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  • An Initial Assessment of the Payment-in-Kind Program

    AP-039, April 29, 1983

    Weak domestic demand, the first drop in exports in more than a decade, and large farm surpluses placed significant downward pressure on commodity prices and farm incomes and created the potential for large government outlays. The payment-in-kind (PIK) program was designed to idle substantial acreage without increasing government program costs. This report provides an assessment of the PIK program on production, prices, and incomes.

  • An Online Cost Calculator for Estimating the Economic Cost of Illness Due to Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) O157 Infections

    EIB-28, September 13, 2007

    Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157 is a significant cause of foodborne illness in the United States. ERS estimated the economic cost of illness due to this pathogen-$405.2 million (in 2003 dollars)-using the most recent estimate (1997) of the annual number of STEC O157 cases by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and medical and cost data from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network. CDC is currently updating its estimate of annual cases. As new information becomes available, the ERS online Foodborne Illness Cost Calculator enables users to review and modify the assumptions underlying the STEC O157 cost estimate, such as the number of cases, and then recalculate the cost, adjusted for inflation for any year from 1997 to 2006. The potential utility of the calculator was demonstrated by assuming that the incidence of STEC O157 had declined and then estimating the cost for a smaller number of cases.

  • Analyses of Generic Dairy Advertising, 1984-97

    TB-1873, February 01, 1999

    Generic advertising raised fluid milk sales about 6.0 percent, or 18.1 billion pounds, between September 1984 and September 1997. Sales of cheese rose by about 6.8 million pounds (milk equivalent) in the same period because of increased generic advertising. An assessment of 15 cents per hundredweight of milk sold commercially, mandated by the Dairy and Tobacco Adjustment Act of 1983, funded the advertising. Activities of the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board also contributed to increased milk sales over the past year. Gross returns to dairy farmers between September 1984 and September 1997 were estimated to increase by $3.44 for each dollar spent on generic advertising. This report presents the results of econometric demand models that examined the effect of advertising and other facts on milk and cheese sales.

  • Analysis of Those Leaving USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reveals the Program’s Effectiveness

    Amber Waves, February 21, 2013

    A recent ERS analysis compares the food security status of current SNAP recipients with that of households that had recently left the program. The difference of 8.9 percentage points in prevalence of very low food security between households that continued to receive SNAP benefits (14.2 percent) and households that had recently left the program (23.1 percent) provides an estimate of SNAP’s effectiveness in improving the food security of participating households.

  • Analysis of the U.S. Commodity Loan Program with Marketing Loan Provisions

    AER-801, April 02, 2001

    Over the next several years, crop prices are projected to be below to slightly above commodity loan rates. As a result, marketing loan benefits to farmers, in the form of loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains from the commodity loan program, are likely to continue to be sizeable. The level of realized per-unit revenues facilitated by marketing loans exceeds commodity loan rates, thereby raising expected net returns to farmers. Model simulations show that the loan program can raise total acreage planted to major field crops, generally increasing levels of domestic use and exports while lowering crop prices. Cross-commodity effects of supply response to relative returns (including marketing loan benefits), however, result in acreage shifts among competing crops, which can lead to reductions in plantings of some crops in some years. Most impacts occur in the years when there are marketing loan benefits, with little effect in subsequent years when prices rise high enough to eliminate marketing loan benefits. The livestock sector benefits from these outcomes because of generally lower feed costs.

  • Anatomy of Nonmetro High-Poverty Areas: Common in Plight, Distinctive in Nature

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2004

    This article discusses how rural high poverty counties differ across racial and demographic lines. Comparisons are made among and between high poverty counties populated by African Americans, Hispanics, Whites, and Native Americans.

  • Animal Products Markets in 2005 and Forecasts for 2006

    LDPM-14601, September 08, 2006

    Uncertainty continues to shape the forecasts for animal products markets in 2006. Potential and actual animal disease outbreaks, consumer sensitivities, volatile exchange rates, and growing competition from producers in other countries cloud U.S. trade prospects for major meats. Loss of U.S. trade market share, partly caused by disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions that have affected animal product exports since 2003, compounds the problem. The outlook for U.S. meat, poultry, and dairy markets in 2006 depends on how well domestic production adjusts to changes in input costs, the effect of exchange rates on trade, the continuing effects of disease and trade restrictions on exports, and the increasing competitiveness of emerging animal products exporters.

  • Annual and Monthly SNAP Participation Rates

    ERR-192, August 25, 2015

    FNS estimates monthly SNAP participation rates; ERS has provided a complementary measure, estimating the proportion of the eligible population who participate at some time during the year. Each measure can be useful in assessing SNAP.

  • Antibiotics Used For Growth Promotion Have a Small Positive Effect on Hog Farm Productivity

    Amber Waves, July 07, 2014

    Antibiotics are frequently used to treat and prevent diseases in livestock. In addition to these medical uses, a substantial share of hog producers incorporate antimicrobial drugs into their livestock’s feed or water to promote feed efficiency and weight gain. For many years, governmental and professional organizations have expressed concerns about the overuse of antimicrobial drugs in livestock.

  • Antimicrobial Drug Use and Veterinary Costs in U.S. Livestock Production

    AIB-766, May 01, 2001

    Feeding low levels of antimicrobial drugs to livestock affects food safety, human health, and livestock production costs and returns. This report examines the economics of antimicrobial resistance in livestock and the economic implications of banning the use of growth-enhancing antimicrobial drugs in livestock production.

  • Applications for the Noninsured Crop Disaster Program Increased After the Agricultural Act of 2014

    Amber Waves, July 03, 2017

    A recent ERS report examined impacts of the Buy-Up coverage addition to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) on expected payments, producers' risk reduction, and NAP enrollment by type of producer and crops.

  • Are Bankruptcies Behind the Drop in Farm Numbers?

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2004

    The number of U.S. farms declined by two-thirds between 1935 and 2002. While this decline is commonly associated with high rates of farm bankruptcy, a new study finds the link between dwindling farm numbers and farm bankruptcies to be weak.

  • Are Competitors’ Free Trade Agreements Putting U.S. Agricultural Exporters at a Disadvantage?

    Amber Waves, June 16, 2011

    Findings show FTAs increased trade among member countries, suggesting the large number of FTAs that do not include the U.S. may be eroding the U.S. presence in foreign markets.

  • Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price

    EIB-96, May 16, 2012

    How food items are priced (by calorie, by weight, or by average amount consumed) has a large effect on which foods are determined to be more expensive.

  • Are Lower Income Households Willing and Able To Budget for Fruits and Vegetables?

    ERR-54, January 07, 2008

    Households have a number of needs and wants that all compete for scarce resources. Given this situation, are low-income households, in particular, generally willing and able to budget for healthful foods like fruits and vegetables, or are other goods and services, including other foods, more of a priority? For six out of seven selected types of food, we find that households with an income below 130 percent of the poverty line spend less money than higher income households. However, we also find that these households, when given a small increase in income, will allocate more money to only two out of the seven products, beef and frozen prepared foods. These foods may be priorities for reasons of taste and convenience. For additional money to be allocated to fruits and vegetables, a household's income needs to be slightly greater than 130 percent of the poverty line.

  • Are More Livestock Hitting the Road?

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2003

    Shipments of hogs have increased dramatically since 1990, while cattle and sheep shipments have remained fairly steady. Recent concerns about the safety of the U.S. food supply and the potential for bioterrorism have prompted a new look at livestock movements.

  • Are U.S. And EU Agricultural Policies Becoming More Similar?

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2003

    Throughout much of the post-World War II period, agricultural policy in the U.S. and European Union (EU) has focused on supporting farm income primarily through price supports. Both countries supported commodity prices through purchase and storage of surplus commodities. The U.S. relied more on producer loans secured by commodities and acreage controls, while the EU relied more on export subsidies to dispose of surpluses. Both the U.S. and the EU have significantly changed their commodity policies in the past decade. While their policies have evolved in similar directions in some respects, important differences remain.

  • Arts Employment Is Burgeoning in Some Rural Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Between 1990 and 2000, all of the growth in U.S. arts employment share was due to gains in the nonmetro share, although the growth was concentrated in select counties.

  • Asia Leads World in Reducing Hunger

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    Asia has led the world in reducing hunger (down about 30 percent). Examples of success include Bangladesh and Vietnam, both of which already have met the World Food Summit goal.

  • Asia-Pacific Transportation Infrastructure: Linking Food Sources to Urban Centers

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    The Asia-Pacific food system faces the challenge of rapid urbanization and concentration of food demand, while food-producing areas remain geographically dispersed. Sustaining growth in urban food demand requires streamlining domestic supply chains or negotiating trade agreements to open domestic markets to foreign food supplies, or some combination of approaches.