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

Last updated on  July 6th, 2014

2014 Farm Act Shifts Crop Commodity Programs Away From Fixed Payments and Expands Program Choices: Click here
The 2014 Farm Act repealed a number of programs, chief among them the fixed annual Direct Payments, and introduced new programs tied to current prices and/or revenues. The new programs increase the potential variability of annual farm program payments and involve complex tradeoffs requiring producers to consider the type and level of coverage that will best protect their operations.

2014 Farm Act Maintains SNAP Eligibility Guidelines and Funds New Initiatives: Click here
The Agricultural Act of 2014 maintains SNAP’s basic eligibility guidelines and includes provisions designed to encourage SNAP recipients to choose healthy foods and to build the skills needed to increase their employment options. Other provisions aim to improve the food environment at schools and in low-income communities.

Support for the Organic Sector Expands in the 2014 Farm Act: Click here
Organic program provisions in the 2014 Farm Act cover a broad set of objectives—assisting with organic certification costs, expanding organic research and data collection, improving technical assistance and crop insurance, strengthening enforcement of organic regulations, and expanding market opportunities for producers.

Managing the Costs of Reducing Agriculture’s Footprint on the Chesapeake Bay: Click here
Runoff from agricultural activity and other nonpoint sources contributes to adverse environmental conditions in the Chesapeake Bay, interfering with fish and shellfish production and compromising recreational opportunities. In order to meet Environmental Protection Agency goals for the Chesapeake Bay, loadings of nutrients and sediments from agricultural activity must be reduced.

Antibiotics Used For Growth Promotion Have a Small Positive Effect on Hog Farm Productivity: Click here
Antibiotics are frequently used to treat and prevent diseases in livestock. In addition to these medical uses, a substantial share of hog producers incorporate antimicrobial drugs into their livestock’s feed or water to promote feed efficiency and weight gain. For many years, governmental and professional organizations have expressed concerns about the overuse of antimicrobial drugs in livestock.

South Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement Benefits U.S. Dairy Trade: Click here
Dairy production and consumption have expanded rapidly in South Korea. The South Korea-United States (KORUS) free trade agreement (FTA) is expected to promote trade through the reduction or elimination of tariffs. U.S. dairy exports have become more competitive recently, and the FTA is expected to add to the competitiveness of U.S. dairy products.

Differences in Per-Person Food Costs for SNAP and WIC Have Widened Over Time: Click here
When the WIC program was initiated in 1974, the average monthly WIC food cost per person was similar to the average monthly SNAP benefit per person. In fiscal 2013, monthly SNAP benefits averaged $133 per person and per person food costs for WIC were $43 per month.

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