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Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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 (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. This report outlines the various agricultural disaster assistance appropriations included in the FY2007 Iraq war supplemental appropriations act; the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the 2008 farm bill; and the FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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.
Cotton Production and Support in the United States
This report explains the various cotton subsidy programs and provides quantitative data on market revenues, production costs, and the size of the subsidies. Also, it characterizes the relative position of the United States vis-a-vis other countries as a producer, exporter and importer of cotton. The purpose of this examination is to provide U.S. policy makers with a complete overview of U.S. cotton production and the federal programs that support that production.
The FY2006 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
No Description Available.
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations
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.
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations
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.
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations
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.
Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production
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.
Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production
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.
Animal Waste and Water Quality: EPA Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
This report describes the revised environmental rules of the Clean Water Act, the background of previous Clean Water Act rules and the Clinton Administration proposal for revising these rules, and perspectives of key interest groups on the proposal and final regulations. It also identifies several issues likely to be of congressional interest as implementation of the revised rules proceeds.
Agriculture in Afghanistan and Neighboring Asian Countries
Agriculture (as measured by share of gross domestic product and employment) is a significant economic sector in seven Central and South Asian countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. All of these countries are net food importers. Some have experienced successive years of drought, which has contributed to noticeable declines in agricultural output and the need to increase commodity imports. The United Nations’ World Food Program reports that both Afghanistan and Tajikistan are currently in need of emergency food assistance to cover sizable food deficits. The food outlook in Afghanistan is made uncertain by ongoing military conflict.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
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.
The Changing Structure of Agriculture and Rural America: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
This report provides an overview of Contemporary Rural America. The report discusses the changes that are likely to pose important questions about the direction and coherence of current rural policy. Several significant trends in this evolving structure of agriculture are discussed in this report: (1) a continuation in the trend toward fewer and larger farms; (2) a potential acceleration of that trend as production shifts to more tightly integrated and vertically coordinated production through supply chains; (3) greater environmental pressures on conventional agricultural production practices stemming from urban and suburban interests; and (4) changing food consumption patterns.
Asian Soybean Rust: Background and Issues
This report discusses the background and issues regarding Asian soybean rust (ASR) that was discovered in the United States in an experimental field in Louisiana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating a plan to deal with ASR that encompasses various USDA agencies, state land-grant universities, and industry participants. The arrival of ASR has implications for several public policies including pest control research (particularly the development of resistant varieties), pesticide regulation, disaster assistance, and crop insurance.
Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector
This report is organized in three parts. First, it discusses the extent of GHG emissions associated with the U.S. agriculture sector, and cites current and potential estimates for U.S. agricultural soils to sequester carbon and partly offset national GHG emissions. Second, the report describes the types of land management and farm conservation practices that can reduce GHG emissions and/or sequester carbon in agricultural soils, highlighting those practices that are currently promoted under existing voluntary federal agricultural programs. Third, the report discusses the types of questions that may be raised regarding the role of the U.S. agriculture sector in the broader climate change debate, and also discusses the role of climate-related issues (e.g., GHG emissions reductions and carbon sequestration) in the context of farm program legislation that the 110th Congress may consider.
Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector
This report is organized in three parts. First, it discusses the extent of GHG emissions associated with the U.S. agriculture sector, and cites current and potential estimates for U.S. agricultural soils to sequester carbon and partly offset national GHG emissions. Second, the report describes the types of land management and farm conservation practices that can reduce GHG emissions and/or sequester carbon in agricultural soils, highlighting those practices that are currently promoted under existing voluntary federal agricultural programs. The Appendix provides a summary primer of the key background information presented in these first two sections. Finally, the report describes ongoing legislative action within both the climate change and farm bill debates, and discusses the types of questions that may be raised regarding the role of the U.S. agriculture sector in the broader climate change debate.
Energy Use in Agriculture: Background and Issues
This report provides information relevant to the U.S. agricultural sector on energy use, emerging issues, and related legislation. This report provides background on the relationship between energy and agriculture in the United States. The first section provides background information on current and historical energy use in the U.S. agricultural sector and how this fits into the national energy-use picture. Energy’s role in agriculture’s overall cost structure is detailed both for present circumstances and for changes over time. Finally, this section examines how agriculture’s energy-use pattern varies across activities and regions.
Peanut Program: Evolution from Supply Management to Market Orientation
No Description Available.
U.S. Agricultural Policy Response to WTO Cotton Decision
No Description Available.
Comparing Quota Buyout Payments for Peanuts and Tobacco
The purpose of this analysis is to provide a generally consistent comparison of the benefits provided to peanut quota holders and producers and proposed benefits concerning tobacco. It is not the intention of this analysis to attempt to determine the appropriate size of these buyout payments.
Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer
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.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
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.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
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.
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 107th Congress
No Description Available.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings.
Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports
This report discusses the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. The 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010, which will likely become a legislative issue in the 112th Congress.
The U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products
This report presents recent trends in U.S. fruit and vegetable trade and highlights some of the factors contributing to these trends. This summary excludes trade data for tree nuts and processed tree nut products.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings.
Farm Safety Net Proposals for the 2012 Farm Bill
This report discusses three proposals-one by the National Cotton Council, one by Representative Neugebauer, and another by a private crop insurance company-focus on modifications to crop insurance programs. The National Farmers Union proposes to replace existing farm programs with a combination of farmer-owned-reserves, increased loan rates, and set asides. A proposed new dairy program-the Dairy Security Act-would provide a voluntary margin insurance program and market stabilization activities in place of current dairy programs. Finally, the proposed REFRESH Act (Senator Lugar) would eliminate most commodity programs (including the sugar program), and incorporate ARRM, the Dairy Security Act, and expanded whole-farm revenue insurance in their place.
Japan's 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agriculture Implications
The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused widespread devastation that affected many of the country's agricultural and fishery areas. The nuclear crisis that followed at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, and the subsequent detection of radioactive contamination of food produced near the disabled facility, further raised fears about the safety of Japan's food production systems and its future food exports. Most reports acknowledge that Japan's current production and supply shortages, along with rising food safety concerns and possible longer-term radiation threats to its food production, could limit Japan's food exports while possibly increasing its need for food imports in the future. It is still not clear what effect, if any, Japan's current food supply and demand situation will have on world farm commodity markets and food prices.
Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Some in Congress have continued to call for changes to the program that could limit GSP benefits to certain countries, among other changes. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. In the past few years, Congress has extended GSP through a series of short-term extensions. However, the 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010. The expiration of the GSP will likely become a legislative issues in the 112th Congress.
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
Agriculture Conservation Programs: A Scorecard
This report provides basic information on several agriculture conservation programs, primarily drawn from agency budget presentations and websites, about each program using a consistent format. This information should help respond to basic questions and resolve many common sources of confusion about the purposes of the program, program participation and policy topics.
Animal Agriculture: 2008 Farm Bill Issues
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.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF.
Agriculture and Forestry Provisions in Climate Change Legislation (S. 3036)
This report summarizes some of the domestic agriculture and forestry provisions in the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 (S. 3036, formerly S. 2191), as ordered reported out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in December 2007.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) budget and operations. The ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency charged with administering and enforcing federal laws related to the manufacture, importation, and distribution of firearms and explosives.
Farm Commodity Programs: Honey
This report discusses the honey price support program, which was first created by the Agricultural Act of 1949 (P.L. 81-439) to provide market price stability for honey producers and to encourage maintenance of sufficient bee populations for pollination
Farm Commodity Programs: Base Acreage and Planting Flexibility
This report discusses two policy issues that have arisen regarding planting flexibility on base acres, particularly restrictions on growing fruits and vegetables as an alternative crop. First, some Midwestern producers felt penalized because their history of growing fruits and vegetables reduced their soybean bases under the 2002 farm bill. H.R. 2045 and S. 1038 would allow certain fruits and vegetables to be grown without penalizing any future recalculation of base, while reducing a farm’s subsidy payments for one year. S. 194 would allow chicory to be grown on base acres. Second, a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found that the restriction on planting fruits and vegetables made direct and counter-cyclical payments ineligible to be a nondistorting payment (green box) for international trade purposes.
Farm Commodity Programs: Direct Payments, Counter-Cyclical Payments, and Marketing Loans
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.
Federal Grazing Regulations: Public Lands Council v. Babbitt
This report discusses new regulations on livestock grazing on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management became effective August 21, 1995. Many aspects of the new regulations were challenged in Public Lands Council v. Babbitt. A federal district court upheld many of the regulations, but struck down four of them and enjoined their implementation. At the appellate level, only the new regulation allowing conservation use to the exclusion of livestock grazing for the full term of a permit was held invalid. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and argument has been set for March 1, 2000.
Previewing the Next Farm Bill
Congress periodically establishes agricultural and food policy in an omnibus farm bill. The 112th Congress faces reauthorization of the current five-year farm bill because many of its provisions expire in 2012. The 2008 farm bill contained 15 titles covering farm commodity support, horticulture, livestock, conservation, nutrition assistance, international food aid, trade, agricultural research, farm credit, rural development, bioenergy, and forestry, among others. Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees anticipate having a new farm bill completed before the end of this session. If the current farm bill expires without a new authorization or a temporary extension, it automatically would be replaced with permanent statutes for farm commodity support, which are not fully compatible with current national economic objectives, global trading rules, and federal budgetary or regulatory policies.
The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act
This report looks at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry" which was entered into by the Secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, and the Navy. It raises issues and concerns for Congress to consider when deciding how to fund MOU.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
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.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
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.