Congressional Research Service Reports - 34 Matching Results

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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 (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Description: This report discusses issues regarding the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Underlying these issues is the question of whether U.S. regulation and oversight of biotechnology—with responsibilities spread primarily among the U.S.
Date: February 13, 2009
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea

Description: The 111th Congress in coming months might take up free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by the Bush Administration with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration of these agreements. Accordingly, agriculture as covered in each pending trade agreement is examined in this report in the order that Congress likely will take up these agreements, based upon statements made to date by Obama Administration officials and Members of Congress.
Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement

Description: This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, intended to produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Date: January 21, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Identification: Overview and Issues

Description: This report provides information about animal identification and proposed solutions. Livestock industry groups, animal health officials, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been working to establish a nationwide identification (ID) system capable of quickly tracking animals from birth to slaughter, to deal with animal diseases and/or to satisfy foreign market specifications. Some consumer groups are among those who believe ID also would be useful for food safety or retail labeling purposes.
Date: February 19, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Description: This report describes the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, the Superfund law) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and two House hearings are discussed. Bills intended to exempt animal manure from the requirements of Superfund and EPCRA were introduced in the 109th Congress. Similar bills were introduced in the 110th Congress (H.R. 1398 and S. 807), but no legislation has been enacted. Issues raised by the legislation are analyzed.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
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

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector

Description: 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.
Date: November 9, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Description: The debate in Congress over whether and how to address possible future climate change is intensifying. Often, the role of the U.S. agriculture sector is invoked in this debate. Agriculture is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which many scientists agree are contributing to observed climate change. Congress is considering a range of climate change policy options, including GHG emission reduction programs that would either mandate or authorize a cap-and-trade program to reduce GHG emissions. This report discusses this issue in detail, i.e., how the agricultural industry affects GHG emissions and efforts currently underway to combat these negative effects, but it does not address the potential effects of global climate change on U.S. agricultural production.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Description: 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. Finally, the report describes legislative action within the ongoing climate change debate as well as enacted changes in the 2008 farm bill (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246) that could expand the scope of existing farm and forestry conservation programs in ways that could more broadly encompass certain aspects of these climate change initiatives. The report concludes with a discussion of some of the types of questions that may be raised regarding the role of the U.S. agriculture sector in the broader climate change debate.
Date: July 31, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Description: The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers who wish to implement soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agriculture production, forestry management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits.
Date: February 5, 2009
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues

Description: This report presents an overview of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers who wish to implement soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agriculture production, forestry management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits. The report also discusses select issues for Congress regarding tighter budget constraints that could potentially reduce funding levels for EQIP and a continuing backlog of unfunded applications. A change in income limitations along with a new waiver created in the 2008 farm bill could also raise issues for the program. EQIP will also continue to face challenges in measuring environmental and program accomplishments.
Date: February 5, 2009
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Description: This report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. It includes informationa bout estimated current emissions and sequestration, estimated addtional potential sequestration, limitations of mitigation potential estimates, and considerations for Congress.
Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renee; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Description: The report is organized into three parts. The first provides a brief overview of the role of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, describing available estimates of current GHG emissions and carbon sequestration in the farm and forestry sectors. The second describes available data and information on the potential for carbon storage (tonnage) by type of farming and forestry activity, and presents available estimates of the carbon sequestration potential in these sectors. The final part discusses some of the limitations of available estimates of GHG mitigation potential in the agriculture and forestry sectors, focusing on recent policy and market changes and other types of modeling uncertainties that could limit the accuracy of available mitigation projections.
Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renee; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities

Description: Numerous theoretical and empirical studies estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of farm and forestry activities, and suggest that the potential for carbon uptake in agricultural soils and forest lands is much greater than current rates. Following a discussion of the estimated current emissions and carbon sequestration by the agricultural and forestry sectors, this report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from USDA and EPA carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. This report is organized into four parts, including a brief overview of the agriculture and forestry sectors within the broader climate change debate, as well as various data and information on potential for carbon storage and mitigation from farming and forestry activities.
Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Gorte, Ross W.; Yacobucci, Brent D. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Description: The 110th Congress in June 2008 passed a new omnibus farm bill (P.L. 110-246). Provisions in this new law now spell out more explicitly how the Secretary is to use the annual Section 32 appropriation. Section 32 of the act of August 24, 1935 (P.L. 74-320 as amended; 7 U.S.C. 612c) authorizes a permanent appropriation equal to 30% of annual U.S. customs receipts.
Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department