Publications

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  • Cotton: Background and Issues for Farm Legislation

    CWS-0601-01, August 01, 2001

    Since passage of the 1996 farm legislation, U.S. cotton production and demand have nearly equaled each other, keeping stocks virtually unchanged. However, U.S. cotton producers have experienced deteriorating product prices coupled with declining yields during this period. Farm prices for upland cotton dropped 40 percent from their recent peak in 1995/96 to 45 cents per pound in 1999/2000, prompting considerable concern for the industry as the new farm legislation debate develops.

  • Cotton: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-8942, September 01, 1989

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for cotton, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Government programs since the 1930s have supported prices and attempted to adjust cotton acreage and production to meet market needs, with varying degrees of success. The Food Security Act of 1985 is generally considered successful in dealing with the cotton sector despite several problems. The marketing loan provisions of the act helped make cotton competitive in 1987 and some world market share was won back by U.S. cotton. However, in 1988-89, problems with the adjusted world price formula and with the storage terms resulted in owners of cotton holding stocks rather than releasing them to the market even though U.S. stocks were high.

  • Cotton: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation

    AER-706, April 03, 1995

    This report address considerations in the 1995 farm bill debate for cotton, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The Food Security Act of 1985, and subsequent cotton marketing loan modifications, are analyzed, as they formed the basic provisions of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990. Cotton provisions of the 1990 Act attempted to ensure that cotton remained competitive in domestic and world markets. Program performance is discussed, including the effects on producers, consumers, and taxpayers. Important issues and policy options to be addressed during the 1995 farm bill debates are presented. Background information is also provided on the characteristics of the U.S. cotton industry including current trends in production, consumption, and foreign trade. Financial aspects of the cotton sector including prices, costs, and producer returns give additional perspective and understanding to the report.

  • Economic Issues in the Coexistence of Organic, Genetically Engineered (GE), and Non-GE Crops

    EIB-149, February 24, 2016

    ERS synthesizes production data on GE crop varieties, organic crops (which exclude GE seed), and conventionally grown non-GE crops, and considers coexistence practices and economic losses due to unintended presence of GE material.

  • Economic Policy and Cotton in Uzbekistan

    CWS-12H01, October 23, 2012

    Uzbekistan is the third largest cotton supplier for world markets and accounts for two-thirds of Central Asia's output. ERS examines the role of government policies in future prospects for cotton production and exports.

  • Effects of Recent Energy Price Reductions on U.S. Agriculture

    BIO-04, June 02, 2015

    Sharply lower energy prices begun in late 2014 will benefit the agriculture sector mainly through lower transport and production costs. Energy price decreases are projected to lower production costs by about $5 billion in 2015 and in 2016.

  • Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry

    EIB-55, June 03, 2009

    Consumer demand for organic products has widened over the last decade. While new producers have emerged to help meet demand, market participants report that a supply squeeze is constraining growth for both individual firms and the organic sector overall. Partly in response to shortages in organic supply, Congress in 2008 included provisions in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (2008 Farm Act) that, for the first time, provide financial support to farmers to convert to organic production. This report examines recent economic research on the adoption of organic farming systems, organic production costs and returns, and market conditions to gain a better understanding of the organic supply squeeze and other emerging issues in this rapidly changing industry.

  • Ethanol Expansion in the United States: How Will the Agricultural Sector Adjust?

    FDS-07D-01, May 18, 2007

    A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States. Cellulosic sources of feedstocks for ethanol production hold some promise for the future, but the primary feedstock in the United States currently is corn. Market adjustments to this increased demand extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and demand for other crops, such as soybeans and cotton, as well as to U.S. livestock industries. USDA's long-term projections, augmented by farmers' planting intentions for 2007, are used to illustrate anticipated changes in the agricultural sector.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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 Policy and Productivity Key to India Outlook

    Amber Waves, July 06, 2015

    India is likely to remain an important player in global agriculture markets as an importer of vegetable oils and pulses, and an exporter of rice, cotton, and beef.

  • Foreign Cotton Consumption/Production Gap Reduced

    CWS-11H, October 13, 2011

    The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cotton projections for 2011/12 indicate that the gap between foreign consumption and production is projected to decrease significantly this season and fall below 5 million bales for the first time since 2004/05 (fig. 1).

  • Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

    ERR-162, February 20, 2014

    Farmer adoption of GE crops is associated with time savings, lower insecticide use, and more conservation tillage. Consumer acceptance of GE ingredients varies across countries, product characteristics, and level of information.

  • Growth Prospects for India's Cotton and Textile Industries

    CWS-05D01, June 02, 2005

    India's prospects are changing now that the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) no longer governs world textile trade. Decades of industrial policies that were both inward-oriented and biased toward small-scale production continue to influence India's textile trade prospects. While the recent introduction of genetically-modified (Bt) cotton has revitalized prospects for cotton production, quality issues are likely to hamper Indian cotton sales until the structure of India's cotton marketing system changes significantly.

  • 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.

  • Indian Cotton Yield Gains Could Limit Imports

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2005

    Bt Cotton hybrids were first approved for India in 2002, and in 2005 Bt cotton varieties accounted for 17 percent of India’s cotton area. Yields have grown by 45-87 percent as a result of the new technology. The result could be a decline in import demand.

  • 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.

  • NAFTA at 13: Implementation Nears Completion

    WRS-0701, March 29, 2007

    Implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is drawing to a close. In 2008, the last of NAFTA's transitional restrictions governing U.S.-Mexico and Canada-Mexico agricultural trade will be removed, concluding a 14-year project in which the member countries systematically dismantled numerous barriers to regional agricultural trade. During the implementation period, the agricultural sectors of Canada, Mexico, and the United States have become much more integrated. Agricultural trade within the free-trade area has grown dramatically, and Canadian and Mexican industries that rely on U.S. agricultural inputs have expanded. U.S. feedstuffs have facilitated a marked increase in Mexican meat production and consumption, and the importance of Canadian and Mexican produce to U.S. fruit and vegetable consumption is growing.