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

Last updated on  May 23rd, 2016

Investigating Retail Price Premiums for Organic Foods: Click here

Price premiums for organic foods relative to their nonorganic counterparts reflect costs to produce and bring organic foods to consumers as well as consumers' willingness to pay more for organic products. In a study of 17 commonly purchased organic foods, researchers found price premiums in 2010 ranged from 7 percent for fresh spinach to 82 percent for milk.


Understanding Trends in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-14: Click here

The share of rural children living below the official poverty line rose from 20.1 percent in 2003 to 26.7 percent in 2012, before declining to 23.7 percent in 2014. The cause of the net increase from 2003 to 2014 was not primarily a reduction in average family incomes in rural areas; rather, it was an increase in income inequality between low-income and middle-income rural families.


Recent Evidence on the Effects of Food Store Access on Food Choice and Diet Quality: Click here

Recent studies show that the effect of food store access on dietary quality may be limited. Most consumers—both low-income and higher income—consider store characteristics other than proximity in deciding where to shop, as they seek the products, prices, and other features they value.


Major Factors Affecting Global Soybean and Products Trade Projections: Click here

Global soybean and products trade is projected to rise rapidly over the next 10 years according to USDA Agricultural Projections to 2025. The primary factors driving this increase include population and income growth, which are behind the rising world demand for livestock products, as well as policies implemented by major agricultural importers and exporters.


Retail Food Price Inflation Varies Geographically: Click here

U.S. metropolitan areas experience different rates of inflation for food on grocery store shelves due to differences in consumer tastes and preferences, variation in changes in transportation and retailing costs, and shifting income levels of the residents in the metropolitan areas. For example, retail food prices rose 34.4 percent in Pittsburgh over the last decade but only 17.4 percent in Detroit.


Cost Savings From Precision Agriculture Technologies on U.S. Corn Farms: Click here

Information-based technologies are growing in popularity with farmers because their use can lead to closer monitoring of farm production management decisions and possible cost savings. According to USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, four technologies are the most commonly used: yield mapping, soil mapping, auto-guidance machinery steering, and variable-rate technologies.