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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: August 8, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly require enforceable on-farm safety standards.
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: December 19, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda.
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: April 21, 2010
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses comprehensive food safety bills that are progressing in the 111th Congress and could affect farmers and ranchers. Interest in on-farm practices was renewed after more than 1,300 persons in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada were found to be infected with the same unusual strain of bacteria (Salmonella Saintpaul) in April-July 2008.
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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: August 19, 2008
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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U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

Date: April 2, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: In December 2008, the United States and Russia signed a protocol aimed at resolving various emerging trade issues between the two countries in order to continue U.S. livestock and poultry exports to Russia through the end of 2009. This report examines the current trade relationship between the U.S. and Russia in regards to meat and poultry.
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Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Date: August 27, 2007
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Description: This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419. Some alternative proposals that the House considered are summarized in an appendix. The House-passed bill includes some elements of the alternative proposals (usually in modified form). This report is limited to the conservation title. However, conservation topics in recent farm bills have been increasingly addressed in other titles, and that trend continues with the House-passed version, which contains conservation provisions in the energy, forestry, and research titles, and others as well.
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Farm Bill Legislative Action in the 110th Congress

Farm Bill Legislative Action in the 110th Congress

Date: May 28, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Becker, Geoffrey S.; Capehart, Tom; Chite, Ralph M.; Cowan, Tadlock; Gorte, Ross W. et al.
Description: This report discuses the periodic omnibus farm bill, which is renewed about every five years, and governs federal farm and food policy. The report contains congressional actions and a summary of the conference agreement provisions.
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Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Date: March 8, 2007
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders, and the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise. This report discusses legislation regarding this credit assistance expected in the the 110th Congress. Appropriators will consider funding for FSA’s farm loan programs, and the agriculture committees may consider changes to FSA and FCS lending programs. The 2007 farm bill is expected to be the venue for many of the authorizing issues, although stand-alone legislation may be used for extensive reforms.
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Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report describes the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, the Superfund law) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and two House hearings are discussed. Bills intended to exempt animal manure from the requirements of Superfund and EPCRA were introduced in the 109th Congress. Similar bills were introduced in the 110th Congress (H.R. 1398 and S. 807), but no legislation has been enacted. Issues raised by the legislation are analyzed.
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A New Farm Program Option: Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)

A New Farm Program Option: Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)

Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A.
Description: Farm commodity programs over the decades have focused on protecting farmers against declines in farm prices and not declines in revenue (price times production). Traditional programs for field crops provide benefits to producers when farm prices drop below specified levels. This report discusses the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program which Congress included in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246) as a revenue based program option for farmers who enroll in traditional farm commodity programs. Unlike revenue protection provided by some crop insurance products, ACRE is designed to protect against losses from multi-year price declines.
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The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Date: February 7, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Porter, Donna V.
Description: 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. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
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U.S.-Canada Wheat Trade Dispute

U.S.-Canada Wheat Trade Dispute

Date: April 19, 2006
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report provides background for understanding the U.S. and Canadian wheat trade dispute, as well as timelines, rulings, and other details for the International Trade Commission (ITC) and World Trade Organization (WTO) cases brought by the United States against Canadian wheat trading practices and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
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Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Date: December 4, 2012
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: 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?
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Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Date: March 12, 2007
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.
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Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices

Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices

Date: September 10, 2015
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: 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).
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Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy

Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy

Date: June 9, 2014
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: 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).
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Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations

Date: October 21, 2015
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for FY 2016, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- except for the Forest Service -- as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
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U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects

U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects

Date: October 1, 2015
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Description: This report reviews the current state of agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba, identifies key impediments to expanding bilateral trade in agricultural products and key provisions in the law to which these obstacles are anchored. It also summarizes several of the bills introduced in the 114th Congress that propose to remove specific restrictions that impede trade in agricultural goods or that seek to lift the embargo on Cuba entirely.
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Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009

Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Monke, Jim; Richardson, Joe; Stubbs, Megan; Cowan, Tadlock; Chite, Ralph M.; Becker, Geoffrey S. et al.
Description: This report analyzes the agriculture, nutrition, and rural provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). The ARRA boosts government spending on various infrastructure programs and government benefits programs, and offers individual and business tax benefits.
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Temporary Farm Labor: The H-2A Program and the U.S. Department of Labor's Proposed Changes in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Temporary Farm Labor: The H-2A Program and the U.S. Department of Labor's Proposed Changes in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Date: November 6, 2008
Creator: Mayer, Gerald
Description: This report begins with a description of the H-2A program. Next, the report explains how the AEWR is currently determined and how it would be calculated under the proposed regulations. Finally, the report examines some potential effects of the proposed change in the AEWR on the wages and employment of foreign and U.S. workers on U.S. farms.
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Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Date: August 18, 2008
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses the potential impact on agriculture of June flooding across much of the Corn Belt. As much as 5 million acres of crop production were initially thought to be either lost entirely or subject to significant yield reductions.
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California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use

California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use

Date: June 30, 2015
Creator: Johnson, Renée & Cody, Betsy A.
Description: This report provides an overview of California's farm economy, specifically examining the current state of the water supply and the use of irrigation water.
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Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Date: July 16, 2008
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses the widespread flooding across much of the Corn Belt that has cast considerable uncertainty over 2008 U.S. corn and soybean production prospects. Estimates of crop damage vary widely, and could change based on the extent of plant recovery or replanting.
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FY2016 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations: In Brief

FY2016 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations: In Brief

Date: July 20, 2015
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- except for the Forest Service -- as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Agriculture appropriations include both mandatory and discretionary spending, however, mandatory amounts are general set by other authorizing laws (such as the farm bill).
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