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Limited Impact of Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) Under Current Funding Levels

Established in the 2008 Farm Bill and re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) aims to promote biomass production for bioenergy and bio-products by providing growers and bio-refineries with subsidies for biomass production. The total budget for the BCAP is limited to $125 million over 2014-2018 by the 2014 Farm […]

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Coffee farmers face dangerously low profits, experts warn at 6th Consultative Forum on Coffee Sector Finance

Coffee prices have always been a source of uncertainty for all the agents of the value chain, especially small coffee farmers that have seen their livelihoods worsened every time prices drop. The most recent Consultative Forum on Coffee Finance took the subject of price volatility and increasing production costs as its main focus, seeing how […]

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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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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