Publications

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  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: June 2007

    SSSM-249, June 04, 2007

    Rising ethanol demand in global markets is driving the growth of Brazil's sugar/ethanol complex with new investments in infrastructure and technology. The recent rise in crude oil prices, paired with a global effort for renewable energy development and a growing domestic demand for ethanol have been the key factors driving the recent expansion of Brazil's sugar and ethanol industries.

  • Sugar Backgrounder

    SSSM-249-01, July 17, 2007

    This report on the U.S. sugar sector places into context the challenges facing sugar producers, users, and policymakers in the United States, including description and analysis of farm-level production of U.S. sugar crops, cane and beet sugar processing and refining industries, imports and exports of sugar, sugar consumption, and U.S. sugar policy issues likely to be important in the 2007 Farm Bill.

  • Profits, Costs, and the Changing Structure of Dairy Farming

    ERR-47, September 04, 2007

    ERS examines economic factors in the dramatic decline in the number of dairy farms over the past 15 years and the increasing concentration in the industry.

  • Integrating Commodity and Conservation Programs: Design Options and Outcomes

    ERR-44, October 30, 2007

    Could a single program support farm income and encourage environmentally sound farm practices? ERS looks at some hypothetical program scenarios.

  • Integrating Conservation and Commodity Program Payments: A Look at the Tradeoffs

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    A payment program that integrates characteristics of conservation and commodity programs could simultaneously support working farms and ranches while improving environmental quality, with some tradeoffs. If policymakers structure payments to focus on environmental gain, income support benefits would be more broadly distributed across the U.S. agricultural sector. If policymakers seek to preserve the existing distribution of commodity program payments within an integrated program, environmental gain would be lower and its associated per-unit costs higher than under a similar program focused on conservation.

  • Cropland Concentrating Faster Where Payments Are Higher

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Both crop production and government commodity payments have become more concentrated on larger farms, raising questions about the role of payments in changes in concentration growth. Concentration of cropland since 1987 grew much more rapidly in areas with relatively high initial payments per acre. While causality is not established, the evidence uncovers a strong and pervasive link between high payment levels and subsequent farm size growth.

  • Commodity Payments, Farm Business Survival, and Farm Size Growth

    ERR-51, November 27, 2007

    ERS compared consumption of refined and whole grains with recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, considering the consumers' social, economic, and demographic characteristics.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2008

    SSSM-251, January 29, 2008

    USDA requires accurate, unbiased sugar production forecasts for making the Department's monthly market forecast used to mange the domestic sugar program. Sugar production forecasts from sugar beet and sugarcane processors are compiled by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for publication in the World Agricultural Outlook Board's World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for sugar.

  • Land Retirement Programs May Induce Enduring Land-Use Changes

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Temporary cropland retirement payments under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) generate land-use changes that often continue after the payments stop.

  • Sugar and Sweetners Outlook: May 2008

    SSSM-252, May 27, 2008

    At the end of March 2008, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) projected sugar beet acreage intentions for the 2008 crop year at 1.132 million acres, about 10.9 percent lower than 2007 crop year area planted. Assuming normal sucrose levels and continued improvement in productivity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects fiscal year (FY) 2009 national beet sugar production at 4.400 million short tons, raw value (STRV), about 410,000 STRV less than the projection for FY 2008 (4.810 million STRV).

  • Effects of Marketing Loans on U.S. Dry Peas and Lentils: Supply Response and World Trade

    ERR-58, May 30, 2008

    Acreage for dry peas and lentils has increased since passage of the 2002 Farm Act. ERS examines the role of the Act's marketing loans in the increase, and the trade impacts.

  • Conservation Reserve Program Acreage To Decline; Will Benefits Also Fall?

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2008

    The Conservation Reserve Program-the long-time centerpiece of U.S. agricultural conservation policy-is shrinking. The acreage cap will fall to 32 million acres beginning in October, 2009, and program acreage could fall farther without new enrollments. As CRP acreage declines, will environmental benefits decline at the same rate?

  • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

    EIB-53, May 15, 2009

    Beginning farmers and ranchers accounted for 10 percent of the sector's total value of production in 2007. ERS provides an overview of their characteristics and the farm businesses they operate.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: October 2009

    SSS-256, October 05, 2009

    The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, requires that sugar marketing allotments be in effect in fiscal year (FY) 2010. The act requires that the Overall Allotment Quantity (OAQ) be set at no less than 85 percent of the estimated quantity of sugar for domestic consumption. On September 25, the Secretary of Agriculture announced that the FY 2010 OAQ is set at 9,235,250 short tons, raw value (STRV). This amount is above the minimum 85 percent level of the estimated sugar for domestic consumption.

    The report includes the special article "Tight Supplies Expected To Sustain High U.S. Sugar Prices into 2009/10."

    Listen to a podcast based on this article.

  • The Post-Buyout Experience: Peanut and Tobacco Sectors Adapt to Policy Reform

    EIB-60, November 16, 2009

    ERS identifies market forces that have affected the peanut and tobacco industries following the end of longstanding system protections - in 2002 for peanuts and 2004 for tobacco.

  • Removal of Government Controls Opens Peanut and Tobacco Sectors to Market Forces

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    Farm legislation in the early 2000s eliminated longstanding supply controls and geographic restrictions on the production of peanuts and tobacco. The ensuing consolidation produced fewer but larger farms for each crop that are more efficient and responsive to market developments.

  • Changing the Definition of a “Farm” Can Affect Federal Funding

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    The Federal Government's definition of a farm affects farm statistics and influences the design and delivery of Federal farm programs. The definition also has implications for States because each State’s share of the national farm population is used to help allocate some Federal funding.

  • In the Long Run: Despite Legislative Changes, Peanut Availability Remains Within Historical Range

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    The 2002 Farm Act removed longstanding regulatory quotas on peanuts that limited supplies by issuing annual marketing rights to farmers. Following the policy change, the availability of peanuts grew over the next several years but remained below the historical high of 1989.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: February 2010

    SSSM-258, February 10, 2010

    In the February 2010 World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), projected fiscal year (FY) 2010 production for Mexico is reduced 200,000 metric tons, raw value (MTRV) from last month based on weather-reduced sugar yields to date. Exports are reduced by the same amount. Projected FY 2010 U.S. sugar supply is decreased by 85,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) from last month due to lower imports from Mexico, more than offsetting higher sugar production. Imports from Mexico are reduced by 220,000 STRV.

  • Indian Sugar Sector Cycles Down, Poised To Rebound

    SSSM-260-01, April 22, 2010

    This report describes and analyses the current situation and outlook for supply, demand, and trade of sugar by India, the world's second largest sugar producer. A decline in sugar production has shifted India from net exporter to net importer during 2009/10, contributing to a runup in global sugar prices. A key finding is that the production decline is primarily due to a policy-induced cycle that is becoming increasingly pronounced. While output is poised to rebound in 2010/11, moderating future cyclical swings in output and trade may hinge on the success of a dialogue on policy reform between the government and the sugar industry.