Publications

Sort by: Title | Date
  • Growing Farm Size and the Distribution of Farm Payments

    EB-6, March 14, 2006

    Crop production is shifting to much larger farms. Since government commodity payments reflect production volumes for program commodities, payments are also shifting to larger farms. In turn, the operators of very large farms have substantially higher household incomes than other farm households, and as a result government commodity payments are also shifting to much higher-income households. Since the changes in farm structure appear to be ongoing, commodity payments will likely, under current policies, continue to shift to higher income households. This brief uses 2003 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data to detail the shifts.

  • Half of Farm Expenditures Are Spent Locally

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    About half of all farm input and equipment expenditures were made locally in 2004. But over 40 percent of all U.S. farms are located in metro areas so that farm business expenditures may have relatively minor impacts on nearby urban communities and are unlikely to flow to more distant rural suppliers.

  • Health Care Expenditures of Self-Employed Farm Households

    Amber Waves, September 20, 2012

    Farm households purchasing individual health insurance directly from private vendors are likely to spend more on health care than those with other sources of health insurance. Other things being equal, among all farm households, those without any insurance coverage have the lowest health care expenditures.

  • Higher Corn Returns Changes Corn Farm Dynamics

    Amber Waves, November 03, 2014

    Changes in the returns to corn production are examined over 1997-2013 period using data from ERS cost and return accounts and the corn versions of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

  • How Do Time and Money Affect Agricultural Insurance Uptake? A New Approach to Farm Risk Management Analysis

    ERR-212, August 01, 2016

    Over multiple years, demand for crop insurance is driven more by farmers' financial wealth than attitude toward risk, as wealthier farmers self-insure with savings while limited-resource farmers may use additional savings to buy insurance.

  • How Is Land in the United States Used? A Focus on Agricultural Land

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    The ERS Major Land Uses series provides over 50 years of estimates of land in various uses, including cropland, pasture and range, and forest. These State and national estimates provide insights into changes in land use over time.

  • Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies

    ERR-123, August 18, 2011

    ERS looks at direct and indirect impacts of higher energy prices on the agricultural and rural sectors, with scenarios developed for specific energy price changes.

  • Improving Health Through Nutrition Research: An Overview of the U.S. Nutrition Research System

    ERR-182, January 26, 2015

    ERS explores the structure and function of the U.S. nutrition research system, particularly changes in Federal support. Federal investments in nutrition research grew from 1985 to 2009 in real terms, but the portfolio of research changed.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, May 01, 2007

    Farm population has fallen steadily as a share of total U.S. population for more than a century. Less than half the U.S. population has lived on farms since these data were first collected in 1880.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2007

    Government transfer payments to individuals increased steadily in both metro and nonmetro areas between 1969 and 2004.

  • In The Long Run

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    Government payments peaked twice at $24 billion, measured in 2003 dollars. The first peak occurred in 1987, just after the end of the farm financial crisis. The second peak occurred in 2000, due to payments enacted by Congress in response to falling export demand and regional crop failures. Payments also spiked at $14 billion in 1993, due largely to high feed grain production and disaster payments for droughts and floods.

  • In the Long Run: Commodity Prices Vary More Than U.S. Cropland Acreage

    Amber Waves, March 01, 2012

    Since 1980, the variation in cropland used for crops has been relatively small, despite significant variation in real (adjusted for inflation) commodity prices.

  • In the Long Run: Global Private-Sector Research Is Considerably Larger for Crop Inputs Than for Livestock

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    In recent years, private-sector research expenditures directed at crop production inputs have been 3.5 to 5.5 times higher than those directed at livestock production inputs.

  • Income Growth in Developing Countries Can Increase U.S. Agricultural Exports

    Amber Waves, March 14, 2011

    According to USDA long-term projections, continued income growth will make developing countries the main source of the projected increases in global food demand and trade.

  • Income, Wealth, and the Economic Well-Being of Farm Households

    AER-812, July 01, 2002

    Agricultural policy is rooted in the 1930's notion that providing transfers of money to the farm sector translates into increased economic well-being of farm families. This report shows that neither change in income for the farm sector nor for any particular group of farm business can be presumed to reflect changes confronting farm households. Farm households draw income from various sources, including off-farm work, other businesses operated and, increasingly, nonfarm investments. Likewise, focus on a single indicator of well-being, such as income, overlooks other indicators such as the wealth held by the household and the level of consumption expenditures for health care, food, housing, and other items. Using an expanded definition of economic well-being, we show that farm households as a whole are better off than the average U.S. household, but that 6 percent remain economically disadvantaged.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Indicators tables from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    Farm, Rural, Natural Resources and Food and Fiber Sector Indicators section - April 2006

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Indicators tables from the April 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the June 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2005

    Farm, Rural, Natural Resources and Food and Fiber Sector Indicators section - November 2005