Publications

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  • Regulating Ammonia Emissions From Hog Farms Would Raise Costs

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2006

    A recent ERS study considers the economic and environmental implications of a hypothetical ammonia emissions restriction for the U.S. hog industry. The study finds that the effects of the policy on costs and emissions would vary by region and by the type of manure storage system used.

  • Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Sugarbeet Farms

    SB-974-8, November 03, 2004

    Sugarbeet production and costs varied considerably across farms and regions in the United States on both a per-acre and a per-ton basis, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey of farmers in 2000. This report summarizes production and financial information related to the 2000 sugarbeet crop.

  • Beef and Pork Values and Price Spreads Explained

    LDPM-11801, May 10, 2004

    Livestock and meat prices vary more in the short run than costs of production, processing, and marketing. ERS research shows that month-to-month changes in livestock and meat prices are driven by dynamic adjustment. It takes time for prices to adjust, and they tend to adjust more rapidly when they are increasing than when they are decreasing. When rates depend on direction, price adjustment is called asymmetric. The slow and asymmetric adjustment of prices does not appear to work against livestock producers. This report examines these price transmission issues and also explains price spread calculations and analyzes the relationship between marketing costs and livestock prices in the long run.

  • Beyond Environmental Compliance: Stewardship as Good Business

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2004

    Agricultural producers can benefit economically by voluntarily adopting environmentally beneficial practices. An efficient farm would minimize unnecessary applications of pesticides and fertilizer, enhancing the bottom line as well as minimizing environmental impacts. But additional incentives may exist for farms to invest in environmental management.

  • USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2013

    WAOB-041, February 09, 2004

    This report provides long-run (10-year) baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2013. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Manure Management for Water Quality: Costs to Animal Feeding Operations of Applying Manure Nutrients to Land

    AER-824, June 19, 2003

    Nutrients from livestock and poultry manure are key sources of water pollution. This report's farm-level analysis examines onfarm technical choice and producer costs across major U.S. production areas. A regional analysis focuses on off-farm competition for land to spread surplus manure, using the Chesapeake Bay region as a case study. Finally, a sectorwide analysis addresses potential long-term structural adjustments at the national level and ultimate costs to consumers and producers.

  • USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2012

    WAOB-031, February 10, 2003

    This report provides long-run (10-year) baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2012. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Managing Manure: New Clean Water Act Regulations Create Imperative for Livestock Producers

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2003

    Ever-growing numbers of livestock and poultry per farm and per acre have increased the risk of water pollution, with manure being disposed of in ways not adequately addressed in the original regulations. In 2001, the EPA proposed new regulations that would compel operations with the largest number of animals to manage their manure according to a nutrient management plan.

  • ARMS Data Highlight Trends in Cropping Practices

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2003

    USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Survey provides a new source of information about production and conservation practices in major field crop producing States. Data from 1996 to 2000 show significant trends beginning to emerge that may have implications for environmental quality.

  • U.S.-Mexico Broiler Trade: A Bird's Eye View

    LDPM-102-01, December 06, 2002

    This study examines sanitary requirements and regulations currently governing the U.S.-Mexico broiler trade. A sensitivity analysis, using a cost-minimization mathematical programming model, detects minimal economic impact on the U.S. broiler market if Mexico is allowed to ship fresh, chilled, and frozen poultry to the United States.

  • World Events Frame Outlook for Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry

    LDPM-9601, June 25, 2002

    This report examines changes in the livestock, dairy, and poultry industry in 2001 and provides initial assessments of 2002 based on forecasts from the June 2002 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. In 2001, U.S. red meat and poultry production stabilized as lower beef production was partially offset by higher pork and poultry production. In 2002, slightly larger projected growth in meat production (2 percent) and lower exports are expected to result in lower wholesale prices for cattle, hogs, and poultry. Recovery in milk per cow is expected to override declining milk cow numbers and boost 2002 milk production by 2 to 3 percent.

  • USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2011

    WAOB-021, February 21, 2002

    This report provides long-run (10-year) baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2011. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Livestock Sectors in the Economies of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: Transition from Plan to Market and the Road Ahead

    AER-798, January 01, 2002

    The report examines the restructuring of the livestock sectors in five countries: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. All five countries experienced a decline in both animal inventories and meat output during the early years of transition away from a centrally planned economy. The study identifies potential trade and investment opportunities, but emphasizes that this potential depends on the successful implementation of institutional and policy reforms.

  • The New Agricultural Trade Negotiations: Background and Issues for the U.S. Beef Sector

    LDPM-8901, December 07, 2001

    New negotiations on trade in agriculture were recently initiated by the World Trade Organization. The negotiations focus on extending the gains to world trade achieved in the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), which limited the use of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, export subsidies, and the type and level of spending for domestic support programs. For the beef sector, the URAA further increased U.S. and world beef trade. While export subsidies and non-tariff barriers may continue to limit the market for U.S. beef exports, obtaining additional increases in market access in these negotiations may increase U.S. beef exports.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: 2000 in Review and 2001 Outlook

    LDPM-8701, October 03, 2001

    This report examines changes in the livestock industry in 2000 and provides initial assessments of 2001 based on forecasts from the August 2001 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Strong economic growth in the United States in 2000 boosted the demand for high quality cuts of red meats, thereby increasing wholesale prices of beef, pork and lamb. However, broiler and farm milk prices declined compared with 1999. Poultry output remained strong in 2000 as exports increased by 9 percent. Extreme weather conditions may dampen beef production in 2001. U.S. pork exports should increase by 18 percent in 2001.

  • Confined Animal Production and Manure Nutrients

    AIB-771, June 15, 2001

    Census of agriculture data were used to estimate manure nutrient production and the capacity of cropland and pastureland to assimilate nutrients. Most farms (78 percent for nitrogen and 69 percent for phosphorus) have adequate land on which it is physically feasible to apply the manure produced onfarm at agronomic rates. (The costs of applying manure at these rates have not been assessed). Even so, manure that is produced on operations that cannot fully apply it to their own land at agronomic rates accounts for 60 percent of the Nation's manure nitrogen and 70 percent of the manure phosphorus. In these cases, most counties with farms that produce ""excess"" nutrients have adequate crop acres not associated with animal operations, but within the county, on which it is feasible to spread the manure at agronomic rates. However, barriers to moving manure to other farms need to be studied. About 20 percent of the Nation's onfarm excess manure nitrogen is produced in counties that have insufficient cropland for its application at agronomic rates (23 percent for phosphorus). For areas without adequate land, alternatives to local land application--such as energy production--will need to be developed.

  • Antimicrobial Drug Use and Veterinary Costs in U.S. Livestock Production

    AIB-766, May 01, 2001

    Feeding low levels of antimicrobial drugs to livestock affects food safety, human health, and livestock production costs and returns. This report examines the economics of antimicrobial resistance in livestock and the economic implications of banning the use of growth-enhancing antimicrobial drugs in livestock production.

  • Asymmetric Information in the Market for Yield and Revenue Insurance

    TB-1892, April 24, 2001

    This report analyzes farmers' choice of crop insurance contracts and tests for the presence of asymmetric information in the market for multiple yield and revenue insurance products. Farmers' risk characteristics, their level of income, and the cost of insurance significantly affect their choices of yield and revenue insurance products as well as their selections of alternative coverage levels. Empirical analysis indicates that, in the presence of asymmetric information, high-risk farmers are more likely to select revenue insurance contracts and higher coverage levels. The results also indicate that premium rates do not accurately reflect the likelihood of losses, implying informational asymmetrics in the crop insurance market.

  • USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2010

    WAOB-011, February 22, 2001

    This report provides long-run (10-year) baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2010. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • Production Practices for Major Crops in U.S. Agriculture, 1990-97

    SB-969, September 20, 2000

    This report presents information on nutrient and pest management practices, crop residue management, and other general crop management practices in use on U.S. farms. The public has expressed concerns about the possible undesirable effects of contemporary agricultural practices on human health and natural resources. Partly as a response to these concerns, the U.S. Department of Agriculture began collecting information from farmers on their agricultural production practices in 1964. In 1990, through the President's Water Quality Initiative, the USDA expanded its data collection efforts. The information presented in this report is largely for the 1990's. Although the information cannot contribute to the science underlying the debate about the effects of agriculture on human health and environmental risk, it can provide information on the use of relevant inputs and production practices that are likely to abate, or to exacerbate, undesirable effects.