Monday, December 10, 2018

Webinar: America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2018 Edition

Farming is still an industry of family businesses. Ninety-nine percent of farms are family farms, and they account for 87 percent of farm production. Small farms make up 89 percent of the farm count and operate 52 percent of the Nation's farmland. The largest share of farm production, however, occurs on large-scale family farms.

In this webinar, ERS Economist Christopher Burns will present findings from America’s Diverse Family Farms, 2018 Edition, a brochure that describes in detail the different types of farms in the United States.

Mon, Dec 17, 2018
01:00 PM EST
Christopher Burns, PhD
https://go.usa.gov/xPSv4

Members in the News: Dorfman, Michelson, Maertens, Ellison, and Haniotis

Jeffrey Dorfman, University of Georgia
Business Lessons From My Father
Written by Jeffrey Dorfman: Forbes - December 5, 2018
My father died recently and amid all the reminiscing and catching up with his old work colleagues at his service, I decided it might be worth a column to collect some business lessons I learned from him. My hope is that readers find these useful in their own lives, whether in business or just life in general.
As background, my father, Paul Crane Dorfman, was an international banker, specializing in credit risk management and credit decisions. He started working on problem loans, trying to help companies fix their own businesses so his bank could get paid back. Then he began to approve new loans, first in California, then in Europe, the Mideast, and Africa, and next in Asia. After that, he oversaw the bank’s overall credit portfolio, deciding how much the bank should lend in total to specific industries, countries, and regions. (If you are interested, you can find more details about his life and career here.) These jobs meant he gained experience in the weeds of troubled businesses, learned to evaluate companies accurately for new credit decisions, and had to keep abreast of global and sector-specific economic trends.
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Read more on: Forbes

Hope Michelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Annemie Maertens, University of Sussex
Brenna Ellison, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A Promising New Study for the Fertilizer Industry in Tanzania
By: Borgen Magazine - November 28, 2018
A group of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made the decision to travel to Morogoro, a town in Central-Southern Tanzania, to address the burgeoning suspicion among farmers that fertilizers were ineffective and potentially dangerous. The group collected 300 samples of fertilizer from local markets. At first glance, the samples lent credence to the fears of the farmers. Hope Michelson, one of the researchers from the team, told the Borgen Project that the samples “looked absolutely terrible – clumpy, dirty, wet, powdery.”
However, once the samples were sent to multiple labs for testing, only 2 of the 300 samples failed to meet the generally accepted quality standards for that type of fertilizer. Michelson said, “We were quite shocked when lab results started coming in showing that the agronomic quality – the nitrogen – was absolutely fine.”
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Listen to the audio on: Borgen Magazine

Hope Michelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Annemie Maertens, University of Sussex
Bringing research down to earth
By: Evidence Matters - December 5, 2018
The experience of the team in Malawi also raises questions about who the data belong to and whether it would have been ethically irresponsible to refrain from sharing the data over any period of time with the soil owners for the larger public good of research. A core principle of impact evaluation is that the evidence we generate should be used to improve the lives of participants. The standard model for how this is supposed to happen can be circuitous: the evidence will make its way to someone with decision-making power over the fate of the programme being evaluated, and based on that evidence, the decision-maker allocates resources in a way that makes constituents better off. And by all means we should continue striving to make that model work as often and as effectively as possible. But we should also be on the lookout for more direct routes for research to benefit those who participate.
With inputs from the research team: Hope Michelson, Eric Kaima, Christopher Phiri, Wezi Mhango, and Annemie Maertens
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Read more on: Evidence Matters

Tassos Haniotis, European Commission
Agriculture ‘unevenly targeted’ in EU carbon crunch – commission official
By: AgriLand - December 5, 2018
Speaking to AgriLand at a seminar on the future shape of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post-2020 in the EU Commission in Brussels, Tassos Haniotis, director for strategy, simplification and policy analysis, acknowledged that the agri sector shoulders significant criticism from consumers.
“I will give an example, agriculture is 2% of the overall economy, it’s 40% of land use and 100% of food.
“As a sector that contributes roughly 10% to emissions, it is treated differently to the focus on that 2%, 40% and 100%.
“That 100% goes to consumers; but yet, it’s put into a different dimension in comparison to what is happening in transport or other areas,” said Haniostis.
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Read more on: AgriLand

See other Member in the News items
Know another AAEA Member who has made statewide, national, or international news?
Send a link of the article to Sinais Alvarado at
salvarado@aaea.org
What research and topics are you working on? Want to be an expert source for journalists working on a story? Contact Allison Scheetz at ascheetz@aaea.org.
*Articles in response to the AAEA Communicating Out Strategy Press Releases highlighting: Government Relations, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Choices Magazine, General Media, and/or 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Members in the News: Lee, Bozic, Lusk, Court, Walters, Rejesus, Liu, and Woods

John E. Lee, Jr., Mississippi State University
Selling off USDA research agency to the highest bidder is a mistake
Written by John E. Lee: The Hill - November 24, 2018
During August recess, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the department would be relocating both the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outside of the Washington, D.C. area. Beside recruitment challenges, department cited high attrition, the difficulty of hiring agricultural economists into D.C., the desire to lower costs, and the importance of the agencies being closer to their stakeholders.
The department then asked for bids from states, cities, educational establishments, private entities, and other parties who might be interested in having all or parts of the two agencies located on their sites. Reportedly, 136 bids have been received.
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Read more on: The Hill

Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota
With farm bankruptcies on the rise, a look at the economics of dairy farming in Minnesota
By: MPR News - November 27, 2018
Farm bankruptcies are on the rise in the Upper Midwest, and the situation is particularly tough for dairy farmers.
Increased dairy production, coupled with stagnating demand, have kept prices low. At the same time, trade scuffles have made it harder for farmers to reach new consumers overseas.
MPR News host Cathy Wurzer checked in with University of Minnesota dairy economist Marin Bozic for the latest on dairy farming in the state.
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Listen to the audio on: MPR News

Jayson Lusk, Purdue University
COOL and fuzzy connections
By: Beef Magazine - November 22, 2018
“While it is conceptually possible that the repeal of mandatory COOL could adversely affect U.S. cattle prices, any actual effect appears to be quite small (if there is any effect at all),” concluded Jayson Lusk in his November 2016 blog.
Lusk is a distinguished professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.
“The fact that cattle prices fell immediately after the repeal of mandatory COOL appears to be a coincidence. The falling prices seem more to do with ‘normal’ changes in supply resulting from the cattle cycle than anything to do with mandatory COOL,” he explained.
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Read more on: Beef Magazine

Christa Court, University of Florida
Jackson, Calhoun among hardest hit agricultural communities following Hurricane Michael
By: WJHG - November 22, 2018
County-level estimates from the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program (EIAP) indicate that none of the four hardest-hit counties – Jackson, Gadsden, Suwannee and Calhoun – border the coast, but collectively their producers lost about $91 million in revenues from crops, animals and animal products, said Christa Court, EIAP assistant director and an assistant scientist with the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department.
The information comes from a report issued Nov. 13 by the EIAP team, available online at https://fred.ifas.ufl.edu/economicimpactanalysis/DisasterImpactAnalysis
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Read more on: WJHG

Cory Walters, University of Nebraska
How moral hazard affects crop insurance
Written by Cory Walters: KTIC Radio - November 29, 2018
New research by agricultural economists at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln challenges traditional thinking on federal crop insurance.
Since the inception of the federal crop insurance program, researchers have questioned whether the program causes moral hazard in input usage, meaning that if producers are shielded from yield risk via crop insurance, they respond by increasing low-yield risk exposure by applying fewer inputs. Opponents of the federal crop insurance program claim moral hazard leads farmers to use crop insurance to transfer costs from themselves to taxpayers, who help fund the program.
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Read more on: KTIC Radio

Roderick Rejesus, North Carolina State University
Crop Insurance Decisions After a Two-punch Hurricane Season
By: Tobacco Farm Quarterly - November 2018
A common centerpiece of a farm's risk management plan is crop insurance. Rod Rejesus, professor and Extension specialist within the North Carolina State University's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, is an expert on insurance and believes growers should carry, at minimum, catastrophic insurance that cover 50 percent of a crop at 55 percent of its Risk Management Agency (RMA) established price.
"It's a no-brainer," says Rejesus. "It's basically free except for administrative fees per acre." A farmer can pay more for more coverage up to 85 percent of their crop depending on country and state.
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Read more on: Tobacco Farm Quarterly (see p. 6-7)

Zhongyuan Liu, University of Georgia
UGA doctoral candidate researches Chinese agriculture economics
By: Albany Herald - November 24, 2018
As part of his doctoral thesis project, University of Georgia doctoral candidate in agricultural economics Zhongyuan Liu went directly to the source to understand the impact of rural land reforms in China.
Liu used funding provided by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Global Programs Graduate International Travel Award to interview farmers, village leaders and officers in a land reform office in the Wujin district of Jiangsu province in China.
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Read more on: Albany Herald

Timothy Woods, University of Kentucky
Ky. agricultural receipts hold steady, but net cash income drops
By: The Lane Report - November 29, 2018
“Kentucky fruit and vegetable producers were able to capitalize on market shortages in 2017, but prices have since returned to regional averages. This is why incomes slightly decreased this year,” said Tim Woods, UK agricultural economist. “Consumer spending increased sharply in 2018 but is expected to drop in 2019.”
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Read more on: The Lane Report

See other Member in the News items
Know another AAEA Member who has made statewide, national, or international news?
Send a link of the article to Sinais Alvarado at
salvarado@aaea.org
What research and topics are you working on? Want to be an expert source for journalists working on a story? Contact Allison Scheetz at ascheetz@aaea.org.
*Articles in response to the AAEA Communicating Out Strategy Press Releases highlighting: Government Relations, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Choices Magazine, General Media, and/or 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Members in the News: Belasco, Lusk, Mullally, Kolodinsky, Dorfman, Guan, Wu, Qushim, and Goeringer

Eric Belasco, Montana State University
A $12 Billion Program to Help Farmers Stung by Trump’s Trade War Has Aided Few
By: The New York Times - November 19, 2018
“I don’t think this is going to be enough to compensate them,” said Eric Belasco, an economist at Montana State University and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “It seems like there’s not really an end in sight.”
Mr. Belasco suggests that the Trump administration could be treading carefully by saying that it will end the subsidies next year in an effort to avoid skewing markets further. However, using subsidies defensively in a trade war is different than employing them as a cushion during an economic downturn or because of weather fluctuations, he said, because consumers around the world who begin buying beans, corn and pork elsewhere might be slow to switch back to American producers.
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Read more on: The New York Times

Jayson Lusk, Purdue University
Conner Mullally, University of Florida
Proposition 12: What the industry thinks and how it passed
By: AG Daily - November 16, 2018
If this sounds like déjà vu to you, you would be correct. California passed proposition 2 in 2008 with the requirement that farm animals must be able to “turn around freely, lie down, and fully extend their limbs.” This vague legislation also set the requirement for imports from surrounding states, which affected more than just California farmers. Egg prices rose after the proposition passed since the remaining egg farmers had to drastically change their facilities to stay in compliance. According to study from Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics, egg prices rose 33 percent and egg-laying hens and eggs produced in California had dropped by 35 percent.
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Read more on: AG Daily

Jane Kolodinsky, University of Vermont
Why Vermont Is Big-Box Averse, Except When It's Not
By: Vermont Public Radio - November 16, 2018
Jane Kolodinsky, chair of UVM's community development and applied economics department, discusses her research on consumer behavior and people's perceptions of these chain stores and the items they sell.
Kolodinsky begins to discuss the topic at hand at minute 3:51.
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Listen to the podcast on: Vermont Public Radio

Jeffrey Dorfman, University of Georgia
Federal Food Programs: Efficiency and Ethics
By: Anchor - November 19, 2018
In this episode we discuss federal food programs and non-profit efforts to alleviate hunger in the U.S. Our guest, Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, helps us understand the most recent data on the effectiveness of federal food programs.
Dorfman begins to discuss the topic at hand at minute 3:06.
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Listen to the podcast on: Anchor

Zhengfei Guan, University of Florida
Feng Wu, University of Florida
Berdikul Qushim, University of Florida
Florida, Georgia appeal to government on Mexico trade
By: The Packer - November 16, 2018
During his testimony, Stuart referred to a University of Florida study on the effect of Mexican government subsidies on agriculture.
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Read more on: The Packer

Paul Goeringer, University of Maryland
A word of warning on saved seeds
Written by Paul Goeringer: Progressive Forage - November 16, 2018
As many of you begin to think about seed selection for the next growing season, it’s important to consider not only an optimal variety for your area but also the types of legal protections limiting your use of saved seeds.
Many involved in agriculture remember a previous era when producers could trade or sell saved seeds to a neighbor. Today, due to various intellectual property laws, producers may be limited to buying seed directly from an approved dealer to stay in compliance with the law.
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Read more on: Progressive Forage

See other Member in the News items
Know another AAEA Member who has made statewide, national, or international news?
Send a link of the article to Sinais Alvarado at
salvarado@aaea.org
What research and topics are you working on? Want to be an expert source for journalists working on a story? Contact Allison Scheetz at ascheetz@aaea.org.
*Articles in response to the AAEA Communicating Out Strategy Press Releases highlighting: Government Relations, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Choices Magazine, General Media, and/or 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Webinar: Farm Income and Financial Forecasts, November 2018 Update

You have been invited to a meeting hosted by Carrie Litkowski, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA. All the information you need to join is below.

ERS releases farm income statement and balance sheet estimates and forecasts three times a year, in February, August and November. These core statistical indicators provide guidance to policy makers, lenders, commodity organizations, farmers, and others interested in the financial status of the farm economy. ERS' farm income statistics also inform the computation of agriculture's contribution to the gross domestic product of the U.S. economy.

During this webinar, economist Carrie Litkowski provides an updated farm sector income and wealth forecast for calendar year 2018. Forecast details include cash receipts, other sources of income (including government payments and insurance indemnities), production expenditures, off-farm income, and breakouts by major commodities and regions. See the latest Farm Income Forecast.
 
https://cc.readytalk.com/r/tzlnxtspacqq&eom
Fri, Nov 30, 2018  
01:00 PM EST