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Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition

Description: This report includes a glossary of approximately 2,500 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.
Date: June 16, 2005
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. The agriculture committees are required by the FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation this year that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; consideration of emergency farm disaster assistance; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and avian flu); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: October 13, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. The agriculture committees are required by the FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation this year that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and Asian soybean rust); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure later this year. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure later this year. Meanwhile, the agriculture committees are required by the adopted FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and Asian soybean rust); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: May 13, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: Prospective Issues for Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture could receive attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure as early as 2005. The farm bill spells out the types and levels of benefits provided to producers and landowners under commodity price support and conservation programs, both of which could receive close scrutiny in the coming year as lawmakers seek ways to control federal spending. Other concerns include agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease); interest in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; the rising cost of energy on farms; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in the WTO Doha Round: The Framework Agreement and Next Steps

Description: Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached agreement on July 31, 2004 on a framework for negotiating agricultural trade liberalization in the multilateral trade round known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The framework, part of a work program for all negotiating issues in the DDA (nonagricultural market access, services, trade facilitation, etc.), sets the stage for negotiations, now underway, to determine specific targets or formulas (“modalities”) for curbing trade-distorting domestic support, reducing trade barriers and eliminating export subsidies. If agreed to, the agriculture modalities report would be on the agenda of the WTO’s Sixth Ministerial Conference in December 2005, and negotiations could be completed during 2006. In the meantime, the President has requested a two-year extension of trade promotion authority procedures (TPA, also known as fast-track) for considering legislation to implement trade agreements.
Date: May 3, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

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. In this context, agroterrorism is defined as the deliberate introduction of an animal or plant disease with the goal of generating fear, causing economic losses, and/or undermining stability. This report addresses the use of biological weapons against agriculture, rather than the threat of terrorists using agricultural inputs for other purposes. It also focuses more on agricultural production than food processing and distribution.
Date: February 4, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in the WTO: Policy Commitments Made Under the Agreement on Agriculture

Description: This report provides a review of the major agricultural policy commitments made by members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) during the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations completed in 1994, and the legal text that underlies those commitments. Most agricultural support commitments are embodied in the Agreement on Agriculture and it is the essential focus of this review. However, references are made to additional supporting legal texts that emerged as part of the Uruguay Round Agreement, as well as to related studies and references produced by the WTO, its member countries, and international organizations interested in trade and development.
Date: May 12, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-Off") Programs

Description: This report discusses the so-called beef check-off program, one of a number of generic promotion programs for beef and other agricultural products that Congress has authorized in recent decades. 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.
Date: May 24, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs

Description: This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2005, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
Date: May 12, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs

Description: This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2005, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
Date: April 11, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dairy Policy Issues

Description: Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates.
Date: January 7, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dairy Policy Issues

Description: Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates.
Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

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 Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and 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. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits as to the Farm Credit System.
Date: November 23, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture Conservation Programs: A Scorecard

Description: The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture currently administer 20 programs and subprograms that are directly or indirectly available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands. The number, scope, and overall funding of these programs have all grown with each recent farm bill. This growth can cause confusion over which problems and conditions each program addresses, and specific program characteristics and performance, especially for those who are less familiar with this conservation effort. This report lists these programs and basic information about each of them.
Date: June 3, 2005
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Current Issues

Description: The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, provides payments to farmers to take highly erodible or environmentally sensitive cropland out of production for ten years or more to conserve soil and water resources. It is the federal government’s largest private land retirement program. The program is administered by the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with technical assistance provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Date: February 4, 2005
Creator: Johnson, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Specialty Crop Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the U.S. specialty crop issues in the 109th Congress. This sector is comprised of producers, handlers, processors, and retailers of fruit, vegetable, tree nut, and nursery crops.
Date: August 19, 2005
Creator: Rawson, Jean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Harvey v. Veneman and the National Organic Program: A Legal Analysis

Description: The First Circuit’s ruling in Harvey v. Veneman brought much attention and uncertainty to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. In the case, Harvey alleged that multiple provisions of the National Organic Program Final Rule (Final Rule) were inconsistent with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). The First Circuit sided with Harvey on three counts, putting into question the use of synthetics and commercially unavailable organic agricultural products, as well as certain feeding practices for dairy herds converting to organic production. On remand, the district court ordered a two-year time frame for the implementation and enforcement of new rules consistent with the ruling; however, in the FY2006 agriculture appropriations act (P.L. 109 97), Congress amended the OFPA to address the holdings of the case. This report describes the OFPA, discusses those holdings where the court determined that a provision of the Final Rule was inconsistent with the OFPA and analyzes the most recent legislative action.
Date: November 18, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2005

Description: From FY1989 through FY2005 (to date), 31 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $53.2 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs (excluding the Forest Service, which is funded annually under the Interior appropriations bill). Nearly $41 billion, or 77% of the total amount, was for FY1999-FY2005 alone. Two FY2005 supplementals have been enacted to date, the largest of which was a disaster relief package in response to the 2004 hurricanes and other natural disasters, which included $3.5 billion for agricultural losses (attached to the FY2005 Military Construction Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-324)).
Date: June 23, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Description: 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 (totaling approximately $6 billion each year) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) child nutrition account.
Date: August 26, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department