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

Last updated on  November 25th, 2015

Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Adaptation: Click here
Irrigation is widely viewed as an important adaptation to shifting production conditions under climate change. This analysis projects, however, that irrigated fieldcrop acreage will decline as a result of climate change over the 2020 to 2080 study period. Factors driving the shifting relative profitability of irrigation under climate change vary by region.

Restrictions on Antibiotic Use for Production Purposes in U.S. Livestock Industries Likely To Have Small Effects on Prices and Quantities: Click here
Antibiotics are used widely in livestock production for control, prevention, and treatment of disease, and for “production purposes” such as growth promotion. The most recent estimates suggest that approximately 40 percent of finishing hogs in 2009 and up to about half of broilers in 2011 received antibiotics for production purposes.

Despite Profit Potential, Organic Field Crop Acreage Remains Low: Click here
USDA survey data show that organic systems had lower yields and higher total economic costs than conventional systems. Organic corn and soybeans have been profitable, primarily due to the significant price premiums paid for certified organic crops that more than offset the additional economic costs. Organic wheat has been less profitable.

Household-Level Data Might Not Accurately Characterize Food Insecurity: Evidence From Bangladesh: Click here
Estimates of Food Insecurity in Bangladesh are constructed at the household and individual level, and the results of the two types of assessments are compared.

Stacking of Herbicide-Tolerant and Insect-Resistance Traits in Seeds Has Increased: Click here
In the 20 years since their commercial introduction, genetically engineered (GE) seeds have become increasingly common in U.S. agriculture. Adoption of "stacked" trait corn and cotton (those with both herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant traits) has also increased.

Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) Survey 2014: A New USDA, Economic Research Service/National Agricultural Statistics Service Data Product: Click here
Of the 911 million acres of land in farms in the contiguous 48 states, 61 percent (557 million acres) is operated by the land owner, according to the 2014 Tenure Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey. Eight percent (70 million acres) is rented from other farm operators and 31 percent, or 283 million acres, is rented from “non-operating landlords."

Long-Term Response to Water Scarcity in California: Click here
California's current 4-year drought is, by almost any measure, the most severe since detailed recordkeeping began in the late 1800s. Given such severe shortages in surface-water availability, agricultural production in California is currently focused on the shortrun challenge of finding the right mix of planted acreage reductions, deficit irrigation, and increases in groundwater withdrawals.

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