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Cover of Amber Waves, September 2011 issue
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September 2011

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Amber Waves is published four times per year (March, June, September, and December) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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The Internet edition is free and offers additional articles and data between scheduled issues. To receive e-mail notifications whenever Amber Waves is released or updated on the Internet, sign up here.

The Internet edition of Amber Waves is the authoritative version and may sometimes contain minor corrections and updates to reflect new information received after publication of the print edition.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Kathryn Lipton at Amberwaveseditor@ers.usda.gov.

Editorial Board:

Associate Editors:

Graphic & Web Designers:

Stephen Crutchfield
Adrie Custer
Robert Gibbs
Elise Golan
Linda Hatcher
Ephraim Leibtag
Kathryn Lipton
Mary Maher
Daniel Pick
Greg Pompelli
Sheila Sankaran
Patrick Sullivan

Nancy Cochrane
Rosanna Mentzer Morrison
Carmen Sandretto

Susan DeGeorge
Chris Dicken
Wynnice Pointer-Napper David Nulph
Victor B. Phillips, Jr.
Cynthia A. Ray
Curtia Taylor

Managing Editors:

Angela Anderson
Dale Simms
Priscilla Smith
John Weber


Unless otherwise noted, the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture is the source for all charts and tables shown in this magazine, although the underlying raw data often come from other agencies.

Cover photo: Shutterstock Cover design by Curtia Taylor.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) is the main source of economic information and research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Located in Washington, DC, with approximately 450 employees, the mission of ERS is to inform and enhance public and private decisionmaking on economic and policy issues related to agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural development. To accomplish this mission, highly trained economists and social scientists develop and distribute a broad range of economic and other social science information and analysis.

As the flagship magazine for ERS, Amber Waves contains articles by ERS researchers and their collaborators. Amber Waves does not accept articles from outside researchers. Use of commercial and trade names does not imply approval or constitute endorsement by USDA.