Monday, June 29, 2020

Members in the News: Malone, Michelson, Hart, Zhang, Lusk, Cochran, Bellemare, Wang, Ortega, Gerlt, Sumner, Gomez... et al.

Trey Malone, Michigan State University
Grocery items getting more expensive and alternatives to buy instead
By: MSN & U.S. News & World Report - June 25, 2020
"I actually think we're on the downward slope of price increases," says Trey Malone, a Michigan State University assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics. Now that the supply chain has adjusted to some of the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, prices should begin to normalize.
Read more on: MSN & U.S. News & World Report

Hope Michelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A 'resilient' food system built on systemic vulnerabilities
By: Agri-Pulse - June 24, 2020
Images of COVID-related shocks to the American food system have stunned many of us: long lines of cars waiting at foodbanks; farmers dumping milk and burying onions and cabbages to compost back into the soil; empty shelves at grocery stores. The ironies are blunt: too much supply in some places, but too little on the shelves in others. 
Read more on: Agri-Pulse

Chad Hart, Iowa State University

Wendong Zhang, Iowa State University

Jayson Lusk, Purdue University

Mark Cochran, University of Arkansas
Fryar foundation gives $10 million to University of Arkansas System
By: Talk Business & Politics - June 25, 2020
“The generosity of Ed, Michelle and the Fryar family will transform the capacity of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness into national leadership in the scholarship of price risk management in the areas of research, teaching and extension,” said Mark Cochran, vice president of agriculture for the UA System.
Read more on: Talk Business & Politics

Marc Bellemare, University of Minnesota
Holly Wang, Purdue University

David Ortega, Michigan State University
White Lily Flour Has Long Held a Near-Mythological Status in the South. Now It’s Everywhere.
By: Eater - June 18, 2020
White Lily declined to comment on the expanded distribution to Eater, but David Ortega, an associate professor in the department of agriculture, food and resource economics at Michigan State University, points out that some of the recent flour distribution quirks can be tied to the significant loss of major wholesale customers like food service and bakeries, combined with high demand at the retail level. “One of the major obstacles to this switch was packaging,” he says over email — which means that any flour company that had recently stocked up on retail-size bags found itself best prepared to meet demand.
Read more on: Eater

Scott Gerlt, University of Missouri
ASA hires first on-staff economist
By: World-Grain, Baking Business, & News Dakota - June 19, 2020
The American Soybean Association hired Scott Gerlt (GER-ult), who is the first person to take on the role of staff economist with the organization. Gerlt lives in Missouri and will work out of the St. Louis office. He’s highly regarded within agricultural economic circles, thanks to his policy work with the Food and Agricultural Research Institute, where he has more than 10 years of experience.
Read more on: World-Grain, Baking Business, & News Dakota

Daniel Sumner, University of California, Davis
Miguel Gomez, Cornell University
How COVID is Affecting U.S. Food Supply Chain
By: USA News Hub, Medscape, & Vision Monday, - June 18, 2020
All those bare shelves? “They were dramatic, but not emblematic,” says Daniel Sumner, PhD, a distinguished professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis. Early on, panicked consumers raced to stockpile canned goods, rice, dried beans, and other staples, creating eerie impressions of scarcity in stores. But the food supply chain has remained surprisingly strong, according to Sumner. “It’s much more resilient and solid now than I would have thought 2 months ago.”
“The food service supply chain is completely disconnected from the supermarket supply chain,” he says. When farmers and suppliers lost business in the food service sector as clients shut down, it was difficult for them to pivot to the supermarket sector. “That’s why we saw vegetables not being harvested and milk being dumped,” Gomez says. “At the same time, we saw empty shelves in the stores. That shows that all the milk and foods that were heading to the restaurants didn’t make their way to the supermarkets and they were wasted.”
Read more on: USA News Hub, Medscape, & Vision Monday

Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nick Paulson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Carl Zulauf, The Ohio State University
Expected Harvest Prices for Soybeans in 2020
By: - June 24, 2020
We developed a statistical model that projects the 2020 harvest price for soybeans, given a national soybean yield and average of May futures prices. This projection represents the harvest price used in crop insurance.  The current U.S. yield estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is 49.8 bushels per acre. Given this yield estimate and average of actual May futures prices, the harvest price is projected to be $8.36 per bushel. An $8.36 harvest price would be 91% of the $9.17 projected price for soybeans in Midwest states. Crop insurance payments would not be triggered without yield declines even on Revenue Protection (RP) polices at an 85% coverage level. Lower yields, lower prices, or a combination of both would be needed to trigger payments. However, higher national yields would be expected to be associated with lower harvest prices, and vice versa.
Read more on:

Kimberly Morgan, Virginia Tech
New UF/IFAS Economist Comes ‘Home,’ Looks to Help Harness Resources
By: Vegetable and Specialty Crop News - June 23, 2020
“People drive my research and Extension programs,” Morgan said. “Specialty crops are my primary commodity of interest, and I want to look into how changing consumer preferences along with government regulations and policies may influence grower decisions to adopt new production practices.”
Read more on: Vegetable and Specialty Crop News

Laura Paul, University of Delaware
Kent Messer, University of Delaware
Despite Coronavirus challenges, Delawareans still want to invest in cleaner water
By: Delaware Online - June 17, 2020
Just six months ago, Gov. John Carney announced his intent to invest $50 million into a new trust fund named the Clean Water for Delaware Act. These funds were to be combined with federal monies to create a pool of $100 million to help improve water quality throughout our state. 
Read more on: Delaware Online

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