Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Global Production Shortfalls Bring Record Wheat Prices

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Weather events, low inventories, and subsequent increased export demand have combined to drive U.S. and world wheat prices to record levels. The underlying market pressures leading to these price levels have been developing gradually with global consumption exceeding production in 7 of the last 8 years.

  • Hard White Wheat At A Crossroads

    WHS-04K01, December 14, 2004

    This article provides background on the forces that led to the expansion of hard white wheat (HWW) production, its milling and baking qualities that make it particularly suited for certain products, the adaptation of the marketing system to preserve its identity, and the prospects for HWW's production expansion. Up to now, HWW sales have been largely confined to the domestic market because the volume of production is not sufficiently large to sustain steady exports. HWW's end-use characteristics are particularly suited for whole-wheat products, pan breads, tortillas, and certain kinds of oriental noodles. Continuing expansion of HWW production would depend on the development of new, higher-yielding varieties that are more tolerant to sprout damage-a major problem in 2004-and continuation of the government incentive program.

  • How Retail Beef and Bread Prices Respond to Changes in Ingredient and Input Costs

    ERR-112, February 24, 2011

    The extent to which cost changes pass through a vertically organized production process depends on the value added by each producer in the chain as well as a number of other organizational and marketing factors at each stage of production. Using 36 years of monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics price indices data (1972-2008), we model pass-through behavior for beef and bread, two retail food items with different levels of processing. Both the farm-to-wholesale and wholesale-to-retail price responses are modeled to allow for the presence of structural breaks in the underlying long-term relationships between price series. Broad differences in price behavior are found not only between food categories (retail beef prices respond more to farm-price changes than do retail bread prices) but also across stages in the supply chain. While farm-to-wholesale relationships generally appear to be symmetric, retail prices have a more complicated response behavior. For both bread and beef, the passthrough from wholesale to retail is weaker than that from farm to wholesale.

  • 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.

  • Implications of an Early Corn Crop Harvest for Feed and Residual Use Estimates

    FDS-12F-01, July 03, 2012

    An early corn harvest-before the August 31 end of the previous marketing year-creates an overlap of supply-and-use data between the old and new marketing years that can alter the patterns of corn use and ending stocks, with implications for official USDA projections and estimates.

  • Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies and the Implications of Reform

    ERR-41, May 03, 2007

    The pronounced market cycles and declines in per capita consumption of India's major food staples, as well as budgetary concerns, are creating pressure for Indian policymakers to adjust longstanding policies.

  • 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.

  • Issues and Prospects in Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat Futures Markets

    FDS-09G-01, August 05, 2009

    The past 5 years have seen large increases in trading of corn, soybean, and wheat futures contracts by nontraditional traders, a trend that coincided with historic price increases for these commodities. These events have raised questions about whether changes in the composition of traders participating have contributed to movements in commodity prices beyond the effects of market fundamentals. Evidence suggests the link between futures and cash prices for some commodity markets may have weakened (poor convergence), making it more difficult for traditional traders to use futures markets to manage risk. This report discusses the role and objective of new futures traders compared with those of traditional futures traders and seeks to determine if the composition of traders in futures markets has contributed to convergence problems. Market activity is analyzed by focusing on positions of both traditional and new market traders, price levels, price volatility, and volume and open interest trends. Convergence of futures and cash prices is examined, along with implications and prospects for risk management by market participants. The report also discusses the implications for market performance and the regulatory response of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

  • 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.

  • Long-Term Growth Prospects for Wheat Production in Afghanistan

    WHS-11L01, January 04, 2012

    Given expected increases in demand, imports are likely to grow in coming years even if Afghanistan's rapid post-1990 production growth is sustained, suggesting growing dependence on supplies from Pakistan and other countries.

  • Market-Oriented Agriculture: The Declining Role of Government Commodity Programs in Agricultural Production Decisions

    AER-671, June 01, 1993

    The portion of U.S. agricultural production covered by government income support payments has declined over the span of the last two 5-year farm acts. Consequently, nongovernmental supply and demand factors (market forces) are becoming more important in influencing farmers' production decisions. This report illustrates how agricultural supply has moved toward greater reliance on market forces (market orientation) by examining the declining role of government commodity programs in production decisions for corn, wheat, rice, and upland cotton. Payment coverage ratios, which measure the percentage of expected production covered by deficiency payments (income support payments made by the Federal Government to producers of certain agricultural commodities), have decreased. Thus, the role of government commodity programs in influencing farmers' production decisions at both the individual farm and national (aggregate) levels has declined. As a result, the share of US. cropland on which planting decisions are made based on market signals has increased, a trend toward market orientation that began with the 1985 farm act and continued with 1990 farm legislation.

  • Multi-Cropping Practices: Recent Trends in Double-Cropping

    EIB-125, May 27, 2014

    Double-cropping (about 2 percent of total cropland) intensifies production without expanding cropland acres. Use of double-cropping varies by crop, region, and climate, and responds year-to-year to changes in commodity prices and weather.

  • 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.

  • NAFTA at 15: Building on Free Trade

    WRS-09-03, March 31, 2009

    Implementation of the agricultural provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has drawn to a close. In 2008, the last of NAFTA's transitional restrictions governing U.S.-Mexico and Canada-Mexico agricultural trade were 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.

  • Nontraditional Exporters Increase Role In Wheat Market

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2003

    Though the volume of world wheat trade has changed little in the past 15 years, shares of trade volume in exporting countries have changed quite a bit. The U.S. remains the largest exporter, but U.S. farmers are increasingly producing other crops, like corn and soybeans, so the U.S. share of the wheat market has fallen from 40 percent in the 1970s to 23 percent (forecast) for 2002/03. This shift in U.S. agricultural production, combined with rising prices caused by drought in three of the largest exporters—U.S., Australia, and Canada—has created opportunities for “nontraditional” wheat exporters.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: August 2017

    OCS-17H, August 14, 2017

    Looming wave of soybean supplies may propel an export surge.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: July 2017

    OCS-17g, July 14, 2017

    The July 2017 Oil Crops Outlook analyzes the major changes and events in the world market for oilseeds and oilseed products.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: November 2015

    OCS-15K, November 13, 2015

    Abundant U.S. soybean stocks seen for 2015/16.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: September 2017

    OCS-17i, September 14, 2017

    Modestly higher soybean yields offset a reduced stocks carryover.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: April 2013

    OCS-13D, April 12, 2013

    Prices ease after USDA reports larger than expected soybean stocks.