Iowa Ag Review: Volume 7, Issue 3
The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) recently analyzed the impact of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on major agricultural markets, relative to the 2001-2010 FAPRI baseline. Consistent with the intuitive consequences of productive land scarcity in China, the FAPRI analysis suggests that China does not have a comparative advantage in feed crops and, hence, in livestock production. The FAPRI analysis finds that the Chinese oilseed crushing, grain, and livestock sectors are negatively affected by WTO accession. The reduction in domestic feed prices initially stimulates Chinese meat and dairy production and actually decreases imports for a few years.
The water quality in Iowa’s lakes has been a hot topic lately. Concerns about the water quality in many of the state’s lakes have brought increased attention to the value of the lakes as a recreational resource. One lake that has experienced recent water quality problems, as well as the accompanying publicity, is Clear Lake, located in Cerro Gordo County.
Over the last two years, Congress and farm groups have worked to find a policy formula that would be acceptable as a foundation for the next farm bill. Most ideas that have been floated— and that are finding some favor in the House of Representatives— largely continue the general thrust of current programs: some fixed payments, guaranteed minimum prices for farmers, and perhaps a new countercyclical program that would mostly duplicate the emergency market loss assistance payments available the past four years.