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Program Assessment


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USDA Research: Economic Opportunities for Producers

This USDA Agricultural Research Service program funds research by Federal scientists that is designed to increase agricultural productivity and efficiency, develop new products and uses for agricultural products and by products, and expand market opportunities in the United States and abroad.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • One problem the program address is the rapid acceleration in the rate of the extinction of lines and strains of food animals and crops. The program addresses this problem by maintaining genetically diverse animals and crops. In addition, it explores opportunities for new crop uses through new biobased products and fuels.
  • The research is designed to enhance economic opportunities for agricultural producers. The goal of the research is to increase productivity and efficiency, develop new technologies and products and new uses from agricultural commodities and byproducts, enhance profitability, and expand market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products.
  • Four of the annual measures deal with the relevance, quality and performance of projects. These measures have data. Examples of these measures are the percentage of projects that an independent review panel state need moderate, minor or no revision and the percentage of projects that achieve their milestones.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Conducting an independent external Retrospective Panel Review of the ARS Crop Production program during FY 2007.
  • Re-evaluating the criteria that it uses to determine outyear targets for project quality, for the purpose of establishing more ambitious targets.

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