Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components.
Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
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.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products

Description: 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. Although not presented here, U.S. exports and imports of tree nuts and processed tree nut products (excluding peanuts) have shown continued increases, with a growing trade surplus of $1.8 billion in 2006.
Date: April 30, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Description: This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419. Some alternative proposals that the House considered are summarized in an appendix. The House-passed bill includes some elements of the alternative proposals (usually in modified form). This report is limited to the conservation title. However, conservation topics in recent farm bills have been increasingly addressed in other titles, and that trend continues with the House-passed version, which contains conservation provisions in the energy, forestry, and research titles, and others as well.
Date: August 27, 2007
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices

Description: This report is intended to provide an overview of on-farm irrigation and does not cover storage and conveyance prior to the farm or how irrigation adoption may alter other farm practices, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides or impacts off-farm (e.g., groundwater and surface water quality concerns).
Date: September 10, 2015
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy

Description: This report discusses various provisions designed to reduce production and conserve soil and water resources. Many of the provisions remain in effect today, including the two compliance provisions--highly erodible land conservation (sodbuster) and wetland conservation (swampbuster).
Date: June 9, 2014
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2016 Appropriations

Description: This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for FY 2016, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- except for the Forest Service -- as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Date: October 21, 2015
Creator: Monke, Jim
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects

Description: This report reviews the current state of agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba, identifies key impediments to expanding bilateral trade in agricultural products and key provisions in the law to which these obstacles are anchored. It also summarizes several of the bills introduced in the 114th Congress that propose to remove specific restrictions that impede trade in agricultural goods or that seek to lift the embargo on Cuba entirely.
Date: October 1, 2015
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009

Description: This report analyzes the agriculture, nutrition, and rural provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). The ARRA boosts government spending on various infrastructure programs and government benefits programs, and offers individual and business tax benefits.
Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Monke, Jim; Richardson, Joe; Stubbs, Megan; Cowan, Tadlock; Chite, Ralph M.; Becker, Geoffrey S. et al.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temporary Farm Labor: The H-2A Program and the U.S. Department of Labor's Proposed Changes in the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR)

Description: This report begins with a description of the H-2A program. Next, the report explains how the AEWR is currently determined and how it would be calculated under the proposed regulations. Finally, the report examines some potential effects of the proposed change in the AEWR on the wages and employment of foreign and U.S. workers on U.S. farms.
Date: November 6, 2008
Creator: Mayer, Gerald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Description: This report discusses the potential impact on agriculture of June flooding across much of the Corn Belt. As much as 5 million acres of crop production were initially thought to be either lost entirely or subject to significant yield reductions.
Date: August 18, 2008
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

California Agricultural Production and Irrigated Water Use

Description: This report provides an overview of California's farm economy, specifically examining the current state of the water supply and the use of irrigation water.
Date: June 30, 2015
Creator: Johnson, Renée & Cody, Betsy A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Midwest Floods of 2008: Potential Impact on Agriculture

Description: This report discusses the widespread flooding across much of the Corn Belt that has cast considerable uncertainty over 2008 U.S. corn and soybean production prospects. Estimates of crop damage vary widely, and could change based on the extent of plant recovery or replanting.
Date: July 16, 2008
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY2016 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations: In Brief

Description: This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- except for the Forest Service -- as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Agriculture appropriations include both mandatory and discretionary spending, however, mandatory amounts are general set by other authorizing laws (such as the farm bill).
Date: July 20, 2015
Creator: Monke, Jim
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Farm Income

Description: This report discusses the aggregate national net farm income and the farm debt-to-asset status as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It includes an overview of income and expenses for calendar year 2009, income projections through 2018, the average farm household income, and information about farm asset values and debt.
Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Agricultural Trade with Cuba: Current Limitations and Future Prospects

Description: This report reviews the current state of agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba. It identifies key impediments to expanding bilateral trade in agricultural products and key provisions in the law to which these obstacles are anchored, and also considers the potential consequences for trade in agricultural goods if bilateral trade were returned to a more normal footing. It also summarizes several of the bills introduced in the 114th Congress that propose to remove specific restrictions that impede trade in agricultural goods or that seek to lift the embargo on Cuba entirely.
Date: July 23, 2015
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Safety Net Programs: Background and Issues

Description: This report discusses several programs operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. Federal crop insurance, farm programs, and disaster assistance are collectively called the farm safety net.
Date: August 21, 2015
Creator: Shields, Dennis A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FDA Tobacco Regulation: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009

Description: This report focuses on the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. It includes a brief discussion of the contrasting views of FDA tobacco regulation held by the public health community and the industry, and provides some analysis of a number of key regulatory issues that the bill raises.
Date: May 28, 2009
Creator: Redhead, Stephen C.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Bill Legislative Action in the 110th Congress

Description: This report discuses the periodic omnibus farm bill, which is renewed about every five years, and governs federal farm and food policy. The report contains congressional actions and a summary of the conference agreement provisions.
Date: June 13, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Richardson, Joe; Marples, Donald J. & Jickling, Mark
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling

Description: 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.
Date: June 11, 2015
Creator: Greene, Joel L.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations

Description: 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.
Date: August 6, 2009
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

2014 Farm Bill Provisions and WTO Compliance

Description: This report briefly describes the relevant World Trade Organization (WTO) rules governing domestic support programs under the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). The report then reviews the current U.S. farm safety net programs in light of their potential for compliance with the AoA and SCM and their potential to affect the success of the current Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
Date: April 22, 2015
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program

Description: This report provides a description and status report on Brazil's challenge to certain aspects of the U.S. cotton program under the rules of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) dispute settlement process in case DS267. The "Brazil cotton case" had its WTO origins in 2002 and has since evolved into a sprawling legal enterprise that is still ongoing as of mid-2010.
Date: January 4, 2010
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department