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Quantifying the Impact of SNAP Benefits on the U.S. Economy and Jobs
USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the Nation’s largest food assistance program. In fiscal year 2018, SNAP served an average 40.3 million people per month and issued $60.9 billion in benefits to be spent in food stores authorized to accept SNAP benefits. The primary goal of SNAP is to provide low-income households with additional resources for buying food.
But SNAP also serves as an automatic stabilizer for the economy. For example, during an economic downturn, when unemployment increases and wages fall, more individuals become eligible for SNAP and enroll in the program. As SNAP participants spend this increased Federal assistance, income is generated for those involved in producing, transporting, and...
Brazil Once Again Becomes the World’s Largest Beef Exporter
In 2018, Brazil was the world’s largest exporter of beef, providing close to 20 percent of total global beef exports, outpacing India, the second-largest exporter, by 527,000 metric tons carcass weight equivalent (CWE). Moreover, USDA projects that Brazil will continue its export growth trajectory for the next decade, reaching 2.9 million metric tons, or 23 percent of the world’s total beef exports, by 2028.
Brazil has the world’s second-largest cattle herd—232 million head—and its production is largely based on grass. Increased beef demand worldwide has stimulated increased production and productivity gains. In 2018, Brazil reached its highest level of beef production at 9.9 million metric tons. According to a September 2018 report by USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), programs...
Developing Alternatives to Antibiotics Used in Food Animal Production
Antibiotics are a lifesaving technology widely used in human and veterinary medicine. However, the use of antibiotic drugs, by humans or animals, can also create selective evolutionary pressures that can spawn microbes and genes resistant to the drugs. Antimicrobial resistance has become a global human health concern, with widespread public and private initiatives aimed at managing resistance. Livestock agriculture is a major consumer of antibiotics and, thus, a contributor to antibiotic resistance.
As the agricultural use of antibiotics becomes a greater focus of policymakers and consumers, animal pharma—the industry that develops and markets antibiotics for food animal use—is altering its outlook on developing as well as investing in new antibiotic products. Rising awareness of antibiotic resistance has generated a number of effects, including regulations on the use of...
U.S. Exports for Most Major Meat Commodities Grew in 2018
U.S. exports of beef, pork, and broilers (young chickens) were strong in 2018, driven by domestic production increases and favorable foreign demand. Compared to the previous year, beef exports increased 10.3 percent, pork exports increased 4.2 percent, and broiler exports were 4.1 percent higher than in 2017. Lamb and mutton exports were 1.5 percent lower despite stronger domestic production. Turkey exports declined 1.8 percent, with lower turkey production likely a contributing factor. Egg exports were 6.1 percent lower in 2018 than a year earlier, while production increased 2.1 percent year over year.
The ERS Livestock and Meat International Trade Data product provides monthly and annual data on U.S. meat and livestock exports and imports. The data are broken down by country and commodity and are available for cattle, beef, hogs and pigs, pork, lamb and mutton, broilers, turkeys, and eggs. An analysis of the data helps explain...
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