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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Previewing the Next Farm Bill

Previewing the Next Farm Bill

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: Congress periodically establishes agricultural and food policy in an omnibus farm bill. The 112th Congress faces reauthorization of the current five-year farm bill because many of its provisions expire in 2012. The 2008 farm bill contained 15 titles covering farm commodity support, horticulture, livestock, conservation, nutrition assistance, international food aid, trade, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, bioenergy, and forestry, among others. Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees anticipate having a new farm bill completed before the end of this session. If the current farm bill expires without a new authorization or a temporary extension, it automatically would be replaced with permanent statutes for farm commodity support, which are not fully compatible with current national economic objectives, global trading rules, and federal budgetary or regulatory policies.
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Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama

Date: October 6, 2011
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Description: 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.
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Farm Safety Net Proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill

Farm Safety Net Proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill

Date: October 6, 2011
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses three proposals-one by the National Cotton Council, one by Representative Neugebauer, and another by a private crop insurance company-focus on modifications to crop insurance programs. The National Farmers Union proposes to replace existing farm programs with a combination of farmer-owned-reserves, increased loan rates, and set asides. A proposed new dairy program-the Dairy Security Act-would provide a voluntary margin insurance program and market stabilization activities in place of current dairy programs. Finally, the proposed REFRESH Act (Senator Lugar) would eliminate most commodity programs (including the sugar program), and incorporate ARRM, the Dairy Security Act, and expanded whole-farm revenue insurance in their place.
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Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agriculture Implications

Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agriculture Implications

Date: May 18, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée.
Description: The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused widespread devastation that affected many of the country's agricultural and fishery areas. The nuclear crisis that followed at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, and the subsequent detection of radioactive contamination of food produced near the disabled facility, further raised fears about the safety of Japan's food production systems and its future food exports. Most reports acknowledge that Japan's current production and supply shortages, along with rising food safety concerns and possible longer-term radiation threats to its food production, could limit Japan's food exports while possibly increasing its need for food imports in the future. It is still not clear what effect, if any, Japan's current food supply and demand situation will have on world farm commodity markets and food prices.
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Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Date: April 19, 2011
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: 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.
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Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Is Biopower Carbon Neutral?

Date: March 24, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Description: This report discusses some of the most relevant factors to take into account when considering whether or not biopower is carbon neutral. It does not discuss carbon accounting for other bioenergy pathways.
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U.S. and EU Agricultural Support: Overview and Comparison

U.S. and EU Agricultural Support: Overview and Comparison

Date: March 21, 2011
Creator: Schnepf, Randy & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: This report uses data from two public sources to compare agricultural support between the United States and the European Union (EU): (1) estimates of domestic support for agricultural programs based on World Trade Organization (WTO) notifications; and (2) the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) country-level policy database. Each of these data sources uses a slightly different metric to evaluate agricultural support. The report includes an overview of farm programs in the U.S. and EU, comparisons of support based on the metrics, and conclusions with policy implications.
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Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Date: February 14, 2011
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: Report concerning food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
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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: January 11, 2011
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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