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Net Farm Income Forecast To Fall in 2014

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Net Farm Income Forecast To Fall in 2014
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

Net farm income is forecast to be $113.2 billion in 2014, down about 14 percent from 2013’s forecast of $131.3 billion. The 2014 forecast would be the lowest since 2010, but would remain $25 billion above the previous 10-year average. Lower cash receipts for crops and, to a lesser degree, higher production expenses and reduced government farm payments, drive the expected drop in net farm income. Net cash income is forecast at $123 billion, down almost 6 percent from the 2013 forecast. Net cash income is projected to decline less than net farm income primarily because it reflects the sale of more than $10 billion in carryover stocks from 2013.

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Household Food Security in the United States in 2013

September 4, 2014 Comments off

Household Food Security in the United States in 2013
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

An estimated 14.3 percent of American households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2013, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The change from 14.5 percent in 2012 was not statistically significant.The prevalence of very low food security was essentially unchanged at 5.6 percent.

See also: Household Food Security in the United States in 2013: Statistical Supplement

U.S. Forest Service — New Report Shows Budget Impact of Rising Firefighting Costs

August 27, 2014 Comments off

New Report Shows Budget Impact of Rising Firefighting Costs
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report showing that as the cost of fighting forest fires has rapidly increased over the last 20 years, the budgets for other forest programs, including those that can help prevent and mitigate fire damage, have substantially shrunk. The Forest Service’s firefighting appropriation has rapidly risen as a proportion of the Forest Service’s overall budget, increasing from 16 percent in 1995 to 42 percent today, forcing cuts in other budget areas.

“Climate change, drought, fuel buildup and insects and disease are increasing the severity of catastrophic wildfire in America’s forests,” Vilsack said. “In order to protect the public, the portion of the Forest Service budget dedicated to combatting fire has drastically increased from what it was 20 years ago. This has led to substantial cuts in other areas of the Forest Service budget, including efforts to keep forests healthy, reduce fire risk, and strengthen local economies.”

Rural Employment Trends in Recession and Recovery

August 26, 2014 Comments off

Rural Employment Trends in Recession and Recovery
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

This report examines the effects of the recent major recession, and gradual recovery, on employment and unemployment trends, with an emphasis on rural America.

Cost Containment in the WIC Program: Vendor Peer Groups and Reimbursement Rates

August 21, 2014 Comments off

Cost Containment in the WIC Program: Vendor Peer Groups and Reimbursement Rates
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

This study looks at current WIC cost containment strategies in an effort to make them more effective, enabling the program to serve more participants with its fixed budget resources.

Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013, According to USDA Report

August 20, 2014 Comments off

Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013, According to USDA Report (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report, Expenditures on Children and Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. The report shows that a middle – income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation * ) for food, housing, childcare and education, and other child – rearing expenses up to age 18. Costs associated with pregnancy or expenses occurred after age 18, such as higher education, are not included.

While t his represents an overall 1.8 p ercent increase from 2012, the percent ages spent on each expenditure category remain the same . As in the past, the costs by location are lower in the urban South ($230,610) and rural ($193,590) regions of the country. Families in t he urban Northeast incurred the highest costs to raise a child ($282,480).

Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States

July 29, 2014 Comments off

Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States
Source: U.S. Forest Service

Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through the leaf stomata. However, the magnitude and value of the effects of trees and forests on air quality and human health across the United States remains unknown. Computer simulations with local environmental data reveal that trees and forests in the conterminous United States removed 17.4 million tonnes (t) of air pollution in 2010 (range: 9.0-23.2 million t), with human health effects valued at 6.8 billion U.S. dollars (range: $1.5-13.0 billion). This pollution removal equated to an average air quality improvement of less than one percent. Most of the pollution removal occurred in rural areas, while most of the health impacts and values were within urban areas. Health impacts included the avoidance of more than 850 incidences of human mortality and 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms.

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