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Archive | Agriculture

Thinking about the Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit and the History of Drainage

In March 2015, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) filed a lawsuit against three Iowa drainage districts because of nitrate problems in Des Moines drinking water supplies. It alleges the nitrates have leached out of farm fields, through drainage district tiles, and ended up in the city’s drinking water supply. In July, the water utility reported […]

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New Research Directions on the Economic Impact of Climate Change on U.S. Agriculture

The attention generated by the impact of the summer 2012 drought on the Corn Belt exemplifies how vital it is for the U.S. agricultural sector to understand climate change and how to mitigate and/or adapt to it. While there is little controversy about whether agriculture is sensitive to changes in climatic conditions, significant uncertainty exists […]

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“You Quit??” – Small Farmer Contracting and the Importance of Dropout

Over the past 20 years, international trade liberalization and various reforms have dismantled many government controls on agricultural markets in the developing world, opening new commercial spheres for farm products and new marketing choices for farmers in the Global South[1]. One class of these opportunities is linked to the modernization and expansion of agricultural value […]

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Reviewing USDA’s Revised Conservation Compliance Regulation

On Friday, April 24, 2015, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) published its regulation for attaching conservation compliance to the portion of premium covered by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), known as premium subsidy. Section 2611 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014) made Highly Erodible Land (HEL) and Wetlands conservation compliance provisions […]

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Why formal credit eludes African smallholder farmers and the role of village moneylenders

Eyeballing the bowl of ugali lying on the rough-edged wooden table for eight, the African farmer feels once again let down by those more powerful than herself: weather, God and government. Rewinding this year’s events, the rain was unmoved by the collective prayers and tantalized villagers with an elusive appearance. With pest killers selling at […]

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