Trade News: The State of the Farm Reflects the State of the Nation

All references are from ERS/USDA: Farm Income and Costs.  The Farm Income and Costs briefing room provides indicators of economic performance for the U.S. farm sector and major crop and livestock farm groups. Farm balance sheet estimates are used by USDA and other public and private sector clients to form a perspective about the financial health of the U.S. agricultural economy.  A plethora of data and reports on Farm Income and Costs: everything from milk to minks are charted and analyzed.  

Farm Balance Sheet. Estimates of farm business balance sheets are presented for the United States and individual states. The balance sheet includes component accounts for assets, debt, and equity, where equity equals assets minus debt, 1960 to the present.

Farm Household Economics and Well-Being. The well-being of farm operator households is not equivalent to the financial performance of the farm sector or of farm businesses. Nearly all farms (97 percent in 2009) are family farms. About 40 percent of farms have more than one operator, but three-quarters of these are operated by a husband-wife team.  Data and reports that look at the family farm (versus corporate owned and operated) farms are presented.  

Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data. USDA has summarized the latest U.S. agricultural trade statistics using the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade. This offers the latest forecast of value and volume of U.S. farm exports, by commodity and region, as well as the agricultural trade balance for the coming year. Keeps readers abreast of how U.S. agricultural trade stacks up in a global market.

Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies. Agricultural production is sensitive to changes in energy prices. A number of factors can affect energy prices faced by U.S. farmers and ranchers, including developments in the oil and natural gas markets, and energy taxes or subsidies.  Climate change policies could also affect energy prices. Download the entire report. 

On the Doorstep of the Information Age: Recent Adoption of Precision Agriculture. The adoption of precision agriculture, which encompasses a suite of farm-level information technologies, can improve the efficiency of input use and reduce environmental harm from the overapplication of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Yield monitoring is now used on over 40 percent of U.S. grain crop acres.

2011 Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Program Conference. The RIDGE Program encourages new and innovative research on food assistance and nutrition issues and broadens the participation of social science scholars in this important research area. This year’s RIDGE Conference will be held on September 23, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

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