Publications

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  • Research Raises Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Amber Waves, May 06, 2013

    Agricultural research has been a driver of higher productivity in Sub-Saharan African agriculture. But despite making gradual gains since the 1980s, productivity growth in the region remains well below that of other developing countries.

  • Resources, Policies, and Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa

    ERR-145, February 20, 2013

    Is weak agricultural growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) due to poor natural resources? This study finds that other factors--economic, technological, and political--underlie agricultural productivity gains experienced by some SSA countries.

  • 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.

  • Solving the Commodity Markets’ Non-Convergence Puzzle

    Amber Waves, August 14, 2013

    From 2005 to 2010, expiring corn, soybeans, and wheat futures contracts routinely settled at prices significantly higher than their cash market counterparts. Findings show that the observed non-convergence was an unintended consequence of market design rather than speculative trading.

  • Structural and Financial Characteristics of U.S. Farms: 2001 Family Farm Report

    AIB-768, May 25, 2001

    Family farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, ranging from very small retirement and residential farms to establishments with sales in the millions of dollars. The farm typology developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS) categorizes farms into groups based primarily on occupation of the operator and sales class of the farm. The typology groups reflect operators' expectations from farming, position in the life cycle, and dependence on agriculture. The groups differ in their importance to the farm sector, product specialization, program participation, and dependence on farm income. These (and other) differences are discussed in this report.

  • Structure and Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2014 Edition

    EIB-132, December 22, 2014

    Most U.S. farms-97 percent in 2011-are family operations. Small family farms make up 90 percent of the count, though midsize and large-scale family farms produce 60 percent of value of production, per ERS's latest Family Farm Report.

  • Study Finds Crop Insurance Has Small Effect on Environmental Quality

    Amber Waves, September 05, 2017

    Crop insurance can help protect farmers from large losses resulting from crop failure or unusually large drops in crop prices. Subsidized crop insurance makes crop production less risky and more profitable. Recent ERS research suggests that crop insurance has small effects on environmental quality in the Corn Belt region.

  • Sugar Backgrounder

    SSSM-249-01, July 17, 2007

    This report on the U.S. sugar sector places into context the challenges facing sugar producers, users, and policymakers in the United States, including description and analysis of farm-level production of U.S. sugar crops, cane and beet sugar processing and refining industries, imports and exports of sugar, sugar consumption, and U.S. sugar policy issues likely to be important in the 2007 Farm Bill.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: August 2011

    SSSM-276, August 16, 2011

    The FY 2012 TRQ for raw cane sugar is set at 1,231,497 short tons, raw value (STRV), or 1,117,195 metric tons, raw value (MTRV), the minimum to which the United States is committed under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: February 2011

    SSSM-270, May 08, 2012

    The two primary determinants of U.S. sugar supply and use over the long-term projection period are the sugar and energy provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Act) and reliance on sugar imports from Mexico to maintain a balance in the U.S. sugar market.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: February 2012

    SSSM-282, February 14, 2012

    The Comite Nacional Para El Desarrollo Sustentable de la Cana de Azucar (CNDSCA) in Mexico recently published revised supply and use data for 2010/11 and the Secretariat of the Economy (Economia) released full marketing year data for sugar exports and imports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revised its Mexico supply and balance estimates as a consequence.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2006

    SSSM-245, January 31, 2006

    The European Union's (EU-25) sugar program has been scheduled for reform every five years for the last 40 years. However, its success in making sugar one of the most profitable crops in many EU countries has succeeded in delaying reform proposals until recently.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2008

    SSSM-251, January 29, 2008

    USDA requires accurate, unbiased sugar production forecasts for making the Department's monthly market forecast used to mange the domestic sugar program. Sugar production forecasts from sugar beet and sugarcane processors are compiled by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for publication in the World Agricultural Outlook Board's World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for sugar.

  • 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.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: January 2012

    SSSM-281, January 18, 2012

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects 2011/12 sugar production in Mexico at 5.000 million metric tons (mt), a decrease of 330,000 mt from last month's projection. The forecast is based on lower than expected harvest progress through January 7, 2012 and consequent implications for the rest of the harvest cycle. The USDA lowered its forecast of Mexican sugar imports from 449,000 mt to 310,000 mt. The decrease is attributable to a lower import pace-to-date from the two tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) opened earlier in the year by Mexico and scheduled to close by the end of January. Lower estandar sugar prices in Mexico contributed to the lower than expected fill level. The USDA did not change its forecast of sugar deliveries or ending stock levels. The USDA lowered its forecast of Mexico sugar exports by 469,000 mt to 892,000 mt in order to balance sugar use with the sugar supply reductions.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: June 2007

    SSSM-249, June 04, 2007

    Rising ethanol demand in global markets is driving the growth of Brazil's sugar/ethanol complex with new investments in infrastructure and technology. The recent rise in crude oil prices, paired with a global effort for renewable energy development and a growing domestic demand for ethanol have been the key factors driving the recent expansion of Brazil's sugar and ethanol industries.

  • 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: 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.