Agricultural and Rural Economic Research, Cooperative Agreements and Collaborations

To provide economic and other social science information and analysis for public and private decisions on agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America.

ERS produces such information for use by the general public and to help the executive and legislative branches develop, administer,

credit: Preservation Directory
and evaluate agricultural and rural policies and programs.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: --Enhancement of procedures and documentation of farm sector forecasts & estimates& implementation of new imputation methods for missing data --Food Security Model Development: Improving income response and food production projections --Towards an Understanding of Supply Chains in Agriculture --Towards a Computable General Equilibrium Model for the Analysis of Agricultural and Agriculture---Related Employment Issues --The Food Insecurity Experience Scale and Household/Individual Correlates of Food Insecurity --CPR Land Management and Pollinator Health --The Ag Econ Scholars Mentoring Program --Has the Industrialization of Livestock Marketing Shielded U.S.

Livestock Prices from Global Shocks? --Fruit and Vegetable Data Automation --Commodity Data System and Lifecycle Development --Case Studies Assessing the Readiness of an Challenges for the Mexican Produce Industry in Relation to the Food Safety Modernization Act --Foodborne Illness Outbreaks, Collective Reputation, & Voluntary Adoption of Industry-wide Food Safety Protocols by Fruit Vegetable Growers --Income and Experimental Food Security --An Assessment of Differential Item and Person Functioning Between Males and Females Using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale --Exploring Migration & Food Insecurity Relationship: New Evidence from the Food & Agriculture Organization's Food Insecurity Experience Scale --Exploring Grocery Retailer Food Safety Standards for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Suppliers --Price Determination and Margin Volatility in Thinly Traded Commodity Markets --Improving and Expanding Food Price Forecasts at ERS --New Imputation Procedures for the Agricultural Resource Management Survey --Farm Risk Management.

The Economics of Risk Management in Agriculture: Improving Our Understanding of How Farmers Manage Their Risk Exposure --Advanced Computational Methods using GAMS --Resilience to the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty --Hydrology and Agriculture --Improving Imputation Methodology in the ARMS Household Section --Enhancement of procedures and documentation of U.S.

State-level Agricultural Productivity Accounts --Competition for Water from Farmers and Energy Companies: The Importance of Water Rights --Understanding the Geography of Stress-Related Mortality in the U.S., with a focus on Opiate Addiction and Drug Overdose Mortality --Land Tenure and Oil and Gas Development --Private Agricultural R & D in India --Scenarios of Global Diets and the Impact on Land and Water Resources --Economic Impacts of Food and Drug Administration Veterinary Feed Directive Rules on Beef Cattle Sector --Conference on Environmental Economics and Policies --Workshop on Water Resources & Policy --Economic Effects of Changing Antibiotic Use Preferences in U.S.

Livestock Production --Rural Employment Sustainability and Establishment Dynamics --AgEcon Search --C-FARE 2016 Education & Outreach Programs --AAEA Professional Development Activities --International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (IATRC) --Economic Evaluation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) --Effect of Non-monetary Incentives on Phosphorus Use and Conservation Program Participation: A randomized Controlled Trial --Enhancing enrollment of leased land in agri-environmental programs: an investigation of the Conservation Stewardship Program in Kansas --Agricultural Productivity.

Fiscal Year 2017: ERS research explores how investments in rural people, business, and communities affect the capacity of rural economies to prosper in the new and changing global marketplace.

The agency analyzes how demographic trends, employment opportunities, Federal policies, and public investment in infrastructure and technology enhance economic opportunity and quality of life for rural Americans.

Equally important is ERS?s commitment to help enhance the quality of life for the Nation?s small farmers who increasingly depend on these rural economies for employment and economic support, as well as to analyze new developments in the linkages between these farmers, consumers, and local economies. ERS continues to monitor changing economic and demographic trends in rural America, particularly the implications of these changes for the employment, education, income, and housing patterns of low-income rural populations.

The rural development process is complex and sensitive to a wide range of factors that, to a large extent, are unique to each rural community.

Nonetheless, ERS assesses general approaches to development to determine when, where, and under what circumstances rural development strategies will be most successful. ERS research and analysis provide insight into market conditions facing U.S.

agriculture, avenues for innovation, and market expansion to help farmers and ranchers manage risk.

ERS produces USDA?s estimates of farm income.

In addition, the ERS program identifies and analyzes market structure and technological developments that affect efficiency and profitability. The ERS climate change research program develops models and other analytical techniques to predict responses of farmers to greenhouse gas mitigation options, analyze the impact of mitigation options on domestic and global agricultural markets and land and water use, and evaluate adaptation by farmers to a new climate regime through use of alternative technologies.

The ERS climate change research program builds on extensive expertise on the economics of land use and land management, technology adoption, conservation program design, economics of biofuels, and value and dissemination of public investment in research and development. In addition, ERS is continuing to contribute to USDA?s efforts to improve the science behind Federal environmental, water and air quality regulations and programs.

As part of its analysis of environmental regulations and conservation incentive policies, ERS research continues to provide insight into developing policies for controlling nonpoint source pollution.

More generally, ERS research analyzes the economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, and distributional implications of alternative designs of resource, conservation, environmental, and commodity programs and their linkages. ERS conducts research on technological innovation in agriculture, the economic performance, structure and viability of the farm sector and of different types of farms, and the state of global food security.

ERS effectively communicates research findings to policy makers, program managers, and those shaping the public debate.

The research program identifies key economic issues and uses sound analytical techniques to understand the immediate and broader economic and social consequences of alternative policies and programs related to the sustainability and use of biotechnology in U.S.

agriculture, including policies to promote trade of U.S.

products.

ERS has a broad program of work examining the production and marketing characteristics of the U.S.

organic sector.

Ongoing activities include research on the adoption of certified organic farming systems across the U.S., analysis of consumer demand and prices in specific markets, and several nationwide surveys of organic producers and markets.

The ERS research program includes an ongoing assessment of global food security.

ERS provides research, analysis, and information on food security, including factors affecting food production and ability to import food, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Commonwealth of Independent States to decision makers in the United States and throughout the world.

An annual report provides an up-to-date assessment of global food security.

Fiscal Year 2018: ERS will conduct the following research on the rural and farm economy: Large-Scale Farms in the United States.

Farm production continues to shift to larger operations.

ERS will analyze this shift for different regions and commodities, and will assess reasons for its continuation.

The study will also focus on the attributes of very large U.S.

farms using a new top sales class of $10 million or more.

ERS will examine size and growth, management, ownership, commodity focus, and financial performance of the largest farms.

Implications of Changing Land Values for Financial Stress and Land Ownership.

ERS research will examine the potential vulnerability of the farm sector to changes in agricultural land values, interest rates, and commodity prices.

Farm real estate values reached record highs in 2013, but forecasts indicate a slowing rate of appreciation, or possibly even a decline in land values caused in part by lower commodity prices and rising interest rates. Financial Stress, Bankruptcies, and Loan Delinquencies.

After several years of strong growth in farm income, the sector?s overall returns have declined, with net farm income now forecast for 2016 to be 45 percent below the $123.8 billion peak in 2013.

The decline may lead to increased financial stress within the sector; two possible indicators of financial stress would be increases in farm bankruptcies and in loan delinquencies.

ERS is analyzing trends in bankruptcies and loan delinquencies over time in order to understand and identify drivers of financial stress in the sector.

Preliminary results using the most recent available data indicate minimal signs of financial stress in the agricultural sector.

Both farm bankruptcy rates, considered a lagging indicator of financial stress, and commercial bank delinquency rates for agricultural loans, are low compared to historical levels and to more recent history in the 2000s.

Trends in Mortality Rates among Rural Residents.

Preliminary ERS research has identified rising mortality rates among some subgroups in the rural U.S.

population during the twenty-first century.

This analysis focuses on the largest such group, middle-aged white men, tracing the upward trend in death rates since 2000 and examining possible correlates of this trend, including access to health care and increasing economic distress in some rural regions. Analysis of the Rural Rental Housing Program.

ERS research will examine the current allocation of USDA?s housing and the communities served, areas presently underserved or at risk of becoming underserved, the factors contributing to the risk of loss of affordable rental housing, and the communities and populations likely to be affected.

Since 1963, USDA has made subsidized direct loans to developers to finance affordable, multi-family rental housing in rural areas for low and moderate income families, elderly people, and persons with disabilities.

This research will inform policy makers concerned about the need for affordable rental housing in rural areas. ERS will conduct the following research on farm and commodity policy: Analysis of USDA Risk Management Programs.

American farmers face risks from weather and markets for the inputs they purchase (e.g., energy, labor) and products they sell.

ERS will continue to provide research that analyzes the environment in which farmers operate and USDA?s risk management programs.

Building on a set of ERS studies completed or to be completed in FY17 on risk management policies and programs under the 2014 Farm Bill programs, ERS will conduct analysis that could have implements for program design.

One study will provide a broad overview of the different risk management tools available in different countries, which in turn will inform an empirical analysis for domestic producers of how changes to their agricultural risk management portfolio impacts their downside revenue risk.

Motivated by the notion that weather data is rapidly collected for all counties, another study will empirically examine for U.S.

crop producers the differences in impacts on risk management of crop insurance policies and other commodity support policies using a weather-based yield index rather than farm yield-based.

Improved Season-Average Price Forecasts.

ERS will conduct research on using forward-looking data and methods to improve the accuracy and expand market information provided from USDA?s situation and outlook program.

The analysis will use public USDA reports and daily futures and options prices to better inform market participants about price uncertainty in major agricultural commodity markets.

Ultimately, derivatives markets are a technology that improves the discovery of market price levels given supply and demand fundaments.

To the degree that the latter are well understood, markets function more efficiently. Feed Grains Database Developments.

The ERS Feed Grains Database is an important component in USDA monitoring of the grain, oilseed, and livestock complex, providing data on four feed grains (corn, grain sorghum, barley, and oats), seven foreign coarse grains (feed grains plus rye, millet, and mixed grains), hay, animal unit indexes of grain and roughage, rail rate indexes, and grain shipments.

The database serves as an important, timely, accurate, reliable, and official source of information for stakeholders.

Planned program enhancements include applications to enhance the delivery of information and expansion to other commodities. Updated Commodity Cost and Returns Estimates.

ERS produces annual cost and returns estimates for nine crop commodities, as well as hogs and milk.

The annual estimates update baseline estimates with information on changes in input and commodity prices, while the baselines are set using data on technologies, production processes, and expense shares from commodity-specific questionnaires of the ARMS.

ERS will set new baselines for corn and milk with surveys from the 2016 ARMS, and will design a wheat questionnaire for the 2017 ARMS to help set a new wheat baseline estimate (the surveys are completed by spring of the year following the reference year). Analysis of the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

ERS will conduct an ex-post examination of the Dairy Margin Protection Program, which offers dairy producers catastrophic coverage at no cost.

The analysis will use the USDA baseline to examine margin expectations and milk output and how margins are likely to increase in nominal terms by the next Farm Bill.

This research will further explain how feed efficiency and milk output could impact the national averages calculated for the program. U.S.

Hog Production: Continuing Trends in Productivity Growth.

Total factor productivity in the U.S.

hog industry will be estimated using Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data to determine productivity trends.

Information pertaining to changes in industry structure and production practices including changes in the size of operations, the use of production contracts, growth-promoting antibiotics, and innovative technologies are reported and evaluated relative to productivity growth. ERS will conduct the following activities related to homeland security: Analysis of Animal Disease Outbreaks.

ERS researchers will collaborate with Federal and academic researchers to examine how economic variables and factors affect animal and crop disease outbreak assessments.

This work will examine how economic analysis can help to develop clearer views of actual and hypothetical outbreaks, and to more fully identify what factors are significant in measuring the success of a mitigation or prevention effort.

This research focuses on efforts to introduce economic components into epidemiological analysis that will allow analysts and decision makers to include social (e.g., impacts on rural communities) considerations and expand the number of criteria that may be used to determine effective outbreak responses.

ERS will continue to invest in the data and analytical capacity needed to provide the current market context and data needed to support USDA Homeland Security event assessments and planning efforts, and support the USDA Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza multiagency coordination.

In addition, ERS is contributing expertise as subject matter experts to the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, for the Agro-terrorism Risk Assessment, and the NSTC Foreign Animal Disease Threats Interagency Working Group.

ERS will conduct the following research on conservation, water, and environmental issues: Conservation Compliance.

To maintain eligibility for most agriculture-related federal programs, Conservation Compliance requires farmers to implement approved conservation systems on highly erodible cropland and refrain from draining wetlands.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 eliminated Direct Payments and Countercyclical Payments ?which previously accounted for a large proportion of compliance incentives?but also created ?shallow loss? programs and linked crop insurance premium subsidies to Conservation Compliance requirements.

ERS research will investigate the effectiveness of conservation compliance, changes in incentives due to the Agricultural Act of 2014, and the effectiveness of these incentives in protecting highly erodible cropland and wetlands.

Economics of Reducing Nutrient Losses from Agriculture in the Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin.

ERS research will examine the economic consequences of reducing nutrient losses from agriculture to the Gulf of Mexico and its implications for improving environmental quality.

Every summer a large hypoxic zone forms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Low dissolved oxygen in the Gulf is a serious environmental concern that can impact valuable fisheries and disrupt sensitive ecosystems.

Reducing agricultural nutrient losses has been a major conservation goal for USDA and many Mississippi Basin states.

However, despite years of investment in conservation measures, most cropland does not meet criteria for good nutrient management.

ERS expects to publish a report that examines policy options for reducing nutrient losses in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin. Changes in Climate and Crop Insurance.

The changing climate has the potential to introduce greater uncertainty into agricultural production, with implications for farm profitability.

This can influence the demand for crop insurance products and the costs to government of providing crop insurance premium subsidies.

ERS researchers are examining how a changing climate will affect crop insurance premium subsidies in 2080.

The ERS analysis combines models of crop risk, land allocation, prices, and crop insurance premiums to simulate total premium subsidy costs under alternative scenarios.

Determinants of Unfinished Conservation Practices.

Since 1996, USDA working lands programs have entered into hundreds of thousands of conservation contracts.

Many of the practices specified in these contracts are never installed as planned, leading to lost opportunities for additional conservation activity.

ERS researchers are examining reasons why practices get dropped, using EQIP program administrative data to ascertain whether changes to conservation plans are due solely to adaptive management (adjusting to unforeseen weather or financial conditions) or to other reasons related to contract design.

Conservation ?Legacy? Effects.

An aspect of conservation policy that has received little attention is how financial assistance may provide conservation benefits beyond the specific location and duration of program participation.

ERS researchers are using EQIP administrative data along with satellite data to study the extent to which participation leads farmers to retain conservation tillage practices after the contract has expired or to adopt conservation tillage on non-contract fields, or the extent to which participation leads neighboring farmers to adopt conservation tillage on their land.

This research improves our understanding of the long-term benefits from conservation, and would help in the development of better metrics for measuring program success.

Herbicide Resistant Weed Management in Corn.

Weed resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (popularly known as Round-up) is a growing problem in field crops, and there are also emerging concerns with insect resistance to seeds genetically engineered with the Bt toxin.

ERS has elicited information on pesticide use, seed choices, and resistance management practices from farmers in the 2016 Corn Production Practices questionnaire of the ARMS.

ERS research will evaluate farm strategies to manage weed and insect resistance, and track how those strategies have changed since the earlier 2010 ARMS corn survey; the research will also draw on related ARMS soybean surveys for 2006 and 2012. ERS will conduct the following research on global agricultural markets and food security: Investments in Agricultural Research in High-Income Countries.

There is a growing concern that agricultural productivity growth, especially in high-income countries, may be slowing, and that current agricultural R&D levels may not be sufficient to address this concern.

Some Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries have introduced policy reforms to improve the financing and performance of their public agricultural R&D systems.

However, there is a lack of comprehensive and comparable information on these trends and developments, particularly for countries outside of the U.S.

ERS is analyzing trends in U.S.

agricultural research funding and agricultural research policy reforms in the context of global changes.

This analysis will demonstrate the impact of R&D investments on agricultural productivity growth and examine the complementary roles of public and private research, and relate public investments to the size of the agricultural sector and to public science investments across the economy.

The Next Horizon: The Agricultural Trade Policy Landscape in 2016 and Beyond.

ERS will quantify the potential for gains from trade reform under existing forms of polices targeted at agriculture.

The core of the product would be an estimate of economic impacts of selected current domestic and border intervention policies, focusing on tariffs and tariff-rate quotas and other trade-related policies, domestic support, and non-tariff measures.

To examine the impacts of different policy scenarios, the trade modeling framework will remove these policies separately and in combination in the context of multilateral trade liberalization. Global Price Determination.

While price in a given region reflects local (current and expected) supply and demand fundamentals, important agricultural commodities are often traded internationally, meaning that regional prices are also affected by the prices?and therefore the fundamentals?of their trading partners.

ERS research will examine whether shifting production and trading patterns for several major commodities have affected the degree to which U.S.

prices inform global prices, and also the influence international production and demand shocks have over prices paid to farmers domestically. China?s Commodity Markets and Efficiency.

China has become more integrated with global agricultural markets since its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001.

China is the world?s largest producer and consumer of most agricultural commodities, so its integration with global markets is an important determinant of the efficiency of those markets.

ERS research will evaluate the efficiency of agricultural commodity markets before and after China?s WTO accession to characterize the country?s degree of global integration. International Food Security Assessment.

ERS produces an annual assessment of the prevalence and depth of food security in low-and middle-income countries.

ERS makes available the full historical database used for the model projections on its website.

ERS developed new model capabilities, included in the 2017 report, including the ability to assess the impact of changes in food prices and income on demand.

This allows ERS analysis to address all four dimensions of food security?availability, access, utilization and stability.

Progress and Challenges in Global Food Security.

ERS will analyze progress made in reducing global food security, as well as new areas of challenge, drawing on 25 years of data from the International Food Security database.

The analysis will examine progress in food security measurement, agricultural trade and food security, agricultural productivity and food safety nets.

It will also highlight emerging issues that create new food security challenges, such as nutrition, risk management, climate change and urbanization.

It integrates the analysis with priorities developed in the Global Food Security Act of 2016.

ERS will conduct the following research on production technologies: Developments in Markets for U.S.

Organic Exports.

ERS research will examine developments in the U.S.

organic export market.

In addition to developing absolute and relative measures of organic trade performance over time, by commodity, and by trading partner, ERS will analyze the impact of equivalency agreements on observed trade flows.

Results will inform the extent to which observed increases in U.S.

organic exports can be attributed to these agreements as compared to changes in market fundamentals. Evolution of Markets for Genetically Engineered Seeds.

Since their commercial introduction in 1996, most acreage planted to genetically engineered (GE) seeds have been planted to three crops?corn, cotton, and soybeans?and has featured two traits, one for insect resistance and one for herbicide tolerance.

In recent years, GE acreage has expanded to other field crops, such as alfalfa, canola, and sugarbeets, and seed developers have added more complex combinations of the two key traits as well as new traits for drought tolerance.

ERS research will draw on questions introduced into the 2016 ARMS to track the spread of new types of GE technologies.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories





Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
National Bureau Of Economic Research, Inc. $ 145,000   2017-09-052020-09-30
National Bureau Of Economic Research, Inc. $ 88,000   2016-09-292019-11-30
Agricultural & Applied Economics Association $ 150,000   2016-09-302019-11-30
Kansas State University $ 250,000   2016-09-202018-09-30
National Bureau Of Economic Research, Inc. $ 200,000   2015-09-292018-09-30
National Bureau Of Economic Research, Inc. $ 800,000   2015-09-292018-09-30
Cornell University, Inc $ 1,229,679   2015-09-162018-09-30
Michigan State University $ 250,000   2016-09-212018-09-30
Council On Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics $ 45,000   2017-07-012018-06-30
Council On Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics $ 35,000   2016-09-232017-09-30



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: ERS research on the farm and rural economy found the following: --ERS farm income indicators and forecasts measure the financial performance of the U.S. farm sector. --Farming is still an industry of family businesses. --The ERS commodity outlook program serves USDA stakeholders in the public and private sectors by delivering timely, independent and objective information about agricultural markets. --Rural child poverty rose from 19 percent in 1999 to 26 percent by 2013. --A variety of factors lead migrants to return to their rural home communities. --A disproportionately small share of grants by large foundations were disbursed to rural recipients during 2005 to 2010. ERS research and analysis of U.S. agricultural markets found the following: --Producer participation in local food systems and the value of local food sales are growing. --Most land in farms is operated by the land owner. --Mandatory price reporting for livestock transactions over the past 15 years led to some improvements in price discovery and market efficiency. --Renewable energy policies have emerged as key drivers in global markets for biofuels. --ERS estimates that the effects of recent decreases in energy prices on acreage and production are relatively small. ERS research on climate change found the following: --Climate change is likely to increase the use of genetic resources for adaptation to heat and drought stress. ERS research on conservation, water, and environmental issues found the following: --Implementation of the Evidence and Innovation Agenda continues as experiments are used to test existing and new approaches to program delivery. --ERS research examined the issues related to the declining effectiveness of glyphosate and choices for managing increased resistance to it. --The cost, biophysical impacts, and benefit valuation of wetland restoration and protection efforts vary widely from place to place, depending on a host of factors. --The 2012-2015 droughts in California are having a major impact on agriculture. A variety of mechanisms influence how those impacts are felt by farmers, crop and livestock consumers, and the food sector. ERS research on the organic sector found the following: --Organic field crops have been profitable compared with conventional field crops primarily due to the significant price premiums paid for certified organic production that more than offset the additional economic costs. ERS research on global food security found the following: --Food security is projected to improve for many developing countries. --ERS research suggests that households do not distribute calories equitably across all household members in developing countries, and that the depth of undernourishment for certain household members may be greater than traditional household consumption surveys suggest. ERS research on global agricultural markets found the following: --USDA Agricultural Projections to 2024 suggest long run increases in global consumption, world trade, and agricultural commodity prices. --The joint effects of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and tariff rate quotas maintained by the European Union (EU) significantly impede U.S. meat exports. --Easing trade and travel restrictions could stimulate increased levels and a wider variety of U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba. --China?s accumulation of large cotton stockpiles to support prices for its domestic producers from 2011-2013 has introduced a new degree of uncertainty into world cotton markets. Fiscal Year 2017: ERS research explores how investments in rural people, business, and communities affect the capacity of rural economies to prosper in the new and changing global marketplace. The agency analyzes how demographic trends, employment opportunities, Federal policies, and public investment in infrastructure and technology enhance economic opportunity and quality of life for rural Americans. Equally important is ERS?s commitment to help enhance the quality of life for the Nation?s farmers who increasingly depend on these rural economies for employment and economic support, as well as to analyze new developments in the linkages between these farmers, consumers, and local economies. ERS continues to monitor changing economic and demographic trends in rural America, particularly the implications of these changes for the employment, education, income, and housing patterns of low-income rural populations. The rural development process is complex and sensitive to a wide range of factors that, to a large extent, are unique to each rural community. Nonetheless, ERS assesses general approaches to development to determine when, where, and under what circumstances rural development strategies will be most successful. ERS research and analysis provide insight into market conditions facing U.S. agriculture, potential avenues for innovation and market expansion, and strategies for managing risk. ERS produces USDA?s estimates of farm income. In addition, the ERS program identifies and analyzes market structure and technological developments that affect efficiency and profitability. The ERS climate change research program develops models and other analytical techniques to predict responses of farmers to greenhouse gas mitigation options, analyze the impact of mitigation options on domestic and global agricultural markets and land and water use, and evaluate adaptation by farmers to a new climate regime through use of alternative technologies. The ERS climate change research program builds on extensive expertise on the economics of land use and land management, technology adoption, conservation program design, economics of biofuels, and value and dissemination of public investment in research and development. In addition, ERS is continuing to contribute to USDA?s efforts to improve the science behind Federal environmental, water and air quality regulations and programs. As part of its analysis of environmental regulations and conservation incentive policies, ERS research continues to provide insight into developing policies for controlling nonpoint source pollution. More generally, ERS research analyzes the economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, and distributional implications of alternative designs of resource, conservation, environmental, and commodity programs and their linkages. ERS conducts research on technological innovation in agriculture, the economic performance, structure and viability of the farm sector and of different types of farms, and the state of global food security. ERS effectively communicates research findings to policy makers, program managers, and those shaping the public debate. The research program identifies key economic issues and uses sound analytical techniques to understand the immediate and broader economic and social consequences of alternative policies and programs related to the sustainability and use of biotechnology in U.S. agriculture, including policies to promote trade of U.S. products. ERS has a broad program of work examining the production and marketing characteristics of the U.S. organic sector. Ongoing activities include research on the adoption of certified organic farming systems across the U.S., analysis of consumer demand and prices in specific markets, and surveys of organic producers and markets. The ERS research program includes an ongoing assessment of global food security. ERS provides research, analysis, and information on food security, including factors affecting food production and ability to import food, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Commonwealth of Independent States to decision makers in the United States and throughout the world. ERS is also investigating conceptual and measurement challenges inherent in assessments of undernourishment at the country, household, and individual level with experts in academia and international organizations. An annual report provides ERS? up-to-date assessment of global food security. Fiscal Year 2018: ERS conducts research that strengthens our understanding of American farms, the agricultural sector, and rural communities. This includes analysis of commodity markets, the competitiveness of U.S. farms at home and abroad, and the general health of the rural economy. ERS research and analysis provides insights into market conditions facing U.S. agriculture, potential avenues for innovation and market expansion, and the effects of farm policies. The agency conducts research on the effects of new agricultural technologies and practices on farm business and farm sector performance as well as their implications for the changing size and organization of U.S. farms. ERS produces USDA?s estimates of farm business and farm household income and identifies and analyzes market structure and technological developments that affect farm efficiency and profitability. ERS research and analysis provides insights into how the agricultural sector is evolving in both the short and long term. Analysis of the major factors driving the near and long-term outlook for agricultural commodity markets plays a central role in supporting USDA?s monthly flagship report, World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). This report serves as the benchmark for information on major global commodities, and also supports the annual USDA baseline, ten-year agricultural projections that go into the President?s budget baseline. ERS research explores how investments in rural businesses, communities, and people affect the capacity of rural economies to prosper in a changing global marketplace. The agency analyzes how employment opportunities, Federal policies, demographic trends, and public investment in infrastructure and technology enhance economic opportunity and quality of life for rural Americans. The ERS natural resources and environmental economics research program improves understanding of the economic relationships behind Federal environmental, water and air quality regulations and programs. As part of its analysis of environmental regulations and conservation incentive policies, ERS provides insight into developing policies for controlling nonpoint source pollution. More generally, ERS research analyzes the economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, and distributional implications of alternative designs of resource, conservation, environmental, and commodity programs and their linkages. ERS develops models and other analytical techniques to estimate the impacts of alternative approaches used by farmers to adapt to changing weather conditions and resource constraints as the demand for agricultural production grows. The models predict responses of farmers to USDA programs including voluntary incentives for drought mitigation, and improved soil health and nutrient management. A related area of research addresses the implications of regional drought for U.S. agriculture, including producers? production and investment decisions, and their participation in conservation and other risk-mitigating programs. ERS research on farmer responses the implications for markets and natural resources builds on expertise in the economics of land use and land management, technology adoption, conservation program design, economics of biofuels, and value and dissemination of public investment in research and development. ERS conducts research on the economic performance and competiveness of the U.S. agriculture in international markets. U.S. producers rely on export markets to sell agricultural and food products, to sustain and grow revenues, and to contribute to employment, particularly in rural communities. This research program examines emerging patterns of agricultural trade and the associated economic drivers including income and population growth, and domestic and trade policies, and provides information on the principal underlying factors affecting U.S. and global agricultural trade. ERS conducts research on the state of global food security, including factors affecting food production and the ability to import food, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. By investigating conceptual and measurement challenges inherent in assessments of undernourishment at the country, household, and individual level, ERS informs decision makers in the United States and throughout the world with its annual assessment of global food security.

Uses and Use Restrictions

ERS performs economic research and analyses related to U. S. and world agriculture that address a multitude of economic concerns and decision making needs of Federal, State, and local governments, farmers, farm organizations, farm suppliers, marketers, processors, and consumers.

There are no restrictions on the use of ERS produced information.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any individual or organization in the U.S.

and U.S.

Territories is eligible to receive the popular or technical research publications that convey the research results, although there may be a fee.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any individual or organization in the U.S. and U.S. Territories is eligible to receive the popular or technical research publications that convey the research results, although there may be a fee.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Requests for technical information may be made to the Chief, Publishing and Communications Branch, Economic Research Service (ERS), 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 1800, Washington, DC 20520-1800.

Award Procedures

None.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

FY 2012 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, Public Law 109-97, 7 U.S.C. 292, 411, 427, 1441a, 1621-1627, 1704, 1761-68, 2201, 2202, 3103, 3291, 3311, 3504; 22 U.S.C. 3101; 42 U.S.C. 1891-93; 44 U.S.C. 3501-11; 50 U.S.C. 2061 et seq, 2251 et seq., 2 CFR Part 400, 2 CFR Part 415, 2 CFR Part 416, 7USC 3318b.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements. none.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

None. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: None.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Progress reports, financial reports, financial statements, and inventions and subawards reports.

The frequency of reports is outlined in the terms of the agreement.

No cash reports are required.

No progress reports are required.

No expenditure reports are required.

No performance monitoring is required.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to an award shall be retained for a period of 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report or, for awards that are renewed quarterly or annually, from the date of the submission of the quarterly or annual financial report, as authorized by the Federal awarding agency.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1701-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Cooperative Agreements) FY 16 $1,415,313; FY 17 est $1,500,000; and FY 18 est $1,500,000. (Project Grants) FY 16 $874,710; FY 17 est $900,000; and FY 18 est $900,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Nancy A. Thomas 355 E Street SW, Room 5-254, Washington, District of Columbia 20024-3231 Email: NThomas@ers.usda.gov Phone: 2026945008

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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