Congressional Research Service Reports - 73 Matching Results

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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.
Aquaculture and the Federal Role
Aquaculture is broadly defined as the production of fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants in a controlled environment. This report discusses the growth of U.S. aquaculture in the decade preceding 1993, and the subsequent debate about what role, if any, the Federal Government should play in supporting the industry. Relevant legislation and policies are also discussed.
Sustainable Agriculture
No Description Available.
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.
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.
Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era
This report discusses the enhancements to the crop insurance and revenue insurance programs that are expected to be considered by the 106th Congress in order to improve the farm financial safety net and preclude the need for ad hoc legislative assistance.
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.
The 'Terminator Gene' and Other Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTs) in Crops
No Description Available.
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.
U.S. Farm Income: Recent National and Regional Changes and the Federal Response
No Description Available.
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.
U.S. Agriculture and the International Monetary Fund
No Description Available.
U.S.-European Agricultural Trade: Food Safety and Biotechnology Issues
No Description Available.
Farm Disaster Assistance: USDA Programs and Recent Legislative Action
No Description Available.
Hog Prices: Questions and Answers
This report discusses price changes in the pork industry. In late 1998, the lowest hog prices in decades created a crisis in the pork industry and prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to take a series of actions to assist producers, including direct cash payments, and the purchase of extra pork products to reduce market supplies. The industry sought additional aid as low prices persisted into 1999.
Tobacco-Related Activities and Programs in the Federal Government: A Summary
No Description Available.
Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Selected Issues
No Description Available.
Tobacco-Related Programs and Activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Operation and Cost
No Description Available.
Pesticide Residue Regulation: Analysis of Food Quality Protection Act Implementation
No Description Available.
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."
Food and Agriculture Issues in the 105th Congress
This report examines various budget issues regarding food and agriculture in the 105th Congress, examining recent developments and then taking a look a the context of those developments.
Survey of Grazing Programs in Western States
No Description Available.
Conservation Spending in Agriculture: Trends and Implications
Conservation spending under various federal agricultural statutes has increased since the early 1980s, and the mix of activities that are funded has changed during this time period. These funds have become an increasingly important source of income to farmers. This report examines conservation program funding since FY1983 in the context of both changing conservation policies and programs, and other farm program sources of income to farmers. This report will be updated if events warrant. Conservation Spending in Agriculture: Trends and Implications
Tobacco Control: Enforcement and Effectiveness of Federal and State Youth Access Laws
No Description Available.
The U.S. Tobacco Industry in Domestic and World Markets
No Description Available.
Pesticide Policy Issues
No Description Available.
Food and Agriculture: Prospective Issues in the 105th Congress
No Description Available.
Tobacco Price Support: An Overview of the Program
No Description Available.
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 1996 Farm Bill: Comparisons of Selected Provisions with Previous Law
Final congressional approval was given to H.R. 2854, the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act, otherwise known as the "1996 farm bill," on March 28, 1996. President Clinton signed the bill into law on April 4, 1996 (P.L. 104-127). In tabular format, this CRS report lays out in descriptive, rather than legislative language, the major provisions of the new farm bill in contrast to preceding law.
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.
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.
The Economics of Agricultural Policy
An English Act of 1663 imposed a duty on grain imported from abroad whenever the domestic price was below a legislatively set price floor. The English farmer enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the domestic market. By the same token, he was allowed to export grain whenever the domestic price exceeded the price floor, and, after 1673, was granted a bounty (subsidy) on grain exports.
Animal Agriculture: Issues for the 106th Congress
This report discusses a variety of animal agriculture issues that generated debate during the 106th Congress, including low livestock prices, especially for hogs. Economic difficulties have revived questions such as the impacts of consolidation in the livestock industry, and the price effects of animal imports from Canada and Mexico. This report also discusses a number of legislative proposals to assist livestock producers and enforce sanitary and phytosanitary standards, as well as continuing trade disputes and negotiations with China, the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia.
Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues
This report provides basic information on the science of food biotechnology. It discusses regulatory policies and issues of concern about the use of biotechnology to modify foods through genetic engineering. It describes the scientific processes used and current products available. It explains how all three major federal agencies - the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency - regulate these foods.
The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)
No Description Available.
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.
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.
Legal Issues Related to Livestock Watering in Federal Grazing Districts
This report discusses proposed regulations related to livestock watering in federal grazing districts.
Grazing Fees and Rangeland Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM, Department of the Interior) and the Forest Service (Department of Agriculture) manage approximately 70% of the 650 million acres of land owned by the federal government and many of these lands are classified as rangeland. Both agencies have well-established programs permitting private livestock grazing. The Administration issued new, controversial BLM rangeland management rules effective in August 1995. Supporters contended that the Administration's new rules were a step forward in sound resource management, but some believed they did not go far enough to protect rangelands and riparian areas. Many in the ranching community opposed the new rules, believing that they would ultimately reduce private livestock activity on federal lands, and increase operating costs. This report examines the debate over federal grazing management.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture: Appropriations for FY1997
No Description Available.
The Farm Bill: Soil and Water Conservation Issues
This report discusses resource conservation topics, which are a part of the farm bill debate. Debate on existing programs focuses on reauthorization of the Conservation Reserve Program and possible amendments to the reserve, swampbuster, and conservation compliance.
Appropriations for FY2000: 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.
Tobacco Issues: National Public Opinion
No Description Available.
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.
An Introduction to Farm Commodity Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is required to provide assistance to 20 specified agricultural commodities, to achieve three primary objectives: to support prices, supplement incomes, and manage supplies. Supporters contend that financial help to the farm sector also ensures consumers an abundant supply of reasonably priced food. But critics believe that basic U.S. farm policies, conceived in the 1930s, no longer meet the needs of modern agriculture or society as a whole. This report discusses the various programs available for different commodities.
Wetlands and Agriculture: Policy Issues in the 1995 Farm Bill
Wetlands protection efforts have been a major concern for agricultural interests since Congress enacted so-called swampbuster provisions in the 1985 Food Security Act. Under these provisions, all producers who alter wetlands risk losing certain farm program benefits. Determining which sites are wetlands and enforcement of penalties remain contentious issues. Controversy has been heightened by confusion over how this program is related to the principal Federal regulatory program to protect wetlands, section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and how wetland determinations affect land values and private property rights. Because the 103rd Congress did not reauthorize the Clean Water Act, some of the wetland issues raised in that debate might be raised in the farm bill. Another wetland protection program, the Wetland Reserve (WRP), was enacted in the 1990 farm bill. This program, which pays farmers to place wetlands under long-term or permanent easements, has been far less controversial. This paper reviews the swampbuster and WRP, as well as controversies surrounding delineation of wetlands and relationships between private property rights and wetland protection efforts.
Wheat, Feed Grains, Cotton, Rice, and Oilseeds Provisions of the Enacted 1996 Farm Bill
No Description Available.
Summary and Comparison of the Major Agricultural Provisions of the Tobacco Settlement Policy Proposals
No Description Available.
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.