Recommended readings for baseline-related topics in four areas are found here:

  • USDA Agricultural Projections reports
  • Projection topics in U.S. agricultural markets
  • Projection topics in international agricultural markets
  • Archive of projections reports published prior to 1997

USDA Agricultural Projections Report

  • The most recent USDA Agricultural Projections report and previous releases are available here

Projection Topics in U.S. Agricultural Markets

Animal Products:

Impacts of the 2014-2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak on the U.S. Poultry Sector

(December 2017). Between December 2014 and June 2015, more than 50 million chickens and turkeys in the United States died of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) or were destroyed to stop the spread of the disease. This report provides an overview of the HPAI outbreak with a focus on the impacts on U.S. poultry production, trade, and prices.

Economic Effects of U.S. Dairy Policy and Alternative Approaches to Milk Pricing

(May 2017). This report examines the effects of national dairy policy and its component programs as defined in the 2002 Farm Security and Rural Investment Act on milk and dairy product markets, farm households, nutrition programs, and the rural economy.

Changing Structure, Financial Risks, and Government Policy for the U.S. Dairy Industry

(March 2016). Congress created the Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy) in 2014 to provide farmers with financial protection against risks from increasing volatility in milk and feed prices. This report focuses on the interrelated topics of structural change in dairy production, changes in dairy product markets, growing price volatility, and dairy policy.

The Effects of the Margin Protection Program for Dairy Producers

(September 2016). This program offers protection when the difference between the U.S. all-milk price and the estimated average feed cost falls below an elected level. The program's potential impacts on average margins and risk at different levels of coverage for both the protected margin ($4-$8 per cwt) and the share of production covered (25 percent-90 percent) are estimated for 13 regions.

Growth of U.S. Dairy Exports

(November 2016). From 2004 to 2014, the value of U.S. dairy product exports more than quadrupled, and the United States became the world’s third-largest dairy product exporter, behind New Zealand and the European Union. In 2015, as global conditions changed, the value of U.S. dairy exports fell by almost 30 percent. The U.S. dairy industry will be challenged to increase market share in the years to come.


Federal Crop Insurance Options for Upland Cotton Farmers and Their Revenue Effects

(October 2019). Two new insurance products for U.S. cotton growers reduce revenue risk.

Federal Risk Management Tools for Agricultural Producers: An Overview

(June 2018). The report summarizes Federal risk management programs for agriculture since the 2014 Farm Act, including enrollment numbers, support payment triggers, effects on producers' revenue, and Government outlays.

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

(January 2016). This report provides an analysis of the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), the Price Loss Coverage (PLC), and the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) programs in the 2014 Farm Act. The report is aimed at better understanding the underlying mechanics of the programs and how various combinations of the programs affect producer revenues, producer well-being, and expected program costs.

Potential Variability in Commodity Support: Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

(August 2019). This report estimates the potential range of the Government’s cost for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs over the next 10 years for the three largest covered commodities—corn, soybeans, and wheat. Simulating program costs at both the county and national levels indicates program expenditures could vary widely due to uncertainty in commodity markets.

Weather Effects on Expected Corn and Soybean Yields

(July 2013). This report examines how weather affects U.S. corn and soybean yields. Weather during the growing season is critical for corn and soybean yields. Adjusting for weather in an analysis of historical U.S. corn and soybean yields is important for determining underlying trends and future yield expectations. Models for U.S. corn and soybean yields provide estimates of the effects of weather on yields for those crops.

Implications of an Early Corn Crop Harvest for Feed and Residual Use Estimates

(July 2012). This publication presents an econometric and statistical model for marketing-year feed and residual use for total feed grains. The model augments typical economic explanatory factors for feed demand with statistical factors related to the residual nature of this balance sheet component. 

Supply Response Under the 1996 Farm Act and Implications for the U.S. Field Crops Sector

(September 2000). This research measures the regional response of producers of major field crops to the flexibility mandated in the 1996 Act, in terms of their acreage and crop mix; the pattern of response is used in the baseline.

Projection Topics in International Agricultural Markets


Factors Contributing to Changes in Agricultural Commodity Prices and Trade for the United States and the World

(January 2020). This study examines changes in demand- and supply-side factors that contributed to agricultural commodity price fluctuations and estimates their effects on commodity markets.

A Deeper Look Into the USDA Crop Baseline Projections to 2028, With a Focus on Trade

​​​​​​(November 2019).  This report complements the USDA Agicultural Projections to 2028 report released in March 2019 by providing an overview of the process for generating the U.S. Department of Agriculture's long-term projections.  In particular, the report explains the expectations of the main drivers of the major crop markets, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, rice, and sugar.

The ERS Country-Commodity Linked System: Documenting Its International Country and Regional Agricultural Baseline Models

​​(November 2018). This report describes the underlying structure of the economic models that make up ERS's Country-Commodity Linked System. The models produce medium- to long-range projections of the supply and use of major agricultural commodities by 44 importing and exporting countries and regions. The data are used to develop USDA's annual 10-year agricultural projections.​​​​​​​​ ​​​ 

(October 2018). This report complements the USDA Agricultural Projections to 2027 report released in February 2018 by providing a roadmap of the process for generating USDA’s long-term projections. The main drivers of the major crop markets are explored, including the primary interactions between these crops.​

(May 2018). This study reviews long-term trends in public agricultural research and development (R&D) investment by high-income countries and examines how these investments contributed to economic growth. It also assesses important R&D policy reforms that other countries adopted and draws lessons for the United States.​

​​​​(March 2017). Worldwide changes in eating habits contribute to a global rise in obesity and related noncommunicable diseases (diabetes, heart disease, and stroke), across all countries, including low- and middle-income populations. This report investigates how income and prices influence dietary habits globally. ​

​​​​​​​​(July 2016).  The macroeconomic outlook underlying the 2016 USDa Ten-year agricultural projections indicates slower global income growth, particularly in developing countries, and a stronger dollar.  This shift in the macroeconomic environment relative to the past decade implies smaller projected increases in agricultural trade and declines in U.S. market share relative to previous projections. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​(November 2015). This study assesses the potential effects of the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on agriculture under three broad scenarios:  complete removal of tariffs and tariff-rate quotas; elimination of non-tariff measures along with tariffs and tariff-rate quotas; and less willingness of consumers to purchase imported goods previously limited by non-tariff measures.​​​

(November 2015). This study investigates the effects of non-tariff measures (NTM)-specifically, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade-on agricultural trade between the United States and the European Union (EU). Along with tariff reduction, the removal of NTMs emerged as a key focus of negotiations in the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

(October 2014).  The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade and investment agreement under negotiation by 12 countries in the Pacific Rim.  This report assesses the partnership's potential impacts on the region's agriculture in 2025.

​​​(October 2014).  The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership would lead to more agricultural exports to Japan from TPP partners, likely dominating the total agricultural trade impact of such an agreement. Despite those increases, especially in the rice, beef, and dairy sectors, the agreement would reduce Japan's output only marginally.

Brazil and Argentina: 

​(September 2020).  The effects of changing macroeconomic conditions on Brazil's agricultural production and trade are examined by simulating impacts of accelerated depreciation of its exchange rate and sustained economic growth. ​​​

​(June 2016). Because the supply and demand for ethanol are inexorably linked to that of petroleum, oil prices can affect production and land-use decisions for ethanol feedstocks and related agricultural commodities.  This study examines the effects of long-run changes in oil prices on ethanol production in Brazil and resulting cropping patterns.

(June 2016). This report explores export competitiveness of soybeans and corn in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States by comparing farm-level production costs, the cost of internal transportation and handling, and the cost of shipping to a common export destination. In addition, prices received by farmers and average yields for each crop in each country are analyzed to calculate producer returns.

(June 2016). Brazil emerged as the largest U.S. competitor in the global corn market with second-crop corn, harvested late in the local marketing year, boosting exports from September to January. A change in export seasonality could alter the seasonality of U.S. corn prices, further weakening corn prices at harvest and eroding U.S. export market share.


​(June 2019).  This report reviews factors driving China's imports of soybeans and production in Brazil and the United States, price dynamics, and market adjustments to China's retaliatory tariff on U.S. soybeans.​

​(January 2017).  Comparison of hog production costs and productivity for U.S. and China farms during 2000-15 reveals the price competitiveness of imported pork in China.​

​(February 2015). This report examines China's recent emergence as a major agricultural importer, analyzes U.S.-China trade patterns, summarizes projections of future imports, and discusses how Chinese officials are adjusting their strategic approach to agricultural trade as imports grow.​

(March 2015). This report examines China's attempt to maintain a high level of price support for its cotton producers, analyzing the policy's motivation, its consequences to date, and the impacts of various adjustment alternatives China might pursue. China's large role in world cotton markets and the unprecedented size of the government's cotton stocks suggest difficult choices ahead.

(November 2015). China's commercial feed industry plays a critical role in supporting growth of the country's livestock sector and creating export opportunities for other countries.

(December 2015). Analysis of the current state of China's dairy industry, including demand trends, domestic production, and the role of international trade.

​(April 2014). The pace of growth in China's corn yield is a key determinant of its future corn imports. Yields are growing, but more slowly than U.S. yields. Trends suggest China's corn consumption, driven by feed demand, will outpace production growth.​ 


(October 2019). This study examines the potential impacts on Indian farmers and processors of reducing barriers to soybean imports. Model-based simulations find that with imported soybeans, processors could more fully utilize their existing crush capacity, reduce unit costs, and sharply expand sales volumes and revenues—leading to substantial economic benefits.

(March 2017). India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk. Growth in milk supply and demand has been robust, but projections indicate that production targets will be difficult to reach without stronger gains in productivity. India is now a small net exporter of dairy products, but trade policies facilitated imports when shortages lead to high domestic prices.

(June 2016). Since the late 2000s, India's exports of beef—specifically water buffalo meat—expanded rapidly, with India emerging as the world's largest beef exporter in 2014. So far, Indian water buffalo meat exports have not been competitive with U.S. beef exports, primarily because they do not meet the quality preferences and animal health regulations required in the major U.S. markets.

(December 2015). Evaluating India's agricultural performance since 1980 suggests that productivity growth diffused away from the northern grain belt, led by accelerated horticulture and animal products. ERS researchers identify several policies propelling India's agricultural productivity, namely public and private agricultural research, irrigation infrastructure, and higher levels of public education.

Japan and East Asia:

(September 2016). Rice is Korea’s staple grain and most important crop. The U.S. was a key supplier of rice to this market in the 20th century and has supplied over one million tons since 2000. A tariff-rate quota now effectively precludes over-quota imports.

(January 2016). Japan is one of the largest beef importing countries in the world and an important destination market for the United States. This report examines how Japanese importers view U.S. beef vis-a-vis imports from Australia and other countries, how imports differ across beef products, and how market access reform might affect Japanese beef imports.

Canada and Mexico:

(July 2019). This report explores how the U.S. and Mexican corn sectors have changed since the transition to free-trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was completed and the extent to which the sectors could change further in the coming decade. Mexico is the largest foreign market for U.S. corn, and U.S. corn exports to Mexico have been free of tariff and quota restrictions since 2008.

(August 2016). This report provides an overview of the U.S.-Mexico sweetener market and explains how the agreements suspending the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on sugar imports from Mexico are likely to reshape this market.

(February 2015). This report examines the integration of North America's agricultural and food markets as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), implemented in 1994. NAFTA has had a profound effect on many aspects of North American agriculture over the past two decades.​


(February 2017). This report examines how total crop area, as well as area for grain, changed in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. After falling substantially in all three countries during the 1990s, total area and grain area rebounded somewhat in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, but currently this area is still far below the levels of the late Soviet period in Russia and Kazakhstan.​

(April 2017). Russia's agricultural total factor productivity in 1994-2013 reveals that output specialization has been a key feature of agricultural recovery in the transition to a market economy. Some districts specialized more in grains and oilseeds, and others in animal products. The fastest productivity growth occurred in the southern part of Russia, which emerged as its most important agricultural district.​  

Archives of Previous Baselines

Previous baseline projections reports, with related articles and presentations.


Last updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

For more information, contact: Erik Dohlman