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

Last updated on  June 5th, 2016

The Power of Proximity: Ethanol Refineries Drive Increased Corn Planting in Their Vicinity: Click here

Between 2005 and 2010, increasing demand for biofuels contributed to growth in U.S. corn area by more than 6 million acres and channeled a third of U.S. corn output into ethanol feedstock. An understanding of the multiple effects of this rapid growth on rural economies can help inform policies geared toward greater economic and environmental sustainability.


Five Years of Population Loss in Rural and Small-Town America May Be Ending: Click here

Nonmetro population declined by just 4,000 from July 2014 to July 2015 after 4 years of population losses averaging 33,000 yearly. The 2014-15 improvement in nonmetro population change coincides with rural economic recovery and suggests that this first-ever period of overall population decline (from 2010 to 2015) may be ending.


Linking Federal Food Intake Surveys Provides a More Accurate Look at Eating Out Trends: Click here

Analyses of food intake surveys from 1977 to 2012 reveal that the 30-year rise in the share of calories Americans consume at restaurants, fast food places, school cafeterias, and other away-from-home sources briefly reversed during the 2007-09 recession before rebounding in 2011-12.