Publications

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  • Colombia: A New Ethanol Producer on the Rise?

    WRS-0901, January 01, 2009

    Colombia's sugarcane-based ethanol industry, after operating for only 3 years, is the second most developed in the Western Hemisphere. Most Colombian ethanol plants are energy self-sufficient and even generate surplus power that is sold to the national electric grid. Colombia's sugarcane-based ethanol production is increasing: proposed expansion projects have the potential to more than triple daily production from 277,000 gallons in 2007 to almost 1 million gallons in 2010. Most of the expansion is intended for exports, principally to the United States. However, it is unlikely that Colombia could export ethanol anytime soon because domestic production is insufficient to meet nationwide requirements that gasoline contain a 10-percent ethanol blend.

  • The EU Sugar Policy Regime and Implications of Reform

    ERR-59, July 16, 2008

    ERS examines the implications and potential impacts of the first major reform of the 2005 reform of the European Union's sugar policy, the first major reform of the policy since 1968.

  • The 2002 Farm Bill: Provisions and Economic Implications

    AP-022, January 23, 2008

    The Farm Security Act of 2002, which governs Federal farm programs for 2002-07, was signed into law on May 13, 2002. This publication presents an overview of the Act and a side-by-side comparison of 1996-2001 farm legislation and the 2002 Act. For selected programs, information is provided to additional analyses of key changes, program overview, and economic implications.

  • U.S. Sugar Program at a Crossroads

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    The U.S. sugar program, designed to operate at no cost to the U.S. Government, is coming under increasing pressure as a result of higher imports allowed under NAFTA and other trade agreements.

  • Measuring the Effect of Imports of Sugar-Containing Products on U.S. Sugar Deliveries

    SSSM-237-01, September 08, 2003

    This article analyzes the effects of imports of sugar-containing products on the level of sugar deliveries to U.S. industrial end users of sugar. The article accomplishes three objectives: 1) reviews trends in domestic sugar deliveries; 2) shows estimates of how much sugar has entered the United States in imported products and how much has left in exported products; and 3) analyzes the effects of imports of sugar-containing products on demand for domestic and imported sugar.

  • 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.

  • The 1996 Farm Act Increases Market Orientation

    AIB-726, August 01, 1996

    The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, a milestone in U.S. agricultural policy, provides new farm sector law for 1996-2002, fundamentally redesigning income support programs and discontinuing supply management programs for producers of many commodities. This bulletin provides a general overview of major changes related to production agriculture resulting from the commodity provisions, agricultural trade provisions, and conservation provisions of the Act.

  • Sugar: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation

    AER-711, April 03, 1995

    This report address considerations in the 1995 farm bill debate for sugar, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. Current U.S. sugar price support programs have their origin in 1981 legislation. The price support program has resulted in significant expansion of the industry in the last decade. Beet sugar production has expanded in many regions, but has contracted in some western regions, particularly California. Cane sugar production has expanded in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, but has shrunk in Hawaii where costs are high. National average costs of producing beet and cane sugar have been declining in the last decade, and returns have exceeded costs. Average production costs of refined beet sugar are below those of refined cane sugar. Overall sugar demand has been growing at about 2 percent a year since 1986, when the rapid replacement of sugar by high-fructose corn syrup ended. Sugar imports under quota have fallen to levels close to the minimum provided by law. Prospects are for sugar production and consumption to continue to rise. No major impacts on the industry are expected from the GATT Uruguay Round or NAFTA.

  • Honey: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation

    AER-708, April 03, 1995

    This report address considerations in the 1995 farm bill debate for honey, including market conditions, policy proposals, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The U.S. Government has supported the price of honey since 1950 by providing market price stability to honey producers to encourage them to maintain honeybee populations sufficient to pollinate important agricultural crops. When honey support prices moved above the average domestic price in the early 1980s, domestic producers found it profitable to forfeit their honey to the Government while packers and industrial users imported lower priced honey for domestic use. Changes made in the program by the Food Security Act of 1985 reduced forfeitures of honey to the Government and made domestic honey competitive with imports. Consequently, imports declined from 138.2 million pounds in 1985 to 55.9 million in 1988. At the same time, Government takeover of forfeited honey declined from 98 million pounds in 1985 to 1.1-3.2 million pounds from 1989 through 1992. Expenditures and takeovers will decline even further in fiscal years 1994 and 1995 with amendments to the Appropriations Acts, which eliminated deficiency payments and loan forfeitures for 1994 and 1995 crop honey.

  • Sugar: Background for 1990 Farm Legislation

    AGES-9006, February 01, 1990

    This report address considerations in the 1990 farm bill debate for sugar, including market conditions, policy proposals, trade agreements, and the interactions between policy and markets for selected commodities. The sugar support program and rapid adoption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) played important roles in transforming the U.S. sugar industry in the 1980's. While sugar output and productivity increased, consumption of sugar fell dramatically as HFCS displaced sugar in many uses, particularly beverages. After a decade of steady decline, sugar consumption in 1987 began rising at a slow rate. U.S. imports of sugar for consumption fell from an average of over 4 million short tons in 1979-81, to about 1 million tons in 1988. U.S. sugar import quotas have been binding since May 1982, to keep prices at levels required by the sugar program. Regional sugar balances have altered in the 1980's, and beet sugar now provides about 45 percent of U.S. sugar use, up from about 30 percent. The world sugar market changed much in the past decade, moderating the price cycle and extending the period of persistently low prices.

  • Provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985

    AIB-498, April 01, 1986

    The Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198) establishes a comprehensive framework within which the Secretary of Agriculture will administer agriculture and food programs from 1986 through 1990. This report describes the Act's provisions for dairy, wool and mohair, wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, and sugar (including income and price supports, disaster payments, and acreage reductions); other general commodity provisions; trade; conservation; credit; research, extension, and teaching; food stamps; and marketings. These provisions are compared with earlier legislation.

  • Provisions of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981

    AGES-811228, January 01, 1982

    Commodity program provisions of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 are summarized. Price support, loan level, disaster payment, program acreage, and other provisions of the legislation are discussed for wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, peanuts, soybeans, sugar, dairy, and wool and mohair. The following provisions are also summarized: miscellaneous; grain reserves; the national agricultural cost of production standards review board; agricultural exports and P.L. 480; food stamps; research, extension, and teaching; resource conservation; credit, rural development, and family farms; and floral research and consumer information.

  • A History of Sugar Marketing Through 1974

    AER-382, March 01, 1978

    The quota system of regulating the production, importation, and marketing of sugar in the United States through 1974 was an outgrowth of Government regulation of the sugar trade dating from colonial times. Similar systems have developed in most other countries, particularly those which import sugar. The U.S. Sugar Quota System benefited domestic sugar producers by providing stable prices at favorable levels. These prices also encouraged the production and use of substitute sweeteners, particularly high fructose and glucose syrup and crystalline dextrose in various industries. But sugar is still the most widely used sweetener in the United States, although its dominant position is being increasingly threatened.