Agricultural industry (21 - 30 of 173 items)
Food Stamp Program: Options for Delivering Financial Incentives to Participants for Purchasing Targeted Foods
GAO-08-415: Published: Jul 30, 2008. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2008.
In fiscal year 2007, the Food Stamp Program provided about $30.4 billion in nutrition assistance benefits to 26.5 million individuals. Benefits are issued through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, similar to debit cards, to purchase eligible foods at authorized retail stores. The diets of many low-income individuals, like the U.S. population overall, do not meet federal dietary guidelines....
Information Technology: Agriculture Needs to Strengthen Management Practices for Stabilizing and Modernizing Its Farm Program Delivery Systems
GAO-08-657: Published: May 16, 2008. Publicly Released: May 16, 2008.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has experienced significant problems with its information technology systems that support the delivery of benefits programs to farmers. In October 2006, these systems began experiencing considerable delays while attempting to process a large number of transactions, and by January 2007, the systems became inoperable for 1 month. In response to these issues,...
Beginning Farmers: Additional Steps Needed to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of USDA Assistance
GAO-07-1130: Published: Sep 18, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2007.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs have long supported beginning farmers. USDA generally defines a beginning farmer or rancher as one who has operated a farm or ranch for 10 years or less--without regard for age--and who materially and substantially participates in its operation. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans for farmers who cannot obtain commercial credit...
USDA: Information on Classical Plant and Animal Breeding Activities
GAO-07-1171R: Published: Sep 13, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2007.
This report responds to a Congressional request for information on activities related to classical plant and animal breeding--creating an organism with desirable traits through controlled mating and selection without the insertion of genes from another species--that occurs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Within USDA, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Cooperative State R...
Foreign Assistance: Multiple Challenges Hinder the Efficiency and Effectiveness of U.S. Food Aid
GAO-08-83T: Published: Oct 2, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 2007.
The United States is the largest global food aid donor, accounting for over half of all food aid supplies to alleviate hunger and support development. Since 2002, Congress has appropriated an average of $2 billion per year for U.S. food aid programs, which delivered an average of 4 million metric tons of food commodities per year. Despite growing demand for food aid, rising business and transporta...
Spot Cheese Market: Market Oversight Has Increased, but Concerns Remain about Potential Manipulation
GAO-07-707: Published: Jun 21, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 5, 2007.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is home to the spot cheddar cheese market, which impacts the prices of virtually all cheese traded in the United States, producer milk prices, and milk futures contracts. The spot cheese market, formerly the National Cheese Exchange (NCE) in Wisconsin, has been and continues to be the subject of concerns about price manipulation. GAO was asked to examine (1) t...
Agriculture Production: USDA Needs to Build on 2005 Experience to Minimize the Effects of Asian Soybean Rust in the Future
GAO-06-337: Published: Feb 24, 2006. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 2006.
In 2005, U.S. agriculture faced potentially devastating losses from Asian Soybean Rust (ASR), a fungal disease that spreads airborne spores. Fungicides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can protect against ASR. In 2005, growers in 31 states planted about 72.2 million soybean acres worth about $17 billion. While favorable weather conditions limited losses due to ASR, it still th...
Agriculture Production: USDA's Preparation for Asian Soybean Rust
GAO-05-668R: Published: May 17, 2005. Publicly Released: May 20, 2005.
In November 2004, Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) was discovered in the United States in Louisiana. In the following weeks, it was found in eight additional southern states. ASR is a harmful fungal disease that has spread throughout many other parts of the world, including Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America. ASR can infect over 90 host plant species, including legumes, such as dry beans, peas, an...
International Trade: U.S. Agencies Need Greater Focus to Support Mexico's Successful Transition to Liberalized Agricultural Trade Under NAFTA
GAO-05-272: Published: Mar 25, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 2005.
In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created the world's largest free trade area and, among other things, reduced or eliminated barriers for U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico's vast and growing markets. As part of a body of GAO work on NAFTA issues, this report (1) identifies progress made and difficulties encountered in gaining market access for U.S. agricultural exports to...
Bioterrorism: A Threat to Agriculture and the Food Supply
GAO-04-259T: Published: Nov 19, 2003. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2003.
When the President created the Department of Homeland Security, he included U.S. agriculture and food industries in the list of critical infrastructures needing protection. The Secretaries of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services have publicly declared that the U.S. food supply is susceptible to deliberate contamination. GAO was asked to provide an overview of the potential vulnerabilities...