WPI Spotlight

  • August 24, 2017
    During his presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump often characterized the 23-year-old North American Free... NAFTA Renegotiation Begins
  • June 20, 2017
    Farmers in India want the Swaminathan Report recommendations implemented, including the suggestion that Minimum... Loan Waivers and MSP Issues in India

News

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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Wheat's Loss to Corn and Soybeans

The ability of scientists to introduce genetic traits from outside sources into common agricultural crops (GMO crops) has caused more controversy during the last two decades than any other factor related to agriculture. One notable exception to the GMO revolution in crop production has been wheat.

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Same fiscal cliff and farm bill problems


Insufficient Evidence of Economic Harm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today denied requests from several governors and the livestock industry to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA received more than 30,000 comments on the waiver request. WPI predicted that EPA would deny the waiver based on the structure of the Agency's request for comments, which evaluated the following:

(a)  Whether compliance with the RFS would severely harm the economy of Arkansas, North Carolina, other states, a region, or the United States;

(b)  whether the relief requested will remedy the harm;

(c)  to what extent, if any, a waiver would change demand for ethanol and affect prices of corn, other feedstocks, feed, and food;

(d)  the amount of ethanol that is likely to be consumed in the U.S. during the relevant time period, based on its value to refiners for octane and other characteristics and other market conditions in the absence of the RFS volume requirements; and

(e)  if a waiver were appropriate, the amount of required renewable fuel volume appropriate to waive, the date on which any waiver should commence and end, and to which compliance years it would apply.

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Gary Blumenthal Offers Investors' Perspectives

With the world's population fast approaching the 9-billion mark and a shortage of arable land, it's no secret that food security concerns are a priority for wealthy, food-importing countries. These countries, along with private investors, are competing to buy or lease farmland overseas.

WPI President and CEO Gary Blumenthal is one of 12 experts featured in The Global Farms Race, a collection of essays about land grabs, agricultural investment and the scramble for food security. The book provides historical context to these land deals as well as in-depth analysis of their social and environmental impacts, and the roles of investors and governments in improving future outcomes of agricultural land investments and acquisitions.

The Christian Science Monitor has designated The Global Farms Race as one of 23 new foreign policy books that should have been read by the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates. Mr. Blumenthal will be speaking at the book launch event on 4 December 2012 at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

Post-Election Predictions

It was a status quo election from the standpoint of political control in Washington, but that does not mean that things stand still or can now move forward. There are many nuances to how policy will play out, or not, in the year ahead before the 2014 midterm elections.

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WPI Spotlight

  • August 24, 2017
    During his presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump often characterized the 23-year-old North American Free... NAFTA Renegotiation Begins
  • June 20, 2017
    Farmers in India want the Swaminathan Report recommendations implemented, including the suggestion that Minimum... Loan Waivers and MSP Issues in India