Congressional Research Service Reports - 67 Matching Results

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Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention in the 109th Congress. The conference agreement on the FY2006 omnibus budget reconciliation bill includes a net reduction in spending on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandatory programs of $2.7 billion over five years, and the reauthorization of a dairy income support program. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the second session of the 109th Congress include the possible consideration of emergency farm disaster assistance; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and avian flu); high energy costs; environmental issues; agricultural marketing matters, and the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This report will be updated as significant developments ensue.
Date: January 13, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in the U.S.-Dominican Republic Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA)

Description: On August 2, 2005, President Bush signed into law the bill to implement the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement, or DR-CAFTA (P.L. 109-53, H.R. 3045). In DR-CAFTA, the United States and six countries will completely phase out tariffs and quotas — the primary means of border protection — on all but four agricultural commodities traded between them in stages up to 20 years. The four exempted products are as follows: for the United States, sugar; for Costa Rica, fresh onions and fresh potatoes; and for the four other Central American countries, white corn. DR-CAFTA’s provisions, once fully implemented, are expected to result in trade gains, though small, for the U.S. agricultural sector. This report describes this agreement in detail, as well as the stances of both supporters and detractors.
Date: January 12, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
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: January 20, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

WTO Doha Round: The Agricultural Negotiations

Description: The pace of negotiations in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations quickened in October 2005 as the December Hong Kong Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) approached. At Hong Kong, however, while WTO members agreed on a broad outline of negotiating objectives for further liberalizing global trade in agriculture, industry and services, they made only limited progress in determining precise numerical formulas (known as modalities) for meeting the Round’s aims. WTO members agreed to intensify efforts to reach agreement on modalities and conclude Doha Round negotiations by the end of 2006. This report assesses the current status of agricultural negotiations in the Doha Round; traces the developments leading up to the Hong Kong Ministerial; examines the major agricultural negotiating proposals; discusses the potential effects of a successful Doha Round agreement on global trade, income, U.S. farm policy, and U.S. agriculture; and provides background on the WTO, the Doha Round, the key negotiating groups, and a schedule of historical and upcoming events relevant to the agricultural negotiations.
Date: January 12, 2006
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E. & Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Commodity Programs: Direct Payments, Counter-Cyclical Payments, and Marketing Loans

Description: 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.
Date: February 10, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy

Description: This report first explains the connection made over the past several years between farm labor and immigration policies. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in employment, unemployment, time worked and wages of authorized and unauthorized farmworkers to determine whether they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
Date: January 25, 2006
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations

Description: 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.
Date: January 27, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy

Description: This report first explains the connection made over the past several years between farm labor and immigration policies. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in employment, unemployment, time worked and wages of authorized and unauthorized farmworkers to determine whether they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
Date: March 29, 2006
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: In an effort to collect scientifically credible data regarding the effect of animal agriculture on water resources (specifically animal waste and emissions from animal feeding operations (AFO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2005 announced the Air Compliance Agreement. The agreement is intended to produce air quality monitoring data on AFO emissions during a two-year study, while at the same time protecting participants through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: A Primer

Description: 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.
Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production

Description: 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.
Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
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: April 18, 2006
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Avian Influenza: Agricultural Issues

Description: Since the fall of 2003, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has spread throughout Asia, infecting mostly poultry but also a limited number of humans. The virus reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East and Africa in 2006. Avian flu is highly contagious in domestic poultry. Strict biosecurity measures are practiced by commercial poultry farms and encouraged by governments. The economic effects of avian flu outbreaks can be significant, especially given international trade restrictions. Controlling avian flu in poultry is seen as the best way to prevent a human pandemic from developing, by reducing the number of animal hosts in which the virus may evolve. This report mainly covers avian flu in poultry, and will be updated.
Date: March 10, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Identification and Meat Traceability

Description: U.S. animal agriculture is seeking to improve its ability to trace the movement of livestock from their birthplace to slaughter. The livestock and meat industries are working with the U.S. government to develop a national animal identification (ID) plan for livestock disease tracking purposes. This report focuses on animal ID and, to a lesser extent, on meat traceability.
Date: March 7, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: Status and Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the status and current issues regarding animal agriculture that is being transformed by rapid advances in biotechnology. This report will be updated as significant developments in agricultural biotechnology occur and as Congress develops legislation addressing emerging agricultural biotechnology issues.
Date: March 27, 2006
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Description: In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
Date: March 10, 2006
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production

Description: 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.
Date: May 18, 2006
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Avian Influenza: Agricultural Issues

Description: Since the fall of 2003, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has spread throughout Asia, infecting mostly poultry but also a limited number of humans. The virus reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East and Africa in 2006. Avian flu is highly contagious in domestic poultry. Strict biosecurity measures are practiced by commercial poultry farms and encouraged by governments. The economic effects of avian flu outbreaks can be significant, especially given international trade restrictions. Controlling avian flu in poultry is seen as the best way to prevent a human pandemic from developing, by reducing the number of animal hosts in which the virus may evolve. This report mainly covers avian flu in poultry, and will be updated.
Date: May 10, 2006
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department