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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Congressional Action, 1988-June 1999
Between 1988 and June 1999, thirteen emergency supplemental or farm disaster acts provided a total of $17 billion in emergency funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The vast majority of this amount has gone directly to farmers, primarily in the form of disaster payments ($12.2 billion) to any farmer suffering a significant crop loss caused by a natural disaster, and "market loss" payments ($3.1 billion) to help grain, cotton, and dairy farmers recover from low farm commodity prices. The remaining $1.7 billion has gone to a wide array of other USDA programs, including those for other forms of farm disaster assistance, farm loans, and overseas food aid. Congress is expected to consider a multi-billion financial assistance package for farmers sometime this year.
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.
Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues
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Tobacco-Related Activities and Programs in the Federal Government: A Summary
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Farm Commodity Legislation: Chronology, 1933-98
Farm commodity programs were a product of the Great Depression. This report discusses the history of farm commodity legislation. Since 1933, Congress has required the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to administer a variety of programs providing price support and income protection for the nations farmers.
Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era
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Food and Agriculture Issues in the 105th Congress
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Appropriations for FY1999: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Related Agencies
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture Appropriations.
U.S. Farm Income: Recent National and Regional Changes and the Federal Response
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Grazing Fees and Rangeland Management
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Farm Disaster Assistance: USDA Programs and Recent Legislative Action
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Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 105th Congress
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U.S.-European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
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Tobacco Control: Enforcement and Effectiveness of Federal and State Youth Access Laws
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Tobacco Legislation in the 105th Congress: Side-by-Side Comparison of S. 1415, S. 1530, S. 1638, S. 1889, H.R. 3474, and H.R. 3868
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Compensating Farmers for the Tobacco Settlement
The legislative proposals designed to reduce smoking, primarily by teenagers, are likely to have negative economic consequences for tobacco growers and tobacco-dependent communities. This report discusses the possibility of some kind of compensation to farmers as part of the settlement package legislation.
Summary and Comparison of the Major Agricultural Provisions of the Tobacco Settlement Policy Proposals
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Tobacco Price Support: An Overview of the Program
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Tobacco-Related Programs and Activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Operation and Cost
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U.S. Agriculture and the International Monetary Fund
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The U.S. Tobacco Industry in Domestic and World Markets
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Tobacco Marketing and Advertising Restrictions in S. 1415, 105th Congress: First Amendment Issues
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Tobacco Issues: National Public Opinion
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Farm Commodity Programs: Sugar
This report discusses the federal sugar program, which authorized by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 seeks to ensure the viability of the U.S. sugar producing sector primarily by supporting the incomes of sugar beet and sugarcane producers and of those firms that process each crop into sugar.
Conservation Compliance for Agriculture: Status and Policy Issues
This program, known as "conservation compliance," was amended in 1990 and 1996. This paper reviews the compliance concept, the program requirements, and the implementation record. It also introduces three policy topics: the effect of compliance on erosion rates and patterns; the effectiveness and flexibility of implementation; and the possible impact of changes to commodity policies enacted in the 1996 farm bill.
Tobacco Marketing and Advertising Restrictions in S. 1648, 105th Congress: First Amendment Issues
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Tobacco Advertising: The Constitutionality of Limiting its Tax Deductibility
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Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Status and Issues
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides farmers with financial and technical assistance to plan and implement soil and water conservation practices. EQIP was enacted in 1996 and most recently amended by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Section 2301 of P.L. 107-171). It is a mandatory spending program (i.e., not subject to annual appropriations), administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). EQIP is guaranteed a total of $6.1 billion from FY2002 through FY2007 from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), making it the largest conservation cost-sharing program.
Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Issues in the 105th Congress
The public agricultural research, education, and extension system is comprised of a nationwide network of federal and state agricultural research laboratories and departments, land grant Colleges of Agriculture, colleges of forestry and veterinary medicine, and the nationwide Cooperative Extension System. Although the basic authority to conduct agricultural research and extension programs is permanent, Congress since 1977 has provided funding authority and policy guidance for USDA's in-house research programs, and for federal support for cooperative research, higher education, and extension programs in the states, through a title contained in omnibus farm legislation. This report discusses specific pieces of such legislation and details certain agricultural and food-related appropriations.
FY1998 USDA Budget and Appropriations: Domestic Food Programs
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Agricultural Exports: Technical Barriers to Trade
Technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are widely divergent measures that countries use to regulate rnarkets, protect their consumers, and preserve natural resources, but which can also discriminate against imports in favor of domestic products. Most TBTs in agriculture are sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures designed to protect humans, animals, and plants from contaminants, diseases, and pests. In the wake of new trade agreements aimed at reducing tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers, TBTs have become more prominent concerns for agricultural exporters and policymakers.
Stratospheric Ozone Depletion: Methyl Bromide Control Measures
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Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws
This report includes a glossary of approximately 1,700 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture.
Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases
In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel.
Food and Agriculture Provisions in the FY1997 Supplemental Appropriations Act
Report providing an overview of provisions and funding related to food and agriculture program as a part of a supplemental appropriations bill (P.L. 105-18, H.R. 1871).
Tobacco Advertising: Whether the FDA's Restrictions Violate Freedom of Speech
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Conservation Reserve Program - Preliminary Results from the 15th Signup
This report includes a table listing, by state, the: Number of bids, or offers, received; Total acres offered for enrollment; Acres offered that are currently enrolled in the CRP; Acres offered are not currently enrolled in the CRP; Acres on which contracts expire on September 30, 1997; Percentage of acres currently in the program that were offered for reenrollment; and Percentage of acres offered that are not currently enrolled in the CRP.
Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Programs: A Primer
The 105th Congress is undertaking a thorough review of federal laws and policies affecting the nationwide system of federal and state agricultural research laboratories and agencies, the land grant Colleges of Agriculture and related schools of forestry and veterinary medicine, and the continuing education programs of the Cooperative Extension System. In preparation for hearings and subsequent debate on these subjects, this report provides an overview of all the components of the system, its major programs, and its funding.
Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Policy Issues
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, enables producers to bid to retire highly erodible or environmentally sensitive cropland, usually for 10 years. Participants receive annual rental and cost-sharing payments, and technical assistance to install approved plantings. Up to 36.4 million acres have been enrolled; current enrollment is estimated to be 32.9 million acres.
Food and Agriculture: Prospective Issues in the 105th Congress
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Pesticide Policy Issues
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The 1995 Farm Bill: Research, Education, and Extension Issues
The House Agriculture Committee has proposed extending Title XVI of the 1990 farm act (P.L. 101-624) for two years. Currently, the title will expire at the end of 1995. The title includes funding authority for the U.s. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) in-house research programs, as well as federal support for cooperative research, higher education, extension programs in the States, and several research grant programs. This report discusses efforts underway to extend this title and reform future legislation. It also outlines federal spending in these areas.
Cattle Prices: Questions and Answers
After 7 years of relatively high returns, cattle producers by 1994 were experiencing steeply falling prices--mainly caused by abundant supplies of cattle destined for U.S. feedlots. Record-high grain prices and dry pastures amplified the problem. Because of the lengthy biological cycle governing cattle production, large numbers will be coming onto the market for some time, as producers undertake the slow process of curtailing herd expansion.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture: Appropriations for FY1997
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FY1997 USDA Budget: Food and Nutrition Programs
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Pesticide Legislation: Food Quality Protection Act of 1996
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China's Most-Favored-Nation Status: U.S. Wheat, Corn, and Soybean Exports
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Grazing Fees: An Overview
This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Wheat, Feed Grains, Cotton, Rice, and Oilseeds Provisions of the Enacted 1996 Farm Bill
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Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs
This report discusses legislation establishing national generic promotion ("check-off') programs for 20 specified farm commodities. Thirteen of the 20 authorized programs are now in effect.