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This research uses data from the 2004 Agricultural Resource Management Survey and probit regression to examine the determinants of poverty among U.S. farm households. The findings reveal, among others, the importance of a livelihood strategy that combines participation in government programs and off-farm work in lowering poverty rates. Findings also show the importance of educational attainment of the farm operator in mitigating poverty, but only when poverty is measured on a relative rather than an absolute basis. Policy recommendations are provided in the context of these findings.
This article considers interaction among participation in the Food Stamp Program (FSP), food security status, and the composition of food expenditures. A quadratic almost ideal demand system with a bootstrapping two-step method of estimation is applied to data from the Current Population Survey–Food Security Supplement data and used to estimate the model and account for endogeneity between the FSP participation and food insecurity. The results show that FSP participation is endogenously related with food security status and significantly affects total food expenditure and food-away-from-home expenditures.
Introductions of nonindigenous organisms into the United States have been linked to international trade. The individual contributions of imports, immigration, and international travel, however, are poorly understood because introduction dates are unavailable. We examine relationships between economic trends and discoveries of nonindegenous insects and use these relationships to infer the timing and determinants of introductions. We find that a few variables can explain much variation in species introductions and identifications. The most significant contributor to the introduction appears to be agricultural imports. Currently available proxies for academic effort are weak determinants of the probability that introduced species are identified.
As farm income from tobacco production has declined in recent years, there has been increasing interest in identifying alternative sources of income for tobacco farmers in the southern United States The recent termination of the tobacco quota program has accelerated the exit of tobacco farmers and has heightened concern regarding the availability of substitutes for tobacco production. In this study, we examine factors influencing tobacco farmers' attempts to identify profitable alternatives to tobacco, their off-farm employment behavior, and changes in acres of tobacco cultivated using survey data collected from a panel of North Carolina tobacco farmers combined with market data.
We reassess the effect of new information in the Hogs and Pigs Reports (HPR) focusing on announcements' rationality and alternative surprises. HPR announcements are irrational estimates of final estimates, and market expectations are irrational estimates of HPR numbers. Using the market's best forecast and incorporating final estimates, we modify conventional information measures. Despite differences as large as 33 cents/cwt in price response, findings suggest there is little to differentiate among surprise measures. Regardless, the message that HPR provides new information to the market is strongly supported. On balance, marketing (breeding) information has a larger effect on short-term (long-term) price changes.
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of situation and outlook information from World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) in corn and soybean futures markets over the period 1985 to 2006. Results indicate that WASDE reports containing National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) crop production estimates and other domestic and international situation and outlook information have the largest impact; causing return variance on report sessions to be 7.38 times greater than normal return variance in corn futures and 6.87 times greater than normal return variance in soybean futures. WASDE reports limited to international situation information and domestic and international outlook information have a smaller impact. The results show that the impact of WASDE reports has increased over time.
This paper describes the programming required for online homework, evaluates its use, and presents methods for student identification and for processing student input. Online homework applications were evaluated in a real class setting. Generally, online homework is cost effective for large classes that have numerous assignments and repeated usage. Online homework appears to increase learning through increased student study-time allocations. Students felt that online homework made course website interaction more productive. They also indicated that online homework increased their perception of the value of lectures and that its use in other courses would be welcome. All findings were highly statistically significant.
The location of ethanol plants is determined by infrastructure, product and input markets, fiscal attributes of local communities, and state and federal incentives. This empirical analysis uses probit regression along with spatial clustering methods to analyze investment activity of ethanol plants at the county level for the lower U.S. 48 states from 2000 to 2007. The availability of feedstock dominates the site selection decision. Other factors, such as access to navigable rivers or railroads, product markets, producer credit and excise tax exemptions, and methyl tertiary-butyl ether bans provided some counties with a comparative advantage in attracting ethanol plants.
The U.S. hog industry has experienced dramatic structural changes and rapid increases in farm productivity. A stochastic frontier analysis is used to measure hog enterprise total factor productivity (TFP) growth between 1992 and 2004 and to decompose this growth into technical change and changes in technical efficiency, scale efficiency, and allocative efficiency. Productivity gains over the 12-year period are found to be explained almost entirely by technical progress and by improvements in scale efficiency. Differences in TFP growth rates in the Southeast and Heartland regions were found to be explained primarily by differences in farm size growth rates.
Many seasonal workers are housed in transitory accommodations, including tents and vehicles. In this study, we analyze the supply side of this problem by assuming that a public agent must house the workers through direct public investment. A peak load model is adapted to develop investment rules for the least-cost provision of seasonal worker housing, adding an interacting multi-season component to existing models. Based on this model and the data from three prototype projects, the majority of the least-cost investment would be in permanent, but seasonally occupied, housing.
The recent lumber trade war between Canada and the United States deals with Canadian stumpage policies, Canada's log export controls, and U.S. retaliatory duty. This study determines the appropriate level of U.S. countervailing duty (CVD) by employing a vertically interrelated log–lumber model. The theoretical results show that the U.S. CVD can be greater (will be less) than the Canadian subsidy for a vertically related log–lumber market (for lumber market only). Empirical results support the theoretical findings in that the U.S. CVD for the log–lumber market (lumber market alone) is 1.55 (0.91) times the Canadian subsidy.
Historically, managers in livestock production have focused on production management; however, as operations have grown they have spent more time managing employees. Increased time spent overseeing employees brings additional risks and challenges, and, hence, a greater need for human resource management (HRM) skills. This study investigated HRM practices in pork production and analyzed their risk attributes through six focus group discussions with managers. Results were compared to existing data from four dairy focus groups and to other research. The results have been used to develop and adapt educational workshops for managers in pork production.
A logistic regression procedure was used to assess the impact of socioeconomic attributes on the best management practices (BMPs) adoption decision by Louisiana dairy farmers relative to cost-share and fixed incentive payments. Analysis of the steps in the BMP adoption decision process indicated visits between producers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Natural Resource Conservation Service significantly increase likelihood of BMP adoption. Producer willingness-to-pay results indicate that marginal increases in dairy BMP adoption and associated improvement in environmental quality require increased technical and financial assistance.
Three index-based crop insurance contracts are evaluated for representative south Georgia corn farms. The insurance contracts considered are based on indexes of historical county yields, yields predicted from a cooling degree-day production model, and yields predicted from a crop-simulation model. For some of the representative farms, the predicted yield index contracts provide yield risk protection comparable to the contract based on historical county yields, especially at lower levels of risk aversion. The impact of constraints on index insurance choice variables is considered and important interactions among constrained, conditionally optimized, choice variables are analyzed.
Texas dryland upland cotton yields have historically exhibited greater variation and more distributional irregularities than the yields of other crops, raising concerns that conventional parametric distribution models may generate biased or otherwise inaccurate crop insurance premium rate estimates. Here, we formulate and estimate regime-switching models for Texas dryland cotton yields in which the distribution of yield is conditioned on local drought conditions. Our results indicate that drought-conditioned regime-switching models provide a better fit to Texas county-level dryland cotton yields than conventional parametric distribution models. They do not, however, generate significantly different Group Risk Plan crop insurance premium rate estimates.
Farmers' markets presumably benefit local economies through enhanced retention of local dollars. Unlike other studies, the net impact of farmers' markets on the West Virginia economy is examined. Producer survey results are used in estimating annual direct sales ($1,725 million). Using an IMPLAN-based input-output model, gross impacts are 119 jobs (69 full-time equivalent jobs) and $2,389 million in output including $1.48 million in gross state product (GSP). When the effect of direct revenue losses are included (primarily for grocery stores), the impact is reduced to 82 jobs (43 full-time equivalent jobs), $1,075 million in output, and $0,653 million in GSP.
This study compares an ordered probit model and a Tobit model with selection to take into account both true zero and protest zero bids while estimating the willingness to pay (WTP) for conservation easements in Macon County, NC. By comparing the two models, the ordered/unordered selection issue of the protest responses is analyzed to demonstrate how the treatment of protest responses can significantly influence WTP models. Both models consistently show that income and knowledge are positive and significant factors, while distance to poorer quality streams and duration of residency are negative and significant factors on WTP.
Livestock rations are formulated to minimize feed cost subject to nutritional requirements for a target performance level, which ignores the potentially substantial cost of disposing of nutrients fed in excess of nutritional requirements. We incorporate nutrient disposal costs into a modified least-cost ration formulation model to arrive at a joint least-cost decision that minimizes the sum of feed and net nutrient disposal costs. The method is demonstrated with phosphorus disposal costs on a representative dairy farm. Herd size, land availability and proximity, crop rotation, and initial soil phosphorus content are shown to be important in determining phosphorus disposal costs.
Comparisons are made concerning labor required and profitability associated with continuous grazing at three stocking rates and rotational grazing at a high stocking rate in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. A unique data set was collected using a time and motion study method to determine labor requirements. Profits are lowest for low stocking rate–continuous grazing and high stocking rate–rotational grazing. Total labor and labor in three specific categories are greater on per acre and/or per cow bases with rotational-grazing than with continuous-grazing strategies. These results help to explain relatively low adoption rates of rotational grazing in the region.
The genetic traits of a purebred bull convey the reproductive and economic value to buyers. This study examines and compares the value of actual production weights (birth, weaning, and yearling weight), production expected progeny differences (EPDs) (birth, weaning, milk, and yearling), and ultrasound EPDs (carcass quality predictors) for purebred Angus bulls sold at auction. One EPD, birth weight, was valued by buyers more than its corresponding actual weight, though both actual weights and EPDs significantly impact price. Predictors of carcass quality were important in determining price. Finally, several individual animal factors and sale characteristics were significant in determining price.