool market. Issues for 1990 include whether to continue the program and, if so, the level and method of determining support prices.

  • Soybeans and Peanuts: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AIB-592, March 01, 1990

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for soybeans and peanuts, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Soybean acreage and production declined in the 1980s, reflecting effects of Federal commodity programs, foreign competition in oilseeds production, and sluggish economic growth in many soybean importing countries. Although soybean prices are supported by a Government loan program, market prices have exceeded the loan rate in recent years. Issues for soybeans in 1990 farm legislation will include the price support level, crop substitution on program crop acreage bases, and a marketing loan for soybeans. Peanut producers in the United States have elected mandatory marketing quotas with a two-tiered price-support program. Peanuts sold within a producer's quota qualify for a higher support price than peanuts sold outside the quota. A major issue for the peanut program in forthcoming legislation is whether to continue the current program or to include peanuts in a general agricultural program with other commodities.

  • Dairy: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-9020, March 01, 1990

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for dairy, including market conditions, policy proposals, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The U.S. dairy industry is primarily a domestic industry with both imports and exports hovering around 2 percent of U.S. milk production. After a period of relatively high dairy price supports in the late 1970s and early 1980s which distorted milk prices and generated substantial excess milk supplies, the industry spent most of the 1980s attempting to reduce dairy program purchases and Government costs. Continuing issues are the appropriate price support level, the degree of automatic price adjustment, and the proper formula or mechanism for attaining it.

  • Program Provisions for Program Crops: A Database for 1961-90

    AGES-9010, March 01, 1990

    This report opens with a look at legislation which provided the foundation for commodity support programs and highlights legislation which revised and supplemented the basic structure of these programs. However, the main body of this report is devoted to program provisions for 1961-90 crops of corn, sorghum, barley, oats, wheat, rice, upland cotton, and extra-long staple cotton which are presented in tables with extensive footnotes clarifying the program specifics.

  • Agricultural Export Programs: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-9033, May 01, 1990

    Lawmakers authorized several new export programs under the Food Security Act of 1985 in an attempt to increase agricultural exports. U.S. agricultural exports began to recover in fiscal 1987 and, in fiscal 1989, climbed to $39.6 billion, their highest level since 1981. Since 1986, U.S. agricultural export programs, a depreciating dollar, lower domestic commodity prices relative to world prices, and increased demand from importers have contributed to improved agricultural export sales. However, competition for world agricultural markets also has increased. Export programs help U.S. exporters meet subsidized competition, provide humanitarian relief, assist credit-seeking importers, and may help develop new overseas markets for U.S. agricultural products. Issues which could affect export programs in 1990 legislation include tightened U.S. and global grain stocks, potential budget exposure for increased loan guarantees, and the outcome of trade negotiations under the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

  • The U.S. Sheep Industry

    AGES-9048, July 02, 1990

    The U.S. sheep inventory declined from 49 million head in 1942 to 9 million in 1989. Lamb imports have also declined and, in relation to U.S. production, are not seen as a major cause of the sheep industry's problems. Production has declined despite positive returns to producers. Government payments under the wool program provide an important source of income for the sheep industry. In recent years, the industry, including the marketing sector, has stabilized. Imports have followed the downward trend in domestic production and respond counter-cyclically to domestic price fluctuations. A major challenge to the industry is to expand consumption of lamb, a relatively expensive red meat. This study, prepared in accordance with section 4508 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, focuses on production of lamb and lamb products, returns in the sheep industry, demand and marketing trends for lamb, and lamb imports, both live and product.

  • Provisions of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990

    AIB-624, June 03, 1991

    The Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-624) establishes a comprehensive framework within which the Secretary of Agriculture will administer agricultural and food programs from 1991 to 1995. This report describes provisions of the 1990 Act as amended by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-508). Provisions for all major commodity programs, such as income and price support, are reported, as well as general commodity provisions, trade, conservation, research, food stamps, fruit and vegetable marketing, organic food standards, grain quality, credit, rural development, forestry, crop insurance and disaster assistance, and global climate change provisions.

  • Program Provisions for Rye, Dry Edible Beans, Oil Crops, Tobacco, Sugar, Honey, Wool, Mohair, Gum Naval Stores, and Dairy Products: A Database for 1961-90

    AGES-9128, June 03, 1991

    This report opens with a look at the legislative authority for commodity support programs. However, the main body of this report is devoted to program provisions for 1961-90 commodities: rye, dry edible beans, oil crops (cottonseed, flaxseed, peanuts, soybeans, and tung nuts), tobacco, sugar beets and sugarcane, honey, wool and mohair, gum naval stores (rosin and crude pine gum), and dairy products. These provisions are presented in the tables.

  • Weights, Measures, and Conversion Factors for Agricultural Commodities and Their Products

    AH-697, June 01, 1992

    This handbook is a compilation of weights, measures, and conversion factors used for agricultural commodities and their products. Several of the conversion factors and values shown in this handbook can be applied to many commodities. Some factors and values relate to specific commodities or products. This handbook supersedes Statistical Bulletin No. 616, Conversion Factors and Weights and Measures for Agricultural Commodities and Their Products (1979). When feasible, general purpose tables were updated to reflect changes in agricultural production and marketing. Considerable emphasis was given to metric measures.

  • Estimating Water Quality Benefits: Theoretical and Methodological Issues

    TB-1808, September 01, 1992

    Reviews practical approaches and theoretical foundations for estimating the economic value of changes in water quality to recreation, navigation, reservoirs, municipal water treatment and use, and roadside drainage ditches.

  • Ethanol and Agriculture: Effect of Increased Production on Crop and Livestock Sectors

    AER-667, May 03, 1993

    Expanded ethanol production could increase U.S. farm income by as much as $1 billion (1.4 percent) by 2000. Because corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol, growers in the Corn Belt would benefit most from improved ethanol technology and heightened demand. Coproducts from the conversion process (corn gluten meal, corn gluten feed, and others) compete with soybean meal, so soybean growers in the South may see revenues decline. The U.S. balance of trade would improve with increased ethanol production as oil import needs decline.

  • Market-Oriented Agriculture: The Declining Role of Government Commodity Programs in Agricultural Production Decisions

    AER-671, June 01, 1993

    The portion of U.S. agricultural production covered by government income support payments has declined over the span of the last two 5-year farm acts. Consequently, nongovernmental supply and demand factors (market forces) are becoming more important in influencing farmers' production decisions. This report illustrates how agricultural supply has moved toward greater reliance on market forces (market orientation) by examining the declining role of government commodity programs in production decisions for corn, wheat, rice, and upland cotton. Payment coverage ratios, which measure the percentage of expected production covered by deficiency payments (income support payments made by the Federal Government to producers of certain agricultural commodities), have decreased. Thus, the role of government commodity programs in influencing farmers' production decisions at both the individual farm and national (aggregate) levels has declined. As a result, the share of US. cropland on which planting decisions are made based on market signals has increased, a trend toward market orientation that began with the 1985 farm act and continued with 1990 farm legislation.

  • Industrial Uses of Agricultural Materials Situation and Outlook Report (1)

    IUS-1, June 01, 1993

    Recent scientific advances are reducing the costs of producing and processing renewable resources into industrial products. These include advances that make agricultural production techniques more environmentally benign. And the advances in processing engineering-especially in destructive distillation, steam explosion, ultracentrifuges, and membranes-are making agriculturally based products more competitive. The scientific gains, along with Federal and State environmental regulations and growing consumer preferences for "green" products, are increasing the industrial demand for agricultural materials.

  • Industrial Uses of Agricultural Materials Situation and Outlook Report (2)

    IUS-2, December 01, 1993

    U.S. agriculture likely will have excess capacity for the foreseeable future. However, technological breakthroughs, heightened environmental awareness, and tougher environmental regulations are creating opportunities to use this capacity to produce industrial products. Although cornstarch dominates the industrial starch market, wheat starch is also used to manufacture industrial products. Because of widely fluctuating world supplies, major castor oil buyers have expressed an interest in U.S. production. In addition, a consortium of industrial, university, and government organizations has come together to commercialize lesquerella. Castor and lesquerella are sources of hydroxy fatty acids used by industry in a variety of applications, including cosmetics, waxes, nylons, plastics, coatings, and lubricants. The 1993 kenaf harvest has been completed in Louisiana and is underway in California, Mississippi, and Texas. In the United States, flax is the most extensively used nonwood fiber employed in papermaking, except for cotton. Animal byproducts are used to manufacture pharmaceuticals with a wide range of applications. A special article examines a simulation model that evaluates the feasibility of a community-based 500,000-gallon biodiesel plant in the United States. Soybeans were found to be the most cost-effective feedstock, mainly because the meal is a useful coproduct.

  • U.S. Tobacco Statistics, 1935-92

    SB-869, April 01, 1994

    Presents tobacco statistics for the United States and by State, going back in some cases to 1935. The data cover tobacco product output, consumption, trade leaf acreage, yield, production, price, and value by type and State, and supply and disappearance of leaf by type of tobacco.