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Managing Environmental Uncertainty Created by Global Warming

Scientists agree: the Earth is warming. Efforts are under way to cut greenhouse gas emissions and hence reduce the warming that occurs in the next hundred years. However, some warming is likely to occur even with major policy changes and greenhouse gas reductions. Overall, this means that average temperatures will increase, oceans will rise, damaging […]

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A Brief History of Farm Conservation Policy

Across the divide from the challenging realities of regulating nonpoint source pollution and agriculture reside the natural resource conservation policies for farmers contained in the omnibus legislation commonly known as the farm bill. The suite of conservation programs tend to avoid the sharp-edged debate surrounding environmental regulation, as well as the harsh criticism aimed at […]

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Exploring Environmental Regulation of Agriculture

Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grabbed attention when it attempted to clarify the Clean Water Act by defining the term “waters of the United States.” Many in agriculture have raised concerns about the definition and how it would impact farming and property owners, adding a new chapter to the long-running debate regarding environmental […]

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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Part 2 : TTIP, Regulatory Harmonization, and Non-tariff Barriers to Trade

The stated aims of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the United States and the European Union are to increase jobs, profits, and worker incomes on both sides of the Atlantic. At this still early date, four key studies have quantitatively assessed the projected economic benefits of such an accord (Ecorys, […]

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Part 1

The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade and investment agreement currently being negotiated by the United States and the 28 nations forming the European Union. President Obama announced upcoming TTIP talks on February 13, 2013, and negotiations started in July 2013. The negotiations aim at reducing trade barriers in a wide […]

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The Current State of Bees

June 16-22 is National Pollinator Week! Bees are a valuable asset to modern agricultural systems pollinating approximately one third of the crops in our diets. The value added to the agricultural system by insect pollination, mainly from bees, was estimated to be US$190 billion in 2005 worldwide or about 9.5% of total agricultural production. For […]

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FDA Proposes New Nutrition Facts Label

In March 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a “refreshed” nutrition facts label – the standard label seen on the back of most pre-packaged foods and beverages. The need for an updated label stems from new dietary recommendations as well as changes in the average portion sizes consumed by Americans. Source: FDA Consumer […]

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Because policies matter

Policy Matters was created as a new way to deliver discussions and analysis about policies that affect our state, country, and world. If you’ve followed agricultural policy stories on our parallel site farmdocdaily, you’ll recognize the similarities in look, feel, and function. The reason behind this is that farmdocdaily and Policy Matters have a similar […]

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Policy Incentives for Energy Crop Production: Role of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has mandated that 16 billion gallons be produced from cellulosic feedstocks by 2022. Cellulosic feedstocks include dedicated energy crops (such as, Miscanthus and switchgrass), crop and forest residues. The mandate has been repeatedly waived, in part, due to lack of a commercially viable technology for biofuel production at reasonable cost […]

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