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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (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/metadc491372/
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/
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490972/
Potential Trade Implications of Restrictions on Antimicrobial Use in Animal Production
This report is organized into three parts. First, it provides an overview of U.S. export markets for livestock and poultry products, and highlights key U.S. foreign trading partners. Second, it discusses policies in selected foreign markets that may restrict or limit the use of antimicrobial drugs in food animal production, including imports of animal products grown with these drugs. Third, it discusses some implications of these policies for U.S. livestock and poultry exports to selected foreign markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490892/
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Legislative Action
In recent years, major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, product recalls, and reports about unsafe food imports have caused some to question the adequacy of the U.S. food safety system. Stakeholders appear to agree that an optimal system should encompass a comprehensive, preventive approach to food safety, focusing on those foods and points in the food system that pose the greatest public health risks, starting at the point of production - that is, on farms and ranches. This report discusses differing opinions on this topic, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490944/
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/metadc462213/
Unapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Discovered in Oregon: Status and Implications
This report discusses the 2013 discovery of unapproved Genetically Engineered (GE) wheat in eastern Oregon and its effect on future policy considerations and regulatory structures in biotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461963/
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/
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues
The report provides background information in the increase of food and agricultural imports and federal oversight responsibilities. It discusses international trade considerations, import refusals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), administration, and legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462366/
Status of the WTO Brazil-U.S. Cotton Case
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462585/
Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector
This report is organized in three parts. First, it discusses the extent of GHG emissions associated with the U.S. agriculture sector, and cites current and potential estimates for U.S. agricultural soils to sequester carbon and partly offset national GHG emissions. Second, the report describes the types of land management and farm conservation practices that can reduce GHG emissions and/or sequester carbon in agricultural soils, highlighting those practices that are currently promoted under existing voluntary federal agricultural programs. The Appendix provides a summary primer of the key background information presented in these first two sections. Finally, the report describes ongoing legislative action within both the climate change and farm bill debates, and discusses the types of questions that may be raised regarding the role of the U.S. agriculture sector in the broader climate change debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462328/
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/
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 early 2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461934/
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 PIADC, and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462724/
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/metadc463123/
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 PIADC, and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463128/
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/
Food and Agricultural Imports from China
This report first provides information on the most recent Chinese-related food safety concern, the use of melamine in dairy ingredients. Following this section, the report provides data on U.S.-China trends in agricultural trade, examines U.S. programs to monitor the safety of imports, and reports on other recent Chinese food safety developments. It concludes with a brief discussion of the congressional role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462423/
Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support
This report provides a brief overview of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) commitments most relevant for U.S. domestic farm policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462865/
What Is the Farm Bill?
This report describes the Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which was enacted into law on June 18, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463323/
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for Hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana. The report compares Hemp with Marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462492/
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/metadc463516/
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/metadc462652/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
This report covers the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Canada and Mexico say that the (COOL) system is unfair and does not meet its original objectives, while Congress is considering legislation that would further expand labeling requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462835/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S and 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. The dispute was brought before the World Trade Organization (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/metadc462023/
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/
What Is the Farm Bill?
This report describes the Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), which was enacted into law on June 18, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284528/
Farm Commodity Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill (P.L. 113-79)
This report describes the farm commodity programs in Title I of the 2014 farm bill for "covered commodities" such as wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and peanuts. Producer support is provided for the 2014-2018 crop years primarily through either statutory ("reference") prices or historical revenue guarantees based on the five most recent years of crop prices and yields. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284467/
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/metadc276878/