Publications

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  • Oil Crops Outlook: July 2012

    OCS-12G, July 12, 2012

    ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: July 2013

    OCS-13G, July 15, 2013

    Soybean acreage expansion, better yields are seen swelling 2013/14 stocks.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: June 2013

    OCS-13F, June 14, 2013

    Strong soybean meal prices buoy U.S. processors.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: March 2013

    OCS-13C, March 12, 2013

    Moderating soybean meal and oil prices herald declining production.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: May 2013

    OCS-13E, May 14, 2013

    Oilseed Production Gains for 2013/14 Could Outpace Global Consumption.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: October 2012

    OCS-12J, October 12, 2012

    ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: September 2012

    OCS-12I, September 13, 2012

    ERS--working closely with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and other USDA agencies--conducts market analysis and provides short- and long-term projections of U.S. and world agricultural production, consumption, and trade.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    The legislated payment rates are commodity dependent, averaging about $1 per acre for oats and close to $100 per acre for rice. Payments are concentrated in the major producing areas.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    Geographic distribution of government payments as a proportion of gross cash income from farming. A substantial proportion of government payments to farmers is based on historical production of specific commodities, such as corn, oilseeds, wheat, rice, and cotton.

  • Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2013

    AES-79, August 29, 2013

    U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal 2014 are forecast down from the previous year's record-high. Exports are expected to fall $5 billion to $135 billion. Imports in fiscal 2014 are expected reach a record $113 billion.

  • Peanut Backgrounder

    OCS-05I01, October 26, 2005

    Like producers of other agricultural commodities, U.S. peanut growers in recent years have confronted pressures from market forces and the impacts of policy developments, both domestic and international. Most notably, peanut policy was transformed in 2002 by the elimination of a decades-old marketing quota system. This policy step represented a fundamental change that was accompanied by substantial adjustments in the peanut sector. While demand growth has since been robust, greater supplies and lower prices are raising government expenditures on the peanut program. Federal budget pressures and the implications of trade agreements are important current issues. This report is the first of a series of background reports on key U.S. commodities, which will provide a concise overview of important developments in major sectors of the agricultural economy.

  • Possible Economic Consequences of Reverting to Permanent Legislation or Eliminating Price and Income Supports

    AER-526, January 01, 1985

    If the agricultural legislation expiring in 1985 is not replaced, farm price and income supports will revert from the programs provided for in the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 and subsequent legislation to the programs provided for in the permanent support statutes. Reverting to the permanent support programs, dating back in some cases to the 1930s, would raise price and income support levels significantly and greatly reduce the role of market forces in determining farm returns. Conversely, if all price and income supports were eliminated in 1985, Government intervention in the market would end and supply and demand forces would determine farm returns. Adopting either of these two outerbound policy alternatives would have significant and far-reaching impacts on farm operations, the agribusiness sector, the general economy, and ultimately the world market for farm products.

  • Potential Farm-Level Effects of Eliminating Direct Payments

    EIB-103, November 16, 2012

    A number of Farm Act proposals call for ending the direct payment program. ERS analysis suggests that for the majority of farms receiving direct payments, this would not result in substantial decline in financial well-being.

  • Profit Margin Increases With Farm Size

    Amber Waves, February 02, 2015

    Given the broad USDA definition of a farm, most U.S. farms are not profitable as ongoing businesses. One commonly used measure of profitability is the farm’s operating profit margin (OPM), the ratio of operating profit to gross farm income.

  • 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.

  • Projecting World Raw Sugar Prices

    SSSM-317-01, January 16, 2015

    World sugar prices have an important effect on the U.S. sugar sector. This report presents a modeling framework for use in projecting world sugar prices, with detailed treatment of the role of Brazil in the world sugar and ethanol sectors.

  • Provisions of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996

    AIB-729, September 01, 1996

    This report provides an item-by-item description and explanation of the new Act, which will guide agricultural programs from 1996-2000. Signed into law in April, the act makes significant changes in long-standing U.S. agricultural policies. Major changes in U.S. commodity programs are included in the Act's Title I, known as the Agricultural Market Transition Act.

  • Provisions of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990

    AIB-624, June 03, 1991

    The Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-624) establishes a comprehensive framework within which the Secretary of Agriculture will administer agricultural and food programs from 1991 to 1995. This report describes provisions of the 1990 Act as amended by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-508). Provisions for all major commodity programs, such as income and price support, are reported, as well as general commodity provisions, trade, conservation, research, food stamps, fruit and vegetable marketing, organic food standards, grain quality, credit, rural development, forestry, crop insurance and disaster assistance, and global climate change provisions.

  • Relaxing Fruit and Vegetable Planting Restrictions

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    A recent World Trade Organization challenge to U.S. commodity programs has created pressure to eliminate fruit and vegetable planting restrictions on farms that plant program crops. If planting restrictions were relaxed, overall market effects would likely be limited, with the greatest effects in California, the Southeast and the upper Midwest. Some producers with base acreage would likely benefit while others without base acres may find that production of fruit and vegetables would be less profitable than production of program crops.

  • 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.