Publications

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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: 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.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: March 2012

    LDPM-213, March 15, 2012

    Beef cow slaughter may be declining, and heifer retention to replace cows may be in early stages. Cattle feeding margins are improving for the short term, but packers are likely still seeing red. Retail prices may also be encountering some consumer resistance.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: April 2012

    OCS-12D, April 11, 2012

    USDA's Prospective Plantings report in March indicated that U.S. farmers intend to reduce the acreage sown to soybeans this year by 1.4 percent to 73.9 million acres as expected returns for corn were more attractive. Also, growers intend this spring to increase U.S. sunflowerseed acreage by 17 percent to 1.8 million acres, canola by 45 percent to a U.S.-record 1.56 million acres, and peanuts by 25 percent to 1.4 million acres.

  • Feed Outlook: April 2012

    FDS-12D, April 12, 2012

    The U.S. feed grain balance sheet is unchanged from last month. The quarterly Stocks Report confirmed continued tight feed grain supplies as of March 1. The Prospective Plantings report pegged 2012 intended plantings of corn at 95.9 million acres, an increase of 3.9 million acres from 2011.

  • Feed Outlook: May 2012

    FDS-12E, May 14, 2012

    As of May 6, 71 percent of the U.S. corn crop had been planted, compared with an average of 47 percent in 2007-11 and 32 percent in 2011/12. As of the same date, 32 percent of the expected crop had emerged, compared with an average of 13 percent in 2007-11 and 6 percent last year. Early planting boosts the projected yield for 2012/13 to 166.0 bushels per acre, compared with last year's weather-reduced yield of 147.2. Rapid planting and emergence is also likely to affect supplies during the last quarter of the 2011/12 marketing year, resulting in reduced prospects for the June-August quarter feed and residual disappearance.

  • Ethanol Strengthens the Link Between Agriculture and Energy Markets

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    The growing role of the ethanol industry as a supplier to the U.S. motor fuels market has reshaped the relationship between agriculture and energy markets. Price relationships between the U.S. corn and gasoline markets strengthened after March 2008 and continue to be highly correlated.

  • Feed Outlook: June 2012

    FDS-12F, June 14, 2012

    The 2012/13 U.S. corn balance sheet is unchanged this month. Corn ethanol use for 2011/12 is projected up 50 million bushels this month to 5,050 million as recent ethanol production data have been stronger than expected. While slowing from its peak in December 2011, ethanol production and use has been partly sustained by ethanol exports, as declining gasoline use and limits to blending ethanol have curbed domestic use.