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  • Brazil's Ethanol Industry: Looking Forward

    BIO-02, June 27, 2011

    This report profiles and analyzes Brazil's ethanol industry, providing information on the policy environment that enabled the development of feedstock and processing sectors, and discusses the various opportunities and challenges to face the industry over the next decade.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: June 2011

    SSSM-274, June 14, 2011

    On May 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the World Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD) for centrifugal sugar. World exports are projected to increase 3.1 million metric tons raw value (MTRV) to 55.7 million MTRV in 2011/12. Significant export growth is expected in Brazil, Thailand, and India. At the same time, imports are projected to decline by 3.05 million MTRV in 2011/12. The USDA projects a 2011/12 world sugar surplus (world production less consumption) of 6.480 million MTRV. This surplus builds on the estimated 2010/11 world sugar surplus of 1.626 million MTRV in 2010/11.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: May 2011

    SSSM-273, May 16, 2011

    The Sugar and Sweetener Team of the Economic Research Service (ERS) makes calendar year estimates of total and per capita sweetener deliveries that are available for food and beverage consumption by U.S. consumers. U.S. sweetener deliveries for 2010 were 131.9 pounds per capita, up slightly from 2009, but down 19.4 pounds from the per capita high of 151.3 pounds in 1999. Per capita sugar consumption in 2010 was 66.0 pounds, its highest level since 1999, while corn sweetener per capita consumption at 64.5 pounds was at its lowest level since 1986. For the first time since 1985, total sugar available for consumption exceeded total corn sweeteners (the sum of high fructose corn syrup, glucose syrup, and dextrose).

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: April 2011

    SSSM-272, April 01, 2011

    LMC International provides estimates of world sugar and high fructose syrup (HFS) costs of production. The data go back to 1979/80 and extend through 2009/10. Field, factory, and administrative costs are detailed for 35 beet producing countries and for 61 cane producing countries. HFS production costs are presented for 18 countries.1 Costs of production for regions within certain important producing countries are presented as well. These countries include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China, Thailand, and South Africa, among others. Articles in Sugar and Sweetener Outlook of the Economic Research Service (ERS) reports have previously described data through 2006/07. This report updates the earlier articles.

  • Classifying and Measuring Agricultural Support: Identifying Differences Between the WTO and OECD Systems

    EIB-74, March 31, 2011

    Measures of countries' support to their farm sectors can be highly contested in trade negotiations. ERS presents a framework for analyzing differences between the two key systems (WTO and OECD) used to measure support levels.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: March 2011

    SSSM-271, March 15, 2011

    Analysis of competitiveness in global sugar/sweetener markets is complicated by the fact that markets are generally characterized by domestic and trade-related policy distortions that make it difficult to discern the underlying competitive position of individual market participants.

  • Few Farms Participate in the Vegetable Planting Pilot Program

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    ERS estimates that 10,000 acres were planted under PTPP in 2009--about 14 percent of the total allowable acres by statute and 2 percent of total processing vegetable acreage in the seven States participating in the program.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2011

    SSSM-269, January 18, 2011

    In the World Agricultural Demand and Supply Estimates (WASDE) released on January 12, 2011, projected U.S. sugar supply for fiscal year (FY) 2011 is decreased 88,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) from last month. Cane sugar production in Florida is reduced 100,000 STRV to 1.6 million STRV, based on processor forecasts. In mid-December, the Florida sugarcane-producing area experienced a severe freeze. According to processor reports, this freeze resulted in widespread damage to existing sugarcane crops awaiting harvest and recently planted sugarcane meant for harvest next year.

  • Agricultural Income and Finance Outlook, 2010 Edition

    AIS-90, December 15, 2010

    Net farm income is forecast at $81.6 billion in 2010, up 31 percent from 2009 and 26 percent higher than the 10-year average of $64.8 billion for 2000 to 2009. Net cash income at $92.5 billion would be a nominal record, 2.3 percent above the prior record attained in 2008. Net value added is expected to increase by almost $20 billion in 2010 to $132.0 billion. Production expenses are forecast to rise moderately, reversing the significant declines seen in 2009. However, nominal total production expenses in 2010 and 2009 still constitute the second- and third-highest totals ever. Farm business equity (assets minus debt) is expected to rise nearly 4 percent, largely due to an expected 3-percent increase in the value of farm business real estate and a 2-percent decline in farm business debt. The farm business sector's debt-to-asset ratio is expected to decline to 11.3 percent and the debt-to-equity ratio is expected to decline to 12.8 percent in 2010, indicating that the farm sector's solvency position remains strong. Average net cash income for farm businesses is expected to increase throughout much of the country in 2010. The expected strong recovery in dairy, hog, and cattle receipts will result in much higher average net cash incomes for farm businesses in the Northern Crescent, Basin and Range, and Prairie Gateway. In the Northern Crescent, where dairy is a prominent commodity, average net cash income for farm businesses is forecast to increase by over 58 percent. Incomes are expected to be almost 50 percent higher in 2010 for farm businesses in the Basin and Range region where cattle are an important commodity, a region that showed the Average farm household income of principal farm operators-from farm and off-farm sources-is forecast to be $83,194 in 2010, up 7.8 percent from 2009. This contrasts with the change for the 2008 to 2009 period, when average farm household income declined by 3.3 percent.

  • Farm Act’s Regional Equity Provision May Entail Conservation Tradeoffs

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    Analysis of data from 2004-06 (when the 2002 Farm Act was in effect) on USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program—the largest program covered by the Regional Equity provision—reveals that the funding shift reduced the number of acres receiving treatment for many resource problems.

  • Simulated ACRE Payments and Risk Reduction Point to Midwest as a Potential Winner

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2010

    ERS simulations of crop revenue variability indicate that for producers choosing to participate in ACRE, expected payments and risk reduction would tend to be highest in the most productive crop regions, which are characterized by consistently high yields and high levels of expected revenue.

  • ACRE Program Payments and Risk Reduction: An Analysis Based on Simulations of Crop Revenue Variability

    ERR-101, September 17, 2010

    ERS analyzes the distribution, by crop and region, of potential farm payments and risk reduction in the revenue-based Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. The report focuses on corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton.

  • Direct Payments Can Influence Farmers’ Production Decisions

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    ERS has identified multiple avenues through which Production Flexibility Contract payments could influence agricultural production, including providing easier access to capital markets, changing farmers’ risk preferences, or affecting land values, labor markets, and/or farmers’ expectations about future payments.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.