Journal Issue:
Agricultural Policy Review: Volume 2021, Issue 3

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Fall 2021
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Brazil’s Transportation Infrastructure and Competitiveness in the Soybean Market
( 2021) He, Xi ; DePaula, Guilherme ; Zhang, Wendong ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
In 2013, Brazil surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest soybean exporter. As figure 1 shows, Brazil’s soybean production and exports have accelerated since its trade liberalization in the mid-1990s, and it has gained extra competitiveness over the United States in the export market during the US-China trade war, when China imposed several waves of retaliatory tariffs on US soybeans.
What is the Tradeoff between COVID-19 and Economic Recovery?
( 2021) Orazem, Peter ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
Since July 2019, Iowa has lost 3.4% of its labor force and 3.3% of its employment. Nationally, employment is 3.7% below the July 2019 level, and so Iowa is doing slightly better on employment loss. However, the national labor force has fallen only 1.4% and in that way Iowa has performed much worse than the nation on labor force participation. That said, there has been a surge in Iowa’s labor force participation from June 2021 to July 2021 as the two-year decrease in labor force participation was -4.7% in June; and thus, there was a substantial improvement in Iowa’s labor force participation over the past month.
The SNAP Disbursement Schedule and its Effects
( 2021) Harris-Laqoudakis, Katherine ; Wich, Hannah ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program (FSP), is the largest food assistance program administered by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2017, SNAP provided aid to 12.9% of the United States population—the average household received $254 in benefits per month (USDA). The stated objectives of the SNAP program are to reduce hunger, malnutrition, and poverty through the provision of in-kind transfers to households who are eligible for benefits. Nevertheless, in a sample of SNAP households, approximately 61% indicated being food insecure in 2011 and 2012 (Mabli et al. 2013). Although SNAP is a federal program, each state is responsible for distributing benefits to its residents. Distribution dates for each household are determined at the state level and all 50 states currently deliver benefits according to a monthly distribution cycle.
Futures Market for Ag Carbon Offsets under Mandatory and Voluntary Emission Targets
( 2021) Wongpiyabovorn, Oranuch ; Plastina, Alejandro ; Lence, Sergio ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
Increasing concerns about climate change have prompted actions, both by governments and the private sector, aimed at curbing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). An important number of such initiatives involve the trading of GHG allowances and offsets. An allowance permits its holder to emit a specified amount of GHGs, whereas an offset is a certified reduction in GHG emissions that can be used to compensate for GHG emissions elsewhere. Recently, carbon offsets have attracted the attention of decisionmakers in agriculture for their alleged potential to enhance farmers’ profits, as some agricultural activities can generate offsets by capturing GHGs (e.g., methane capture from manure management, soil carbon sequestration, and fertilizer use reduction). The purpose of this article is to provide some background information on these markets and discuss the potential of the futures market for GHG offsets recently launched by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group to act as a catalyzer of the market for agricultural offsets.
Projections going into Harvest
( 2021) Schulz, Lee ; Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
The changing of seasons from summer to autumn usually shifts the focus of agricultural market traders. For crops, the focus shifts from supplies to usage. For livestock, the focus shifts from the current year to the upcoming year. USDA’s monthly projections of the global agricultural supply and demand situation help frame those shifts and outline the anticipated movements within the markets. The September report provided a mix of signals across the crop and livestock markets. In general, the expansion of meat production is slowing down. While meat demand remains strong, animal numbers, especially in beef, have pulled back due to a variety of reasons. Livestock prices are projected to fall in 2022, given the slightly higher production, with the exception of beef (see table 1). Crop production is also projected higher this fall, despite the drought. Crop usage, which was strong throughout most of the 2020 marketing year, fell off during the summer. The crop usage outlook for the 2021 crops was increased slightly, but still is below the previous year’s levels.