Agricultural industry (1 - 10 of 173 items)
Genetically Engineered Crops: USDA Needs to Enhance Oversight and Better Understand Impacts of Unintended Mixing with Other Crops
GAO-16-241: Published: Mar 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have taken steps to regulate genetically-engineered (GE) crops (i.e., crops whose genetic makeup has been modified), but USDA has not updated its regulations to oversee GE crops derived from alternative technologies in which the GE crop developed contains no plant pest DNA. EPA...
Emerging Animal Diseases: Actions Needed to Better Position USDA to Address Future Risks
GAO-16-132: Published: Dec 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2016.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not take regulatory action during the initial response to the outbreaks of Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD) beginning in May 2013, when an outbreak was first detected, because the agency did not believe then that such action was necessary. Instead, USDA initially supported swine industry-led efforts. Without regulatory action, such as requirin...
Farm Program Modernization: Farm Service Agency Needs to Demonstrate the Capacity to Manage IT Initiatives
GAO-15-506: Published: Jun 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 2015.
The key factors that led to the decision to halt the Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems (MIDAS) program were poor program performance and uncertainty regarding future plans. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) experienced significant cost overruns and schedule delays, deferred the majority of the envisioned features, skipped key tests, and deployed software in April 2013 that wa...
USAID Farmer-To-Farmer Program: Volunteers Provide Technical Assistance, but Actions Needed to Improve Screening and Monitoring
GAO-15-478: Published: Apr 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2015.
The U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Bureau for Food Security administers the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program through implementing partners under 5-year cooperative agreements. USAID provides overall direction, but relies on partners to execute program activities. USAID uses the agreements to establish the partners' objectives, tasks, and responsibilities. Once selected, partners...
Food Safety: FDA and USDA Should Strengthen Pesticide Residue Monitoring Programs and Further Disclose Monitoring Limitations
GAO-15-38: Published: Oct 7, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 6, 2014.
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) most recent data from 2008 through 2012 show that pesticide residue violation rates in 10 selected fruits and vegetables were low, but FDA's approach to monitoring for violations, which targets commodities it has identified as high risk, has limitations. Among other things, GAO found that FDA tests relatively few targeted (i.e., non-generalizable) samples f...
Climate Change: USDA's Ongoing Efforts Can Be Enhanced with Better Metrics and More Relevant Information for Farmers
GAO-14-755: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) climate change priorities for agriculture include, among other things, providing better information to farmers on future climate conditions. These priorities generally align with national priorities set by the Administration, which include promoting actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advancing climate science, developing tools for decision mak...
Crop Insurance: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies
GAO-14-700: Published: Aug 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014.
The cost of the federal crop insurance program and farm sector income and wealth grew significantly from 2003 through 2012. The cost of crop insurance averaged $3.4 billion a year from fiscal years 2003 through 2007, but it increased to $8.4 billion a year for fiscal years 2008 through 2012. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA), the agency that admi...
National Flood Insurance Program: Additional Guidance on Building Requirements to Mitigate Agricultural Structures' Damage in High-Risk Areas Is Needed
GAO-14-583: Published: Jun 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
The effects of the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) building requirements for elevating or flood-proofing agricultural structures in high-risk areas varied across selected communities, according to interviews GAO conducted with floodplain managers and farmers. Specifically:Floodplain managers and 12 farmers in selected rural communities with whom GAO spoke in Louisiana, North Carolina, an...
USDA Farm Programs: Farmers Have Been Eligible for Multiple Programs and Further Efforts Could Help Prevent Duplicative Payments
GAO-14-428: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2014.
From fiscal years 2008 through 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported spending about $114 billion on 60 programs providing financial assistance to farmers, including about $28 billion in crop insurance subsidies. Those programs existed during the effective period of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 farm bill). Most were administered by the Farm Service Agency...
Agricultural Trade: USDA Is Monitoring Market Development Programs as Required but Could Improve Analysis of Impact
GAO-13-740: Published: Jul 31, 2013. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2013.
Market development program participants use program funds to support a variety of activities intended to raise awareness or acceptance of U.S. agricultural products in overseas markets. Common activities include, among others, market research, consumer and retail promotion, and participation in international trade shows. GAO's analysis of expenditure data from 2007 through 2011 shows that particip...