Journal Issue:
Spring 2005 Iowa Ag Review: Volume 11, Issue 2

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Preparing for Soybean Rust
( 2015-07-23) Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

On November 10, 2004, the first confirmed case of soybean rust was found in the continental United States, in Louisiana. (Hawaii has had soybean rust since 1994.) In the weeks that followed, soybean rust was also confirmed in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The most likely scenario as to how soybean rust arrived in the continental United States is via Hurricane Ivan. Ivan formed in the Atlantic in early September, brushed the South American coast, and proceeded to strike the southeastern United States, carrying rust spores from Colombia and Venezuela. This scenario highlights the ability of soybean rust spores to travel over large distances to create new areas of infestation. Given this initial bout with soybean rust, U.S. soybean producers, researchers, and federal and state governments have sought to learn about soybean rust as quickly as possible. Much of our knowledge about soybean rust comes from Brazil, where rust has been a persistent issue for a few years. We’ll look at Brazil’s response to soybean rust and the possible trade effects following an assessment of our efforts so far in the United States to mitigate this new challenge to soybean production.

The WTO Picture after the Cotton Ruling
( 2015-07-23) Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

In early March, the World Trade Organization (WTO) released its report on the U.S. appeal in the cotton dispute with Brazil. The appellate ruling upheld much of the original ruling, including the finding that production flexibility contract (PFC) payments and direct payments are not Green Box measures. This means that these payments are to be counted against the agricultural support limit the United States agreed to under the current WTO Agreement on Agriculture. The rulings also state that the payments from the Step 2 program, marketing loan program, crop insurance, production flexibility contracts, market loss assistance, and other listed programs grant support specific to cotton and that they caused significant price suppression in the world cotton market.

Judging the Performance of the 2002 Farm Bill
( 2015-07-23) Babcock, Bruce ; Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The 2002 farm bill has been criticized from day one. Freetrade advocates criticized the significant increase in domestic subsidies for U.S. farmers at a time when the rest of the world was seemingly moving toward more liberalized production and trade. Small-farm advocates criticized the ability of large farms to bypass payment limitations through the use of commodity certificates. Conservation advocates thought they had accomplished a major feat with the Conservation Security Program, but implementation rules and subsequent funding cuts have shown that the program will have little short-term impact. And rural development advocates criticized the bill for its continued focus on supporting commodities rather than rural income enhancement.

Water Cleanup: What’s the Economic Impact for Iowa Communities?
( 2015-07-23) Otto, Daniel ; Kling, Catherine ; Herriges, Joseph ; Egan, Kevin ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Many of Iowa’s public lakes have been adversely affected by sediment, nutrients, or other nonpoint pollution. Iowa is grappling with the pressures of balancing federal water quality requirements, tight conservation budgets, concern for environmental preservation and restoration, and economic viability of rural areas. Efforts to improve water quality in many lakes are likely to entail significant economic costs. These costs can be public, such as when state resources are used to fund cleanup efforts, or private, such as altering land uses or farming practices, expanding municipal treatment facilities, or other investments. Before scarce funds are invested in cleaner water, it is imperative to know how much Iowans value cleaner water.

Geographical Indications, the WTO, and Iowa-80 Beef
( 2015-07-23) Clemens, Roxanne ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

In August 2003, the United States and Australia asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to convene a panel to resolve an ongoing dispute concerning geographical indications (GIs). In simple terms, the United States and Australia charged that E.U. rules governing the registration of GIs discriminate against third-country GI products (national treatment) and fail to protect U.S. trademarks. Given the range of sub-issues covered in the dispute, it is perhaps not surprising that the WTO panel’s March 2005 ruling left both sides claiming victory.