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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Information Services for Agriculture: The Role of Technology

Information Services for Agriculture: The Role of Technology

Date: November 16, 1982
Creator: Chartrand, Robert L.; Carr, A. B. & Miller, Nancy
Description: Significant improvements in technology-supported information services have created opportunities for their utilization by the farmers and ranchers of our Nation. This report highlights the development and expanded offering of these systems, describes current operational and experimental systems, and presents salient legislative initiatives which address this priority area.
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Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Date: August 18, 2008
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses the potential impact on agriculture of June flooding across much of the Corn Belt. As much as 5 million acres of crop production were initially thought to be either lost entirely or subject to significant yield reductions.
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Harvey v. Veneman and the National Organic Program: A Legal Analysis

Harvey v. Veneman and the National Organic Program: A Legal Analysis

Date: November 18, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R.
Description: The First Circuit’s ruling in Harvey v. Veneman brought much attention and uncertainty to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. In the case, Harvey alleged that multiple provisions of the National Organic Program Final Rule (Final Rule) were inconsistent with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). The First Circuit sided with Harvey on three counts, putting into question the use of synthetics and commercially unavailable organic agricultural products, as well as certain feeding practices for dairy herds converting to organic production. On remand, the district court ordered a two-year time frame for the implementation and enforcement of new rules consistent with the ruling; however, in the FY2006 agriculture appropriations act (P.L. 109 97), Congress amended the OFPA to address the holdings of the case. This report describes the OFPA, discusses those holdings where the court determined that a provision of the Final Rule was inconsistent with the OFPA and analyzes the most recent legislative action.
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Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations

Date: October 21, 2015
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for FY 2016, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- except for the Forest Service -- as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
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Specialty Crop Issues in the 109th Congress

Specialty Crop Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: August 19, 2005
Creator: Rawson, Jean M
Description: This report discusses the U.S. specialty crop issues in the 109th Congress. This sector is comprised of producers, handlers, processors, and retailers of fruit, vegetable, tree nut, and nursery crops.
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Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era

Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era

Date: January 22, 1999
Creator: Chite, Ralph M & Jickling, Mark
Description: This report discusses the enhancements to the crop insurance and revenue insurance programs that are expected to be considered by the 106th Congress in order to improve the farm financial safety net and preclude the need for ad hoc legislative assistance.
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Dairy Policy Issues

Dairy Policy Issues

Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: This report discusses several dairy issues that have been or are being considered by the 109th Congress, some of which affect the three major federal dairy policy tools -- the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, federal milk marketing orders, and the dairy price support program.
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Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Date: July 20, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: This report discusses a number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture have been or are being addressed by the 109th Congress. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171), enacted in February 2006, included a net reduction in spending on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandatory programs of $2.7 billion over five years, and the reauthorization of a dairy income support program. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the second session of the 109th Congress include the consideration of emergency farm disaster assistance; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and avian flu); high energy costs; environmental issues; agricultural marketing matters; the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and farm labor issues.
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Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress

Date: April 4, 2006
Creator: Buck, Eugene H
Description: Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management. This report discusses a variety of laws and legislation pertaining to this issue.
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Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Date: March 8, 2007
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders, and the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise. This report discusses legislation regarding this credit assistance expected in the the 110th Congress. Appropriators will consider funding for FSA’s farm loan programs, and the agriculture committees may consider changes to FSA and FCS lending programs. The 2007 farm bill is expected to be the venue for many of the authorizing issues, although stand-alone legislation may be used for extensive reforms.
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Agriculture in the WTO: Rules and Limits on Domestic Support

Agriculture in the WTO: Rules and Limits on Domestic Support

Date: September 18, 2014
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments most relevant for U.S. domestic farm policy. The report discusses a key question that policy makers ask of virtually every new farm proposal is, how will it affect U.S. commitments under the WTO? The answer depends not only on cost, but also on the proposal's design and objectives, as described below.
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Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Date: February 4, 2010
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Description: This report discusses pending U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. The bills to implement these agreements will now be debated under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration. The report includes an overview of agricultural issues regarding FTAs and pending FTA partners, as well as a closer breakdown of the specific issues for each of the countries.
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Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2006

Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2006

Date: July 3, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M
Description: From FY1989 through FY2006, 33 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $55.4 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The two most recent supplemental appropriations were provided in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico and in preparation for a possible U.S. outbreak of avian influenza. Some FY1989, the vast majority of the total supplemental funding has been paid directly to farmers, primarily through two mechanisms: "market loss payments" and crop disaster payments. This report includes the total annual funding additions in the 33 acts providing economic and farm disaster assistance through USDA programs since FY1989.
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Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2005

Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2005

Date: June 23, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M
Description: From FY1989 through FY2005 (to date), 31 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $53.2 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs (excluding the Forest Service, which is funded annually under the Interior appropriations bill). Nearly $41 billion, or 77% of the total amount, was for FY1999-FY2005 alone. Two FY2005 supplementals have been enacted to date, the largest of which was a disaster relief package in response to the 2004 hurricanes and other natural disasters, which included $3.5 billion for agricultural losses (attached to the FY2005 Military Construction Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-324)).
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Farm Disaster Assistance: USDA Programs and Recent Legislative Action

Farm Disaster Assistance: USDA Programs and Recent Legislative Action

Date: November 4, 1998
Creator: Chite, Ralph M
Description: None
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Agriculture in the WTO: Member Spending on Domestic Support

Agriculture in the WTO: Member Spending on Domestic Support

Date: June 17, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: Under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Agriculture (AA), member countries agreed to general rules regarding disciplines on domestic and export subsidies, and concessions on market access. This report focuses solely on the commitments made by WTO member countries concerning government outlays in support of domestic agricultural production. The three sections of the report provide a brief overview of WTO domestic policy commitments; background information on WTO member requirements for reporting on domestic subsidy outlays; WTO member outlays made to support agricultural production; and U.S. agricultural support outlays compared against spending limits. In addition, the report briefly discusses the implications for U.S. agricultural policy of continued adherence to existing WTO commitments.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Date: November 17, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Date: March 10, 2006
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
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Economic Sanctions and U.S. Agricultural Exports

Economic Sanctions and U.S. Agricultural Exports

Date: March 20, 2000
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Description: Various statutes and regulations authorize the President to restrict or prohibit trade with targeted countries for national security or foreign policy reasons. The exercise of these authorities has resulted in restrictions or prohibitions at times being placed on the export of U.S. agricultural commodities and products. The U.S. government currently restricts exports of agricultural products as part of across-the-board economic sanctions imposed on Cuba and Iraq. Exceptions are made for humanitarian reasons, allowing food to be sold or donated to these two countries.
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Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments

Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments

Date: July 20, 2001
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: Congress is now debating reauthorization of omnibus farm legislation, as most commodityprice support provisions expire in 2002. This report discusses this debate, specifically aspects relating to commitments that the U.S. has as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member. Because of the interrelationships between trade and domestic support policies, lawmakers are interested in what the Agreement on Agriculture stipulates with regard to domestic supports, and how not only the United States but also other countries are meeting their Agreement commitments.
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Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Date: November 28, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs.
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Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Date: June 22, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (now about $5.7 billion per year) is simply transferred directly into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) child nutrition account to fund school feeding and other programs.
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Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Date: August 26, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (totaling approximately $6 billion each year) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) child nutrition account.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department