Publications

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  • Response to U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Associated with Imported Produce

    AIB-789-5, February 28, 2004

    This report examines how U.S. and other nations responded to foodborne illness outbreaks traced to internationally-traded food.

  • Cuba's Tropical Fruit Industry

    FTS-30902, April 09, 2004

    Cuba's tropical fruit industry primarily caters to domestic markets with fresh fruits that are Cuban diet staples. Plantains and bananas account for over 70 percent of production. Tropical fruit production fell with Cuba's collapsing economy in the early 1990s. With ideal climate and land resources, production potential remains high. Production and demand will both recover and grow as Cuba's economy recovers. If commercial relationships with the United States were restored, Cuba could initially look to U.S. sources for quality tropical fruits for Cuba's growing tourist market. Eventually, as Cuba's economy and its tropical fruit sector recover, the United States could provide new market opportunities for an increasingly competitive Cuban tropical fruit sector.

  • Economic and Policy Implications of Wind-Borne Entry of Asian Soybean Rust into the United States

    OCS-04D02, April 27, 2004

    American soybean producers and the research, regulatory, and extension institutions supporting them are preparing for the potential wind-borne entry of Asian soybean rust into the United States. This report examines how the economic impacts of soybean rust establishment will depend on the timing, location, spread, and severity of rust infestation and on how soybean and other crop producers, livestock producers, and consumers of agricultural commodities respond to this new pathogen.

  • Cuba's Citrus Industry: Growth and Change

    FTS-30901, April 30, 2004

    Cuban citrus is a major commercial crop and foreign exchange earner. The 1990s saw an industry collapse and a shift from fresh oranges to processed citrus products and grapefruit production. If commercial relationships with the United States were restored, Cuba's citrus industry would likely look to U.S. markets for new opportunities for Cuban fresh citrus, processed citrus products, and citrus byproducts. In turn, Cuba's citrus industry could become a market for U.S. exports of technology, citrus rootstock and other inputs, and capital. New U.S.-Cuban partnerships could develop to partially integrate citrus production, processing, and marketing for U.S. markets.

  • Global Trade Patterns in Fruits and Vegetables

    WRS-0406, June 01, 2004

    International trade in fruits and vegetables has expanded at a higher rate than trade in other agricultural commodities, particularly since the 1980s. Not only has world trade in fruits and vegetables gained prominence, but the variety of commodities has expanded. Over the years, three regions-the European Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) area, and Asia (East, Southeast, and South)-have remained as both the major destinations and sources of supply. A substantial share of their trade is intraregional, particularly that of the EU. All the three regions, however, depend on Southern Hemisphere countries for imports of juices and off-season fresh fruits, and on equatorial regions for bananas, the leading fresh fruit import. In addition to global north-south trading, due mostly to the counter-cyclical seasons of the two hemispheres, Asian trade has also become much more important since the 1980s as incomes and populations have grown and policies changed.

  • Production Costs and Returns for Tobacco in 2002

    TBS-25601, June 21, 2004

    Both the gross value and the cash costs per acre for tobacco were lower in 2002 than in 2001, with the gross value of production falling more than the decline in cash costs. Consequently, net returns per acre were lower for burley and flue-cured. Lower gross production value was due primarily to yield losses caused by drought and disease in 2002.

  • How Much Do Americans Pay for Fruits and Vegetables?

    AIB-790, July 20, 2004

    This analysis uses ACNielsen Homescan data on 1999 household food purchases from all types of retail outlets to estimate an annual retail price per pound and per serving for 69 forms of fruits and 85 forms of vegetables. Among the forms we priced, more than half were estimated to cost 25 cents or less per serving. Consumers can meet the recommendation of three servings of fruits and four servings of vegetables daily for 64 cents.

  • Genetically Engineered Crop Varieties Gain Further Acreage Share in 2004

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    GE varieties of soybeans, corn, and cotton have been available commercially since 1996. Since then, their rate of use by U.S. farmers has climbed most years, including 2004.

  • Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities

    AER-837, November 01, 2004

    Demand for specific product attributes is making contracts the choice over traditional spot markets for many livestock commodities and some major crops-e.g., sugar beets, fruit, tomatoes.

  • U.S. Peanut Sector Adapts to Major Policy Changes

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2004

    "U.S. Peanut Sector Adapts to Major Policy Changes" examines the experience of the peanut sector following the 2002 Farm Act's elimination of the marketing quota system, and identifies factors affecting the transition to a more market-oriented system. Although peanut prices and acreage declined following passage of the 2002 Farm Act, it appears that producers are taking advantage of increased planting flexibility to expand production in higher yielding areas, and the transition has been cushioned by rising demand, and additional sources of revenue from government payments and other sources of farm and off-farm income.

  • Hard White Wheat At A Crossroads

    WHS-04K01, December 14, 2004

    This article provides background on the forces that led to the expansion of hard white wheat (HWW) production, its milling and baking qualities that make it particularly suited for certain products, the adaptation of the marketing system to preserve its identity, and the prospects for HWW's production expansion. Up to now, HWW sales have been largely confined to the domestic market because the volume of production is not sufficiently large to sustain steady exports. HWW's end-use characteristics are particularly suited for whole-wheat products, pan breads, tortillas, and certain kinds of oriental noodles. Continuing expansion of HWW production would depend on the development of new, higher-yielding varieties that are more tolerant to sprout damage-a major problem in 2004-and continuation of the government incentive program.

  • Long-Lived Tobacco Program to End

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2005

    In October 2004, Congress passed legislation that eliminates tobacco quota and price support programs at the end of the 2004 crop year. Quota holders and producers will be compensated for the quota they own and produce. The buyout will be financed by assessments on tobacco product manufacturers and importers. With the elimination of quota and price support, tobacco production is likely to move to regions amenable to mechanization and where adequate economies of scale can be achieved and U.S. prices could fall 30-40 percent.

  • U.S. Sugar Beet Farming—How “Sweet” Is It?

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2005

    The United States is the world's fourth-largest producer of sugar and more than half of U.S. sugar production comes from sugar beets. U.S. sugar beet production has grown significantly over the past decade, tied primarily to expanded processing capacity among sugar beet factories. U.S. farmers produced 33 million tons of sugar beets on 1.6 million acres in 2000, versus 28 million tons of sugar beets on 1.4 million acres in 1990.

  • Market Access for High-Value Foods

    AER-840, February 01, 2005

    This report examines global food trade patterns and the role of WTO market access rules in shaping the composition of global food trade.

  • USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2014

    OCE-2005-1, February 11, 2005

    This report provides longrun (10-year) baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2014. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Production Costs and Returns for Tobacco in 2003

    TBS-258-01, May 13, 2005

    Average net returns per acre were estimated to be negative for burley and flue-cured tobacco in 2003. Total economic costs for burley and flue-cured tobacco production likely rose in 2003 from 2002 due to higher costs for energy, labor, and quota rental rates. Cost estimates are computed using production data from the last tobacco surveys, conducted in 1995 for burley tobacco and 1996 for flue-cured tobacco, and 2003 data on prices, yields, marketing costs, and quota levels.

  • Sweetener Consumption in the United States: Distribution by Demographic and Product Characteristics

    SSS-243-01, August 19, 2005

    U.S. consumption of sugars added to food items increased by 23 percent between 1985 and 1999. Although USDA data have documented the overall growth trend, not much has been inferred from USDA survey data. This article helps fill a gap by reporting findings for sweetener consumption by income and demographic characteristics. Among the conclusions: per capita sweetener consumption is highest in the Midwest and lowest in the Northeast and sweetener consumption tends to rise with increased income up to a certain level and then fall.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2006

    SSSM-245, January 31, 2006

    The European Union's (EU-25) sugar program has been scheduled for reform every five years for the last 40 years. However, its success in making sugar one of the most profitable crops in many EU countries has succeeded in delaying reform proposals until recently.

  • U.S. Tobacco Sector Regroups

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2006

    The 2005/06 crop year is the first year that tobacco growers have faced without the previous tobacco program. This year has been marked by a 25 percent decline in area and production. But there have also been shifts in geographical distribution and varieties grown. Growers in the Southeast, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are increasing their output of burley at the expense of other varieties.