Congressional Research Service Reports - 67 Matching Results

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Farmers' Markets: The USDA Role

Description: This report discusses federal programs aimed at promoting farmers’ markets. Policy issues include the extent to which the programs contribute to the markets’ success, and the need if any for additional governmental support.
Date: January 3, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Avian Influenza: Agricultural Issues

Description: Since the fall of 2003, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has spread throughout Asia, infecting mostly poultry but also a limited number of humans. The virus reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East and Africa in 2006. Avian flu is highly contagious in domestic poultry. Strict biosecurity measures are practiced by commercial poultry farms and encouraged by governments. The economic effects of avian flu outbreaks can be significant, especially given international trade restrictions. Controlling avian flu in poultry is seen as the best way to prevent a human pandemic from developing, by reducing the number of animal hosts in which the virus may evolve. This report mainly covers avian flu in poultry, and will be updated.
Date: March 10, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production

Description: Since the late 1970s, U.S. policy makers at both the federal and state levels have enacted a variety of incentives, regulations, and programs to encourage the production and use of agriculture-based renewable energy. Motivations cited for these legislative initiatives include energy security concerns, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and raising domestic demand for U.S.-produced farm products. This report provides background information on farm-based energy production and how this fits into the national energy-use picture. It briefly reviews the primary agriculture-based renewable energy types and issues of concern associated with their production, particularly their economic and energy efficiencies and long-run supply. Finally, this report examines the major legislation related to farm-based energy production and use.
Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the status and current issues regarding animal agriculture that is being transformed by rapid advances in biotechnology. This report will be updated as significant developments in agricultural biotechnology occur and as Congress develops legislation addressing emerging agricultural biotechnology issues.
Date: March 27, 2006
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act

Description: The focus of this report is on proposed amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This report does not constitute a legal analysis of the bills or of existing law. Instead, it begins by describing the three international agreements and relevant provisions of TSCA. The report then summarizes selected provisions of H.R. 4591 and H.R. 4800, as introduced, and compares them in a brief narrative and more detailed table.
Date: March 28, 2006
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

WTO Doha Round: The Agricultural Negotiations

Description: The pace of negotiations in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations quickened in October 2005 as the December Hong Kong Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) approached. At Hong Kong, however, while WTO members agreed on a broad outline of negotiating objectives for further liberalizing global trade in agriculture, industry and services, they made only limited progress in determining precise numerical formulas (known as modalities) for meeting the Round’s aims. WTO members agreed to intensify efforts to reach agreement on modalities and conclude Doha Round negotiations by the end of 2006. This report assesses the current status of agricultural negotiations in the Doha Round; traces the developments leading up to the Hong Kong Ministerial; examines the major agricultural negotiating proposals; discusses the potential effects of a successful Doha Round agreement on global trade, income, U.S. farm policy, and U.S. agriculture; and provides background on the WTO, the Doha Round, the key negotiating groups, and a schedule of historical and upcoming events relevant to the agricultural negotiations.
Date: January 12, 2006
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Identification and Meat Traceability

Description: U.S. animal agriculture is seeking to improve its ability to trace the movement of livestock from their birthplace to slaughter. The livestock and meat industries are working with the U.S. government to develop a national animal identification (ID) plan for livestock disease tracking purposes. This report focuses on animal ID and, to a lesser extent, on meat traceability.
Date: March 7, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses.
Date: October 6, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program, and emergency disaster loans. Since 1988, Congress regularly has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers, primarily in the form of crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. The Senate-passed version of a pending FY2006 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939) contains an adopted committee amendment that would provide an estimated additional $3.9 billion in various forms of farm assistance, including payments for major crop and livestock losses caused by any 2005 disaster, such as the drought in portions of the Midwest and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf.
Date: May 8, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations

Description: This report is a guide to one of the 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. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
Date: January 27, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production

Description: Since the late 1970s, U.S. policy makers at both the federal and state levels have enacted a variety of incentives, regulations, and programs to encourage the production and use of agriculture-based renewable energy. Motivations cited for these legislative initiatives include energy security concerns, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and raising domestic demand for U.S.-produced farm products. This report provides background information on farm-based energy production and how this fits into the national energy-use picture. It briefly reviews the primary agriculture-based renewable energy types and issues of concern associated with their production, particularly their economic and energy efficiencies and long-run supply. Finally, this report examines the major legislation related to farm-based energy production and use.
Date: May 18, 2006
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer

Description: This report focuses on the environmental quality of water resources as affected by animal agriculture, specifically animal waste, which can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. This report also discusses the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), enterprises where animals are raised in confinement, to air pollution.
Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

Description: 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.
Date: April 18, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

Description: In approving the FY2001 agriculture appropriations act, 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 Cuba (as enacted in by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, or TSRA). Congressional opponents of TSRA's prohibitions on private U.S. financing of agricultural sales, public financing of eligible exports, and tourist travel to Cuba have introduced bills since 2000 to repeal these provisions. Though several amendments to repeal or relax TSRA provisions relative to Cuba were adopted by committees or passed during floor debate, all were dropped in conference action. Administration officials continually signal to conferees they will advise the President to veto any bill that would change TSRA's prohibitions against Cuba.
Date: June 29, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

Description: In approving the FY2001 agriculture appropriations act, 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, or TSRA). Other provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive. TSRA also gives Congress the authority in the future to veto a President’s proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products.
Date: June 29, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

Description: 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.
Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Commodity Programs: Direct Payments, Counter-Cyclical Payments, and Marketing Loans

Description: Commodity support provisions in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171, the 2002 farm bill) include three primary types of payments: (1) annual direct payments unrelated to production or prices, (2) counter-cyclical payments which are triggered when prices are below statutorily-determined target prices, and (3) marketing assistance loans that offer interim financing and, if prices fall below statutorily-determined loan prices, additional income support. This report describes the payments for wheat, feed grains, cotton, rice, oilseeds, peanuts, wool, mohair, honey, and certain other small grains. These commodities have similar rules, and generally account for about two-thirds of USDA farm commodity program outlays.
Date: February 10, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in the U.S.-Dominican Republic Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)

Description: On August 2, 2005, President Bush signed into law the bill to implement the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, or DR-CAFTA (P.L. 109-53, H.R. 3045). In DR-CAFTA, the United States and six countries will completely phase out tariffs and quotas — the primary means of border protection — on all but four agricultural commodities traded between them in stages up to 20 years. The four exempted products are as follows: for the United States, sugar; for Costa Rica, fresh onions and fresh potatoes; and for the four other Central American countries, white corn. DR-CAFTA’s provisions, once fully implemented, are expected to result in trade gains, though small, for the U.S. agricultural sector. This report describes this agreement in detail, as well as the stances of both supporters and detractors.
Date: January 12, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department