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Amber Waves Magazine

The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America

Last updated on  April 5th, 2015

Painting a More Complete Picture of WIC: How WIC Impacts Nonparticipants: Click here
USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) directly affects participants’ health through improved diets and greater use of health care services. WIC also indirectly impacts food choices, diet, and health of non-participants through its effects on food stores and food manufacturers.

NAFTA at 20: With Regional Trade Liberalization Complete, Focus Shifts to Other Methods of Deepening Economic Integration: Click here
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—implemented in 1994 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States—has resulted in expanded flows of intraregional agricultural trade and substantial levels of foreign direct investment in the processed food sector. A more integrated North American market in oilseeds, grains is one the more important impacts of NAFTA in the agricultural sector.

U.S. Beef Exports to the EU Grow Despite Trade Barriers: Click here
U.S. beef exports to the EU face trade barriers in the form of non-tariff measures and tariff-rate quotas. Despite these barriers, exports have increased substantially since 2006.

Potential Implications of Health Care Reform for Farm Families: Click here
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to obtain health insurance coverage. Farm households with incomes between 138 percent and 400 percent of the FPL comprise 37 percent of the 1.61 million farm families. Some in this group are eligible for premium tax credits on a sliding scale.

Net Farm and Net Cash Income Forecast Below 10-Year Moving Average for First Time Since 2009: Click here
Net farm income is forecast at $73.6 billion for 2015—a 32 percent decline from 2014—due primarily to declining crop and dairy receipts. Both net farm income and net cash income are expected to dip below their respective 10-year moving averages for the first time since 2009.

Long-Term Agricultural Productivity Growth Lowers Agricultural Commodity Prices, Short-Term Productivity Changes Contribute to Price Variability: Click here
To explain the rise of agricultural commodity prices, discussion has focused on demand-side factors, such as the growing demand for food in emerging countries and the increased use of crops in biofuel production. However, prices also are affected by supply-side factors such as unexpected increase or decline in agricultural productivity growth or oil prices.

Native Americans Living in Tribal Areas Face Longer Trips to the Grocery Store: Click here
Low population densities and high poverty rates in many Native American tribal areas often deter grocery chains from operating stores in these areas. A recent ERS study found the median distance from an individual’s home to the closest large grocery store was 0.8 miles in 2010 for all U.S. individuals and 3.3 miles for those living in tribal areas.

National Surveys Reveal Modest Improvement in the Types of Foods Available in Americans’ Homes: Click here
A series of national surveys reveal that Americans made small, but nutritionally positive, changes between 2007-08 and 2009-10 when it came to having fruit, low-fat milk, and sugar-sweetened beverages available at home in their refrigerators, freezers, or pantry shelves.

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