Publications

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  • Oil Crops Outlook: September 2014

    OCS-14I, September 15, 2014

    Record soybean yields to raise season-ending stocks to 8-year high.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: September 2015

    OCS-15I, September 15, 2015

    Lower U.S. beginning stocks of soybeans offsets higher crop.

  • Oil Crops Outlook: September 2016

    OCS-16I, September 14, 2016

    Record U.S. soybean use may not keep pace with big production gains.

  • Oil Prices and Ethanol Demand Drive Changes in Agricultural Commodity Production in Brazil

    Amber Waves, July 05, 2016

    Prices of oil and biofuels, agricultural land use, and commodity markets are linked through a complex web of interactions. In Brazil, a major consumer and producer of ethanol and a leading commodity exporter, changes in oil prices could lead to major shifts in the country’s cropping patterns and, as a result, changes in world commodity prices.

  • On The Map: Ethanol Refineries Locate Near Feedstock Sources

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Corn is the feedstock for 97 percent of the ethanol produced in the United States, so ethanol refineries are heavily concentrated in the Corn Belt.

  • Projecting World Raw Sugar Prices

    SSSM-317-01, January 16, 2015

    World sugar prices have an important effect on the U.S. sugar sector. This report presents a modeling framework for use in projecting world sugar prices, with detailed treatment of the role of Brazil in the world sugar and ethanol sectors.

  • Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide

    ERR-130, December 30, 2011

    ERS quantifies investment trends by for-profit companies in food manufacturing, biofuels, and agricultural input R&D and explores how the trends are affected by changes in industry structure.

  • Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide: Executive Summary

    EIB-90, December 30, 2011

    Meeting growing global demand for food, fiber, and biofuel requires robust investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) from both public and private sectors. This report highlights the major findings of a study examining global R&D spending by private industry in seven agricultural input sectors, food manufacturing, and biofuel and describes the changing structure of these industries. For the full report, see Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agricultural Input, and Biofuel Industries Worldwide, ERR-130. In 2007 (the latest year for which comprehensive estimates are available), the private sector spent $19.7 billion on food and agricultural research (56 percent in food manufacturing and 44 percent in agricultural input sectors) and accounted for about half of total public and private spending on food and agricultural R&D in high-income countries. In R&D related to biofuel, annual private-sector investments are estimated to have reached $1.47 billion worldwide by 2009. Incentives to invest in R&D are influenced by market structure and other factors. Agricultural input industries have undergone significant structural change over the past two decades, with industry concentration on the rise. A relatively small number of large, multinational firms with global R&D and marketing networks account for most R&D in each input industry. Rising market concentration has not generally been associated with increased R&D investment as a percentage of industry sales.

  • Science, Technology, and Prospects for Growth in U.S. Corn Yields

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    Recent increases in inflation-adjusted crop prices have sparked renewed interest in the potential for continued increases in crop yields. Investment in scientific research is key for boosting corn yields, making productivity, environmental, and bioenergy goals easier to attain.

  • The Effects of Information on Consumer Demand for Biotech Foods: Evidence from Experimental Auctions

    TB-1903, April 04, 2003

    Consumers' willingness to pay for food products decreases when the food label indicates that a food product is produced with the aid of modern biotechnology. This bulletin presents empirical evidence on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods based on the presence or absence of labels advising that the food was prepared with the aid of biotechnology. The authors designed and conducted an experimental auction to elicit consumers' willingness to pay for "genetically modified" (GM)-labeled and standard-labeled foods under different information regimes. The evidence gathered for vegetable oil, tortilla chips, and potatoes shows that labels matter. In particular, under all information treatments, consumers discounted food items labeled "GM" by an average of 14 percent. While gender, income, and other demographic characteristics appeared to have only a slight impact on consumers' willingness to pay for biotech foods, information from interested parties and third-party (independent) sources was found to have a strong impact.

  • The Future of Biofuels: A Global Perspective

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Global biofuel production tripled between 2000 and 2007, but still accounts for less than 3 percent of global transportation fuel supply. Increased demand for biofuels has contributed to higher world food and feed prices. Biofuels will likely be part of a portfolio of solutions to high energy prices that includes conservation, more efficient energy use, and use of other alternative fuels

  • The Power of Proximity: Ethanol Refineries Drive Increased Corn Planting in Their Vicinity

    Amber Waves, June 06, 2016

    Between 2005 and 2010, increasing demand for biofuels contributed to growth in U.S. corn area by more than 6 million acres and channeled a third of U.S. corn output into ethanol feedstock. An understanding of the multiple effects of this rapid growth on rural economies can help inform policies geared toward greater economic and environmental sustainability.

  • The Renewable Identification Number System and U.S. Biofuel Mandates

    BIO-03, November 08, 2011

    This report provides an overview of how the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market works to ensure compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard provision of the Energy Independence and Security Act, as well as how RIN prices are determined and which factors influence their prices.

  • Trends in U.S. Agriculture's Consumption and Production of Energy: Renewable Power, Shale Energy, and Cellulosic Biomass

    EIB-159, August 11, 2016

    The Renewable Fuel Standard, the shale energy revolution, and the Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions are among energy developments that have affected or could affect the agriculture sector as both consumer and producer of energy.

  • U.S. Corn and Soybean Farmers Apply a Wide Variety of Glyphosate Resistance Management Practices

    Amber Waves, April 04, 2016

    In 2015, ERS found that the percentage of soybean acres treated with glyphosate, by itself or in combination with other herbicides, increased from approximately 25 percent in 1996 to 95 percent in 2006. Farms also increased use of glyphosate-resistance management practices, including herbicide rotation, tillage, scouting for weeds, crop rotation, and other weed control methods.

  • U.S. Ethanol Dampens Global Crude Oil Prices

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2011

    The U.S. is the world’s largest ethanol producer and currently holds a 57-percent share of global ethanol production. A one-time 5-percent increase in U.S. ethanol use will lower the crude oil price by an estimated 8 cents per barrel over 12 months.

  • U.S. Ethanol Expansion Driving Changes Throughout the Agricultural Sector

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    A large expansion in ethanol production is underway in the United States, spurred by high oil prices and energy policies. Although corn is the primary feedstock used to produce ethanol in the United States, market adjustments to the ethanol expansion extend well beyond the corn sector to supply and demand for other crops, as well as to the livestock sector, farm income, government payments, and food prices. Adjustments in the agricultural sector to increased demand for biofuels will continue as interest grows in renewable sources of energy to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2016

    OCE-2007-1, February 14, 2007

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2016. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2017

    OCE-2008-1, February 12, 2008

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2017. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.

  • USDA Agricultural Projections to 2019

    OCE-2010-1, February 11, 2010

    This report provides longrun (10-year) projections for the agricultural sector through 2019. Projections cover agricultural commodities, agricultural trade, and aggregate indicators of the sector, such as farm income and food prices.