Congressional Research Service Reports - 516 Matching Results

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Payment Limits for Farm Commodity Programs: Issues and Proposals

Description: This report provides background on payment limits related to farm commodity programs and discusses relevant legislation. The policy issue is mostly about farm size rather than the financial need of recipients, although the two may be related. Limits on commodity program payments have been imposed since 1970. The 2002 farm bill retains the former limits, adds limits for the new counter-cyclical program, and incorporates new commodities.
Date: April 11, 2003
Creator: Monke, James
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Description: This report introduces the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR) and the concerns out of which it grew, from the perspective of labor policy (not of immigration policy). American agricultural employers have long utilized foreign workers on a temporary basis, regarding them as an important manpower resource. Often employed at low wages and under adverse conditions, such alien workers, some argue, may compete unfairly with U.S. workers. To mitigate any "adverse effect" for the domestic workforce, a system of wage floors was developed that applies, variously, both to alien and citizen workers.
Date: April 5, 2004
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Online News and Information Sources

Description: A variety of free online sources can be used by Members of Congress and staff seeking current and breaking news on fisheries, aquaculture, and marine mammals. Services identified include newswires and news services, press release services, regional and topical newsletters, topical discussion groups, comprehensive resource archives, professional organizations, trade and interest organizations, government agencies and international commissions, and issue-specific sites. This summary does not attempt a complete listing of available online sources, but offers a selection of frequently used sources. An emphasis of this report is on identifying services which deliver news and information directly to the user by e-mail. To assure that a broad array of useful sources is covered and to remove sources that are no longer active, this report will be updated periodically.
Date: September 15, 2004
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management

Description: This report discusses the two-pronged approach to grazing reform the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking by proposing changes to grazing regulations and considering other changes to grazing policies. BLM asserts that regulatory changes are needed to increase flexibility for grazing managers and permittees, to improve rangeland management and grazing permit administration, to promote conservation, and to comply with court decisions.
Date: August 24, 2005
Creator: Vincent, Carol Hardy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Funding Plant and Animal Health Emergencies: Transfers from the Commodity Credit Corporation

Description: This report examines the Secretary of Agriculture's authority to transfer funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for emergency control programs. The Secretary’s use of this authority has increased in recent years, and has become an issue within government concerning the method for funding plant and animal health programs.
Date: October 19, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Labor: The Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Description: American agricultural employers have long utilized foreign workers on a temporary basis, regarding them as an important labor resource. At the same time, the relatively low wages and adverse working conditions of such workers have caused them to be viewed as a threat to domestic American workers. Some have argued that foreign guest workers compete unfairly with U.S. workers — both in terms of compensation that they are willing to accept and by making it somewhat more difficult for domestic workers to organize and to bargain with management. To mitigate any “adverse effect”for the domestic workforce, a system of wage floors was developed that applies, variously, both to alien and citizen workers: i.e., the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR). This report deals with one element of immigration (i.e., namely the H-2A workers). It introduces the adverse effect wage rate, it examines the concerns out of which it grew, and it explains at least some of the problems that have been encountered in giving it effect.
Date: April 14, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and China's Accession to the World Trade Organization

Description: 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.
Date: March 13, 2001
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Food Aid Provisions

Description: Provision of U.S. agricultural commodities for emergency relief and economic development is the United States' major response to food security problems in developing countries. Title III in the omnibus farm bill enacted in June 2008, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, reauthorizes and makes a number of changes in U.S. international food aid programs. Farm bill debate over U.S. food aid programs focused generally on how to make delivery of food aid more efficient and more effective. This report explores this and related legislation, as well as the areas of this ongoing and international issue that are continually debated.
Date: June 20, 2008
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Provisions of the Farm Bill: Comparison of the New Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills

Description: This report provides a side-by-side comparison of the energy provisions of the new law with previously existing law, as well as the versions engrossed by the House and Senate in the 107th Congress. While the energy provisions in the House version were spread throughout the bill, the Senate version consolidated most of its energy provisions into Title IX - Energy. Both bills provided for the use of reserve land for renewable energy production. The House version also allowed for loans to farmers in response to high energy prices, while the Senate version did not.
Date: January 22, 2003
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Description: Numerous federal, state, and local agencies share responsibilities for regulating the safety of the U.S. food supply, which many experts say is among the safest in the world. Nevertheless, critics view this system as lacking the organization and resources to adequately combat foodborne illness, which sickens an estimated 76 million people and kills an estimated 5,000 each year in this country. The 110th Congress may face calls for a review of federal food safety agencies and authorities, and proposals for reorganizing them. Among the issues likely to arise are whether reform can improve oversight, and the cost to industry, consumers, and taxpayers. This report provides a brief introduction to the system and the debate on whether reorganization is needed.
Date: February 7, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Porter, Donna V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measuring and Monitoring Carbon in the Agricultural and Forestry Sectors

Description: Proposals to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases often include the use of forestry and agricultural practices and lands for carbon sequestration. However, uncertainty about the accuracy of measuring carbon from these activities has led some to question this potential. Basic approaches for measuring forest and agricultural carbon include on-site measurement; indirect measurement from off-site tools; and estimation using models or inferences. Because of challenges associated with balancing the cost and accuracy of these measurement tools, any practicable system for measuring forest and agricultural carbon might require a mix of these approaches.
Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Gorte, Ross W. & Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture Support Mechanisms in the European Union: A Comparison with the United States

Description: The European Union (EU), comprised of 15 member states (countries), is one of the United States’ chief agricultural trading partners and also a major competitor in world markets. Both heavily support their agricultural sectors, with a large share of such support concentrated on wheat, feed grains, cotton, oilseeds, sugar, dairy, and tobacco. However, the EU provides more extensive support to a broader range of farm and food products. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the EU and United States in 2001 together accounted for nearly two-thirds of all government support to agriculture among the major developed economies. However, EU agricultural spending generally is much higher than in the United States. Information comparing how the U.S. and EU governments support their producers is expected to be of interest to policymakers while negotiations are underway among world trading partners to further reform agricultural trade.
Date: July 31, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department