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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Role of Local and Regional Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy
This report provides background information on many of the type of operations engaged in the U.S. local and regional food system. A wide range of farm businesses are involved in local foods, such as direct-to-consumer marketing, farmers' markets, farm-to-school programs, community-supported agriculture,6 community gardens, school gardens, food hubs and market aggregators, kitchen incubators, and mobile slaughter units. This report also highlights some of the available resources within existing federal programs administered by USDA and other agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824817/
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2006, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824803/
Appropriations for FY2002: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Related Agencies
This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture by summarizing the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report also lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824665/
Payment Limits for Farm Commodity Programs: Issues and Proposals
This report provides background on payment limits related to farm commodity programs and discusses relevant legislation. The policy issue is mostly about farm size rather than the financial need of recipients, although the two may be related. Limits on commodity program payments have been imposed since 1970. The 2002 farm bill retains the former limits, adds limits for the new counter-cyclical program, and incorporates new commodities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824694/
U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2016
This report discusses this the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) farm income outlook and its implications. According to USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income--a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being--is forecast at $54.8 billion in 2016, down 3% from last year. The 2016 forecast represents the third consecutive year of decline and would be the lowest since 2002 in both nominal and inflation-adjusted dollars. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824495/
Dairy Policy Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824542/
Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues
This report discusses several programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. Federal crop insurance, farm programs, and disaster assistance are collectively called the farm safety net. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822566/
Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822378/
Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report discusses the impact of environmental regulation on agriculture. Most environmental regulations, in terms of permitting, inspection, and enforcement, are implemented by state and local governments, often based on federal EPA regulatory guidance. In some cases, agriculture is the direct or primary focus of the regulatory actions. In other cases, agriculture is one of many affected sectors. Traditionally, farm and ranch operations have been exempt or excluded from many environmental regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822617/
Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report provides the background, status, and issues related to selected environmental regulations or initiatives possibly affecting agriculture that have drawn attention in and beyond Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815454/
Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices
This report is intended to provide an overview of on-farm irrigation and does not cover storage and conveyance prior to the farm or how irrigation adoption may alter other farm practices, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides or impacts off-farm (e.g., groundwater and surface water quality concerns). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795500/
Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy
This report discusses various provisions designed to reduce production and conserve soil and water resources. Many of the provisions remain in effect today, including the two compliance provisions--highly erodible land conservation (sodbuster) and wetland conservation (swampbuster). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795580/
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795898/
U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects
This report reviews the current state of agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba, identifies key impediments to expanding bilateral trade in agricultural products and key provisions in the law to which these obstacles are anchored. It also summarizes several of the bills introduced in the 114th Congress that propose to remove specific restrictions that impede trade in agricultural goods or that seek to lift the embargo on Cuba entirely. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795368/
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
This report analyzes the agriculture, nutrition, and rural provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). The ARRA boosts government spending on various infrastructure programs and government benefits programs, and offers individual and business tax benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795420/
Temporary Farm Labor: The H-2A Program and the U.S. Department of Labor's Proposed Changes in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)
This report begins with a description of the H-2A program. Next, the report explains how the AEWR is currently determined and how it would be calculated under the proposed regulations. Finally, the report examines some potential effects of the proposed change in the AEWR on the wages and employment of foreign and U.S. workers on U.S. farms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795765/
Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770589/
California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use
This report provides an overview of California's farm economy, specifically examining the current state of the water supply and the use of irrigation water. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770633/
Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture
This report discusses the widespread flooding across much of the Corn Belt that has cast considerable uncertainty over 2008 U.S. corn and soybean production prospects. Estimates of crop damage vary widely, and could change based on the extent of plant recovery or replanting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743425/
FY2016 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 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). Agriculture appropriations include both mandatory and discretionary spending, however, mandatory amounts are general set by other authorizing laws (such as the farm bill). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743471/
U.S. Farm Income
This report discusses the aggregate national net farm income and the farm debt-to-asset status as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It includes an overview of income and expenses for calendar year 2009, income projections through 2018, the average farm household income, and information about farm asset values and debt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743464/
Update on the Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak of 2014-2015
This report discusses selected issues regarding the severe outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) currently affecting poultry in the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743595/
U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects
This report reviews the current state of agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba. It identifies key impediments to expanding bilateral trade in agricultural products and key provisions in the law to which these obstacles are anchored, and also considers the potential consequences for trade in agricultural goods if bilateral trade were returned to a more normal footing. It also summarizes several of the bills introduced in the 114th Congress that propose to remove specific restrictions that impede trade in agricultural goods or that seek to lift the embargo on Cuba entirely. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743399/
Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues
This report discusses several programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. Federal crop insurance, farm programs, and disaster assistance are collectively called the farm safety net. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743377/
FDA Tobacco Regulation: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009
This report focuses on the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. It includes a brief discussion of the contrasting views of FDA tobacco regulation held by the public health community and the industry, and provides some analysis of a number of key regulatory issues that the bill raises. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700574/
Farm Bill Legislative Action in the 110th Congress
This report discuses the periodic omnibus farm bill, which is renewed about every five years, and governs federal farm and food policy. The report contains congressional actions and a summary of the conference agreement provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700663/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689214/
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) budget and operations. The ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with administering and enforcing federal laws related to the manufacture, importation, and distribution of firearms and explosives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689494/
2014 Farm Bill Provisions and WTO Compliance
This report briefly describes the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) rules governing domestic support programs under the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). The report then reviews the current U.S. farm safety net programs in light of their potential for compliance with the AoA and SCM and their potential to affect the success of the current Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626945/
Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program
This report provides a description and status report on Brazil's challenge to certain aspects of the U.S. cotton program under the rules of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) dispute settlement process in case DS267. The "Brazil cotton case" had its WTO origins in 2002 and has since evolved into a sprawling legal enterprise that is still ongoing as of mid-2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627121/
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: Ongoing Outbreak
This report gives a brief overview of the pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which as of May 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported 168 cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627088/
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627028/
Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505380/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505399/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505524/
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2009
This report provides a table which lists supplemental appropriations for Agriculture. From FY1989 through FY2009, 39 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $68.7 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). Approximately $50.2 billion, or just under three-fourths of the total amount, was provided within the last 10 years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505517/
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505410/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503378/
U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2015
This report discusses national net farm income, which is a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being. The outlook for lower net farm income, coupled with record farm wealth, suggests a mixed financial picture heading into 2015 for the agricultural sector as a whole, with substantial regional variation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503519/
Bee Health: The Role of Pesticides
This report briefly describes recent scientific research and analysis regarding the potential role of pesticides among the factors affecting the health and well-being of bees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503633/
Emergency Assistance for Agricultural Land Rehabilitation
This report describes emergency agricultural land assistance programs designed to repair agricultural and forest land following a natural disaster and potentially mitigate future risk. It presents background on the programs--purpose, activities, authority, eligibility requirements, and authorized program funding levels, as well as current congressional issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503496/
U.S.-EU Poultry Dispute on the Use of Pathogen Reduction Treatments (PRTs)
This report highlights the dispute between the U.S. and EU over the use of Pathogen Reduction Treatments (PRTs) during the processing of poultry products. PRT's are antimicrobial rinses--including chlorine dioxide, acidified sodium chlorite, trisodium phosphate, and peroxyacids, among others--that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use in poultry processing to reduce the amount of microbes on meat. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501899/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current USDA disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501569/
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491282/
Agriculture in the WTO Bali Ministerial Agreement
At the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, December 3-7, 2013, ministers adopted the so-called Bali Package--a series of decisions aimed at streamlining trade (referred to as trade facilitation), allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least-developed-country trade, and helping development more generally. This report focuses on those aspects of the Bali Package that deal with and are specific to agriculture. It also includes a section (at the end of the report) that provides an update on the status of implementation of the various Bali Package provisions agreed to by the WTO. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491155/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. This report discusses various food safety proposals in Congress, as well as agencies with food safety related responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491097/
Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program
This report provides a description and status report on Brazil's challenge to certain aspects of the U.S. cotton program under the rules of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) dispute settlement process in case DS267.1 The "Brazil cotton case" had its WTO origins in 2002 and has since evolved into a sprawling legal enterprise that is still ongoing as of mid-2010. The report begins by summarizing the most recent developments in the case. It then provides a detailed history of the case in chronological phases. Readers interested in the current status of the dispute, and in particular details of the negotiations to reach a mutual settlement and avoid trade retaliation against U.S. goods and services, should proceed directly to the report section entitled "Phase V: Retaliation or Settlement?" digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491182/
A Whole-Farm Crop Disaster Program: Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE)
This report discusses the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill), which created a set of disaster programs called "Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance." The programs supplement crop insurance coverage and provide disaster assistance for livestock (including aquaculture and honey bees), forage, and tree and nursery crops. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491131/
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses various policy aspects of the Agriculture appropriations bill for FY2015, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), except for the Forest Service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491638/
The Farm Safety Net: In Brief
This report discusses the several programs operated by The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. The programs are collectively called the farm safety net. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491515/
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