Agricultural Research Service (1 - 10 of 56 items)
Renewable Fuel Standard: Low Expected Production Volumes Make It Unlikely That Advanced Biofuels Can Meet Increasing Targets
GAO-17-108: Published: Nov 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 28, 2016.
The federal government has supported research and development (R&D) related to advanced biofuels through direct research or grants, and the focus is shifting away from cellulosic ethanol and toward drop-in biofuels. Unlike corn starch-based or cellulosic ethanol, drop-in fuels such as renewable gasoline are fully compatible with existing infrastructure, such as vehicle engines and distribution pip...
Capital Financing: Alternative Approaches to Budgeting for Federal Real Property
GAO-14-239: Published: Mar 12, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 2014.
Officials at four selected agencies—the General Services Administration (GSA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of the Interior (Interior)—experienced challenges receiving full upfront funding for federal real property projects through the annual appropriations process. For example, due to budget constraints, GSA acquired one pr...
Agricultural Research: Two USDA Agencies Can Enhance Safeguards against Project Duplication and Strengthen Collaborative Planning
GAO-13-255: Published: Apr 12, 2013. Publicly Released: May 13, 2013.
The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) generally focus on many of the same broad topics and rely on agency safeguards, as well as on the scientific community's professional norms, to prevent inadvertent duplication of research projects within and between the agencies. Shortcomings with certain agency safe...
Energy-Water Nexus: Many Uncertainties Remain about National and Regional Effects of Increased Biofuel Production on Water Resources
GAO-10-116: Published: Nov 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 2009.
In response to concerns about the nation's energy dependence on imported oil, climate change, and other issues, the federal government has encouraged the use of biofuels. Water plays a crucial role in all stages of biofuel production--from cultivation of feedstock through its conversion into biofuel. As demand for water from various sectors increases and places additional stress on already constra...
Veterinarian Workforce: Actions Are Needed to Ensure Sufficient Capacity for Protecting Public and Animal Health
GAO-09-178: Published: Feb 4, 2009. Publicly Released: Feb 18, 2009.
Veterinarians are essential for controlling zoonotic diseases--which spread between animals and humans--such as avian influenza. Most federal veterinarians work in the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD), and Health and Human Services (HHS). However, there is a growing national shortage of veterinarians. GAO determined the extent to which (1) the federal government has assessed the su...
Offshore Marine Aquaculture: Multiple Administrative and Environmental Issues Need to Be Addressed in Establishing a U.S. Regulatory Framework
GAO-08-594: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: May 9, 2008.
U. S. aquaculture--the raising of fish and shellfish in captivity--has generally been confined to nearshore coastal waters or in other water bodies, such as ponds, that fall under state regulation. Recently, there has been an increased interest in expanding aquaculture to offshore waters, which would involve raising fish and shellfish in the open ocean, and consequently bringing these types of ope...
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...
Plum Island Animal Disease Center: DHS and USDA Are Successfully Coordinating Current Work, but Long-Term Plans Are Being Assessed
GAO-06-132: Published: Dec 19, 2005. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2005.
The livestock industry, which contributes over $100 billion annually to the national economy, is vulnerable to foreign animal diseases that, if introduced in the United States, could cause severe economic losses. To protect against such losses, critical research and diagnostic activities are conducted at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) was re...
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...
Capital Financing: Potential Benefits of Capital Acquisition Funds Can Be Achieved through Simpler Means
GAO-05-249: Published: Apr 8, 2005. Publicly Released: May 9, 2005.
CAFs have been discussed as a new mechanism for financing federal capital assets. As envisioned, CAFs would have two goals. First, CAFs would potentially improve decision making by reflecting the annual cost for the use of capital in program budgets. Second, they would help ameliorate at the subunit level the effect of large increases in budget authority for capital projects (i.e., spikes), withou...