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Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness

Description: The potential of terrorist attacks against agricultural targets (agroterrorism) is increasingly recognized as a national security threat, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. In this context, agroterrorism is defined as the deliberate introduction of an animal or plant disease with the goal of generating fear, causing economic losses, and/or undermining stability. This report addresses the use of biological weapons against agriculture, rather than the threat of terrorists using agricultural inputs for other purposes. It also focuses more on agricultural production than food processing and distribution.
Date: February 4, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: Prospective Issues for Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture could receive attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure as early as 2005. The farm bill spells out the types and levels of benefits provided to producers and landowners under commodity price support and conservation programs, both of which could receive close scrutiny in the coming year as lawmakers seek ways to control federal spending. Other concerns include agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease); interest in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; the rising cost of energy on farms; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

Description: 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.
Date: August 2, 2005
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Description: Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. However, hearings on a 2007 farm bill could begin in late 2005. At that time, Congress will begin to examine farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2007. A key question likely to be asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AA), which commits the United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm support programs most likely to distort trade. The AA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. This report describes the steps for making these determinations.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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 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.
Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition

Description: This report includes a glossary of approximately 2,500 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture.
Date: June 16, 2005
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Supplemental Appropriations, FY1989-FY2005

Description: From FY1989 through FY2005 (to date), 31 appropriations, authorization, or farm disaster acts added approximately $53.2 billion in supplemental funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs (excluding the Forest Service, which is funded annually under the Interior appropriations bill). Nearly $41 billion, or 77% of the total amount, was for FY1999-FY2005 alone. Two FY2005 supplementals have been enacted to date, the largest of which was a disaster relief package in response to the 2004 hurricanes and other natural disasters, which included $3.5 billion for agricultural losses (attached to the FY2005 Military Construction Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-324)).
Date: June 23, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. The agriculture committees are required by the FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation this year that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and Asian soybean rust); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure later this year. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Specialty Crop Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the U.S. specialty crop issues in the 109th Congress. This sector is comprised of producers, handlers, processors, and retailers of fruit, vegetable, tree nut, and nursery crops.
Date: August 19, 2005
Creator: Rawson, Jean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: On April 29, 2005, Congress completed action on the FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95, H.Rept. 109-62). This measure contains reconciliation instructions that require authorizing committees to report legislation to reduce spending on mandatory programs within each committee’s jurisdiction. To reduce spending in mandatory U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, conferees instructed the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to reduce mandatory spending by $173 million in FY2006 and $3.0 billion over five years (FY2006-FY2010). The Bush Administration earlier proposed changes to several mandatory USDA programs, which it said would save $5.7 billion over five years (and which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) subsequently scored at $9.4 billion in reductions). The agriculture committees must determine how to divide the cuts among the various programs under their jurisdiction by September 16, 2005.
Date: May 4, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture Conservation Programs: A Scorecard

Description: The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture currently administer 20 programs and subprograms that are directly or indirectly available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands. The number, scope, and overall funding of these programs have all grown with each recent farm bill. This growth can cause confusion over which problems and conditions each program addresses, and specific program characteristics and performance, especially for those who are less familiar with this conservation effort. This report lists these programs and basic information about each of them.
Date: June 3, 2005
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department