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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Appropriations for FY2003: 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 considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2746/
Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Agricultural Trade Issues in the 107th Congress
The 107th Congress is considering trade issues with implications for the U.S. agricultural sector. Trade in agricultural commodities and food products affects farm income and rural employment, and it also generates economic activity beyond the farm gate. With agricultural export sales the equivalent of one-quarter of farm income, some policymakers view U.S. efforts to develop market opportunities overseas as vital to the sector’s financial health. Decisions taken by the Bush Administration, and actions taken by Congress, thus will affect the outlook for agricultural trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2087/
Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"
This report discusses the reauthorization of major farm income and commodity price support programs that expire after crop year 2002. Many agricultural interests expect that a new “counter-cyclical assistance” program will be an integral component of future farm policy. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2123/
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba (Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387; Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000). Related provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive than for the other countries. Other provisions give Congress the authority in the future to veto a President's proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3190/
Resource Conservation Title: Comparison of Current Law with Farm Bills Passed by the House and Senate
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Agroterrorism: Options in Congress
Although U.S. intelligence agencies have not identified any terrorist acts targeting agricultural production (i.e., agroterrorism) in the United States to date, the events of September 11, 2001 have awakened the nation to their possibility. Some experts estimate that a single agroterrorist attack using a highly contagious livestock disease could cost between $10 billion and $30 billion to the U.S. economy. This report examines the potential threats to America’s agriculture from a deliberate biological attack, describes the current defense structure and capabilities available to respond to agroterrorism, and analyzes current congressional proposals to address the threat of biological weapons to U.S. agriculture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1384/
Appropriations for FY2002: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Related Agencies
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 by summarizing the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report also lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824665/
Agriculture in Afghanistan and Neighboring Asian Countries
Agriculture (as measured by share of gross domestic product and employment) is a significant economic sector in seven Central and South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. All of these countries are net food importers. Some have experienced successive years of drought, which has contributed to noticeable declines in agricultural output and the need to increase commodity imports. The United Nations’ World Food Program reports that both Afghanistan and Tajikistan are currently in need of emergency food assistance to cover sizable food deficits. The food outlook in Afghanistan is made uncertain by ongoing military conflict. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8621/
The Changing Structure of Agriculture and Rural America: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
This report provides an overview of Contemporary Rural America. The report discusses the changes that are likely to pose important questions about the direction and coherence of current rural policy. Several significant trends in this evolving structure of agriculture are discussed in this report: (1) a continuation in the trend toward fewer and larger farms; (2) a potential acceleration of that trend as production shifts to more tightly integrated and vertically coordinated production through supply chains; (3) greater environmental pressures on conventional agricultural production practices stemming from urban and suburban interests; and (4) changing food consumption patterns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8622/
Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
This report briefly discusses programs designed to provide income support, price support, and/or supply management for approximately 20 specified agricultural commodities. USDA farm support programs represent the heart of U.S. farm policy, by virtue of their longevity – they have existed since the early 1930s – and their cost. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1390/
Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy
This report first explains why the nexus between farm labor shortages and immigration policy has again arisen. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in (un)employment, time worked and wages of legal and illegal farmworkers to determine if they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1378/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1382/
Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting
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Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments
Congress is now debating reauthorization of omnibus farm legislation, as most commodityprice support provisions expire in 2002. This report discusses this debate, specifically aspects relating to commitments that the U.S. has as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member. Because of the interrelationships between trade and domestic support policies, lawmakers are interested in what the Agreement on Agriculture stipulates with regard to domestic supports, and how not only the United States but also other countries are meeting their Agreement commitments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1379/
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2001, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1375/
Agricultural Trade Issues in the 107th Congress
The 107th Congress will consider and seek to influence trade issues with implications for the U.S. agricultural sector. Trade in agricultural commodities and food products affects farm income and rural employment, and it also generates economic activity beyond the farm gate. With agricultural export sales accounting for one-quarter of farm income, policymakers view U.S. efforts to develop market opportunities overseas as vital to the sector's financial health. Decisions taken by the Bush Administration, and actions taken by Congress, thus will affect the outlook for agricultural trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1370/
Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Current Issues
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, enables producers to retire highly erodible or environmentally sensitive cropland, usually for 10 years. Congress reauthorized and amended the CRP in the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (P.L. 104-127; 16 U.S.C. 3811, et seq.). The law caps enrollment at 36.4 million acres and makes funding mandatory through the commodity Credit Corporation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1367/
What Is a Farm Bill?
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Energy Costs and Agriculture
U.S. agriculture is not an especially energy-intensive industry, but energy does account for about 6% of farm production costs. Additionally, farming is a highly mechanized industry and requires timely energy supplies at particular stages of the production cycle in order to achieve optimum yields. A substantial part of energy use by agriculture is indirect —embodied in the chemicals applied and machinery used on farms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1674/
Pesticide Residue Regulation: Analysis of Food Quality Protection Act Implementation
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Animal Agriculture: Current Issues
A variety of animal agriculture issues, including low livestock prices, the impact of consolidation in the meat packing industry, trade, and the environmental impacts of large feedlots, generated interest in the 106th and 107th Congresses. This report addresses this issues in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1369/
Foot and Mouth Disease: A Threat to U.S. Agriculture
An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) among livestock in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe that began in February 2001 has raised concerns about the United States’ ability to prevent the disease from spreading to this country and readiness to eradicate it should an outbreak occur. This report describes the characteristics of the FMD virus and disease, the current measures the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking to prevent its importation, and the authorities USDA has to act to eradicate an outbreak. The FMD threat also raises issues concerning the adequacy of funding for disease exclusion and research, the availability of vaccines, and USDA’s authority to move preemptively against a potential outbreak, among other things. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8847/
Sugar Policy Issues
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Dairy Policy Issues
Three major dairy policy issues captured the attention of the 106th Congress, and are expected to remain issues of concern to the 107th Congress-- federal financial assistance for dairy farmers; implementation by USDA of changes to federal farm milk pricing regulations; and regional debates over the market effects of dairy compacts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1374/
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba (Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387; Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000). Related provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive than for the other countries. Other provisions give Congress the authority in the future to veto a President's proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1836/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 106th Congress
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Agriculture and China's Accession to the World Trade Organization
The prospect of future growth in demand for agricultural products makes China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) an important issue for the U.S. agricultural sector. Most agricultural interest groups strongly support China’s entry into the WTO, because they think it will increase U.S. agricultural exports and enhance farm income. In the 107th Congress, attention is focused on China’s final WTO accession negotiations where differences over agriculture have become an issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2020/
Farm Program Spending: What's Permitted Under the Uruguay Round Agreements
This report discusses farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2002. A key question being asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), which commitsthe United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm supports most likely to distort trade. The URAA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1389/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Online News and Information Sources
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Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1381/
Agriculture: A List of Websites
This list provides a sampling of the rapidly proliferating number of agricultural resources available on the Internet. It is not intended to be exhaustive. It is divided into 24 main categories and 15 subcategories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1377/
Agriculture: Prospective Issues for the 107th Congress
Persistent low farm prices and 3 years of multi-billion dollar ad hoc additions to federal spending for farmers are expected to put pressure on the 107th Congress for an early review of federal farm policy. Farm policy is governed by a variety of laws, many of which are incorporated into an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. Most of the provisions of the current farm bill, the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996, expire after the 2002 crop year. Key issues are the responsiveness of current policy to low commodity prices and farm income, factors influencing low prices, and options for improving prices and/or providing automatic relief to farmers when prices fall. Increased concentration in the agriculture industry, trade, and environmental regulations affecting agriculture are likely to be part of the debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1388/
Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues
This report discusses the science of food biotechnology, and the federal structure by which it is regulated. Because U.S. farmers are adopting this technology at a rapid rate, some observers advocate a more active role for the federal government to ensure that farmers have equal access to this technology. Others believe that federal officials should play a more active role in protecting the environment, funding more research, and participating in international trade negotiations to ensure that trade continues to expand for genetically engineered crops. Trading partners often label food products that have been genetically modified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Many of those partners have labeling requirements for GMOs to allow consumers the “right to know” their food content. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1376/
Peanuts: Policy Issues
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U.S. European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
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Merger and Antitrust Issues in Agriculture
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StarLink™ Corn Controversy: Background
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Farm Economic Relief and Policy Issues in the 106th Congress: A Retrospective
This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1380/
Appropriations for FY2002: 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1707/
Agricultural Trade in the 106th Congress: A Review of Issues
The 106th Congress considered a number of trade policy developments against a backdrop of weak foreign demand and large world supplies of agricultural commodities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the value of U.S. agricultural exports fell between FY1996 (a record year) and FY1999 by almost $11 billion, to $49.2 billion. Agricultural exports did climb back to $50.9 billion in FY2000, and are now projected at $53 billion in FY2001. However, the pace of recovery concerned many agricultural groups and their supporters in Congress. Although they recognize that many world economic, farm production, political, and weather factors influence exports, many of these groups believe that the agricultural sector's future prosperity also depends upon such U.S. trade policies as: 1) encouraging China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its binding rules and responsibilities; 2) exempting agricultural exports from U.S. unilateral economic sanctions; 3) fully using export and food aid programs; and 4) aggressively battling foreign-imposed barriers to the movement of U.S. farm products. A few U.S. farm groups are wary of such approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1062/
Water Quality Initiatives and Agriculture
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Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues
Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1064/
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Congressional Action, FY1989-FY2001
From FY1989 through FY2001 (to date), nineteen appropriations or farm disaster acts have provided $38 billion in emergency funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. Nearly $27 billion, or about 70 percent of the total amount, has been provided for FY1999-FY2001 alone. Since FY1989, the vast majority of the funds has been paid directly to farmers, primarily in the form of “market loss payments” (just under $17 billion, all since FY1999) to compensate for low farm commodity prices, and disaster payments($15.6 billion) paid to any producer who experienced a major crop loss caused by a natural disaster. The remaining $5.4 billion has funded a wide array of other USDA programs, including other forms of farm disaster assistance, farm loans, overseas food aid, food and nutrition programs, and rural development assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1063/
Farm Economic Relief: Issues and Options for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1057/
Agricultural Trade Issues in the 106th Congress
Agricultural interests have been following trade policy developments against a backdrop of weak foreign demand and large world supplies of agricultural products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the value of U.S. agricultural exports fell between FY1996 (a record year) and FY1999 by almost $11 billion. USDA forecasts agricultural exports at $50.5 billion in FY2000 and $51.5 billion in FY2001. However, the projected agricultural trade surpluses for those years, of $11.5 billion and $12 billion, would be less than half the FY1996 surplus of $27.2 billion. Many agricultural groups and their supporters in Congress believe that the sector's future prosperity depends upon such U.S. trade policies as: 1) encouraging China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its binding rules and responsibilities; 2) exempting agriculture from U.S. unilateral economic sanctions; 3) fully using export and food aid programs; and 4) aggressively battling foreign-imposed barriers to the movement of U.S. farm products. A few U.S. farm groups are wary of such approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1055/
Fruits and Vegetables: Ongoing Issues for Congress
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