Journal Issue:
Spring 2006 Iowa Ag Review: Volume 12, Issue 2

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Mexico’s Improving Pork Sector Creates Positives for Imports
( 2015-07-21) Clemens, Roxanne ; Batres-Marquez, Patricia ; Jensen, Helen ; Jensen, Helen ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Personal income growth and increased urbanization have Mexican consumers putting more pork into their shopping baskets. In response to this strong demand, the Mexican hog industry has consolidated into larger and more effi cient operations and adopted improved genetics and management practices. Pork production in Mexico has increased by 23 percent between 1995 and 2005. However, this increased production has not kept pace with demand, so imports have surged to supply the shortfall. In 2005, Mexico imported 201,795 metric tons of U.S. pork, 118,140 metric tons of U.S. pork variety meats, and more than 122,000 live U.S. slaughter hogs.

Cheap Food and Farm Subsidies: Policy Impacts of a Mythical Connection
( 2015-07-21) Babcock, Bruce ; Babcock, Bruce ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Until recently, U.S. corn exports destined for Canada faced a $1.65- per-bushel tax. This tax, or import tariff, was Canada’s response to claims made by Canadian corn farmers that they are the victims of subsidized and dumped U.S. corn. The Canadian International Trade Tribunal just ruled against the import tariff.

Do Ethanol/Livestock Synergies Presage Increased Iowa Cattle Numbers?
( 2015-07-21) Babcock, Bruce ; Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

I ncreased ethanol production in Iowa and other Corn Belt states has led some to believe that the Midwest will no longer need to export any of its corn to other states or other countries. Farmer-advocates of more ethanol see such a future as making them free from reliance on unpredictable export markets, free from reliance on aging Mississippi River locks and dams, and free from worrying about the impacts of trade agreements and foreign competition. But such a future would not make the Corn Belt free of the need to export distillers grains, an ethanol by-product.

Policy and Competitiveness of U.S. and Brazilian Ethanol
( 2015-07-21) Tokgoz, Simla ; Elobeid, Amani ; Elobeid, Amani ; Elobeid, Amani ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

I ncreased interest in biofuels can be attributed to environmental, economic, and geo-political factors. Harmful emissions, high crude oil prices, and the growing dependency on foreign oil supplies all provide incentives for pursuing alternative fuel sources. However, the rising importance of ethanol can also be attributed to the desire by countries to develop new markets for agricultural products. This push is currently policy driven, for example, in the United States through the U.S. energy bill. Even Brazil, an established producer and consumer of ethanol, used mandates to encourage the use of ethanol when it launched its ethanol program, the National Alcohol Programme (PROALCOOL), in the mid-1970s.

CRP Acreage on the Horizon
( 2015-07-21) Hart, Chad ; Hart, Chad ; Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary environmental program for agricultural producers aimed at protecting environmentally sensitive land, improving water quality, limiting soil erosion, and promoting wildlife habitat. The CRP has existed since 1985 and has protected at least 30 million acres nationwide each year since 1990, pulling some acreage out of crop production. Currently, roughly 35.9 million acres are enrolled in the CRP. Producers bid to participate in the CRP and bids are evaluated based on the environmental benefi ts and fi nancial costs of the CRP contracts. Acreage bid into the CRP program is under contract for a set number of years and is planted to “resource-conserving vegetative covers,” such as native grasses and trees.