WPI Spotlight

  • January 4, 2017
    Agribusiness can refer to virtually every commercial activity from crop and livestock production to... Trends and Agribusiness
  • November 3, 2016
    The All India Poultry Exporters Association wants the government to either ban the importation... India's Biotech Decision

News

Brazil's Palm Oil Expansion is set to begin

We have long predicted that Brazil would one day decide to get into palm oil production in a big way. It has a huge amount of land along the Amazon River that is located near the equator and ideally suited for oil palm production. With rising global demand for palm oil for food and biodiesel it made sense for investors to expand palm oil production in Brazil.

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New Pollution Technology Includes Higher Costs

High commodity prices mean farmers have the capital to invest in new equipment. John Deere stock is up 70 percent from its 2010 low and AgCo stock has nearly doubled. But Energy and Environment Daily is reporting that some farmers are being steered toward the used equipment market by EPA's Tier 4 air pollution standard. The agency forced all new, off-road diesel engines to produce fewer nitrous oxides. This is added cost to the tractors; just as consumers balked at low flush toilets and now energy efficient light bulbs, apparently some farmers have decided not to add the risk of the new air pollution technology to their portfolio.

A Debate with Several Potential Outcomes

With a farm bill more than a year away, there is a looming Congressional debate that may pre-empt portions of the farm bill. That debate is the Congressional action needed to raise the debt ceiling; it will come in March 2011.

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Imprecision in defining the problem leads to crude solutions

The intellectual disconnect between policymakers and the fundamentals of global agricultural commodities gets scarier and scarier. This week's example is an op-ed in Thursday's Financial Times by World Bank President Bob Zoellick. The piece had to have been written by some cloistered public affairs staffer at the Bank because Bob Zoellick is too smart to have written such dribble.

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Progress Made toward allowing Mexican Trucks on US Roads.

Fifty-four U.S. agricultural products worth $1.7 billion probably have good news with the announcement that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has finally produced an "initial concept document" for resolving the Mexican trucking issue. DoT emphasizes that it is just a concept without specifics and thus is subject to many revisions, but there are plenty of specifics.

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Increasing Environment-Related Issues May Force Congress to Act

Agriculture groups have reportedly written the White House complaining about USDA's plan to limit Roundup Ready alfalfa area in order to protect non-GM alfalfa. They cite the conclusion in the government's own Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that the biotech alfalfa poses no adverse impact. They conclude that the EIS is the science and veering away from the science threatens to undercut the technology and the historical position of the U.S. in international fora.

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WPI Spotlight

  • January 4, 2017
    Agribusiness can refer to virtually every commercial activity from crop and livestock production to... Trends and Agribusiness
  • November 3, 2016
    The All India Poultry Exporters Association wants the government to either ban the importation... India's Biotech Decision