Publications

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  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2020

    OCE-111, February 14, 2011

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2020. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Selected Trade Agreements and Implications for U.S. Agriculture

    ERR-115, April 15, 2011

    ERS examines possible impacts of recently implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) where the United States is not a partner, and potential effects of pending U.S. agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

  • Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector

    RCS-11D01, April 21, 2011

    This report examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry has evolved over the past two decades, including a reduction in the number of farms, increased average farm size, and the shifting concentration of rice production away from higher-cost production regions. The authors analyze the economic factors driving these structural changes and explore the implications of those changes for market efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry.

  • Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook: May 2011

    SSSM-273, May 16, 2011

    The Sugar and Sweetener Team of the Economic Research Service (ERS) makes calendar year estimates of total and per capita sweetener deliveries that are available for food and beverage consumption by U.S. consumers. U.S. sweetener deliveries for 2010 were 131.9 pounds per capita, up slightly from 2009, but down 19.4 pounds from the per capita high of 151.3 pounds in 1999. Per capita sugar consumption in 2010 was 66.0 pounds, its highest level since 1999, while corn sweetener per capita consumption at 64.5 pounds was at its lowest level since 1986. For the first time since 1985, total sugar available for consumption exceeded total corn sweeteners (the sum of high fructose corn syrup, glucose syrup, and dextrose).

  • Policy Reform in the Tobacco Industry: Producers Adapt to a Changing Market

    EIB-77, May 26, 2011

    ERS analyzes tobacco producers' adjustments in production, investment, labor requirements, and contracting practices following elimination of tobacco quotas and tobacco price supports.

  • 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.

  • Vegetable Production Concentrated on Very Large Farms

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    Very large commercial farms (with $1 million or more of agricultural sales per year) accounted for about 8 percent of all U.S. specialized vegetable and melon farms during 2005-07.

  • On the Map: California, Florida, and Washington Are Nation's Largest Fruit-Producing States

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    California accounts for about half of U.S. bearing fruit acreage, Florida almost one-fourth, and Washington around one-tenth.

  • Brazil's Cotton Industry: Economic Reform and Development

    CWS-11D01, June 17, 2011

    This report identifies the factors contributing to the cycles in Brazil's cotton production and exports that have made the country both an important market for U.S. cotton exports and now a competitor with U.S. cotton producers since 1990.

  • Brazil's Ethanol Industry: Looking Forward

    BIO-02, June 27, 2011

    This report profiles and analyzes Brazil's ethanol industry, providing information on the policy environment that enabled the development of feedstock and processing sectors, and discusses the various opportunities and challenges to face the industry over the next decade.

  • Why Have Food Commodity Prices Risen Again?

    WRS-1103, June 28, 2011

    The report describes the factors that have contributed to the large and rapid increase in agricultural prices during the past year. The report focuses particularly on food commodity prices-which have risen 60 percent since June 2010.

  • Wheat Flour Price Shocks and Household Food Security in Afghanistan

    ERR-121, July 12, 2011

    Using a nationally representative household survey from Afghanistan, ERS analyzes the impact of increases in wheat flour prices before and during the 2007/08 global food price crisis.

  • Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook: July 2011

    FTS-348, July 29, 2011

    The index of prices received by fruit and tree nut growers in June, at 157 (1990-92=100), rose 9 percent from the May index and increased 18 percent above the June 2010 index. Year-to-year price increases in June for process grapefruit and fresh-market apples, grapes, peaches, pears, and strawberries drove the index up over the previous year, offsetting price declines for fresh-market lemons and oranges.

  • 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.

  • The Ethanol Decade: An Expansion of U.S. Corn Production, 2000-09

    EIB-79, August 18, 2011

    ERS examines how the farm sector reacted to increased demand for corn needed to fuel a 9-billion-gallon rise in ethanol production in the past decade. In the United States, corn is the primary ethanol feedstock.

  • On the Doorstep of the Information Age: Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture

    EIB-80, August 24, 2011

    The adoption of precision agriculture, which encompasses a suite of farm-level information technologies, can improve the efficiency of input use and reduce environmental harm from the overapplication of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Still, the adoption of precision agricultural technologies and practices has been less rapid than envisioned a decade ago. Using Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data collected over the past 10 years, this report examines trends in the adoption of four key information technologies-yield monitors, variable-rate application technologies, guidance systems, and GPS maps-in the production of major field crops. While yield monitoring is now used on over 40 percent of U.S. grain crop acres, very few producers have adopted GPS maps or variable-rate input application technologies.

  • Vegetables and Melons Outlook: August 2011

    VGS-346, August 25, 2011

    The farm value of all mushroom (Agaricus and others) sales during the 2010/11 crop year (July-June) reached a new high of $1 billion, up 8 percent from a year earlier. Partly reflecting modest gains in the economy, mushroom sales volume rose 9 percent to 862 million pounds, the second highest level on record. In line with higher output, per capita disappearance (use) of all mushrooms grew 8 percent to 3.82 pounds in 2010/11.

  • Where Did the Corn Come From To Fuel the Expansion in Ethanol Production?

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Between 2000 and 2009, U.S. ethanol production increased from 1.6 billion gallons to 10.8 billion gallons, almost all of which was produced from corn. Some of the corn came from increased yields and some was diverted from other uses, but much of the corn needed to produce ethanol came from expanding planted acreage.