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Amber Waves Magazine

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

Last updated on  February 1st, 2016

Consumers Behaved Rationally, If Belatedly, After Food Safety Recalls in 2011 and 2012: Click here

In response to two cantaloupe recalls, U.S. consumers reduced their purchases of cantaloupes when they thought the risk of eating cantaloupes might be fatal, but not when the threat was a less serious illness. This differentiated behavior indicates that—at least in these two food safety breaches—consumers treated bigger risks as bigger problems.

Retail Egg Price Volatility in 2015 Reflects Farm Conditions: Click here

Egg prices are among the most volatile in the grocery store. While seasonal demand for shell eggs accounts for modest price fluctuations throughout the year, above-average price increases in 2015, and over the past 16 years, were mainly due to poultry disease outbreaks or surges in feed prices.

USDA’s After-School Snack Program More Common in Elementary Schools in Poor Urban Areas: Click here

A recent ERS analysis found that schools with a higher share of students receiving free or reduced-price school lunches are more likely than other schools to offer USDA’s After-School Snack Program, along with schools in urban, high-poverty districts. Elementary schools are more likely to offer the program than high schools.

Japanese Beef Imports by Exporting Source and the Impacts of Tariff Reforms: Click here

ERS analyzed potential losses for U.S. beef exports to Japan resulting from JAEPA and potential benefits from tariff reform under TPP. Findings reveal strong competition among beef exporting countries, the intensity of which varies markedly across beef products.

Rice Imports Help Alleviate Haiti’s Food Needs: Click here

Haiti is a major market for U.S. rice, accounting for about 10 percent of U.S. rice exports. Rice imports—which were negligible prior to 1986 due to quantitative limits on imports—have improved Haiti’s food situation, increasing per capita calorie availability by about 11 percent between 1985 and 2011.

No-Till or Strip-Till Use Varies by Region: Click here

No-till and strip-till are two of many tillage methods farmers use to plant crops. During 2010-11, roughly 56 percent of all U.S. land used for corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat was located on farms that used no-till/strip-till on at least some portion of this cropland.

Understanding America’s Diverse Family Farms: Click here

Farms in the United States are diverse, ranging from very small retirement/residential farms producing little to enterprises with annual sales in the millions of dollars. Broad descriptions of farms based on U.S. averages can mask variation among different sizes/types of farms. ERS developed a farm classification that categorizes farms into more homogenous groups.

Agriculture Risk Coverage Program Proves More Popular Than the Supplemental Coverage Option: Click here

The 2014 Farm Act provides eligible farmers new commodity support programs, including Agricultural Risk Coverage, Supplemental Coverage Option, and Price Loss Coverage. Findings reveal how various combinations of the programs affect producer revenues, producer well-being, and expected program costs.