Monday, March 19, 2018

Members in the News: Gundersen, Sumner, Tyner, Wailes, Coat, Glauber, Joshi, Nefstead, and Grant

Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
New Thinking About Food Stamps in Wisconsin
By: Wall Street Journal - March 8, 2018

Wisconsin is relying on an unusual argument to tie new work requirements to food stamps: It says it needs the workers.

The governor is expected to sign legislation in the coming weeks that would require people with school-age children who receive food stamps to work 30 hours a week.

Read more on: Wall Street Journal
SNAP is successful because it treats recipients with dignity and autonomy
Written by Craig Gundersen: The Hill - March 16, 2018

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the most critical component of the social safety net in the U.S. today. Fortunately, studies shown that it is extraordinarily successful in achieving its main goal of reducing food insecurity and hunger and, in addition, it improves the well-being of low-income Americans over multiple other dimensions. 

Read more on: The Hill

Dan Sumner, University of California, Davis
In a trade war over steel, US farmers could be collateral damage
By: CNN Money - March 8, 2018

With so much going their way, farmers don't want to upset the international trade apple cart.
"There's nothing to win," said Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economics professor at University of California, Davis. "There's only stuff to lose."

Read more on: CNN Money
The self-inflicted economic damage to American agriculture
Written by Daniel Sumner: The Hill - March 9, 2018

Agriculture is so fully integrated into world markets that consumers everywhere take for granted that ripe peaches will be available to everyone, everywhere in January, while Zinfandel, Shiraz and Prosecco are universally available. Likewise farmers all over the world use tractors made in America, and tomato processors use equipment from Italy.

Read more on: The Hill

Wallace Tyner, Purdue University
President approves tariffs
By: The Chronicle-Tribune- March 16, 2018

“We’re the second largest auto producer in the country behind Michigan,” said Wallace Tyner, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. “If we got into a trade war, all of our exports get hurt.”

Read more on: The Chronicle-Tribune

Eric Wailes, University of Arkansas
Alvaro Durand-Morat, University of Arkansas
Retaliatory tariffs on ag could mean a $383 million hit for Arkansas
By: Delta Farm Press and Magnolia Reporter - March 2, 2018

“Agriculture in the United States is a potentially likely target for retaliation,” said Eric Wailes, distinguished professor and L.C. Carter endowed chair of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. And “Arkansas is a major oilseed and grain exporter to China, Canada, and Mexico among others.”
Wailes, along with department colleagues Alvaro Durand-Morat, assistant professor of agricultural economist; and technical assistant Leah English, prepared an analysis of potential impact on rice, corn, soybeans and sorghum exports should the U.S. implement trade tariffs.

Read more on: Delta Farm Press and Magnolia Reporter

Bobby Coat, University of Arkansas
11 market factors to watch this week
Written by Bobby Coat: Delta FarmPress - March 13, 2018

I began the week of March 5, 2018, concerned more about equity and commodity price weakness than strength, as many of these markets were correcting and/or consolidating. By week’s end, the technology sector was signaling a potential sustained near term breakout. The Dow, S&P 500, and many global equity markets appeared to be signaling a retest of their previous highs.

Read more on: Delta FarmPress

Joe Glauber, International Food Policy Research Institute
Congress needs to fix the tax plan’s ‘grain glitch’ now
Written by Joe Glauber: The Hill - March 7, 2018

When Congress passes any major piece of legislation, it’s not uncommon that some specific — and perhaps not thoroughly considered — language deep inside the bill will lead to unintended consequences.

Read more on: The Hill

P K Joshi, International Food Policy Research Institute
Agriculture the fulcrum of state economy: Expert
By: The Times of India - March 7, 2018

Economist Shaibal Gupta on Tuesday said agriculture and its allied sectors were the fulcrum of Bihar’s economy.
Speaking at a policy dialogue on “Towards Developing a Diversified Food System in Bihar for Improving Nutritional Outcomes’ organized by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in association with Tata Cornell Institute (TCI) in Patna on Tuesday, ADRI’s member-secretary Gupta said nearly 90% of the population dwelt in rural areas and was engaged in agricultural activities. However, agriculture generates less than a quarter of our Gross State Domestic Product.

Read more on: The Times of India

Ward Nefstead, University of Minnesota
Minnesota crop land prices were down in 2017, but may be starting to stabilize
By: The Star Tribune - March 11, 2018

“We’re in the third to fourth year of farm stress,” said Ward Nefstead, University of Minnesota Extension economist. “At a certain point some people may have to sell land, but we didn’t see it in 2017.”

Read more on: The Star Tribune

Jason Grant, Virginia Tech
Gretna development called off due to new tariffs
By: Go Dan River- March 9, 2018

Such a local hit by an international policy isn’t unusual, according to Virginia Tech Associate Professor Jason Grant, who is an expert in agricultural economics and business.

“We may protect or shield some in the industry from import competition, but when we take in the economy-wide issues with these tariffs, from the many industries that use steel and aluminum, the losses outweigh the gains, ” Grant said.

Read more on: Go Dan River

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Call for Nominations: World Food Prize Deadline May 1

Nominate Now for The World Food Prize   


"The World Food Prize has totally changed my life, brought me from obscurity to someone that has a voice and draws attention. That's given me a voice and an opportunity to be heard on issues of concern to humanity." 
-Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, 2009 World Food Prize Laureate

The World Food Prize Foundation is now accepting nominations for its renowned award that recognizes the accomplishments of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. 

Nominations of worthy candidates are invited from public and private organizations, academic institutions, governmental organizations, and businesses. 

Nominations will be accepted through May 1, 2018.

The World Food Prize was created in 1986 to be the highest individual honor for truly exceptional and unique achievements in improving the quality, quantity, and availability of the world's food supply, as well as the access of all human beings to it. This prestigious $250,000 award has been presented to 46 outstanding individuals from 18 countries and the United Nations. In issuing this annual invitation to nominate, World Food Prize President Ambassador Kenneth Quinn affirmed that: "It is imperative that those individuals whose work has truly made a difference in the lives and wellbeing of large numbers of people are considered for this award."

The nomination criteria, procedure, and on-line form are available at

Inquiries and additional nomination materials may be directed to Judith Pim, Director of Secretariat Operations at The World Food Prize, by email at

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The World Food Prize
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Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Monday, March 12, 2018

Members in the News: Sumner, Boland, Novakovic, Coat, and Zhang

Dan Sumner, University of California, Davis
Trade war could spark food fight, California growers fear
By: LA Times - March 2, 2018

No state has more at stake than California, which leads the country in agricultural revenue. Farmers and ranchers in the Golden State are twice as dependent on foreign trade as the country as a whole. World leaders also likely know that Trump enjoyed deep support in rural, agricultural areas, including much of the Central Valley, said Dan Sumner, an economist who directs the Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis.

Read more on: LA Times

Michael Boland, University of Minnesota
Diverse portfolio helps Land O'Lakes carve out record profit in lean times
By: StarTribune- March 4, 2018

Michael Boland, University of Minnesota agricultural economics professor, said that trio of different businesses helps Land O’Lakes remain resilient during the economic ups and downs of farming, including the sluggish ag economy of the past few years.

Read more on: StarTribune

Andy Novakovic, Cornell University
House Ag Committee Takes on Dairy Woes
By: Lancaster Farming - March 2, 2018

Andy Novakovic, a professor of agricultural economics at Cornell who has been studying Pennsylvania’s dairy industry, cautioned the committee about focusing on the board.

“The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board is not the cause of your problem or the solution of your problems. It’s an astonishing distraction from your problems,” Novakovic said.

Read more on: Lancaster Farming

Bobby Coat, University of Arkansas
Thursday webinar: The Global Rice Market and China’s Role Within It
By: Delta FarmPress - March 5, 2018

Bobby Coat, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, will host the webinar.

Read more on: Delta FarmPress

Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University
Trade retaliation concerns soybean farmers
By: Ottumwa Courier - March 6, 2018

Wendong Zhang, assistant professor in the department of economics at Iowa State University, said China is an indispensable trade partner. America receives $14 billion from soybean exports alone, but a trade war could have a negative effect on soybean trade and local farmers.

Read more on: Ottumwa Courier

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Members in the News: Belasco, Outlaw, Westhoff, Plastina, Zhang, Jacobs, and Keeney

Eric Belasco, Montana State University
Can a Chinese Mega-Retailer Make a Killing off Montana Beef?
By: Civil Eats - January 23, 2018

Elsewhere, large meat processing plants are staffed mostly by migrant laborers and Eric Belasco, an agricultural economist at Montana State University and one of the authors of the slaughterhouse feasibility study, thinks this plant probably would, too. In other words, the overall impact on the state’s unemployment rate—which is slightly lower than the national average at 4 percent—would probably be fairly small.

Read more on: Civil Eats

Joe Outlaw, Texas A&M University
Patrick Westhoff, University of Missouri
Farm bill focus: Limited funds, many demands
By: AgWeek- February 26, 2018

"There's not enough money to do everything," said Joe Outlaw, co-director of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, and professor of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. "Constituents are up here (Capitol Hill) on every day of every week that want something, and nobody ever comes up and asks for less."

Read more on: AgWeek

Alejandro Plastina, Iowa State University
Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University
Think through possible planter trade
By: Wallace's Farmer - February 5, 2018

Each month in Wallaces Farmer, the Timely Tips panel answers questions sent by readers. Members of the panel are Alejandro Plastina and Wendong Zhang, Extension economists, Iowa State University; Leslie Miller, Iowa State Savings Bank, Knoxville; and Rob Stout, Master Farmer, Washington, Iowa.

Read more on: Wallace's Farmer

Keri Jacobs, Iowa State University
Efforts to fix Section 199A continue
By: Feedstuffs - February 12, 2018
Read more on: Feedstuffs

Roman Keeney, Purdue University
Agriculture’s time in the spotlight: Focusing on the 2018 farm bill
Written by : The Hill - February 28, 2018

As U.S. net farm income continues its decline to lows not seen in a decade, agriculture is using this spring to ready for its turn in the political spotlight. The 2014 farm bill, which supports farm incomes and agricultural risk management (among other things), is set to expire at the close of fiscal 2018 this September.

Read more on: The Hill

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Members in the News: Belton, Liverpool-Tasie, Rosson, Kimle, Zhang, Schnitkey, Doherty, Plastina, Gundersn, et al.

Ben Belton, Michigan State University
Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Michigan State University
How the growth of cities changes farming
By: The Economist- February 15, 2018

Their research on the economics of the rapid development of the aquaculture value chain in Bangladesh and poultry value chains in Nigeria has drawn international attention. Following are the URLs for the Economist article on the work, and links to publications with further details on the findings.

Read more on: The Economist

C. Parr Rosson, Texas A&M University
Valdez: 4 overlooked jobs most impacted by an immigrant labor shortage
By: AZ Central- February 16, 2018

Immigrants make up more than 60 percent of the milk production workers in this country, according C. Parr Rosson, head of the department of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University.

Read more on: AZ Central

Kevin Kimle, Iowa State University
The Future of Ag Tech in the Midwest
By: Farm Journal AgTech - February 20, 2018

In order to continue improving rural communities, Kevin Kimle, director of the agricultural entrepreneurship initiative at Iowa State University, says there is still work to be done.

Kimle says improvements can continue through exposing more young people to the concept of entrepreneurship in high school and college and helping them find mentors who have done similar things.

Read more on: Farm Journal AgTech

Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University
Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A Bad Year for Grain Farmers? All it Takes Is Average Yields
By: Successful Farming - February 22, 2018

At current prices, grain farmers are unlikely to make money if the record-high yields of 2017 retreat to average levels, said University of Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey during a farm income discussion at USDA's annual Outlook Forum.

Read more on: Successful Farming

Mike Doherty, Illinois Farm Bureau
US opens up to pork imports from whole of Mexico
By: UkrAgroConsult- February 6, 2018

Previous to the recent announcement that Mexico was clear of the highly contagious swine disease, only nine Mexican states were permitted to export pork to the US. Mike Doherty, senior economist and policy analyst at the Illinois Farm Bureau, spoke to Illinois News Network this week where he explains how the USDA reached this conclusion.

Read more on: UkrAgroConsult
USDA: All Mexican states can now ship pork to USA
By: Macomb Local News- February 2, 2018

Until that decision was reached, only nine Mexican states were able to export pork to the U.S., Mike Doherty, senior economist and policy analyst at the Illinois Farm Bureau, said. “The U.S. agency Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in charge of these kinds of things went down to Mexico and actually inspected down there," Doherty said.

Read more on: Macomb Local News
Anticipation: Farmers hoping for repeat of 2017
By: The Pantagraph- February 6, 2018

It’s not surprising that a combined 92 percent of our members expect the overall financial health of their farms to decline or merely remain the same,” said Mike Doherty, senior economist with the IFB. “Unfortunately, today’s commodity prices, input costs and overall farm economy have become commonplace for our members.

Read more on: The Pantagraph
Farmers face tough decisions as yields increase but prices drop
By: Illinois News Network - February 6, 2018

Mike Doherty, senior economist at the Illinois Farm Bureau, said the financial setbacks could force farmers to make tough decisions, including seed choice.

“They may not choose the optimal seed,” Doherty said. “They may choose a cheaper seed, hoping that the benefits of the more expensive seed will not have been necessary after all.”

Read more on: Illinois News Network

Alejandro Plastina, Iowa State University
Current Iowa Ag economics and rarm succession planning to be highlighted at the ISU Northeast Research Farm on March 6
By: Waverly Newspaper - February 22, 2018

Alejandro Plastina, Extension Ag Economist and Melissa O’Rourke, Attorney/Farm Management Specialist will speak at the annual meeting of the Northeast Iowa Agricultural Experimental Association (NEIAEA) at the Borlaug Learning Center, ISU Northeast Research Farm, Nashua.

Read more on: Waverly Newspaper

Craig Gunderson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
STEVE SPELLMAN: Federal welfare needs modernization
By: Missourian- February 21, 2018

One vocal detractor, Craig Gunderson, an agricultural economics professor in Illinois, expressed concern about limiting recipient food choices in a recent Associated Press story, writing, “(a)ll of a sudden you’re saying, ‘we don’t trust you to make the right decision for your family.’ It’s demeaning and demoralizing.”

Read more on: Missourian

Becca Jablonski, Colorado State University
Positive impacts can come from Denver food hubs
By: The Monte Vista Journal - February 16, 2018

Emerging Denver food hubs can potentially have a positive impact on the San Luis Valley’s economy. This is the message brought by Dr. Becca Jablonski, professor of agricultural economics from Colorado State University to the 2018 Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference.

Read more on: The Monte Vista Journal

Klaus Moeltner, Virginia Tech
Dr. Klaus Moeltner, Virginia Tech, on the Economics of Electricity
By: JR Hoeft Show - February 16, 2018

This week, my guest is Dr. Klaus Moeltner of Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech University. He has been researching the effects of power outages and consumers’ willingness to pay for grid improvements and uninterrupted electricity supply.

Read more on: JR Hoeft Show

PK Joshi, International Food Policy Research Institute
Budget 2018: Higher MSPs are welcome, bring cheers to farmers
Written By PK Joshi: Financial Express - February 10, 2018

Budget 2018: On expected lines, the Budget 2018-19 aimed at strengthening agriculture and rural economy. Agriculture deserves serious attention as roughly half of the population is dependent on it for food security and livelihood opportunities. During the last few months, we have witnessed farmers’ agitation silently spreading across all the states. Budget 2018 has very well packaged various provisions for making agriculture more efficient, sustainable and resilient. The key pillars to strengthen the agri sector—improved technologies, appropriate policies, effective institutions and required infra—are well reflected in Budget 2018.

Read more on: Financial Express

Nienke Beintema, International Food Policy Research Institute
Opinion: We need to involve more women in the agricultural sciences. Here's how.
By: Devex - February 13, 2018

A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute shows that in 2014, only 24 percent of researchers working in the agricultural sciences were women, and only 17 percent of those in leadership positions were women in a sample of 40 sub-Saharan African countries.  This matters because the evidence shows that better jobs for women in agriculture leads to higher wages and greater decision making — which ultimately has a positive impact on the ways households spend money on children’s nutrition, health, and education. Having more women in agricultural research also ensures that this workforce is representative of its client base: Smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women.

Read more on: Devex

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Members in the News: Novakovic, Volpe, Bozic, Westhoff, Wang, Zhang, Hurt, Walters, Tang, Keiser, Kling, Ji, Shr, Zapata, Lubben, Taylor, Barnaby, Joshi, Smith, and Belasco

Andrew Novakovic, Cornell University
Richard Volpe, California Polytechnic State University
Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota
Milk prices sway shoppers in Sioux Falls grocery game
By: Argus Leader - February 15, 2018

"Milk is one of a very small number of products - maybe 10 products - that retailers believe their customers make store selection decisions based on its price," said Andrew Novakovic, a professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University and an expert on the dairy industry.

"Milk is the number-one loss leader for retailers," said Richard Volpe, a professor at California Polytechnic State University’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

For stores, milk is a nuanced marketing campaign. Just by setting a price, supermarkets send a message back to consumers about the location’s philosophy on prices and priorities, said Marin Bozic, assistant professor in dairy foods marketing economics for the University of Minnesota.

Read more on: Argus Leader

Patrick Westhoff, University of Missouri
Economists: No quick recovery for commodity prices, farm income
By: The Fence Post- February 7, 2018

Patrick Westhoff of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri said he does not see agriculture "in line for a big recovery any time soon."

Read more on: The Fence Post

Holly Wang, Zhejiang University and Purdue University
Where to celebrate Chinese New Year at Purdue
By: Journal and Courier- February 9, 2018

“We have 20 dancers who are very diverse — Purdue students, professors, staff and people from the community. Our group is open to everyone,” said Holly Wang, professor of agricultural economics, who founded the troupe in 2011 and is one of the performers.

Read more on: Journal and Courier

Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University
Is another farm crisis looming?
By: Dairy Star - February 12, 2018

“We’re in a time of a downturn, but not a crisis,” Wendong Zhang said. “Today, it takes effort to manage costs and maintain working capital, but it is not impossible.” Zhang is an applied economist and extension farm management specialist at Iowa State University.

In the early 2000s, the industry saw historically low interest rates and a growing demand for exports from China.

Read more on:  Dairy Star 

Chris Hurt, Purdue University
HHSB promotes ag awareness
By: Journal Review- February 12, 2018

HHSB has secured Dr. Chris Hurt, professor of ag econ at Purdue University, to speak about commodity marketing, price outlook, government farm programs and the economics of biofuels.

Read more on: Journal Review

Cory Walters, University of Nebraska
Crop insurance workshop Feb. 26 at College Park
By: The Grand Island Independent- February 12, 2018

Cory Walters, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Nebraska, will kick off the event with an overview of crop insurance in Nebraska. He will also share results of recent crop insurance research conducted at the university.

Read more on: The Grand Island Independent

Chuan Tang, Iowa State University
David Keiser, Iowa State University
Catherine Kling, Iowa State University
Yongjie Ji, Iowa State University
Yau-Huo Shr, Iowa State University
Economists Outline Benefits of Reducing Nitrates
By: AgPro - February 13, 2018

The study highlights that reducing nitrates and improving water quality in rivers and lakes would increase recreation benefits, and may reduce adverse health outcomes for people exposed to high nitrates in drinking water.
The study was led by Chuan Tang, a postdoctoral researcher, and Gabriel Lade, assistant professor of economics, along with: David Keiser, assistant professor of economics; Catherine Kling, director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Department of Economics; Yongjie Ji, an assistant scientist; and Yau-Huo Shr, a postdoctoral researcher.

Read more on: AgPro

Samuel D. Zapata, Texas A&M University
Report: Sugarcane aphids cost Texas millions
By: Texas Farm Bureau- January 31, 2018

“We have been tracking the pest over the last four years. We found significant damage to farmers’ profits. We did the analysis in both the Rio Grande Valley, as well as South Texas. We found that in the Rio Grande Valley, on average, the sugarcane aphid caused a loss of about $65 per acre,” Dr. Samuel D. Zapata, one of the authors of The Economic Impact of the Sugarcane Aphid Outbreak in Texas, said in an interview with the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network. “The reduction in profits is given by two things. First, a reduction in revenue because producers have lower yields. The other impact is on production costs mainly because now producers need to spend more money on insecticides and monitoring the pests.”

Read more on: Texas Farm Bureau

Brad Lubben, University of Nebraska
Mykel Taylor, Kansas State University
Art Barnaby, Kansas State University
2018 Farm Bill Conferences planned
By: High Plains Midwest Ag Journal- February 11, 2018

Topics include the economic conditions of farmers and Title I programs with Mykel Taylor, proposed crop insurance changes with Art Barnaby and conservation programs impact with Brad Lubben. The series will enable producers from Kansas and Nebraska to engage presenters with their own thoughts and concerns on possible changes in the new bill and use the dialogue to further understand issues facing the agricultural community within the new farm bill’s framework.

Read more on: High Plains Midwest Ag Journal

PK Joshi, International Food Policy Research Institute
2018 Farm Bill Conferences planned
By: Business Standard- December 23, 2017

India’s Business Standard published an op-ed by PK Joshi on ways to reduce farm distress. In the article, Joshi said Indian agriculture can be revived by focusing on key priorities and combing all ongoing programmes under one umbrella.

Read more on: Business Standard

Vince Smith, Montana State University
Trump cuts won't flow to US Farm Bill
By: Queensland Country Life- February 12, 2018

Montana State University professor of economics and visiting director at free enterprise think tank the American Enterprise Institute Vince Smith said in modern politics “successive administrations have had little to say” on the Farm Bill.

Read more on: Queensland Country Life

Eric Belasco, Montana State University
MSU faculty opens debate on Koch-funded center
By: Bozeman Daily Chronicle- February 15, 2018

Eric Belasco, faculty senator representing the agriculture and agricultural economics department, said the research has followed all MSU’s normal guidelines for hiring and awarding grants. He read letters from students who were able to do research, thanks to the grant. One said it had opened up opportunities and MSU would be foolish to turn down the proposal.

Read more on:Bozeman Daily Chronicle

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