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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Agriculture in the WTO: Rules and Limits on Domestic Support
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462631/
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/
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2006
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9308/
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2005
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)). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7262/
Farm Disaster Assistance: USDA Programs and Recent Legislative Action
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Agriculture in the WTO: Member Spending on Domestic Support
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8538/
Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9097/
Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9130/
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9096/
Economic Sanctions and U.S. Agricultural Exports
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1255/
Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1379/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10150/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs839/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8736/
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10061/
U.S. Agriculture and the International Monetary Fund
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U.S. European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
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U.S.-European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
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Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support
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? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822427/
Reauthorization of SNAP and Other Nutrition Programs in the Next Farm Bill: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report discusses the Nutrition Title (Title IV) of the pending farm bills and elaborates on the most controversial issues and differences between Senate and House proposals. Policies that are not necessarily controversial but are complex are also included in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272066/
Programs Without a Budget Baseline at the End of the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246), which provided mandatory funding for many programs. Some of these programs had budget baseline beyond the end of the farm bill in FY2012, while others did not. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287942/
What Is the Farm Bill?
This report discusses the farm bill, which is an omnibus, multi-year piece of authorizing legislation that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287902/
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/
Animal Identification and Traceability: Overview and Issues
This report provides a summary of current developments in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) effort to establish a national animal traceability capacity with the intended goal of being able to rapidly identify and respond to an animal disease outbreak. National animal identification and traceability appear to have substantial economic value, yet federal proposals have proven controversial among certain segments of the U.S. cattle industry. This report provides background on animal ID and traceability in general, and the development of the current U.S. system of animal ID and traceability in particular. In addition, it reviews the claims and counter-claims of proponents and opponents of a national animal ID system, and describes many of the unresolved issues related to program development. Finally, two appendixes offer a brief chronology of the development of the U.S. National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and its successor program, and a brief description of the major international organizations involved in setting standards and rules for animal health and trade in animal products, along with summary descriptions of animal ID and traceability programs found in other major livestock producer and consumer countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491014/
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/
The 2008 Farm Bill: Major Provisions and Legislative Action
The report discusses the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419), covering a wide range of programs including The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463223/
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/
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/
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Selected Issues
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Dairy Policy and the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the impact of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act) on the U.S. dairy industry. It includes an overview of provisions and issues that result from the bill and looks specifically at the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, the dairy price support program, federal milk marketing orders, and dairy import assessment. There is also some analysis of the implications regarding World Trade Organization (WTO) limitations. An appendix provides a comparison of the 2008 provisions and those from previous legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94105/
Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues
This report describes several scientifically emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87304/
Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues
This report describes several scientifically-emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94024/
Comparison of the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Agreement with the House and Senate Farm Bills
This report compares the major provisions in the House- and Senate-passed bills and the conference agreement with each other and with the 2002 law, and provides a brief description of all individual sections or subsections within each title. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94122/
The Conservation Security Program in the 2002 Farm Bill
The Conservation Security Program (CSP), a new program enacted in section 2001 of the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) and administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, creates a three-tiered system rewarding increased levels of conservation on agricultural operations with increased payments. Payments include a base payment for acreage enrolled, a payment for new or existing conservation practices, and an “enhancement” payment for conservation exceeding minimum program standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9255/
Peanuts: Policy Issues
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Agriculture: Payment in Kind (PIK) Program
On January 11, 1983, President Reagan announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would implement a payment-in-kind (PIK) program to help reduce Government grain surpluses and to improve farm income. The materials included in this report were compiled by Congressional Research Staff for Member of Congress desirous of more information on the subject. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9038/
Animal Rendering: Economics and Policy
Renderers convert dead animals and animal byproducts into ingredients for a wide range of industrial and consumer goods, such as animal feed, soaps, candles, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. This report describes the rendering industry and discusses several industry-related issues that arose in the 108th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9085/
Avian Influenza: Agricultural Issues
Since the fall of 2003, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has spread throughout Asia, infecting mostly poultry but also a limited number of humans. The virus reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East and Africa in 2006. Avian flu is highly contagious in domestic poultry. Strict biosecurity measures are practiced by commercial poultry farms and encouraged by governments. The economic effects of avian flu outbreaks can be significant, especially given international trade restrictions. Controlling avian flu in poultry is seen as the best way to prevent a human pandemic from developing, by reducing the number of animal hosts in which the virus may evolve. This report mainly covers avian flu in poultry, and will be updated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9137/
Tobacco-Related Activities and Programs in the Federal Government: A Summary
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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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StarLink™ Corn Controversy: Background
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Specialty Crops: 2008 Farm Bill Issues
This report discusses the provisions for specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops) in the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). Specialty crops are not eligible for direct support under USDA's farm commodity price and income support programs. Federal policies on trade, conservation, credit, marketing programs, domestic food assistance, and research also all affect the specialty crop sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94045/
Merger and Antitrust Issues in Agriculture
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Merger and Antitrust Issues in Agriculture: Statutes and Agencies
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Merger and Antitrust Issues in Agriculture: Statutes and Agencies
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Merger and Antitrust Issues in Agriculture: Statutes and Agencies
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Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting
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Livestock Price Reporting: Background
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Livestock Price Reporting: Background
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