Publications

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  • Price Premiums Behind Organic Field Crop Profitability

    Amber Waves, September 25, 2015

    Organic corn and soybeans have been profitable, primarily due to the significant price premiums paid for certified organic crops that more than offset the additional economic costs. Organic wheat has been less profitable.

  • 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.

  • Recent Convergence Performance of Futures and Cash Prices for Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat

    FDS-13L-01, December 30, 2013

    From 2005 to 2011, there were growing discrepancies between expiring futures prices and cash prices for wheat, corn, and soybeans--a problem known as non-convergence. Changes to futures contracts have improved convergence since 2011.

  • Rising Grain Exports by the Former Soviet Union Region

    WHS-13A01, February 04, 2013

    The three major grain-producing countries of the former Soviet Union--Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine--have become a large grain-exporting region. This report examines the causes and provides the 10-year outlook for the region's exports.

  • Rising Wheat Prices Outpace Input Costs

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2009

    Because wheat prices in 2009 remain well above historical levels, 90 percent of U.S. wheat producers are expected to have covered their production costs during 2009/09, despite rising prices of fuel, fertilizer and other inputs.

  • Specialized Wheat Farms Earn Less than Other Farms

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2006

    The U.S. wheat sector is facing decreased demand as consumer preferences have changed and increased competition in export markets. Specialized wheat farms--farms that depend upon wheat for over half of their receipts--are concentrated in the Great Plains and the Pacific Northwest and account for over 40 percent of total wheat production. The long-term viability of specialized wheat farms depends heavily on government payments. Without government payments, fewer than 20 percent of the specialized wheat farms would have had farm revenue greater than economic costs. With government payments, nearly a third of the farms were financially viable.

  • Supply Disruptions Cause Price Spikes in Afghanistan’s Wheat Market

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    Growing conditions in Afghanistan suggest a record 2009/10 wheat harvest and a favorable shortrun outlook. Nevertheless, Afghanistan will remain subject to supply disruptions and price spikes as long as its domestic production is highly variable and weak transportation links limit its ability to diversify sources of imported grain.

  • Support for the Organic Sector Expands in the 2014 Farm Act

    Amber Waves, July 07, 2014

    Organic program provisions in the 2014 Farm Act cover a broad set of objectives—assisting with organic certification costs, expanding organic research and data collection, improving technical assistance and crop insurance, strengthening enforcement of organic regulations, and expanding market opportunities for producers.

  • Taxes on Imports Subsidize Wheat Production in Japan

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2005

    Despite high costs and poor milling quality, tens of thousands of Japan's farms grow wheat, usually on small fields, and production is rising. Farmers receive high prices for wheat because of government subsidies that are financed by import taxes. The result is that millers, processors, retailers, and consumers pay high prices.

  • 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.

  • The 2014 Farm Act Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, and Supplemental Coverage Option Programs' Effects on Crop Revenue

    ERR-204, January 12, 2016

    ERS examines the underlying mechanics of the Agriculture Risk Coverage, the Price Loss Coverage, and the Supplemental Coverage Option programs to see how they affect producer revenues and risk as well as expected program costs.

  • The Changing Face of the U.S. Grain System

    ERR-35, February 28, 2007

    Specialty grains coming onto the market (e.g., fiber-enriched wheat) are requiring adjustments in the marketing system, including information documentation and management, in order to preserve their added value or prevent accidental commingling with standard grains.

  • The Effects of Premium Subsidies on Demand for Crop Insurance

    ERR-169, July 07, 2014

    Increases to premium subsidies can induce farmers to enroll more land in the crop insurance program, but they primarily encourage them to adopt higher levels of coverage on land already enrolled. Effects vary by region and crop type.

  • The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States

    EIB-121, February 20, 2014

    In the United States, 31 percent-or 133 billion pounds-of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices. For the first time, ERS estimated the calories associated with food loss: 141 trillion in 2010, or 1,249 calories per capita per day. Errata: On June 27, 2014, Tables 2, 3, and 5 were updated to correct some incorrect values. The errors did not affect summary totals in the tables or report findings.

  • The Importance of Federal Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies

    Amber Waves, October 20, 2014

    Growth in Federal Crop Insurance (FCI) has generally been attributed to the increase in crop insurance premium subsidies. While ERS research results show the lower costs had only small effects on acreage enrollment, those already enrolled showed an adoption of higher levels of coverage. Results suggest that increasing premium subsidies could cause Government costs to increase rapidly.

  • The Influence of Income and Prices on Global Dietary Patterns by Country, Age, and Gender

    ERR-225, March 02, 2017

    Worldwide changes in eating habits are contributing to a global rise in obesity and related diseases across all countries. To address this issue, this report investigates how income and prices influence dietary habits globally.

  • The Profit Potential of Certified Organic Field Crop Production

    ERR-188, July 27, 2015

    Organic corn, soybean, and wheat production has higher total economic costs and lower yields than conventional production. However, price premiums paid to organic producers are an important factor offsetting the higher costs.

  • U.S. 2013/14 Wheat Year in Review: Smaller Supplies and Higher Exports Lower Ending Stocks

    WHS-2015-1, January 06, 2015

    Report reviews U.S. wheat production, use, and price by class of wheat for the 2013/14 marketing year.

  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Update-State Exports

    FAU-123, June 29, 2007

    U.S. agricultural exports reached a record in fiscal 2006 at $68.7 billion, some $6.2 billion higher than the record set in fiscal 2005. California, Iowa, Texas, and Illinois continued their reign as top exporting States, while Minnesota dropped to seventh position behind Nebraska and Kansas. North Carolina joined the top 10, displacing North Dakota at the number nine position. Feed grain exports moved ahead of soybean exports, with Iowa and Illinois dominating in those markets. California continued to dominate vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, seeds, and dairy.

  • U.S. Wheat Production Practices, Costs, and Yields: Variations Across Regions

    EIB-116, August 30, 2013

    Wheat, the third-largest U.S. crop in volume and value, has distinct varieties grown in different regions or seasons. ERS looks at the variation in growers' production costs, yields, practices, and profitability across the United States.