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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
What Is the “Farm Bill”?

What Is the “Farm Bill”?

Date: May 16, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report discusses the farm bill, which renewed about every five years, governs federal farm and food policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2013 Appropriations

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2013 Appropriations

Date: January 17, 2013
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill—formally known as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which provides funding for the following agencies: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
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Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues

Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues

Date: February 6, 2015
Creator: Shields, Dennis A.
Description: 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.
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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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Methyl Bromide and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Methyl Bromide and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Date: September 26, 2006
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A.
Description: This report discusses Methyl Bromide (MeBr), a widely used pesticide in agriculture, is regulated for its potential ozone-depleting effects in the Earth’s stratosphere.
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The U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products

The U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products

Date: April 30, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report presents recent trends in U.S. fruit and vegetable trade, and highlights some of the factors contributing to these trends. This summary excludes trade data for tree nuts and processed tree nut products. Although not presented here, U.S. exports and imports of tree nuts and processed tree nut products (excluding peanuts) have shown continued increases, with a growing trade surplus of $1.8 billion in 2006.
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WTO Doha Round: Implications for U.S. Agriculture

WTO Doha Round: Implications for U.S. Agriculture

Date: January 4, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations began in November 2001. From an agricultural viewpoint, the goal of the negotiations was to make progress simultaneously across the three pillars of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agricultural Agreement—domestic support, market access, and export competition—by building on the specific terms and conditions established during the previous Uruguay Round of negotiations. This report reviews the current status of agricultural negotiations for domestic support, market access, and export subsidies, and their potential implications for U.S. agriculture.
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The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status

The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status

Date: July 3, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Womach, Jasper
Description: The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform, or FAIR, Act of 1996 (commonly known as the "farm bill"), which was due to expire in 2002, is expected to be extended for another six years when President Bush signs the bill into law. This report discusses the provisions of the new "farm bill," including the federal spending involved.
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Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations

Date: January 4, 2010
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: This report discusses various policy aspects of the Agriculture appropriations bill for FY2010, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), except for the Forest Service.
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: March 19, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda.
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: August 8, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly require enforceable on-farm safety standards.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: December 19, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda.
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: April 21, 2010
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses comprehensive food safety bills that are progressing in the 111th Congress and could affect farmers and ranchers. Interest in on-farm practices was renewed after more than 1,300 persons in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada were found to be infected with the same unusual strain of bacteria (Salmonella Saintpaul) in April-July 2008.
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The World Trade Organization: The Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Negotiations

The World Trade Organization: The Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Negotiations

Date: August 19, 2008
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F.
Description: This report looks at the evolution of the Doha Round World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, possible effects of the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) agreement, and major negotiating issues from a U.S. standpoint. NAMA refers to the cutting of tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTB) on industrial and primary products, basically all trade in goods which are not foodstuffs.
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U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

Date: April 2, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: In December 2008, the United States and Russia signed a protocol aimed at resolving various emerging trade issues between the two countries in order to continue U.S. livestock and poultry exports to Russia through the end of 2009. This report examines the current trade relationship between the U.S. and Russia in regards to meat and poultry.
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Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Date: August 27, 2007
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Description: This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419. Some alternative proposals that the House considered are summarized in an appendix. The House-passed bill includes some elements of the alternative proposals (usually in modified form). This report is limited to the conservation title. However, conservation topics in recent farm bills have been increasingly addressed in other titles, and that trend continues with the House-passed version, which contains conservation provisions in the energy, forestry, and research titles, and others as well.
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A New Farm Program Option: Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)

A New Farm Program Option: Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A.
Description: Farm commodity programs over the decades have focused on protecting farmers against declines in farm prices and not declines in revenue (price times production). Traditional programs for field crops provide benefits to producers when farm prices drop below specified levels. This report discusses the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program which Congress included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246) as a revenue based program option for farmers who enroll in traditional farm commodity programs. Unlike revenue protection provided by some crop insurance products, ACRE is designed to protect against losses from multi-year price declines.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: February 7, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Porter, Donna V.
Description: 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. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
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U.S.-Canada Wheat Trade Dispute

U.S.-Canada Wheat Trade Dispute

Date: April 19, 2006
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report provides background for understanding the U.S. and Canadian wheat trade dispute, as well as timelines, rulings, and other details for the International Trade Commission (ITC) and World Trade Organization (WTO) cases brought by the United States against Canadian wheat trading practices and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
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Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Date: December 4, 2012
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: A potential major constraint affecting U.S. agricultural policy choices is the set of commitments made as part of membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its various agreements governing agriculture and trade, including dispute settlement. This report provides a brief overview of the WTO commitments most relevant for U.S. domestic farm policy. A key question that policymakers ask of virtually every new farm proposal is, how will it affect U.S. commitments under the WTO?
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Farm Bill Legislative Action in the 110th Congress

Farm Bill Legislative Action in the 110th Congress

Date: May 28, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Becker, Geoffrey S.; Capehart, Tom; Chite, Ralph M.; Cowan, Tadlock; Gorte, Ross W. et al.
Description: 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.
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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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Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, the Superfund law) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and two House hearings are discussed. Bills intended to exempt animal manure from the requirements of Superfund and EPCRA were introduced in the 109th Congress. Similar bills were introduced in the 110th Congress (H.R. 1398 and S. 807), but no legislation has been enacted. Issues raised by the legislation are analyzed.
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Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Date: March 12, 2007
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: The potential of terrorist attacks against agricultural targets (agroterrorism) is increasingly recognized as a national security threat, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. This report focuses primarily on biological weapons (rather than chemical weapons) because biological weapons generally are considered the more potent agroterrorism threat. This report also focuses more on the threat of agroterrorism against agricultural production, rather than on food processing and distribution, although the latter is discussed.
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