Topmost menu

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Economics Behind a 5,000 Percent Price hike

Conventional pharmaceutical companies have a specific business strategy. They usually stay unprofitable for decades until their drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to enter the market. Then they start to raise their drug price gradually at a rate above inflation every year. For instance, according to Deutsche Bank, Merck and Pfizer raised […]

Continue Reading

Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 3: Reasonableness of the Interpretation

Today’s article completes the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Parts one and two in this series provided background on the RFS, a general review of the final rule and questioned EPA’s definition of the word ‘supply.’ This article delves into whether EPA’s interpretation in general can be considered reasonable […]

Continue Reading

Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 2: the Meaning of the Word “Supply”

This article continues the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The previous article in this series provided background on the RFS and a general review of the final rule. This article looks specifically at EPA’s interpretation of the word “supply” in the waiver provision “inadequate domestic supply” and what Congress […]

Continue Reading

Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 1: the Rule and Background

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the final rule that establishes the volume requirements for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Previous discussions about EPA’s arguments for use of the general waiver authority in the RFS statute reviewed a leaked version of the proposed rule and the proposed […]

Continue Reading

Livestock program breaks the cycle of hunger in Zambia’s Copperbelt

International livestock donation is a popular way for people in prosperous countries to support families in need in developing regions. By giving farm animals, donors might provide access to foods like milk and eggs and also provide a source of regular income to reduce poverty and further improve nutrition. While recipients of donated animals often […]

Continue Reading

Redirected flood waters lead to unintended consequences

An intricate system of basins, channels, and levees called the Headwaters Diversion carries water from the eastern Missouri Ozark Plateau to the Mississippi River south of Cape Girardeau. The system protects 1.2 million acres of agricultural lands in southeast Missouri from both overflow from the Mississippi River during flooding events and from Ozark Plateau runoff. […]

Continue Reading

Holiday Spirits: Notes from the Bourbon Trail

Good fortune recently provided me a brief, pre-holiday detour on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail with my dad and brothers. The amber of the value-added agricultural products and the informative tours included a few interesting bits of farm policy and history – starting with the fact that our visit (unintentionally) coincided with the 82nd anniversary of the […]

Continue Reading