Publications

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  • Feed Outlook: December 2012

    FDS-12L, December 13, 2012

    Market analysis of domestic and international feed grain markets.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: November 2012

    LDPM-221, November 16, 2012

    Meat production is trimmed in 2013.

  • Feed Outlook: November 2012

    FDS-12K, November 14, 2012

    Market analysis of domestic and international feed grain markets.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: October 2012

    LDPM-220, October 17, 2012

    Ample supplies of pork and poultry moderate prices.

  • Feed Outlook: October 2012

    FDS-12J, October 15, 2012

    Market analysis of domestic and international feed grain markets.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: September 2012

    LDPM-219, September 18, 2012

    Impacts of high feed prices shake out across markets.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: August 2012

    LDPM-218, August 16, 2012

    Drought-motivated increases in cow slaughter and feeder cattle movements have adversely affected all cattle and beef prices and plans to increase the national cow herd.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: July 2012

    LDPM-217, July 17, 2012

    Beef/Cattle: Following on the heels of last year's drought, this year's lack of adequate rainfall over more than half of the United States has resulted in rapidly deteriorating crop and pasture conditions that have driven corn prices higher and cattle prices lower.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: June 2012

    LDPM-216, June 18, 2012

    Beef/Cattle: Producers are beginning to market calves and beef cows at increasing levels as pasture and range conditions begin to deteriorate. Projected cattle feeding margins are increasingly negative at current price levels. Packer margins are currently positive, but declining byproduct values are adversely affecting them.

  • A Quarterly Econometric Model for Short-Term Forecasting of the U.S. Dairy Industry

    TB-1932, January 05, 2012

    This research evaluates the econometric approaches employed by USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) to contribute to the dairy sector forecasts published in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. To generate the estimates, a quarterly model of the U.S. dairy industry is specified using data for fourth-quarter 1998 (Q4/1998) to first quarter 2009 (Q1/2009), and it is estimated and validated employing data for Q2/2009 to Q1/2010. Different forecasts are generated using a variety of single equation and system methods, and which are then evaluated in terms of forecast precision or predicting turning points in the data. Different approaches, however, more effectively forecast different variables. Vector autoregression with exogenous variables outperforms structural regression models when forecasting prices, but single and system estimations of structural models are superior to time series models when forecasting some items in farm supply and commodity balance sheets.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: December 2011

    LDPM-210, December 15, 2011

    Disproportionally large cow slaughter has kept average dressed weights lower during most of 2011 than if steers had constituted half or more of beef slaughter, as they typically do. Packer margins and high feed and feeder cattle prices are exerting downward pressure on fed cattle prices.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: November 2011

    LDPM-209, November 16, 2011

    Beef/Cattle: Drought continues to dominate non-fed slaughter, despite recent rains that provided temporary relief and promoted emergence of winter wheat in the Southern Plains.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: October 2011

    LDPM-208, October 18, 2011

    Drought-induced cow-herd liquidation has reduced average dressed weights and resulted in relatively more ground products but fewer middle cuts. Wheat pasture could be priced at a premium this winter. Cattle feeding margins remain negative despite higher fed cattle prices.

  • Estimating the Substitution of Distillers' Grains for Corn and Soybean Meal in the U.S. Feed Complex

    FDS-11I01, October 13, 2011

    Corn-based dry-mill ethanol production and its coproducts - notably distillers' dried grains with soluble (DDGS) - have surged in recent years. The report estimates the potential substitution of DDGS for corn and soybean meal in livestock feeding and the impact of substitution upon the U.S. feed complex.

  • Food Safety Audits, Plant Characteristics, and Food Safety Technology Use in Meat and Poultry Plants

    EIB-82, October 03, 2011

    ERS documents the extent of food safety audits in meat and poultry processing plants and examines the association between the use of audits and the plants' size, business structure, and application of food safety technology

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: September 2011

    LDPM-207, September 16, 2011

    Beef/Cattle: Drought conditions continue to result in Southern cows going to slaughter and Southern calves going to feedlots. Also resulting from the drought, corn, and hay prices are increasing as cow and fed cattle prices slip. Despite deteriorating feed-fed cattle price relationships, feeder cattle prices appear mostly steady.

  • 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.

  • NAFTA at 17: Full Implementation Leads to Increased Trade and Integration

    WRS-1101, March 31, 2011

    This report is the last in USDA's series of Congressionally mandated biennial reports on the impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on U.S. agriculture and the rural economy. The report responds to a mandate in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1993.

  • Carbon Prices and the Adoption of Methane Digesters on Dairy and Hog Farms

    EB-16, February 07, 2011

    Biogas recovery systems collect methane from manure and burn it to generate electricity or heat. Burning methane reduces its global warming potential, thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Climate change mitigation policies that effectively put a price on GHG emissions could allow livestock producers to "sell" these reductions to other greenhouse gas emitters who face emissions caps or who voluntarily wish to offset their own emissions. Depending on the direction and scope of future climate change legislation, income from carbon off set sales could make methane digesters profitable for many livestock producers. By modeling the main determinants of producers' decisions to adopt biogas recovery systems, we illustrate how the price of carbon influences this decision and the potential supply of carbon offsets from the livestock sector.

  • Climate Change Policy and the Adoption of Methane Digesters on Livestock Operations

    ERR-111, February 07, 2011

    Methane digesters-biogas recovery systems that use methane from manure to generate electricity-have not been widely adopted in the United States because costs have exceeded benefits to operators. Burning methane in a digester reduces greenhouse gas emissions from manure management. A policy or program that pays producers for these emission reductions-through a carbon offset market or directly with payments-could increase the number of livestock producers who would profit from adopting a methane digester. We developed an economic model that illustrates how dairy and hog operation size, location, and manure management methods, along with electricity and carbon prices, could influence methane digester profits. The model shows that a relatively moderate increase in the price of carbon could induce significantly more dairy and hog operations, particularly large ones, to adopt a methane digester, thereby substantially lowering emissions of greenhouse gases.