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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/metadc40101/
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/
Emergency Assistance for Agricultural Land Rehabilitation
This report discusses the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) several permanently authorized programs to help producers recover from natural disasters. Most of these programs offer financial assistance to producers for a loss in the production of crops or livestock. In addition to the production assistance programs, USDA also has several permanent disaster assistance programs that help producers repair damaged crop and forest land following natural disasters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463066/
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/
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/
The Rural Abandoned Mine Program - A Fact Sheet
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Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis
This report begins with a brief introduction to check-off programs and then describes many of the First Amendment principles that have been discussed in checkoff cases. Next is an analysis of the first two challenges that reached the Supreme Court, as well as a brief discussion of subsequent lower court decisions. This report concludes with a discussion of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association and its possible implications for check-off programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9116/
The Private Testing of Mad Cow Disease: Legal Issues
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The Private Testing of Mad Cow Disease: Legal Issues
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The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
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The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
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Harvey v. Veneman and the National Organic Program: A Legal Analysis
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10111/
Grazing Fees: An Overview and Current Issues
This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8904/
Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management
This report discusses the two-pronged approach to grazing reform the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking by proposing changes to grazing regulations and considering other changes to grazing policies. BLM asserts that regulatory changes are needed to increase flexibility for grazing managers and permittees, to improve rangeland management and grazing permit administration, to promote conservation, and to comply with court decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9125/
Harvey v. Veneman
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Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues
This report provides basic information on the science of food biotechnology. It discusses regulatory policies and issues of concern about the use of biotechnology to modify foods through genetic engineering. It describes the scientific processes used and current products available. It explains how all three major federal agencies - the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency - regulate these foods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs835/
Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues
This report discusses the science of food biotechnology, and the federal structure by which it is regulated. Because U.S. farmers are adopting this technology at a rapid rate, some observers advocate a more active role for the federal government to ensure that farmers have equal access to this technology. Others believe that federal officials should play a more active role in protecting the environment, funding more research, and participating in international trade negotiations to ensure that trade continues to expand for genetically engineered crops. Trading partners often label food products that have been genetically modified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Many of those partners have labeling requirements for GMOs to allow consumers the “right to know” their food content. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1376/
Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1382/
Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1381/
Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3731/
Farm Labor: The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)
American agricultural employers have long utilized foreign workers on a temporary basis, regarding them as an important labor resource. At the same time, the relatively low wages and adverse working conditions of such workers have caused them to be viewed as a threat to domestic American workers. Some have argued that foreign guest workers compete unfairly with U.S. workers — both in terms of compensation that they are willing to accept and by making it somewhat more difficult for domestic workers to organize and to bargain with management. To mitigate any “adverse effect”for the domestic workforce, a system of wage floors was developed that applies, variously, both to alien and citizen workers: i.e., the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR). This report deals with one element of immigration (i.e., namely the H-2A workers). It introduces the adverse effect wage rate, it examines the concerns out of which it grew, and it explains at least some of the problems that have been encountered in giving it effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9115/
The 2002 Farm Bill: Comparison of Commodity Support Provisions with the House and Senate Proposals, and Prior Law
A new farm bill, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107- 171), covering crop years 2002-2007, was signed into law May 13, 2002. The previous farm bill (now prior law) was the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127), popularly called the FAIR Act. Commodity support authority in the FAIR Act (Title I, Agricultural Market Transition Act (AMTA)) was set to expire after crop year 2002. This report provides a side-by-side comparison of prior law (AMTA), with most commodity support provisions of Title I of the new law, and the House and Senate farm bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8625/
Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws
This report includes a glossary of approximately 1,700 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs379/
Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition
This report includes a glossary of approximately 2,500 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7246/
Average Farm Subsidy Payments, by State, 2002
The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes direct subsidy payments through the Commodity Credit Corporation to farmers for commodity price and income support, certain conservation and environmental activities, and some disaster losses. In 2002, these direct farm subsidy payments amounted to $12.151 billion. This report examines the distribution of these payments among states, calculates the average size of payments going to recipient farms in each state, and distinguishes between payments received by farm operators and landlords. This information is intended to aid in policy debates about subsidizing some farms but not others, changing per-person payment limits, and the altering eligibility rules for landlords to receive payments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9086/
Comparing Quota Buyout Payments for Peanuts and Tobacco
The purpose of this analysis is to provide a generally consistent comparison of the benefits provided to peanut quota holders and producers and proposed benefits concerning tobacco. It is not the intention of this analysis to attempt to determine the appropriate size of these buyout payments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9079/
Compensating Farmers for the Tobacco Settlement
The legislative proposals designed to reduce smoking, primarily by teenagers, are likely to have negative economic consequences for tobacco growers and tobacco-dependent communities. This report discusses the possibility of some kind of compensation to farmers as part of the settlement package legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs563/
Cotton Production and Support in the United States
This report explains the various cotton subsidy programs and provides quantitative data on market revenues, production costs, and the size of the subsidies. Also, it characterizes the relative position of the United States vis-a-vis other countries as a producer, exporter and importer of cotton. The purpose of this examination is to provide U.S. policy makers with a complete overview of U.S. cotton production and the federal programs that support that production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9088/
Farm Commodity Payment Limits: Comparison of Proposals
This report discusses U.S. policy regard farm commodities. Greater public awareness of the size of commodity program payments reaching a comparatively small number of very large farms has focused the attention of Congress on payment limits. Limits on commodity program payments have been imposed since 1970. As part of the emergency economic assistance packages enacted each of the past three years, the payment limits have been doubled. In addition, a mechanism has been developed that allows farms to circumvent the limit on loan deficiency payments, namely commodity certificates digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2126/
Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill
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Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill
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Summary and Comparison of the Major Agricultural Provisions of the Tobacco Settlement Policy Proposals
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Tobacco Farmer Assistance
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Tobacco Farmer Assistance
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Tobacco Price Support: An Overview of the Program
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Tobacco Price Support: An Overview of the Program
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Tobacco Price Support: An Overview of the Program
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Tobacco Price Support: An Overview of the Program
About 94 percent of U.S. tobacco production is flue-cured and burley (cigarette tobacco types). These crops are particularly important to the agriculture of North Carolina and Kentucky. The federal tobacco price support program is designed to support and stabilize prices for farmers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26070/
Tobacco Programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Their Operation and Cost
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Tobacco Quota Buyout
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Tobacco Quota Buyout
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Tobacco-Related Programs and Activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Operation and Cost
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Tobacco-Related Programs and Activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Operation and Cost
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U.S. Tobacco Production, Consumption, and Export Trends
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U.S. Tobacco Production, Consumption, and Export Trends
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Farm Economic Relief and Policy Issues in the 106th Congress: A Retrospective
This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1380/
Farm Economic Relief: Issues and Options for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1057/
Farm Economic Relief: Issues and Options for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding and subsidies. In response to low prices, natural disasters, and other farm-related problems, Congress has, over 3 successive years, provided a total of about $23 billion in supplemental aid – in addition to funds already programmed through the 1996 farm bill (P.L. 104-127). The most recent aid was attached to a crop insurance reform bill signed into law on June 22, 2000 (P.L. 106-224). This Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 includes $7.113 billion for additional farm income and related assistance, of which $5.5 billion is to be spent in FY2000. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1056/
Energy Provisions of the Farm Bill: Comparison of the New Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills
This report provides a side-by-side comparison of the energy provisions of the new law with previously existing law, as well as the versions engrossed by the House and Senate in the 107th Congress. While the energy provisions in the House version were spread throughout the bill, the Senate version consolidated most of its energy provisions into Title IX - Energy. Both bills provided for the use of reserve land for renewable energy production. The House version also allowed for loans to farmers in response to high energy prices, while the Senate version did not. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9081/