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

Last updated on  August 3rd, 2014

Productivity Impacts on Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: Click here
A projected 22 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) population is food insecure in 2014, largely attributable to the continuing poor performance of SSA's agricultural sector, which has some of the lowest levels of land and labor productivity in the world. Broader adoption of modern crop varieties could help improve food security in the region.

Financial Risks and Incomes in Contract Broiler Production: Click here
Contract broiler growers earn average household incomes that substantially exceed those of all farm and all U.S. households. Contract growers’ incomes cover a wider range than the incomes of all farm and all U.S. households. The range of income reflects, in part, the risks of contract production; while contracts are designed to remove or reduce certain financial risks, they introduce other risks

Natural Gas Extraction and Local Economies—No Evidence of a “Natural Resource Curse”: Click here
In the 2000s, natural gas production from shale formations increased tenfold in the United States, and growth in production has continued through 2013. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing cite environmental concerns such as groundwater contamination and air pollution. Proponents often highlight the benefit of natural gas extraction to local and state economies.

Imports of Many Fruits and Vegetables Dominated By Few Source Countries: Click here
National sources of U.S. fruit and vegetable imports tend to be relatively concentrated among a few countries. ERS research suggests that this is due mainly to market forces, rather than differing phytosanitary regulations.

Food Assistance Program Connects Low-Income Seniors with Fresh Farm Produce: Click here
USDA’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides low-income seniors with coupons to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and other local foods at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. Counties in the Northeast, Southwest, and West Coast have a relatively high percent of farmers’ markets that report accepting these coupons.

Participating in SNAP Is Associated With Less Time Spent Eating: Click here
A recent study found that households participating in USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spent less time eating than similar non-SNAP households. Married couple households receiving SNAP spent fewer minutes preparing food than similar non-SNAP married households, while SNAP households headed by a single adult spent more time preparing food than similar non-SNAP single-adult households.

U.S. Organic Trade Includes Fresh Produce Exports and Tropical Imports: Click here
The United States has developed an active organic trade sector in recent years, with organic trade partners around the world. In 2013, the United States exported organic products consisting mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables to over 80 countries, and imported organic products including coffee, bananas, and olive oil, from nearly 100 countries. Canada and Mexico were the top trade partners.

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