Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Information Services for Agriculture: The Role of Technology

Description: Significant improvements in technology-supported information services have created opportunities for their utilization by the farmers and ranchers of our Nation. This report highlights the development and expanded offering of these systems, describes current operational and experimental systems, and presents salient legislative initiatives which address this priority area.
Date: November 16, 1982
Creator: Chartrand, Robert L.; Carr, A. B. & Miller, Nancy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Farm Bill: Soil and Water Conservation Issues

Description: This report discusses resource conservation topics, which are a part of the farm bill debate. Debate on existing programs focuses on reauthorization of the Conservation Reserve Program and possible amendments to the reserve, swampbuster, and conservation compliance.
Date: December 29, 1995
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Description: This report discusses legislation establishing national generic promotion ("check-off') programs for 20 specified farm commodities. Thirteen of the 20 authorized programs are now in effect.
Date: May 3, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Grazing Fees: An Overview

Description: This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Date: May 21, 1996
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Commodity Programs: Sugar

Description: This report discusses the federal sugar program, which authorized by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 seeks to ensure the viability of the U.S. sugar producing sector primarily by supporting the incomes of sugar beet and sugarcane producers and of those firms that process each crop into sugar.
Date: April 24, 1998
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Grazing Fees and Rangeland Management

Description: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM, Department of the Interior) and the Forest Service (Department of Agriculture) manage approximately 70% of the 650 million acres of land owned by the federal government and many of these lands are classified as rangeland. Both agencies have well-established programs permitting private livestock grazing. The Administration issued new, controversial BLM rangeland management rules effective in August 1995. Supporters contended that the Administration's new rules were a step forward in sound resource management, but some believed they did not go far enough to protect rangelands and riparian areas. Many in the ranching community opposed the new rules, believing that they would ultimately reduce private livestock activity on federal lands, and increase operating costs. This report examines the debate over federal grazing management.
Date: December 4, 1998
Creator: Cody, Betsy A. & Baldwin, Pamela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food and Agriculture Issues in the 105th Congress

Description: This report examines various budget issues regarding food and agriculture in the 105th Congress, examining recent developments and then taking a look a the context of those developments.
Date: December 28, 1998
Creator: Jones, Jean Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era

Description: This report discusses the enhancements to the crop insurance and revenue insurance programs that are expected to be considered by the 106th Congress in order to improve the farm financial safety net and preclude the need for ad hoc legislative assistance.
Date: January 22, 1999
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Commodity Legislation: Chronology, 1933-98

Description: Farm commodity programs were a product of the Great Depression. This report discusses the history of farm commodity legislation. Since 1933, Congress has required the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to administer a variety of programs providing price support and income protection for the nations farmers.
Date: February 9, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues

Description: This report provides basic information on the science of food biotechnology. It discusses regulatory policies and issues of concern about the use of biotechnology to modify foods through genetic engineering. It describes the scientific processes used and current products available. It explains how all three major federal agencies - the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency - regulate these foods.
Date: June 2, 1999
Creator: Vogt, Donna U. & Parish, Mickey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Description: This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (now about $5.7 billion per year) is simply transferred directly into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) child nutrition account to fund school feeding and other programs.
Date: June 22, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

IMF and World Bank: U.S. Contributions and Agency Budgets

Description: This paper shows how much the United States has contributed to these international agencies in recent years. It also shows how much the international agencies budget (and the source of those funds) for their administrative expenses and their operational budgets. This report will be updated periodically.
Date: December 9, 1999
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hog Prices: Questions and Answers

Description: This report discusses price changes in the pork industry. In late 1998, the lowest hog prices in decades created a crisis in the pork industry and prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to take a series of actions to assist producers, including direct cash payments, and the purchase of extra pork products to reduce market supplies. The industry sought additional aid as low prices persisted into 1999.
Date: December 15, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Grazing Regulations: Public Lands Council v. Babbitt

Description: 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.
Date: February 1, 2000
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Economic Relief: Issues and Options for Congress

Description: This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding and subsidies. In response to low prices, natural disasters, and other farm-related problems, Congress has, over 3 successive years, provided a total of about $23 billion in supplemental aid – in addition to funds already programmed through the 1996 farm bill (P.L. 104-127). The most recent aid was attached to a crop insurance reform bill signed into law on June 22, 2000 (P.L. 106-224). This Agriculture Risk Protection Act of 2000 includes $7.113 billion for additional farm income and related assistance, of which $5.5 billion is to be spent in FY2000.
Date: August 22, 2000
Creator: Womach, Jasper & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Economic Relief: Issues and Options for Congress

Description: This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002.
Date: December 6, 2000
Creator: Womach, Jasper & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Economic Relief and Policy Issues in the 106th Congress: A Retrospective

Description: This report discusses issues regarding Agriculture funding, specifically the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act (P.L. 104-127), which prescribed farm commodity support policy through 2002.
Date: January 8, 2001
Creator: Womach, Jasper & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Biotechnology in the United States: Science, Regulation, and Issues

Description: This report discusses the science of food biotechnology, and the federal structure by which it is regulated. Because U.S. farmers are adopting this technology at a rapid rate, some observers advocate a more active role for the federal government to ensure that farmers have equal access to this technology. Others believe that federal officials should play a more active role in protecting the environment, funding more research, and participating in international trade negotiations to ensure that trade continues to expand for genetically engineered crops. Trading partners often label food products that have been genetically modified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Many of those partners have labeling requirements for GMOs to allow consumers the “right to know” their food content.
Date: January 19, 2001
Creator: Vogt, Donna U. & Parish, Mickey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues

Description: This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress
Date: February 15, 2001
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Collver, Geoffrey K
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Program Spending: What's Permitted Under the Uruguay Round Agreements

Description: This report discusses farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2002. A key question being asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), which commitsthe United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm supports most likely to distort trade. The URAA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs.
Date: March 13, 2001
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foot and Mouth Disease: A Threat to U.S. Agriculture

Description: An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) among livestock in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe that began in February 2001 has raised concerns about the United States’ ability to prevent the disease from spreading to this country and readiness to eradicate it should an outbreak occur. This report describes the characteristics of the FMD virus and disease, the current measures the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking to prevent its importation, and the authorities USDA has to act to eradicate an outbreak. The FMD threat also raises issues concerning the adequacy of funding for disease exclusion and research, the availability of vaccines, and USDA’s authority to move preemptively against a potential outbreak, among other things.
Date: April 16, 2001
Creator: Segarra, Alejandro E. & Rawson, Jean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments

Description: Congress is now debating reauthorization of omnibus farm legislation, as most commodityprice support provisions expire in 2002. This report discusses this debate, specifically aspects relating to commitments that the U.S. has as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member. Because of the interrelationships between trade and domestic support policies, lawmakers are interested in what the Agreement on Agriculture stipulates with regard to domestic supports, and how not only the United States but also other countries are meeting their Agreement commitments.
Date: July 20, 2001
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration of Agricultural Guest Workers: Policy, Trends, and Legislative Issues

Description: This report discusses the revision of U.S. immigration policy on agricultural guest workers that are coming from various perspectives, and several major bills have already been introduced in the 107th Congress
Date: August 23, 2001
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Collver, Geoffrey K
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department