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Does Food Cost More in Food Deserts?

Recent research has found that in the United States, limited access to healthy food is associated with a lower consumption of fruits and vegetables, and a higher probability of obesity and other dietary related health problems. Areas with limited food access and low average incomes are often referred to as food deserts. Several federal, state, […]

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Small Farmer Fertilizer Subsidies and Child Health — Evidence from Malawi

In a previous post I wrote about the potential significance of new “smart subsidies” for agricultural inputs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Zambia, Tanzania, and Malawi have initiated such programs to help populations of small farmers acquire mineral fertilizer and hybrid seed at a lower cost. One key objective is to increase staple cereal yields from these […]

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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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Cropland Price Determinants and Risk Premiums

Cropland prices across the United States have appreciated at record levels in recent years. After a U.S. recession, in which a bubble in real estate prices was a factor, some have questioned if cropland prices are in a bubble. Schnitkey, Sherrick, and Kuethe (2014) show that the increase in cropland returns and the decline in […]

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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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