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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA's Air Compliance Agreement

Date: July 12, 2005
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissons from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws. This report discusses the agreement and the perspectives of both its supporters and opponents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 affirmed the constitutionality of the so-called beef check-off program, one of the 18 generic promotion programs for agricultural products that are now active nationally. Supporters view check-offs as economically beneficial self-help activities that need minimal government involvement or taxpayer funding. Producers, handlers, and/or importers are required to pay an assessment, usually deducted from revenue at time of sale - thus the name check-off. However, some farmers contend they are being "taxed" for advertising and related activities they would not underwrite voluntarily. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the beef check-off is considered significant for the future of the other programs, although the Court left open the possibility of additional challenges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: The debate in Congress over whether and how to address possible future climate change is intensifying. Often, the role of the U.S. agriculture sector is invoked in this debate. Agriculture is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which many scientists agree are contributing to observed climate change. Congress is considering a range of climate change policy options, including GHG emission reduction programs that would either mandate or authorize a cap-and-trade program to reduce GHG emissions. This report discusses this issue in detail, i.e., how the agricultural industry affects GHG emissions and efforts currently underway to combat these negative effects, but it does not address the potential effects of global climate change on U.S. agricultural production.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program: A Brief Overview

Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program: A Brief Overview

Date: June 17, 2008
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: On June 2, 2008, a World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body (AB) publicly released its final report upholding a December 2007 compliance panel ruling that the United States has not fully complied with a March 2005 WTO ruling against certain U.S. cotton support programs. This AB ruling was part of a prolonged dispute settlement case (DS267) originated by Brazil against certain aspects of the U.S. cotton program in September 2002. This report provides a brief overview of Brazil's case against the U.S. cotton program, the evolution and current status of the case, and the potential role for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Acceptance and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in South America

Genetically Engineered Soybeans: Acceptance and Intellectual Property Rights Issues in South America

Date: October 17, 2003
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Date: August 25, 2006
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs

Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs

Date: January 26, 2005
Creator: Rawson, Jean M
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Background on the U.S.-Brazil WTO Cotton Subsidy Dispute

Background on the U.S.-Brazil WTO Cotton Subsidy Dispute

Date: July 11, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: In late 2002, Brazil initiated a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement case (DS267) against specific provisions of the U.S. cotton program. This report provides background to the dispute, as well as details of the WTO dispute settlement case. It will not be updated. For information on the U.S. response to panel recommendations and their implications for the U.S. cotton sector, see CRS Report RS22187, U.S. Agricultural Policy Response to WTO Cotton Decision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department