Publications

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  • Expanding Craft Beer Production Boosts Industrial Use of Barley

    Amber Waves, May 04, 2015

    Expanding production and consumption of craft beer has created a need to update the methods used to estimate barley use for malting and brewing, which are collectively called “industrial” purposes. Per barrel, craft brewers are estimated to use slightly more than four times the amount of malt and malt product used in non-craft beer production.

  • Factors Behind the Rise in Global Rice Prices in 2008

    RCS-09D01, May 07, 2009

    Global rice prices rose to record highs in the spring of 2008, with trading prices tripling from November 2007 to late April 2008. The price increase was not due to crop failure or a particularly tight global rice supply situation. Instead, trade restrictions by major suppliers, panic buying by several large importers, a weak dollar, and record oil prices were the immediate cause of the rise in rice prices. Because rice is critical to the diet of about half the world's population, the rapid increase in global rice prices in late 2007 and early 2008 had a detrimental impact on those rice consumers' well-being. Although rice prices have dropped more than 40 percent from their April 2008 highs, they remain well above pre-2007 levels.

  • Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in U.S. Fertilizer Prices, 2002-08

    AR-33, February 13, 2009

    U.S. prices of fertilizer nutrients began to rise steadily in 2002 and increased sharply to historic highs in 2008 due to the combined effects of a number of domestic and global long- and shortrun supply and demand factors. From 2007 to 2008, spring nitrogen prices increased by a third, phosphate prices nearly doubled, and potash prices doubled. The price spike in 2008 reflects low inventories at the beginning of 2008 combined with the inability of the U.S. fertilizer industry to quickly adjust to surging demand or sharp declines in international supply. Declining fertilizer demand, disruption in fall applications, increased fertilizer imports (July to August), and tightening credit markets for fertilizer purchases contributed to the decline of fertilizer prices in late 2008. The prospect for strong fertilizer demand in early 2009, high raw material costs for the manufacture of fertilizers, production cutbacks, and decreasing supplies from fertilizer imports, however, could put upward pressure on U.S. fertilizer prices in spring 2009.

  • Factors Influencing ACRE Program Enrollment

    ERR-84, December 29, 2009

    ERS applied requirements of the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program to eligible crops from 1996 to 2008 and analyzed whether farmers would have benefited more from ACRE than from the programs available during that time

  • Farm Household Income Volatility: An Analysis Using Panel Data From a National Survey

    ERR-226, February 22, 2017

    Income of commercial farm households is generally more volatile than for nonfarm households. Farm size, commodities raised, operator characteristics, and reliance on Federal programs all play roles in farm household income volatility.

  • Farm Production Practices To Preserve Non-Genetically Engineered Product Markets

    Amber Waves, March 07, 2016

    To receive the price premiums associated with organic and conventional non-GE crops, producers must minimize the unintended presence of GE materials in their crops. USDA organic surveys show that producers commonly use buffer strips or delay crop planting until after any nearby GE crops are planted to minimize accidental crop mixing.

  • Farm Size and the Organization of U.S. Crop Farming

    ERR-152, August 05, 2013

    Crop production and land have shifted to larger operations. ERS details the changes by region and commodity sector, and evaluates driving factors such as technologies, business organization and finances, land attributes, and policy.

  • Federal Crop Insurance Options for Upland Cotton Farmers and Their Revenue Effects

    ERR-218, October 27, 2016

    ERS explains the mechanics of two “shallow loss” insurance options offered to upland cotton producers under the 2014 Farm Act, provides estimates of their potential for reducing producers’ revenue risk, and examines enrollment levels.

  • Feed Grains Backgrounder

    FDS-07C01, March 30, 2007

    The U.S. feed grain sector, largest of the major U.S. field crops, faces unprecedented demand conditions. The size and speed of the expanding use of corn by the ethanol industry is raising widespread issues throughout U.S. agriculture. Debate is ongoing over the use of grain for fuel instead of for food or feed and the adequacy of future grain supplies. Increased productivity (yield) and additional area from land planted to competing crops, land enrolled in conservation programs, or idled land is expected to provide an increased supply of feed grains. The outlook is for higher feed grain prices, in part, as a result of renewable energy policies and high energy prices, with feed grain prices rising above farm program support levels. During the ongoing farm policy debate, the U.S. feed grain sector faces uncertainty about the future level and type of government support.

  • Feed Outlook: December 2009

    FDS-09K-01, December 14, 2009

    China's corn imports are minimal, even though it is using a growing proportion of its corn to produce starch, ethanol, and other industrial products. The corn-processing industry's growth was encouraged by Chinese government policy, but the industry now has excess capacity. Many of the corn-based industrial products are exported. China's price support for corn during 2008/09 increased raw material costs for the industry and slowed its growth.

  • Feed Outlook: September 2017

    FDS-17i, September 14, 2017

    The September 2017 Feed Outlook report contains projections for 2016/17 and 2017/18 U.S. and global feed markets based on the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

  • Fiber Use for Textiles and China's Cotton Textile Exports

    CWS-08I-01, March 03, 2009

    New information about the role of recycling in the textile industry and updated estimates of efficiency in spinning lower estimates of the volume of cotton fiber exported by China in the form of textiles from those of an earlier study. China's textile industry not only meets domestic demand of the world's most populous country but is also the world's largest exporter. Consequently, China is the world's largest consumer and importer of cotton, but information about China's cotton consumption is incomplete. This analysis of China's textile trade offers important insights into trends in China's cotton use and imports. The revised textile trade estimates have implications for the outlook for China's cotton consumption and imports, which this study demonstrates with an econometric model of China's textile trade.

  • Food and Agricultural Commodity Consumption in the United States: Looking Ahead to 2020

    AER-820, February 03, 2003

    This report analyzes how U.S. consumption of food commodities is projected to rise through 2020. The study uses date from USDA's food intake survey to project the consumption, through 2020, of 25 food groups and 22 commodity groups.

  • Fruit and Tree Nut Outlook: March 2013

    FTS-355, March 29, 2013

    Total U.S. citrus production reduced in 2012/13 due to warm, dry winter. Forecast production at 11.4 million tons. The domestic all-orange crop is forecast 4 percent less than previous season at 8.7 million tons.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, November 2007

    FTS-330, November 28, 2007

    The index of prices received by fruit and nut growers dropped below last year's indices in June and has remained lower each month through October. Fresh orange, grapefruit, and apple grower prices were lower for September and October 2007 compared with the same time last year, but fresh lemon prices were higher. On the other hand, the Consumer Price Index for fresh fruit rose this September and October over last year, with higher prices for fresh lemons and bananas.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: April 2017

    FTS-364, April 03, 2017

    This report provides analysis of supply and demand conditions in the U.S. fruit and tree nut markets, including projections on market conditions for 2016/17 citrus crops.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: July 2011

    FTS-348, July 29, 2011

    The index of prices received by fruit and tree nut growers in June, at 157 (1990-92=100), rose 9 percent from the May index and increased 18 percent above the June 2010 index. Year-to-year price increases in June for process grapefruit and fresh-market apples, grapes, peaches, pears, and strawberries drove the index up over the previous year, offsetting price declines for fresh-market lemons and oranges.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: July 2013

    FTS-356, July 26, 2013

    Lighter cherry supplies in California and Washington State are supporting upward pressure on 2013 domestic cherry prices. Mix of hot and cold weather hindered early-season peach production from its full potential.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: June 2009

    FTS-337-01, June 03, 2009

    Specialized fruit and tree nut farms represent a substantial segment of the U.S. fruit and tree nut industry. By nature of the commodities produced and the markets targeted, these specialized farms require substantial investments in production inputs. Using data from USDA's Agricultural Resource and Management Survey (ARMS), this report investigates the major expense components of specialized fruit and tree nut farms in the United States from 1998 to 2006. Based on 3-year averages, the analysis compares farm expenses by farm size and across regions. Total cash expenses were highest in the West where the highest concentration of specialized fruit and tree nut farms are located, including a majority of the largest and most highly specialized farm operations. Labor was the largest cash expense for fruit and tree nut farms, followed by fertilizer and other agricultural chemical inputs.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: June 2015

    FTS-359, June 30, 2015

    Peach, cherry, and prune production forecast down from last season. The decline in peach output has only put little upward pressure on prices. Shipments of melons are up through June.