Publications

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  • Alternative Beef Production Systems: Issues and Implications

    LDPM-21801, April 04, 2013

    U.S. beef markets are undergoing rapid change as alternative production systems evolve in response to consumer demands and compete with conventional grain-fed beef production.

  • Alternative Policies To Promote Anaerobic Digesters Produce Positive Net Benefits

    Amber Waves, December 03, 2012

    Rising fuel prices and the public’s desire for new sources of renewable energy and reduced carbon emissions have led to government policies that support the adoption of anaerobic digesters by livestock producers. ERS research finds that the design of such policies can affect farmer adoption rates of digesters, farm incomes, and environmental benefits from use of the technology.

  • Alternative Policies to Agricultural Export Taxes That Are Less Market Distorting

    ERR-187, June 09, 2015

    ERS examines effects of alternative policies to conventional export taxes on countries' domestic and trade markets for agricultural products -- policies that are less market distorting and less welfare diminishing.

  • Alternatives to a State-Based ACRE Program: Expected Payments Under a National, Crop District, or County Base

    ERR-126, September 15, 2011

    The Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program bases commodity support on aggregate State-level and individual farm-level revenue variability. ERS examines expected effects if the trigger were changed to a national, Crop Reporting District, or county level.

  • Although Small, Markets Have Been Expanding for GE Crops With Traits That Increase Nutrient Content or Improve Taste

    Amber Waves, August 07, 2017

    Genetically engineered (GE) crops are plants with genetic material that has been altered to achieve one or more desirable features. Although small, markets have been recently expanding for GE crops with traits that increase nutrient content or improve the taste of certain foods for consumers.

  • Amber Waves in the Fertile Crescent: The Changing U.S. Role in Agricultural Markets in the Middle East and North Africa

    Amber Waves, September 08, 2015

    The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region accounts for a large and growing portion of the world’s import demand for several important agricultural commodities. This demand, driven by growing populations and rising incomes, has attracted more international suppliers into the MENA market, raising new challenges for U.S. producers in this region.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms, 2007 Edition

    EIB-26, June 01, 2007

    American farms encompass a wide range of sizes, ownership structures, and business types, but most farms are still family farms. Family farms account for 98 percent of farms and 85 percent of production. Although most farms are small and own most of the farmland, production has shifted to very large farms. Farms with sales of $1 million or more make up less than 2 percent of all farms, but they account for 48 percent of farm product sales. Most of these million-dollar farms are family farms. Because small-farm households rely on off-farm work for most of their income, general economic policies, such as tax or economic development policy, can be as important to them as traditional farm policy.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms, 2010 Edition

    EIB-67, July 26, 2010

    ERS provides comprehensive information including number and size of U.S. farms, characteristics of operators, finances of farm businesses and households, and geographic distribution of farms.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms, 2016 Edition

    EIB-164, December 06, 2016

    Family farms comprise 99 percent of U.S. farms, accounting for 89 percent of production. Small farms make up 90 percent of farms, operating nearly half of farmland. Still, large family farms accounted for 42 percent of production in 2015.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms: 2014 Edition

    EIB-133, December 22, 2014

    Farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-seven percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 85 percent of farm production. Small farms make up 90 percent of the farm count and operate half of the Nation's farmland. Most farm production, however, occurs on midsize and large-scale family farms.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms: 2015 Edition

    EIB-146, December 08, 2015

    Most U.S. farms (99 percent) are family operations. Small family farms make up 90 percent of the U.S. farm count but produce 22 percent of farm output. Midsize and large-scale farms (9 percent of farms) produce 68 percent of farm output.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms: Assorted Sizes, Types, and Situations

    AIB-769, May 25, 2001

    This report describes a farm typology developed by the Economic Research Service (ERS), which categorizes farms into more homogeneous groups than classifications based on sales volume alone, producing a more effective policy development tool. The typology is used to describe U.S. farm structure.

  • America's Diverse Family Farms: Structure and Finances

    EIB-13, May 15, 2006

    American farms vary widely in size and other characteristics, but farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-eight percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 86 percent of farm production. Very small farms are growing in number, and small family farms continue to own most farmland. But production is shifting toward very large family farms. Because small-farm households receive most of their income from off-farm work, general economic policies-such as tax policy or economic development policy-can be as important to them as traditional farm policy.

  • America's Eating Habits: Changes and Consequences

    AIB-750, May 01, 1999

    Individual chapters in this book provide different perspectives on the nutrition problem in the United States: what are the economic costs associated with unhealthy eating patterns; how do dietary patterns compare with dietary recommendations; how do national income and prices, advertising, health claims, and trends in eating away from home affect nutrient intake; how much do people know about nutrition and how does nutrition knowledge and attitudes affect intake of fats and cholesterol; how do different government programs and regulations influence food expenditures and consumption; what are some public and private efforts to improve healthy eating; and what are potential impacts of healthier eating on domestic agriculture.

  • American Community Survey Enhances Rural Research

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2007

    The new American Community Survey, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau, will produce data on age, race, education, income, migration, commuting, housing, and other socioeconomic characteristics with much greater frequency than the decennial census. Researchers and policymakers interested in learning more about nonmetro (rural) areas will benefit from the ACS.

  • Americans Are More Realistic About the Quality of Their Diets

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2010

    Presumably, Americans are more realistic today about their diet quality because they have greater knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet. In 2005-06, 79 percent of U.S. adults had heard of the Food Guide Pyramid, up from 33 percent in 1994, and 51 percent knew about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, up from 30 percent in 1994.

  • Americans Can Satisfy Dietary Guidelines for Vegetables and Fruit for Under $2.50 Per Day

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    In 2008, Americans on a 2,000-calorie diet could purchase the Dietary Guidelines-recommended quantity and variety of both fruit and vegetables for between $2.00 and $2.50 per day, or roughly 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.

  • Americans Have Growing Appetites for Imported Foods

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2005

    In fiscal year 2005, the U.S. may realize a agricultural trade deficit for the first time since 1958, the result of rapidly rising food imports. One reason for rising imports is higher import prices brought on by the falling value of the dollar. The surge in imports is also due to rising consumer demand for prepared and processed foods.

  • Americans More Realistic About Their Diet Quality

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    Research has suggested that Americans view their diets too optimistically, underestimating the amount of calories in their diets, for example, or overestimating the nutritional value. Recent work by ERS suggests that, in recent years, such "optimistic bias" may be on the wane.

  • Americans Not Drinking Milk as Often as Their Parents Did

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2013

    Since 1970, per capita consumption of fluid milk in the U.S. has fallen from almost 1 cup (8 fl. oz.) to 0.6 cups per day. Contributing to the trend are differences in the eating and drinking habits of newer and older generations.