Monday, February 18, 2019

Members in the News: Fortenbery, Hurt, Lusk, Kumar, Thilmany, Goeringer, Fan, Sumner, Liu, Rabinowitz, Brooks, Meyer, Walters, Langemeier, Mitchell, and Bozic

Randall Fortenbery, Washington State University
Washington farmers face rising costs in ongoing trade war
By: The Telegraph - February 10, 2019
Washington farmers can expect a tougher year covering expenses even if political leaders finalize trade agreements with the countries that import apples, beef and wheat from the Evergreen State, a Washington State University professor said.
Randy Fortenbery, an agriculture economics professor, delivered the economic forecast Wednesday at the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Farm Forum. He spoke at length about the troubling overall picture of the forces grinding against what has been a robust U.S. economy.
"I think commodity prices, except for sorghum, are going to be a little bit better than last year. But we are talking dimes not dollars," Fortenbery said. "I don't think the price increase will offset the cost increases."
Read more on: The Telegraph and MyPlainview

Christopher Hurt, Purdue University
Another challenging year for pork producers
By: AgriNews - February 9, 2019
“It is looking like another challenging year for pork producers to make money in the hog business,” said Chris Hurt, agricultural economics professor at Purdue University.
Hurt said that although it is still early in 2019 it is looking like producers will see a $6 to $8 loss per hundredweight; while it is a loss, it is better than 2018 when the loss was $12 per cwt.
“It is still really close to the beginning of the year and many things could still happen, including trade negations,” Hurt said.
Read more on: AgriNews

Jayson Lusk, Purdue University
The Future of Meat (Ep. 367)
By: Freakonomics - February 13, 2019
Let’s begin with a few basic facts. Fact No. 1: a lot of people, all over the world, really like to eat meat — especially beef, pork, and chicken.
Jayson LUSK: If you add them all together, we’re actually higher than we’ve been in recent history.
LUSK: I’m a professor and head of the agricultural economics department at Purdue University. I study what we eat and why we eat it.
DUBNER: In terms of overall meat consumption per capita in the U.S., how do we rank worldwide?
LUSK: We’re the king of meat eaters. So, compared to almost any other country in the world, we eat more meat per capita.
Listen to the Podcast on: Freakonomics

Anjani Kumar, International Food Policy Research Institute
Agrarian crisis: Direct transfer more efficient, effective than input subsidies
Written by Anjani Kumar and Seema Bathla: Financial Express - February 12, 2019
The issue of agricultural subsidies in India has been a hot potato for long. The government subsidises agriculture in a number of ways. It provides direct subsidy through fixation of minimum support price for essential crops and purchase of machinery, drip and sprinkler irrigation under various centrally-sponsored schemes. The indirect subsidy is extended through provision of inputs such as irrigation, fertiliser and power at prices much below their cost of production. Short-term institutional loans are also advanced to farmers at lower rates of interest compared to the prevailing market rate. As of today, even the waiving off of institutional loans is becoming a norm. Input subsidies—though these aim to incentivise farmers to accelerate investment and output—have mostly been provided to compensate them for the loss owing to a deliberate policy to keep output prices low for consumers.
Read more on: Financial Express

Elizabeth Thilmany, University of Maryland
Paul Goeringer, University of Maryland
Research to Examine the Feasibility of Industrial Hemp
By: Lancaster Farming - February 9, 2019
With the new semester starting and the most recent Farm Bill passing in December and legalizing industrial hemp, some exciting prospects for agriculture and the students who study it are on the rise. Elizabeth Thilmany, a University of Maryland student, was already ahead of the curve, recently named a fellow of the Snider Undergraduate Research Experience Program, also known as SURE, through the Smith School of Business with a focus on innovative enterprises and a proposed research project examining perspectives and viability of growing industrial hemp in Maryland.
“I see my research as being kind of a timely piece that shows the framework of what industrial hemp could mean, and I like the idea of recording different perspectives because it impacts farmers, consumers and researchers and how they get this industry out of the 50 plus years of recess we are in,” said Thilmany.
Paul Goeringer, legal and senior faculty specialist in Agricultural and Resource Economics, is Thilmany’s faculty advisor on the project, and he agrees that this is work that needs to be done.
Read more on: Lancaster Farming

Shenggen Fan, International Food Policy Research Institute
Healthy diets to combat malnutrition and climate change
Written by Shenggen Fan: The New Times - February 10, 2019
The global food system faces major challenges and trends related to rapid urbanization, changing diets, climate change, political uncertainties, and anti-globalization sentiments.
At the same time, there has been growing recognition that, in addition to addressing multiple burdens of malnutrition, there is an increasing need to seek an environmentally sustainable food system in light of climate change.
The new EAT-Lancet report on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, which I had the pleasure of contributing to as a Commission member, provides strategies for countries and stakeholders to navigate food systems at a critical crossroads.

Daniel Sumner, University of California, Davis
Economist says still plenty of room for growth in walnut industry
By: Western Farm Press - January 16, 2019
“California is now up to a little more than 1.5 million acres of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, and though it has been a rather tough year, with trade complications like tariffs, there remains a great deal of interest in new tree nut operations,” says Dr. Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center at UC-Davis.
“For the last 10 years or so, those involved in the state’s tree nut industry would say there isn’t any more suitable land to increase nut operations, but just like a lot of cotton acres are now planted in nut orchards, the state’s dairy industry is struggling and we’re seeing some of those acres converted to tree nuts. We’re also seeing land that was considered unsuited to tree nuts now being planted with orchards.”
Read more on: Western Farm Press

Yangxuan Liu, University of Georgia
Government shutdown felt at Beltwide Cotton Conferences
By: Southeast Farm Press - January 15, 2019
Almost as common as the word “cotton” at the 2019 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans, La., was the phrase, “because of the government shutdown,” often heard when presentations by government personnel had to be cancelled and, in some cases, when the most current data could not be used to provide an update.
Read more on: Southeast Farm Press and The Comanche Chief

Yangxuan Liu, University of Georgia
Adam Rabinowitz, University of Georgia
11 changes to Title 1 of the new farm bill
By: Southeast Farm Press - December 28, 2018
University of Georgia Extension Economists Dr. Yangxuan Liu and Dr. Adam N. Rabinowitz Dec. 27 provided what they identified as 11 major changes in the Title 1 section of the new bill, which includes:
  1. The election between ARC/PLC is one of the key changes for Title I commodities in the 2018 Farm Bill. The initial election will be in 2019 for the 2019 and 2020 crop years. Beginning with the 2021 crop year, producers are allowed to change their ARC/PLC program elections annually.
  2. A new effective reference price and updated PLC program yields are created for covered commodities.
  3. The statutory PLC reference prices for Title I commodities remain the same as in the 2014 Farm Bill with seed cotton added. The effective reference price permits the reference price to increase up to 115% of the statutory reference price.
Read more on: Southeast Farm Press

Kathleen Brooks, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Timothy Meyer, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Cory Walters, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
New study reveals positive economic impacts of Nebraska’s ethanol industry
By: KTIC Radio - February 13, 2019
A recent impact study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) economists reveals Nebraska’s ethanol production capacity increased by 23 percent since 2014, and continues to be a significant driver of economic impact for the state.
The study’s authors ­– Dr. Kathleen Brooks, UNL agricultural economics professor; Dr. Tim Meyer, UNL agricultural economics professor; Dr. Eric Thompson, UNL economics professor and Bureau of Business Research director; and Dr. Cory Walters, UNL agricultural economics professor – examined the economic impact of Nebraska’s ethanol industry between 2015 and 2017.
Read more on: KTIC Radio

Michael Langemeier, Purdue University
Ag Outlook: Another year of low profits ahead
By: Journal Review - February 14, 2019
Farmers should expect another year of low profits, a Purdue University economist said Wednesday, as the trade dispute with China looms over the coming planting season.
The forecast comes as strong corn yields and government subsidies to soybean producers impacted by recent tariffs helped the bottom line last year.
“But if you take away those things in 2019, 2019 doesn’t look quite as good as 2018,” Dr. Michael Langemeier, associate director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and professor of agricultural economics, said at the Montgomery County Ag Outlook co-sponsored by Purdue Extension and Hoosier Heartland State Bank.
Read more on: Journal Review

Paul Mitchell, University of Wisconsin
Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota
Howard Marklein: Is there a new normal for the ag economy?
By: The Tomah Journal - February 8, 2019
Paul Mitchell, professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics and director of the Renk Agribusiness Institute forecasted that 2019 will be another year of tight margins and income uncertainty. However, he also discussed new options, especially for dairy farmers, in the federal farm bill, such as low-interest loans at one percent above the federal rate and Dairy Margin Coverage to help smaller dairies. Fortunately, our land prices have remained strong. Land prices increased 2.3 percent in Wisconsin in 2018. This follows a 9.5 percent land price increase in 2017. This has helped mitigate the equity erosion from losses the past few years.
As a result, the theme of the forum was “Dairy Consolidation: New Perspectives for America’s Dairyland.” Several of the speakers discussed the fact that farms are consolidating, and partnerships are forming to weather and capitalize on the new normal for agriculture. Dr. Marin Bozic from the University of Minnesota challenged us to consider why we are lamenting consolidation because it is an idea “as old as civilization itself.”
Read more on: The Tomah Journal

See other Member in the News items
Know another AAEA Member who has made statewide, national, or international news?
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*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.

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