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Hog Prices: Questions and Answers

Description: 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.
Date: December 15, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Introduction to Farm Commodity Programs

Description: 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.
Date: July 20, 1994
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options

Description: Sharply higher feed costs, fueled by competing use demands for corn and soybeans and by rising energy prices, are affecting the beef, pork, dairy, and poultry industries. In contrast, wholesales prices for most animal products have held steady. Some analysts argue that current public policies, including financial incentives that divert corn from feed uses into ethanol production, have exacerbated if not caused these higher costs. Other factors include crop production declines due to weather, and higher global demand for consumption. Proposed options aimed at easing the impacts of higher feed costs include changes in ethanol incentives, use of conservation land for forage use, and direct aid to producers.
Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues

Description: The report provides background information in the increase of food and agricultural imports and federal oversight responsibilities. It discusses international trade considerations, import refusals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), administration, and legislative proposals.
Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues

Description: The report provides background information in the increase of food and agricultural imports and federal oversight responsibilities. It discusses international trade considerations, import refusals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), administration, and legislative proposals.
Date: April 16, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

Description: Russia announced on August 29, 2008, that it was banning poultry imports from 19 U.S. establishments due to safety concerns, and that 29 others could lose approval if they do not improve their standards. Russian officials also signaled that they might reduce U.S. permits to import poultry and pork under that country's quota system. The economic stakes of Russian import actions are high for U.S. poultry producers - 29% of their exports went to that market in 2007 - and red meat producers, who also are experiencing strong growth in the Russian market. In Congress, any potential options likely would be reviewed within the context of the broader geopolitical situation.
Date: September 11, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
Date: September 5, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues

Description: This report describes several scientifically emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise.
Date: February 11, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues

Description: This report describes several scientifically-emerging animal biotechnologies that are raising a variety of questions concerning risks to humans, animals, and the environment, as well as ethical concerns. The report examines applications of the technologies and discusses major issues that may arise.
Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: U.S.-China Trade Issues

Description: With China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, U.S. agricultural interests were hopeful that longstanding barriers to trade with that vast and growing market would begin to fall. However, critics charge that China is failing to honor commitments to open its markets, affecting U.S. exports of grains, oilseeds, meat and poultry, and other products. U.S. agriculture and trade officials have been working to resolve these differences.
Date: October 16, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Agriculture: 2008 Farm Bill Issues

Description: This report discusses a number of animal-related provisions related to the 2008 farm bill. It includes background and specific provisions from the bill for each of the issues and options analyzed in the report: market competition and packer concentration, livestock mandatory price reporting, meat and poultry safety, country-of-origin labeling, animal identification for health protection, animal welfare, feed prices, disaster assistance, and environmental issues. The report also provides a summary comparison of previous farm bills with the 2008 provisions for selected issues.
Date: July 1, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Johnson, Renée
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

The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status

Description: The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform, or FAIR, Act of 1996 (commonly known as the "farm bill"), which was due to expire in 2002, is expected to be extended for another six years when President Bush signs the bill into law. This report discusses the provisions of the new "farm bill," including the federal spending involved.
Date: July 3, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Womach, Jasper
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status

Description: The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform, or FAIR, Act of 1996 (commonly known as the "farm bill"), which was due to expire in 2002, is expected to be extended for another six years when President Bush signs the bill into law. This report discusses the provisions of the new "farm bill," including the federal spending involved.
Date: May 3, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Womach, Jasper
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status

Description: This report discusses the provisions of the 1996 farm bill, which was due to expire in 2002 but was extended (P.L. 107-171) for an additional 6 years on May 13, 2002.
Date: June 3, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Womach, Jasper
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department