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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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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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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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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Can peers help improve crop revenues in villages in India?

Why do some farmers earn more than others? Scholars have worked to explain the large observed differences in economic outcomes across firms, households, and industries. In developing countries, where small farmers often face limited access to agricultural markets, their agricultural revenues can vary dramatically within the same region, even after accounting for differences in capital […]

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