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Transforming a competitive market into an imperfect market by cooperative power

Introduction The US milk market is characterized by five links. Farmers, who produce the milk and sell it through cooperatives to huge dairy processors, who transform it into the different products, like packed fluid milk, cheese or yogurt. Then retailers sell those products to consumers. In this market we can find a combination of government policies […]

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Reducing costs of meeting a cellulosic biofuel mandate with perennial energy crops: potential roles of energy crop insurance and establishment cost subsidies

Cellulosic biofuel production in the United States has been growing since 2014 with establishment of a few commercial scale bio-refineries and increasing total production. According to the 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard Data of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), total production of cellulosic biofuels in the United States reached 192 million gallons in 2016.[1] EPA’s proposed 2017 […]

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How much can the Sodsaver Provision in the 2014 Farm Bill save sod? It depends on crop prices.

Established in the 2008 Farm Bill and re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, the Sodsaver Provision aims to dis-incentivize converting native grassland to cropland by restricting crop insurance coverage or premium subsidy to cropland that is newly converted from native sod.  We recently published a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics that […]

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Why will the coming years see more interest for interstate food supply linkages?

Why should a cattle rancher in Texas care about a severe drought hitting the Corn Belt states? Although genuine sympathy could be part of the answer, the main reason might be less charitable: cattle farmers in Texas are major buyers of corn from the Midwest. A drought in the Corn Belt would increase the corn […]

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Linkage between Federal Crop Insurance Program and the Conservation Reserve Program: Implications for Budgetary Outlays and Environmental Efficiency

We recently published a study in Land Economics that reveals a potentially significant overlooked budgetary cost savings by linking the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) with the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP). To explain, we will first briefly describe the two programs. Established in 1985, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) involves federal government contracts with farmers […]

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Some Strings Attached: Cash Transfers and Brazil’s Continued Response to Poverty

For Brazil’s poor, systemic poverty, inequity, and corruption shape the landscape of the country. Even the picturesque beaches of Rio de Janeiro offer high-rise luxury apartments that sit neatly across from dilapidated slums in an ironic homage to a country holding some of the highest rates of economic inequality in the world. The fight to […]

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To Harvest Stover or Not: Is it Worth it?

Corn stover is a readily available source of biomass for the production of biofuels. Three U.S. refineries – Poet, Abengoa and Dupont – are converting it at commercial scale to biofuel. These biofuel facilities partner and contract with farmers to procure the stover feedstock used in processing. Farmers face a choice of whether or not […]

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The Potential Implications of the False Belief that SNAP Participants are more likely to be Obese than Eligible Non-Participants

Hunger and its accordant consequences were serious problems in the United States 50 years ago. In response, the U.S. government established the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, then known as the Food Stamp Program). Fifty years later, more than one in seven Americans received benefits at a cost of over $75 billion. (See Bartfeld et […]

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