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Tag Archives: agriculture

The Market Problem, Part 1: Direct to Consumer

In this series we explore marketing farm fresh goods in the litany of different ways as a direct consumer edibles farmer. Many types of farms exist within the framework of directly edible, from market gardens, to 100 acre California avocado fields, dairy barns, hen houses, and multiple large monocrop “people food” producers. Direct to Consumer is exactly what it implies. A farmer seeds, grows, reaps or milks, slaughters and packs food and then...

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Farm & Ranch Quick Market Update

Harvest season has sprung upon us in a hurry. We had to spend a few evenings in the fields collecting squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and even dug up all of the potatoes, among the multitude of other things we planted this spring and continue to plant. It’s been a busy few weeks that have been hard both physically as well as mentally due to market conditions but we will get to that. Current Macro ag is coming in hot. Commodities futures are up...

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We Will Get It Planted

In Texas a large portion of Plant ’22 has already happened. Central Texas corn emergence is already knee high, green, and waiting for the rains to continue this week. Other parts of the country have struggled to get seed in the ground either due to low soil temps, too much precipitation or no rain to speak of. This past week or so as rains and storms, some wreaking tornado havoc, have doused the land in various agriculturally important regions....

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Dry, Dusty, Rain. Humid, Windy, Dry. Chaos and The Grip of La Niña

Just how dry have the ground conditions been? Dire. Fire sweeping towns from Austin to Los Angeles, dire. Rain? Forecast yes, but closer to the Powell Line. The Powell Line, as stated previously is where the dry plains and the wet prairie meet. An abundance and a desert. Too much and not enough. Floods and fire. We finally got rain today. Much needed as we have pumped 20,000 gallons and then some per month out of the aquifer supplying Dallas,...

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1st Quarter 2022 Planted Report, a Strange Turn and More of the Same

As we rounded out the month of March the USDA has been busy assessing the planted acres around the United States, reported the 31st of March. Much to my prior post, there are not really any surprises as the data has indicated that the planting is mirroring last year…with a few caveats, most namely the switch of 4% moving to soy from corn. Let’s take a look at the estimates from the FBN group and their phone survey they conducted a week or so ago...

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Do We Produce Too Much If We Are Making Corn Into Plastic Bottles?

Outside of agriculture there is a feeling of vast quantities, that farmers produce too much corn, soybeans, cotton, and other monocrops in a habitat destroying, bee killing, rural, backward, government sponsored enterprise that is slowly adding to climate change and environmental destruction. Agriculture is largely reactionary and heavily influenced by capitalism. If the need is there, and the price is right, the crop will be produced. One of the...

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The Frustration of Government Grants

There has been quite a lot of news over the past few years regarding agriculture specific to governmental assistance, from providing crop subsidies during the Trump Trade War to the Biden Administrations attempt to tamp down inflation via meat processing capacity increases, as well as an attempt to revive a few ideas that had been tabled by previous administrations. The largest focus for the USDA is without a doubt the SNAP food assistance program...

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Bird Flu Worsens, Threatening Food Supply

Bloomberg News reports an outbreak in Kentucky and Virginia after initial outbreak discovered at Indiana facility last week. Avian flu is nothing new, and as we continue to keep large quantities of poultry in ever increasing numbers in concentrated operations around the poultry processors, the occurrences are likely to become more severe and often. This is mostly because commercial poultry operations look like this: The amount of birds grown...

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Choose your own anti-science

On Tuesday I pointed to research that the Green Revolution might be the greatest antidote to poverty and poor health in human history. The revolution continues, with more and better crops and techniques available every year. Today, however, the main hurdles aren’t technology and logistics, but rather regulation and politics. One follower, for instance, sent me to this tweet: A modern variety of Golden Rice, GR2E, is safe, high-yielding and rich in beta carotene. That hasn’t stopped anti-GMO...

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The most important economic event of the past century

We estimate the impact of the Green Revolution in the developing world by exploiting exogenous heterogeneity in the timing and extent of the benefits derived from high-yielding crop varieties (HYVs). HYVs increased yields of food crops by 44 percent between 1965 and 2010. The total effect on yields is even higher because of substitution towards crops for which HYVs were available, and because of reallocation of land and labor. Beyond agriculture, our baseline estimates show strong, positive,...

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