WPI Spotlight

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WPI has extensive experience evaluating international export programs, industry communication and consumer outreach efforts, technical and research projects, and more on behalf of U.S. agricultural cooperators, numerous producer and industry organizations, and private firms across the agri-food industry.
A developed international network coupled with several decades of market, crop/commodity and policy experience enable WPI to undertake both domestic and international market research and policy projects -- and, importantly, to provide practical recommendations for maximizing organizational interests and profit.
Volatility in global agricultural production, trade and markets compels agri-food entities to be forward-thinking with planning and investment. WPI has collaborated with public and private industry stakeholders to identify and quantify investment opportunities, develop strategic plans and gain executive-level support for new ventures and initiatives.

The Farm Crisis

Prices for corn, wheat, soybeans and other commodities have given U.S. farmers cash with which to purchase more farmland. Supported by historically low interest rates and high crop insurance payments, farmers now have easy access to the money they need to close deals. As a result, farmland values in the Midwestern United States have skyrocketed in recent years and they are expected to stay elevated in 2013.

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Eulogizing Direct Payments

Given the federal government's current fiscal condition, the newly imposed sequestration of federal spending, mounting federal debt and several years of record high commodity prices, farmers' direct payments are doomed. They are the favorite cost-cutting target of virtually every budgeter who puts pen to paper to produce a fiscal blueprint, including the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, the Senate and House Budget Committees, the Office of Management and Budget and the Senate Democratic leadership in its sequester avoidance plan. Because of the 2012 Farm Bill's one-year extension, direct payments are like a condemned prisoner waiting out his days on death row. They may be terminated this year -- or, like a prisoner getting a reprieve from the governor -- there may be one more extension. Ultimately, however, they face a lethal fate.

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For and Against

In mid-March many U.S. farmers face an important deadline. They must decide by 15 March whether or not to sign up for crop insurance for their corn, soybean and/or spring wheat crops. The mix of relatively high crop prices, memories of last year's drought and concern about this year's growing season make this a key decision for many farmers. Farmers must decide if they want to insure crop yields or crop revenues and what level of coverage they want.

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WPI Spotlight