Publications

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  • Changes in Manure Management in the Hog Sector: 1998-2004

    EIB-50, March 31, 2009

    In recent years, structural changes in the hog sector, including increased farm size and regional shifts in production, have altered manure management practices. Also, changes to the Clean Water Act, State regulations, and increasing local conflicts over air quality issues, including odor, have influenced manure management decisions. This study uses data from two national surveys of hog farmers to examine how hog manure management practices vary with the scale of production and how these practices evolved between 1998 and 2004. Included are the effects of structural changes, recent policies on manure management technologies and practices, the use of nutrient management plans, and manure application rates. The findings suggest that larger hog operations are altering their manure management decisions in response to binding nutrient application constraints, and that environmental policy is contributing to the adoption of conservation compatible manure management practices.

  • Changing Structure of Global Food Consumption and Trade

    WRS-01-1, May 30, 2001

    Higher income, urbanization, other demographic shifts, improved transportation, and consumer perceptions regarding quality and safety are changing global food consumption patterns. Shifts in food consumption have led to increased trade and changes in the composition of world agricultural trade. Given different diets, food expenditure and food budget responses to income and price changes vary between developing and developed countries. In developing countries, higher income results in increased demand for meat products, often leading to increased import of live-stock feed. Diet diversification and increasing demand for better quality and labor-saving products have increased imports of high-value and processed food products in developed countries. Consumer groups in developed countries have also brought attention to organic production of food and the topic of animal welfare. One way in which the public and private sectors have responded to consumer demand for these quality attributes has been by developing and implementing mandatory and voluntary quality control, management, and assurance schemes.

  • Characteristics of Conventional and Organic Apple Production in the United States

    FTS-34701, July 25, 2011

    This report uses data from USDA's 2007 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and other sources to examine trends in the U.S. apple sector and compare production and marketing characteristics under organic and conventional farming systems.

  • China in the Next Decade: Rising Meat Demand and Growing Imports of Feed

    Amber Waves, April 07, 2014

    USDA anticipates that China’s soybean and corn imports will continue to rise, with soybean imports meeting nearly all soybean meal demand and imports accounting for about 10 percent of corn supplies by 2023. Meat imports are also projected to rise, but remain a small share of consumption.

  • China's Food and Agriculture: Issues for the 21st Century

    AIB-775, April 01, 2002

    Assessment of issues that will affect China's future trends in consumption, production, import, and export of food and agricultural commodities. A series of 13 articles cover China's food consumption, marketing, international trade, agricultural policy, transportation infrastructure, regional diversity, livestock sector, biotechnology, water and irrigation policy, land tenure system, rural development, employment, and market information.

  • Comparing Two Sources of Retail Meat Price Data

    ERR-88, November 17, 2009

    The livestock industry uses information on meat prices at different stages in the marketing system to make production decisions. When grocery stores began using electronic scanners to capture prices paid for meat, it was assumed that the livestock industry could capitalize on having these point-of-sale data available as a measure of the value of its products. This report compares scanner price data with publicly available data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Of the two data types, scanner data provide more information about retail meat markets, including a wider variety of meat-cut prices, multiple measures of an average price, the volume of sales, and the relative importance of discounted prices. The scanner data sample, however, is not statistically drawn, and complicated processing requirements delay its release, which makes scanner data less useful than BLS data for analyzing current market conditions.

  • Complex Array of Factors Influence World Sugar Prices

    Amber Waves, July 01, 2013

    With the world sugar price serving as the new floor for domestic prices, it becomes more important to understand the dynamics of world prices. Brazil is the world’s leading sugar producer and, over the long term, world sugar prices are determined by production costs in Center/South Brazil, as well as the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Brazilian real.

  • Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector

    RCS-11D01, April 21, 2011

    This report examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry has evolved over the past two decades, including a reduction in the number of farms, increased average farm size, and the shifting concentration of rice production away from higher-cost production regions. The authors analyze the economic factors driving these structural changes and explore the implications of those changes for market efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cotton and Wool Outlook Tables: February 2017

    CWS-17B, February 13, 2017

    The February 2017 Cotton and Wool Outlook tables present USDA's latest 2016/17 U.S. and world cotton supply and demand projections.

  • Cotton and Wool Outlook Tables: January 2017

    CWS-17A, January 17, 2017

    Cotton and Wool Outlook tables.

  • Cotton and Wool Outlook: April 2017

    CWS-17D, April 13, 2017

    The April 2017 Cotton and Wool Outlook report presents and discusses USDA's latest 2016/17 U.S. and world cotton supply and demand projections. The latest U.S. textile and apparel trade data are also included.

  • Cotton and Wool Outlook: March 2017

    CWS-17C, March 13, 2017

    The March 2017 Cotton and Wool Outlook report presents and discusses USDA's latest 2016/17 U.S. and world cotton supply and demand projections.

  • Country-of-Origin Labeling: Theory and Observation

    WRS-0402, January 23, 2004

    This report examines the economic rationale behind the various claims about the effects of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, thereby identifying the most likely outcomes. Profits motivate firms to innovate and introduce thousands of new food products each year to satisfy consumers' demand. Yet, food suppliers have generally not emphasized, advertised, or labeled food with U.S. country of origin. The infrequency of "Made in USA" labels on food suggests suppliers do not believe domestic origin is an attribute that can attract much consumer interest. We find little evidence that suppliers would have difficulty supplying such labels if there were sufficient consumer interest.

  • 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.

  • Developing Countries Dominate World Demand for Agricultural Products

    Amber Waves, August 05, 2013

    According to USDA’s baseline projections, developing country demand for agricultural products is expected to increase faster than their production in 2013-22. Thus, these countries will account for 92 percent of the total increase in world meat imports, 92 percent of the increase in world grains and oilseeds imports, and nearly all of the increase in world cotton imports.

  • Development of China's Feed Industry and Demand for Imported Commodities

    FDS-15K-01, November 19, 2015

    China's commercial feed industry plays a critical role in supporting growth of the country's livestock sector. The feed industry's need for raw materials has been key to lowering China's barriers to agricultural imports.

  • 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.

  • ERS Tracks Meat Prices at the Retail, Wholesale, and Farm Levels

    Amber Waves, October 05, 2015

    Each month the Economic Research Service calculates farm-to-wholesale and wholesale-to-retail price spreads for beef, pork, and broilers. These price spreads show the difference between what consumers pay for a certain type of meat at the retail store and what producers actually receive for that meat.