Iowa Ag Review: Volume 12, Issue 1
The 2004 and 2005 crop years have set the high-water marks for national net farm income. In 2004, U.S. net farm income rose to $82.5 billion. And were it not for 2004, 2005 would have set a record for national net farm income at $71.5 billion. Even if we remove government support from the net farm income calculation, the 2004 and 2005 farm income levels are the highest ever recorded. In fact, since 2002, the U.S. agricultural economy has been on a tear, with net farm income, cash receipts, and values of production all being much stronger than we have seen historically. However, at the same time, government support to agriculture has also increased to near record levels. As Figure 1 shows, if USDA projections for 2005 hold, government support for agriculture will be $22.7 billion in 2005, which would be slightly below the record of $22.9 billion set in 2000. While the value of agricultural production has risen signifi - cantly over the last several years, the value of government farm payments has maintained a high level.
The Risk Management Agency has greatly expanded availability of Group Risk Income Protection (GRIP) for 2006. Covered crops now include corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, wheat, and cotton in most major production regions. Now that GRIP is widely available, many farmers and their crop insurance agents are considering whether GRIP could be the right crop insurance choice for 2006. As we will show, the answer varies by farm and production region.
According to recent estimates, society bears nearly $6.9 billion per year in costs related to human illness caused by foodborne pathogens. The numbers of deaths and illnesses, and the high costs of these illnesses, suggest that public and private efforts are needed to improve our response to the problem. However, because the occurrence of foodborne illness is influenced by the complex interaction of many natural phenomena and human behaviors, it is not solely a scientific, regulatory, or human behavior problem. The perspectives of diverse disciplines taken together can better view the problem across the spectrum of the food system and find cost-effective solutions.
I n addition to our preliminary baseline for the 2006 U.S. and World Agricultural Outlook, this year economists with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) also undertook an analysis of the proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) submitted by the Offi ce of the U.S. Trade Representative in October. The proposal was an effort to jumpstart negotiations leading up to WTO’s sixth ministerial conference in December. The Hong Kong conference brought 149 member countries together to further negotiations on agricultural trade reform and other topics