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  • China International Agriculture and Trade Situation and Outlook 1997

    WRS-973, June 02, 1997

    International Agriculture and Trade Reports are published five times yearly by the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Industrial Uses of Agricultural Materials Situation and Outlook Report (7)

    IUS-7, July 01, 1997

    An estimated $110 billion worth of agricultural and forestry products were used as raw materials in the manufacture of industrial (nonfood, nonfeed) products in 1992. Wood and paper products accounted for $96 billion, more than 87 percent of the total. Other fibrous materials, animal products, natural rubber, and vegetable oils were among the other agricultural materials used in the manufacture of nonfood items. Markets are growing for citric and lactic acids, two organic chemicals usually derived from starch and sugar feedstocks. Soybean meal is being used to make adhesives and composites. Soybean oil is finding its way into plastics, inks, and solvents. Special articles examine two specialty oilseeds-crambe production and processing in North Dakota and lesquerella production in the Southwestern United States.

  • Change in U.S. Livestock Production, 1969-92

    AER-754, July 01, 1997

    This report examines geographic changes in U.S. livestock production during 1969-92 from the standpoint of industry concentration and structure. Farm numbers declined 30 percent from 1969 to 1992, but hog and dairy operations were down 70 percent, farms producing eggs dropped 85 percent, and broiler operations declined 35 percent. Operations feeding cattle declined 40 percent from 1978 to 1992. Despite fewer farms, production was generally stable for most commodities with changes that reflected shifts in consumer demand for livestock products. With fewer farms producing more product, structural change in the production of most major livestock commodities was substantial. However, the magnitude and geography of change varied by commodity.

  • Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 1996-97

    AH-712, July 01, 1997

    This report identifies trends in land, water, and commercial input use, reports on the condition of natural resources used in the agricultural sector, and describes and assesses public policies that affect conservation and environmental quality in agriculture. Combining data and information, this report examines the complex connections among farming practices, conservation, and the environment, which are increasingly important components in U.S. agriculture and farm policy. The report also examines the economic factors that affect resource use and, when data permit, estimates the costs and benefits (to farmers, consumers, and the government) of meeting conservation and environmental goals. The report takes stock of how natural resources (land and water) and commercial inputs (energy, nutrients, pesticides, and machinery) are used in the agricultural sector; shows how they contribute to environmental quality; and links use and quality to technological change, production practices, and farm programs.

  • Estimated Annual Costs of Campylobacter-Associated Guillain-Barre Syndrome

    AER-756, July 01, 1997

    Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune reaction that can cause acute neuro-muscular paralysis. Of an estimated 2,628 to 9,575 new U.S. cases with GBS annually, 526 to 3,830 are triggered by infection with Campylobacter, the most frequently isolated cause of foodborne diarrhea. Estimated total annual costs of Campylobacter-associated GBS of $0.2 to $1.8 billion plus previously estimated costs of campylobacteriosis ($1.3 to $6.2 billion) add to total annual costs from Campylobacter of $1.5 to $8.0 billion (1995 dollars). Assuming 55-70 percent of costs are attributable to foodborne sources, costs of campylobacteriosis from food sources ($0.7 to $4.3 billion) and costs of associated GBS ($0.1 to $1.3 billion) combined equal total annual costs of $0.8 to $5.6 billion from foodborne Campylobacter. Reducing Campylobacter in food could prevent up to $5.6 billion in costs annually.

  • Economic Assessment of Food Safety Regulations: The New Approach to Meat and Poultry Inspection

    AER-755, July 01, 1997

    USDA is now requiring all Federally inspected meat and poultry processing and slaughter plants to implement a new system called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) to reduce potentially harmful microbial pathogens in the food supply. This report finds that the benefits of the new regulations, which are the medical costs and productivity losses that are prevented when foodborne illnesses are averted, will likely exceed the costs, which include spending by firms on sanitation, temperature control, planning and training, and testing. Other, nonregulatory approaches can also improve food safety, such as providing market incentives for pathogen reduction, irradiation, and education and labeling to promote safe food handling and thorough cooking.

  • Vertical Coordination and Consumer Welfare: The Case of the Pork Industry

    AER-753, August 01, 1997

    Net benefits to consumers are not a certainty, but the "industrialization" of the U.S. pork industry could lead to lower prices and larger supplies of higher quality pork products because of lower onfarm production costs, more efficient processing, and greater control over hog quality characteristics.

  • Structure of Dairy Markets: Past, Present, Future

    AER-757, September 01, 1997

    The U.S. dairy industry, many segments of which supported dairy policy changes in the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act, is much different than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. This report provides a historical overview of the industry, more detailed examinations of the fluid milk market and selected manufactured dairy product markets, a discussion of future prospects and trends in the industry, and some thoughts on the implications of those prospects and trends for dairy farmers and their organizations, processors, dairy product manufacturers, and retailers.

  • Rural Economic Development: What Makes Rural Communities Grow?

    AIB-737, October 01, 1997

    Factors related to local and regional economic growth are attractiveness to retirees, right-to-work laws, excellent high school completion rates, good public education expenditures, and access to transportation networks. These were associated with improved county earnings in 1979-89, according to a multiple regression analysis of rural counties. Factors associated with poor earnings growth included higher wage levels, concentrations of transfer-payment recipiency, and concentrations of small independent businesses in the goods-producing sector.

  • Commodity Program Provisions Under the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977

    AER-389, October 01, 1997

    Commodity program provisions of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 are summarized. Price support, loan level, disaster payment, program acreage, and other provisions of the legislation are discussed for wheat and feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sugar, dairy products, and wool and mohair. Miscellaneous provisions and those applying to grain reserves and to the beekeeper indemnity program are also summarized.


    GFA-9, November 24, 1997

    The world's resources are adequate to produce enough food for its population for at least the next few decades. The available food, however, is not distributed evenly. In 66 low-income countries, food availability (production plus commercial imports) is projected to increase more slowly than the population growth during the next decade, leading to a decline in per capita consumption. To stabilize consumption at recently achieved levels (average of 1994-96), the projected additional food required is 8.5 million tons in 1997, increasing to 18 million tons by 2007. Many low-income countries are also unable to meet minimum nutritional requirements of their people, and this nutritional gap--the difference between food availability and nutritional requirement--is projected to grow from 15 million tons in 1997 to 24 million tons by 2007. This report projects food availability for 66 countries during the next decade. Projections are based on long-term trends and policies that are currently in place. The results are also used to project consumption by income group to analyze the severity of nutritional problems within the countries. The report includes an overview section which provides a global and regional outlook of food security. Four research papers discuss topics related to food security.

  • Evaluation of Fluid Milk and Cheese Advertising, 1984-96

    TB-1860, December 01, 1997

    Generic advertising raised fluid milk sales an estimated 1.4 billion pounds, or 5.9 percent, during September 1995-August 1996. Assessments of 15 and 20 cents per hundredweight of milk sold commercially by producers and processors, respectively, provided funds for such advertising, as well as for research and nutrition education for fluid milk and milk products.

  • Do the Poor Pay More for Food? Item Selection and Price Differences Affect Low-Income Household Food Costs

    AER-759, December 01, 1997

    Low-income households may face higher food prices for three reasons: (1) on average, low-income households may spend less in supermarkets--which typically offer the lowest prices and greatest range of brands, package sizes, and quality choices; (2) low-income households are less likely to live in suburban locations where food prices are typically lower; and (3) supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods may charge higher prices than those in nearby higher income neighborhoods. Despite the prevailing higher prices, surveys of household food expenditures show that low-income households typically spend less than other households, on a per unit basis, for the foods they buy. Low-income households may realize lower costs by selecting more economical foods and lower quality items. In areas where food choices are limited due to the kinds and locations of foodstores, households may have sharply higher food costs.

  • Europe International Agriculture and Trade Situation and Outlook 1997

    WRS-97-5, December 01, 1997

    The EU's system of tariff-rate quotas (TRQs)1 that are notified under the Uruguay Round will have only a limited impact on the level of EU imports. EU agricultural imports under its Uruguay Round TRQs are estimated to increase almost $1 billion by 2000/01, the final year of URAA implementation, representing about 2 percent of current agricultural imports. From this standpoint, new EU market access opportunities under the Uruguay Round are limited. In terms of their effects on EU import source, countries of Central and Eastern Europe that concluded Europe Agreements with the EU (CEE-10)2 stand to gain a large share of the new imports created under the TRQs. The CEE- 10 benefit from lower tariffs for most products, while the EU counts imports under the Europe Agreements against the utilization of its Uruguay Round TRQs. The CEE-10 are expected to take greatest advantage of new EU market access for pork and butter, whereas the benefits of new EU market access will likely be spread among a greater number of exporting countries for poultry, cheese, egg products, and skimmed milk powder. U.S. exporters are most likely to be competitive in the EU's TRQs for eggs, egg products, some pork loins, and some cheeses.

  • U.S. Agricultural Growth and Productivity: An Economywide Perspective

    AER-758, January 01, 1998

    Growth of U.S. agriculture is dependent on increases in productivity, three-fourths of which is accounted for by public investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) and infrastructure, according to this research. Productivity growth in U.S. agriculture benefits consumers by putting downward pressure on real primary and processed food prices. Moreover, maintaining export growth in international markets relies on relative productivity growth against major competitors. Public investments in agricultural R&D have stagnated since the mid-1970's, raising questions about sustained productivity growth in U.S. agriculture.

  • Agricultural Productivity in the United States

    AIB-740, January 01, 1998

    Increased productivity is a key to a healthy and thriving economy. Consequently, the trend in productivity, economywide, is one of the most closely watched of our common economic performance indicators. Agriculture, in particular, has been a very successful sector of the U.S. economy in terms of productivity growth. The U.S. farm sector has provided an abundance of output while using inputs efficiently. Agricultural productivity growth has been an important source of U.S. economic growth throughout the century, but the years since 1940 have seen an even faster growth in agricultural productivity. The annual average increase in productivity from 1948 to 1994 was 1.94 percent. This reflects an annual growth in output of 1.88 percent per year and an actual decline in agricultural inputs of 0.06 percent per year. This report describes changes in U.S. agricultural productivity, and its output and input components, for 1948-94. The report also discusses factors that have affected productivity trends and provides detailed, technical information about the USDA system for calculating productivity.

  • Agriculture and European Union Enlargement

    TB-1865, February 01, 1998

    This report documents the modeling framework (European Simulation Model, ESIM) used to analyze the 1992 CAP reform and discusses possible effects of EU enlargement. Potential accession of a number of eastern and central European countries into the European Union (EU) seems destined to lead to further reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The financial costs of absorbing these countries may be extreme.

  • USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2007

    WAOB-981, February 02, 1998

    This report provides long-run baseline projections for the agricultural sector through 2007. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices. The baseline assumes no shocks and is based on specific assumptions regarding macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments. The projections assume that current agricultural law of the 1996 Farm Act remains in effect throughout the baseline. Also, the baseline assumes that the Southeast Asian currency devaluations and related economic slowdowns are confined to that region, affecting growth through 2000, with policy reforms and international financial support leading to a recovery of economic growth in subsequent years. Despite the near-term slowdown in Southeast Asian economies, generally favorable global economic growth is projected in the baseline which, combined with liberalized trade associated with both the GATT agreement and unilateral policy reforms, supports strong growth in global trade and U.S. agricultural exports. Greater market orientation in the domestic agricultural sector under the 1996 Farm Act puts U.S. farmers in a favorable position for competing in the global marketplace. A tightening of the balance between productive capacity and projected demands results in rising nominal market prices, increasing farm income, and stability in the financial condition of the agricultural sector. Management of risk will be important for farmers, reflecting the reduced role of the Government in the sector under the 1996 Farm Act. Consumer food prices are projected to continue a long term trend of rising less than the general inflation rate. The baseline projections presented are one representative scenario for the agricultural sector for the next decade. As such, the baseline provides a point of departure for discussion of alternative farm sector outcomes that could result under different assumptions. The projections in this report were prepared in October through December 1997, reflecting a composite of model results and judgmental analysis.

  • U.S. Foreign Direct Investment in the Western Hemisphere Processed Food Industry

    AER-760, March 01, 1998

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) has become the leading means for U.S. processed food companies to participate in international markets. Affiliates of U.S.-owned food processing companies had $30 billion in sales throughout the Western Hemisphere in 1995, nearly 4 times the level of processed food exports. This report puts U.S. foreign direct investment and trade in processed foods to the region into global perspective, and finds evidence that, in the aggregate for the 1990's, trade and FDI are complementary--not competitive--means of accessing international food markets. Incomes have grown sufficiently in most countries to support growth in affiliate sales and U.S. exports, indicating a strong demand for a wide variety of processed foods.

  • Profile of Hired Farmworkers, 1996 Annual Averages

    AER-762, April 01, 1998

    Examines demographic and employment characteristics of the 906,000 persons 15 years of age and older who did hired farmwork in 1996. Approximately 906,000 persons 15 years of age and older were employed as hired farmworkers each week in 1996. An additional 72,000 persons were hired as farmworkers each week as a secondary job. Hired farmworkers were more likely than all U.S. wage and salary workers to be male, Hispanic, younger, less educated, never married, and non-U.S. citizens.