Monday, May 13, 2019

Members in the News: Boehm, Offutt, Robinson, Michler, Malone, Ellison, Devadoss, Langemeier, Alwang, Norton, Larochelle, and Mintert

Rebecca Boehm, Union of Concerned Scientists
Susan Offutt, DCL Consulting
After outcry, USDA will no longer require scientists to label research ‘preliminary’
By: The Washington Post - May 10, 2019
Rebecca Boehm, an economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a D.C.-based organization that advocates for scientists, said that “removing ‘preliminary’ from the disclaimer is a step in the right direction, but there still may be unnecessary obstacles preventing agency researchers from publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals.”
But Susan Offutt, who was the administrator of the Economic Research Service under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said the guide twists internal review “into a process by which policy officials get the final say on content.” Because researchers at the Economic Research Service publish statistics to aid policymakers, “just about any output” from that agency could be flagged, she said.
USDA’s “interests apparently concern consistency with prevailing policy,” Offutt said, “not the public’s access to the best, unbiased science and analysis.”
Read more on: The Washington Post

John Robinson, Texas A&M University
U.S. Cotton Production Expected to Reach Highest in 14 Years
By: Bloomberg - May 7, 2019
In March, the USDA forecast that cotton acres would dip to 13.8 million for the 2019-2020 season from 14.1 million a year earlier. Still, anecdotal evidence in states including Texas and Oklahoma suggests the fiber will be sown on 14 million acres nationally, according to John Robinson, a professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University.
Relatively low prices for competing crops and rainy weather causing planting delays for corn may make the fiber an attractive alternative, said Robinson, who estimates U.S. cotton production will reach 23 million bales.
Read more on: Bloomberg

Jeffrey Michler, University of Arizona
No one-size-fits-all solution for sustainable agriculture
By: - May 7, 2019
Because of its success in the U.S. and other countries, conservation agriculture, or CA, has been widely promoted as a way for in sub-Saharan Africa to increase yields while also making those yields more resilient to changing . However, research by UA agricultural and resource economics assistant professor Jeffrey Michler in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that benefits of CA are not consistent around the world.
"The farming technique – which consists of low or no tillage of fields, leaving crop cover in place after harvest, and rotating grains and legumes – has been extremely successful in the U.S., Canada and other industrialized nations. In fact, the vast majority of crop acreage in these countries is now farmed using conservation agriculture," Michler said. "It also has a number of climate-smart properties, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced fertilizer use and improved resilience of yields to rainfall shocks stemming from climate change."
Read more on:

Trey Malone, Michigan State University
What's on tap? Michigan's economy
By: - May 7, 2019
The industry is a substantial driver in Michigan, too, generating nearly $500 million in in 2016, contributing nearly $1 billion and 9,738 jobs in total aggregate economic contributions. The impact could change the lens in which craft beer is viewed, said Trey Malone, MSU agricultural economist and the study's lead author.
"Our results show that state governments might generate by creating a business climate that's conducive to the growth of the craft beer value chain," he said. "It's definitely an industry worth fostering."
Read more on:

Brenna Ellison, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Discrepancies in Estimates on Food Insecurity
By: Inside Higher ED - April 30, 2019
A group of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says more research is needed to accurately estimate the number of college students facing food insecurity and hunger, as awareness of the problem grows and lawmakers and colleges grapple with it.
The researchers analyzed multiple studies on food insecurity and found discrepancies in the way hunger is measured. Those discrepancies cast doubt on estimates of the share of college students who are reportedly hungry or food insecure, according to a paper the researchers, Cassandra J. Nikolaus, Breanna Ellison and Sharon Nickols-Richardson, published in PLOS ONE last week.
Read more on: Inside Higher ED

Stephen Devadoss, Texas Tech University
More dependence on H-2A expected
By: Brownfield Ag News - May 1, 2019
An ag economist says immigration policy and aging migrant workers has led to a significant increase in the H-2A guest worker program over the past decade.
“Now it’s close to 250,000 workers are brought into this program.”       
Stephen Devadoss with Texas Tech University tells Brownfield labor-intensive crops like tree fruits as well as dairy are the largest users of the program and need a streamlined application process to meet time-sensitive needs. “On one hand, there’s an immigration problem—the government wants to crack down on these workers coming into the U.S.  But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, farmers have this continued labor shortfall.”
Read more on: Brownfield Ag News

Michael Langemeier, Purdue University
America's farmworkers are aging, not being replaced
By: UPI - May 8, 2019
"This is a pretty big concern," said Michael Langemeier, an agricultural economics professor at Purdue University. "If that group is aging, farmers are going to have more problems finding workers. Their bottom lines will be under pressure."
Read more on: UPI

Jeffrey Alwang, Virginia Tech
George Norton, Virginia Tech
Catherine Larochelle, Virginia Tech
Why IPM Adoption is Lower in Developing Countries
By: Entomology Today - May 7, 2019
While most farmers in developed countries have made the change to IPM, those in developing countries have been slower to get on the IPM bandwagon, according to Jeffrey Alwang, Ph.D., a Virginia Tech professor of agricultural and applied economics who has spent decades studying agricultural practices in such places as Ecuador, Guatemala, Uganda, and Bangladesh. In a new report published in April in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, Alwang and his Virginia Tech co-authors George Norton, Ph.D., and Catherine Larochelle, Ph.D., explore the reasons these growers haven’t adopted IPM and the strategies that might encourage them to try it.
Read more on: Entomology Today

James Mintert, Purdue University
The Opening Bell 5/9/19: The Ag Economy Is Feeling Stuck in The Mud
By: WGN Radio - May 9, 2019
It seems like this time last year, all people were talking about were rising mortgage rates, but it now seems like a thing of the past. Steve Grzanich and Ed Currie (Certified Mortgage Planner & Construction Loan Specialist at Associated Bank) caught up on the mortgage industry during this week’s Associated Bank Thought Leader Conversation and reminded listeners about the recent changes. (At 22:25) Jim Mintert (Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University) then shared the data from the April Agriculture Barometer and it looks bleak at the moment.
Listen on: WGN Radio

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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