Publications

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  • Food Consumption, Prices, and Expenditures, 1970-97

    SB-965, April 02, 1999

    This annual bestseller presents historical data on food consumption, prices, and expenditures by commodity and commodity group, supply and use, prices, total expenditures, and U.S. income and population. Includes 29 charts dealing with food consumption trends, from changes in per capita consumption, to share of income spent for food.

  • Highway Investment and Rural Economic Development: An Annotated Bibliography

    BLA-133, April 30, 1999

    This annotated bibliography summarizes studies of the rural economic development implications of highway investment. Primary emphasis is on research dealing with rural areas, but some urban studies are also cited. Topics covered include the aggregate economic effects of highway investment, the effects of highway investment on business location decisions and employment expansion, the effects of highway investment on different industries, local and regional spatial effects of highway investment, and highway effects over time.

  • 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.

  • Economic Valuation of Environmental Benefits and the Targeting of Conservation Programs: The Case of the CRP

    AER-778, May 13, 1999

    The range of environmental problems confronting agriculture has expanded in recent years. As the largest program designed to mitigate the negative environmental effects of agriculture, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has broadened its initial focus on reductions in soil erosion to consider other landscape factors that may also be beneficial. For example, preserving habitats can help protect wildlife, thus leading to more nature-viewing opportunities. This report demonstrates how nonmarket valuation models can be used in targeting conservation programs such as the CRP.

  • Food Cost Review, 1950-97

    AER-780, June 01, 1999

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  • Green Technologies for a More Sustainable Agriculture

    AIB-752, July 01, 1999

    For U.S. agriculture to continue along a sustainable path of economic development, further production increases must be generated by technologies that are both profitable and more environmentally benign. In this context, we assess the role of these green or sustainable technologies in steering agriculture along a more sustainable path. However, the lack of markets for the environmental attributes associated with green technologies can limit their development. In addition, simply making a technology available does not mean it will be adopted. Experience with green technologies such as conservation tillage, integrated pest management, enhanced nutrient management, and precision agriculture demonstrates that even when technologies are profitable, barriers to adopting new practices can limit their effectiveness.

  • Consumer Use of Information: Implications for Food Policy

    AH-715, July 01, 1999

    Government programs that are designed to improve health by changing diets focus on information: education, public information campaigns, and regulation of advertising and labeling. Research from several social science disciplines offers insights for public dissemination and regulation of nutrition information. A review of selected literature in economics, nutrition education, and marketing highlights several research themes. These are the need to motivate consumers to use nutrition information, the value consumers place on time, the possibility that information can change the effects of income on food choices, and the value of enhanced life and health from improved nutrition.

  • Moving Toward the Food Guide Pyramid: Implications for U.S. Agriculture

    AER-779, July 02, 1999

    Recent studies show that average diets differ considerably from Food Guide Pyramid recommendations. The gap between current consumption and recommendations is particularly large for caloric sweeteners, fats and oils, fruits, and certain vegetables, notably dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetables, and dry beans, peas, and lentils. The change in food consumption needed to meet Food Guide Pyramid serving recommendations will result in adjustments in U.S. agricultural production, trade, nonfood uses, and prices. The net adjustment in crop acreage is projected to be relatively small, about 2 percent of total cropland in 1991-95. However, this small net adjustment masks larger anticipated changes for some sectors, particularly sweeteners, fats and oils, and citrus fruits.

  • The Impact of Minimum Wage Increases on Food and Kindred Products Prices: An Analysis of Price Pass-Through

    TB-1877, August 01, 1999

    An input-output model is used to analyze price pass-through effects of a minimum wage increase on prices of the food and kindred products and food-service industries. These sectors employ a disproportionate share of minimum wage workers, but results suggest a $0.50 increase in the present minimum wage would increase food prices less than 1 percent for most of the 12 food and kindred products prices and 1 percent at eating and drinking places.

  • Will Increased Highway Funding Help Rural Areas?

    AIB-753, August 02, 1999

    Rural areas in the United States stand to benefit from new highway funding legislation, especially the South. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) authorizes sharply increased funding for major roads and is the single largest public works bill in U.S. history. Over a 6-year period, it will provide $171 billion to build new roads, widen lanes, put in new interchanges, and construct bridges. Under TEA-21, some spending discrepancies will be addressed and resolved for States that contribute more money into the Federal Highway Trust Fund than they receive in benefits.

  • Price Determination for Corn and Wheat: The Role of Market Factors and Government Programs

    TB-1878, August 02, 1999

    Annual models for U.S. farm prices for corn and wheat are developed based on market factors as well as government agricultural commodity programs. The pricing relationships utilize a stocks-to-use modeling framework to capture the effects of market supply and demand factors on price determination. This formulation is augmented by factors that represent the changing role of agricultural policies, particularly government price support and stockholding programs. For wheat, international market effects as well as wheat feed use and related cross-commodity pricing considerations also are included. Model properties and model performance measures are presented. Additionally, recent price-forecasting applications of the models are discussed. The relatively simple structure of the estimated price models and their small data requirements lend themselves to use in price-forecasting applications in conjunction with market analysis of supply and demand conditions. In particular, the models have been implemented into USDA's short-term market analysis and long-term baseline projections. In these applications, the models provide an analytical framework to forecast prices and a vehicle for making consistency checks among the Department's supply, demand, and price forecasts.

  • International Agriculture and Trade Report: NAFTA, 1999

    WRS-99-1, August 02, 1999

    NAFTA is best viewed as a continuing process of economic integration among the three member countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. As NAFTA begins its sixth year, it is clear that the agreement has significantly affected all three countries. At the end of 1998, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico were 47 percent above the pre-NAFTA (1993) level. In 1997 and 1998, U.S. agricultural exports to its NAFTA partners were up 3.3 and 10.0 percent, respectively, compared with exports to the rest of the world, which declined 7.3 and 14.6 percent. From 1993 through 1998 U.S. agricultural imports from Canada and Mexico were up 69 percent, while those from the rest of the world were up 38 percent.

  • Food Security Assessment: Why Countries Are at Risk

    AIB-754, September 01, 1999

    Food insecurity in many low-income, developing countries is projected to intensify unless steps are taken to reverse the performance trend of key contributing factors: agricultural productivity, foreign exchange earnings, and population growth. For the poorest countries, an increase in agricultural productivity is the key to improving food security. In these countries, imports play a small role in the domestic food supply because of limited foreign exchange availability. This study evaluates availability and distribution of food and analyzes their trends through 2008 by projecting food gaps to maintain per capita consumption, meet nutritional needs, and fulfill requirements stemming from unequal food distribution.

  • Prevalence of Food Insecurity and Hunger, by State, 1996-98

    FANRR-2, September 30, 1999

    Although most households in the United States are food secure, during the period 1996-98 some 10 million U.S. households (9.7 percent of total) were food insecure--that is, they did not always have access to enough food to meet basic needs. Included among these were 3.5 percent of households in which food insecurity was severe enough that one or more household members were hungry at least some time during the year due to inadequate resources for food. The prevalence of food insecurity and hunger varied considerably among the States. Eleven States, located in an arc along the western and southern borders of the country, and the District of Columbia, had rates of food insecurity significantly above the national average. By contrast, 20 States--most of them in the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast--had rates of food insecurity significantly below the national average. High-food-insecurity States generally had higher than average poverty rates and higher than average use of food stamps, but there were some notable exceptions.

  • The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy: Pressures for Change

    WRS-992, October 01, 1999

    Provision for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was integral to the agreements that established the European Union (EU) and the CAP has been among the most important EU policies administered and funded in common. Revisions or " reforms " of the CAP have been numerous,in response to dramatic changes in agricultural realities and circumstances since the 1960s. This report contends that the continuing need for revision results significantly from the interventionist nature of the CAP, which manages agricultural prices, precluding automatic market-directed adjustments of production and consumption to changing circumstances. Strong vested interests will continue to limit reforms, allowing revisions only when the immediate political costs of not reforming equal or exceed the costs of reform.

  • Pest Management in U.S. Agriculture

    AH-717, October 01, 1999

    This report describes the use of pest management practices, including integrated pest management (IPM), for major field crops and selected fruits and vegetables. The data came chiefly from the 1996 Agricultural Resource Management Study (ARMS) developed by USDA. Because different pest classes may dominate among different crops and regions, requiring different pest management techniques to control them, the extent of adoption of pest management practices varies widely. For example, insects are a major pest class in cotton production, while minor for soybeans. As insect management has a wider variety of nonchemical techniques than weed control, cotton growers are expected to be further ahead on the IPM continuum than soybean producers.

  • Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change

    AER-781, October 01, 1999

    Climate, topography, and water area are highly related to rural county population change over the past 25 years. A natural amenities index, derived and discussed here, captures much of this relationship. Average 1970-96 population change in nonmetropolitan counties was 1 percent among counties low on the natural amenities index and 120 percent among counties high on the index. Most retirement counties and recreation counties score in the top quarter of the amenities index. Employment change is also highly related to natural amenities, although more so over the past 25 years than in the current decade. The importance of particular amenities varies by region. In the Midwest, for example, people are drawn to lakes for recreation and retirement, while people are attracted to the West for its varied topography.

  • Maternal Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Diet Quality and Nutrient Intakes

    FANRR-1, October 01, 1999

    ERS research findings suggest that the more a mother knows about health and nutrition the better is the overall quality of her children's diet, for preschoolers more so than older children. We also found that a mother's years of schooling, smoking status, race, and ethnicity influence her children's diet. Our results imply that health and nutrition education may be more effective if targeted toward mothers with young children but directly toward school-age children. We assessed overall diet quality using the Healthy Eating Index, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's instrument for measuring overall diet quality incorporating 10 recommended nutritional guidelines.

  • Family Child Care Homes and the CACFP - Participation After Reimbursement Tiering (An Interim Report of the Family Child Care Homes Legislative Changes Study)

    FANRR-3, October 31, 1999

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 established a two-tier structure of meal reimbursement rates for family child care homes participating in USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and mandated a study of the effects of that change on program participation and state licensing of child care homes. Using administrative data, this interim report finds that participation in CACFP by child care homes dropped 6 percent and the number of sponsoring organizations that administer the participating child care homes dropped 2 percent between 1997 and 1998.

  • Introduction to State Trading in Agriculture

    AER-783, November 01, 1999

    State trading enterprises are far more prevalent in agriculture than in other industries. STEs account for significant shares of world trade in grains, dairy products, and sugar. Attempts to measure the impacts of STEs and their activities on international agricultural trade have just begun. This report presents a classification scheme for STEs that provides a qualitative index of an STE's ability to control domestic markets and its ability to influence external trade. We applied the classification scheme to nine major agricultural STEs and concluded that only a few of them are able to affect international trade substantially. Recent policy reforms have eroded some of the nine's powers to influence trade.