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, and evaluate agricultural and rural policies and programs.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Economic Research Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; L - Dissemination of Technical Information
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
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.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
Not applicable.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
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 Procedure
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
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.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
None None
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Lynell Doane
805 Pennsylvania Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64105 USA
Phone: (816) 610-2445
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$709,750.00; FY 23 est $1,052,000.00; FY 24 est $1,000,000.00; FY 21$362,303.00; FY 19$71,908.00; FY 20 est $394,996.00; FY 18$180,000.00; FY 17$200,000.00; FY 16$874,710.00; - (Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$10,093,141.00; FY 23 est $1,250,000.00; FY 24 est $1,000,000.00; FY 21$2,477,690.00; FY 19$1,228,467.00; FY 20 est $2,469,642.00; FY 18$2,074,304.00; FY 17$1,500,000.00; FY 16$1,415,313.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 ERS will identify key economic issues related to rural economic development, farm viability, rural household prosperity and well-being, and competitiveness. ERS will use sound analytical techniques to understand the immediate and broader economic and social consequences of how alternative policies and programs and changing market conditions affect rural and farm economies and households. ERS will effectively communicate research results to policy makers, program managers, and those shaping the public debate on rural economic conditions and performance of all sizes and types of farms. ERS will identify key economic issues related to interactions among natural resources, environmental quality, and the agriculture production system. ERS also will use sound analytical techniques to understand the immediate and broader economic and social consequences of alternative policies and programs to protect and enhance environmental quality associated with agriculture. ERS research analyzes the economic effects and cost effectiveness of resource, conservation, environmental, and commodity programs and their linkages. Topics include USDA's conservation programs and environmental policies addressing water and air quality and climate change associated with agricultural production. ERS will effectively communicate research results to policy makers, program managers, and those shaping public debate on agricultural resource use and environmental quality. ERS will identify key economic issues related to the competitiveness and sustainability of rural and farm economies, including economic factors guiding the development and adoption of new technologies and production systems to support food security and trade. These activities include the following: • ERS supports the USDA Biotechnology Coordinating Council and interdepartmental efforts with the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency through research that addresses impacts for farmer and industry behavior. Research and related data collection efforts are designed to capture the broad effects of this technology. • ERS provides important information on changes in production technology of food production and adoption of new agricultural inputs and practices that have significant implications for the way in which the Nation’s food supply is produced. • ERS develops and disseminates research and analysis on the U.S. food and agriculture sector’s performance in the context of increasingly globalized markets. Key emphasis areas include regional free trade agreements, domestic policy reforms, and the principal drivers of structural changes in global supply and demand. • ERS produces an annual assessment of the prevalence and depth of food security in 76 developing and transition countries. ERS will expand public access to the data and model used to conduct this analysis by making the full database and several country models available on its website. In addition, ERS is developing new model capabilities, including the ability to assess the impact of changes in food prices, which will make the model capable of addressing all four dimensions of food security—availability, access, utilization and stability. --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 2020 ERS conducts research that strengthens the 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 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 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 also provides insights into how the agricultural sector is evolving in both the short and long term. ERS’s ongoing Commodity Outlook and Cost of Production programs address the impacts of market factors impacting supply, demand, prices, and costs and returns of agricultural commodities. The Commodity Outlook program produces monthly outlook reports and research results for over 25 commodities, including most of the major U.S. crop, livestock, dairy, and poultry commodities. Bi-annual analysis is produced for over 150 additional commodities. Cost of Production analysts produce annual estimates for 12 major crop, livestock, and dairy commodities and conduct research on the factors impacting commodity costs and returns. This foundational work enables ERS to provide quick analysis for USDA leadership and Congress, and statistical data and analysis to inform decision makers in the public and private sectors. Analysis of the major factors driving the outlook for agricultural commodity markets plays a central role in supporting USDA’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), which serves as the benchmark for information on major global commodities. Each year ERS also coordinates the USDA's Baseline projections for U.S. and world agriculture for the coming decade. The 2019 long-term projections were presented at the 2018 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum and helped shape planning for the federal budget. The Projections have long supported FSA’s estimation of budget costs for farm program commodities. In addition to its importance for USDA’s policymakers, the annual Baseline projections report and related data products are essential references for public and private decision makers. ERS’s rural research explores how investments in 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. Selected Examples of Recent Progress: Farm income indicators and forecasts measure the financial performance of the U.S. farm sector. ERS provides authoritative information on the financial health of the farm sector, including the performance of farm businesses and well-being of farm households. In the most recent statement, ERS forecasted a 4.8 percent increase in 2019 net farm income relative to 2018 estimates. Over the same time period, the median income of farm operator households is expected to increase 3.7 percent. Published three times a year, these core statistical indicators provide guidance to policy makers, lenders, commodity organizations, farmers, and others interested in the financial status of the farm economy. ERS’s farm income statistics also inform the computation of agriculture’s contribution to the gross domestic product for the U.S. economy in the Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics for Gross Domestic Product. In 2019, ERS briefed the Secretary of Agriculture on the findings on September 10, all USDA sub-cabinet officials on September 25, and the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights on November 12. SNAP redemptions have impacts on county-level employment. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the third-largest means-tested Federal program (in terms of outlays) and the largest USDA program. Payments nearly quadrupled between 2001 and 2013, in part due to changes in policies intended to stimulate the economy during and after the Great Recession. An ERS report examined the impact on county-level employment that may have occurred as a result of the increase in payments. Over the entire 2001 to 2014 study period, SNAP redemptions had a positive average estimated impact on county-level employment in non-metro counties, but no measurable impact in metro counties. During the Great Recession and its immediate aftermath (2008 to 2010), SNAP redemptions had a positive impact on employment in both metro and nonmetro counties, though the impacts per dollar spent were larger in nonmetro counties. During the recession, the impacts of SNAP were larger per dollar spent than the impacts of all other Federal and State government transfer payments combined. The results were presented to Stephen Vaden, the USDA General Counsel on June 24, 2019. Since the end of the Great Recession, growth in population, employment, and per capita income have been slower in nonmetro counties than metro counties, and slowest in the most rural and remote nonmetro areas. ERS provides up-to-date information on rural economic and demographic trends in an annual series, Rural America at a Glance. The latest report noted that nonmetropolitan America encompasses a diverse set of counties, from more urban counties with urban populations of up to 50,000 people and counties adjacent to a metro area, to completely rural counties and counties that are remote from metro areas. These areas include nearly three-fourths of the land area and 14 percent of the population of the United States. Demographic and economic trends in nonmetro counties have been less favorable that those in metro America, but employment has grown since 2010 in all types of nonmetro counties except the most rural and remote counties, and poverty has declined in all types of counties since 2013. The findings were communicated via a webinar and in briefings to senior USDA policy makers. The ERS conservation and natural resources economics research program improves understanding of the interrelationship between agricultural production and environmental outcomes, and assesses policy and program options for supporting sustainable production while enhancing the Nation’s natural resources. ERS research examines how economic incentives influence the adoption of management practices that can improve the environmental performance of agriculture and conserve scarce resources, including land, water, soil, air and biodiversity. ERS also contributes to USDA’s efforts to improve the science behind Federal environmental, water and air quality regulations and programs, including insights into policy options for controlling nonpoint source pollution. 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 and the implications for markets and natural resources builds on expertise in the economics of land use and land management, technology adoption, and conservation program design. Selected Examples of Recent Progress: A new Survey of Irrigation Organizations will provide a foundation for understanding local irrigation decisions and their impact on drought resilience. Increasing demands for limited water resources, and concerns for agricultural drought resilience under heightened water scarcity, has prompted renewed interest in water data development at the agricultural district scale. Working with partners both inside and beyond USDA, ERS is developing a national survey of irrigation organizations to provide the first updated dataset of local water-supply management entities since the 1978 Census of Irrigation Organizations. This initiative builds on ERS research collaborations addressing regional groundwater management—including managed aquifer recharge in California’s Central Valley and the Lower Mississippi alluvial aquifer, and groundwater sustainability in the High Plains. Survey findings and supporting geodatabase will inform future research efforts as well as an array of Federal and State program activities. The survey will be implemented, and data collection will begin in FY 2020. Dropped conservation contract practices are an indication of lower on-farm benefits. USDA working lands programs have resulted in hundreds of thousands of conservation contracts; these contracts represent voluntary agreements between USDA and farmers to implement conservation practices in exchange for technical and financial assistance. Most conservation contract practices are implemented as planned. An ERS report examines the contracts of the 10 to 20 percent of the practices that are dropped to better understand program implementation. Results show that these dropped practices are more likely to yield low on-farm benefits, information which can help program managers evaluate and adjust program incentives. Adoption of drought-tolerant corn is expanding at a rate similar to early adoption of insect-resistant and herbicide-resistant corn. Federal natural disaster and crop insurance payments to U.S. farmers are often the result of drought that results in crop yield losses and crop failures. In 2012 genetically engineered drought resilient (DT) corn was introduced, becoming widely available in 2013. An ERS report examines the development, adoption, and management of DT corn in the U.S. in 2016. Results show that over one-fifth of U.S. corn acreage was planted to DT corn in 2016 and DT corn made up roughly 40 percent of corn acreage in some drought-prone States. In addition, results show the use of DT corn is often accompanied by other conservation practices; 62 percent of DT corn fields used tillage methods that minimally disturb soils.