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Cover Crop Analyzer
Cover Crop Analyzer Tool

The cover crop project seeks to provide farmers with a practical web-based decision support tool designed to help manage cover crops in their fields. The project makes use of existing research to demonstrate the potential for cover crops, as well as providing useful information for decision making and management of this practice. It will also seek to apply future research on cover crops as results are incorporated into updates and new iterations of the tool. This remains a work in progress with a goal towards adapting with the science.

Latest in Gardner Policy Series

US Interest Rates and the Price of Capital

This farmdoc daily article is not an exhaustive examination, but sizable demand for capital intensive projects in the transportation, energy, supply chain, and artificial intelligence sectors; a declining US saving rate; and cooling in international investor demand for US Federal Debt suggest that, even if inflation declines to the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2%, US interest rates may need to remain high to supply current and near future US demand for capital.

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Gardner Policy Series: Farm Bill

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Cotton STAX and Modified Supplemental Coverage Option: Concerns with Moving Crop Insurance from Risk Management to Income Support

The Farm Bill version reported by the House Agricultural Committee would modify Supple-mental Coverage Option (SCO), a crop insurance policy that provides county-level coverage. Be-cause the modifications proposed for SCO would make it very similar to the STAX insurance pro-gram for cotton, we evaluate the historical performance of STAX to provide indications of how modified SCO could operate.

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Farm Bill Proposals to Enhance Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO)

Both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill include proposals to modify Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) insurance. SCO crop insurance provides county-level coverage from the selected coverage level on a farm-level crop insurance product up to a fixed maximum coverage level based on county-level results. This article examines the impacts of the SCO version proposed by the House for corn in McLean County, Illinois. Overall, increasing SCO subsidy levels seems questionable as a policy objective. At best, farmers risk management is improved marginally at high costs to the Federal government. A better focus would be on enhancing the protection of the underlying farm-level product.

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Spending Impacts of House Proposal for Commodity Title Changes

The House Proposal for the Commodity Title would significantly increase commodity title spending. Farmers with base acres of the Southern crops (peanuts, rice, and cotton) would have much higher increases in payments than farmers with base acres of those program crops grown in most of the country. The House Proposal would increase payments more for southern and Delta states than for other regions.

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Gardner Policy Series: Trade

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Ripple Effects of Shipping Lane Disruptions on U.S. Agriculture

The crises in the Panama Canal and the Red Sea have highlighted the vulnerabilities of U.S. agricultural trade to environmental and geopolitical factors. These disruptions have increased transportation costs, prolonged transit times, and potential market losses. It is increasingly clear that the development of sustainable and flexible supply chain solutions is not just advantageous but essential for maintaining and enhancing the flow of U.S. agricultural trade.

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Where Could the US-Mexico GM Corn Dispute End Up?

Background to the Dispute The recent announcement by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) that it was requesting technical consultations with Mexico under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures…

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IFES 2019: Trade, MFP, and Policy Directions

A variety of trade actions undertaken by the Trump Administration have resulted in retaliation from various U.S. trading partners. Tariffs imposed on U.S. agricultural goods have negatively impacted export levels and commodity prices. To address these trade damages, the Administration has used Commodity Credit Corporation authority to provide support to farmers. The Market Facilitation Program, designed by the USDA and administered through the Farm Service Agency, has provided billions in trade aid over the past two crop years.

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Gardner Policy Series: Conservation & Other

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What is Climate Smart Agriculture?

Climate Smart Agriculture is a promising paradigm for addressing environmental challenges by increasing productivity, enhancing resilience, and reducing emissions. However, the definition and assessment of CSA practices lack standardization, hindering their widespread adoption and effective implementation. A consistent, widely applicable, and standardized framework for assessing CSA will facilitate informed decision-making, improve resource allocation, and enhance stakeholder collaboration.

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An Inflation Question Not Asked: What About Conservation?

The recent period of relatively high inflation and concerns about its impacts on production costs for farmers have occupied center stage in discussions about policy priorities. That discussion, however, has been narrow and one-dimensional, largely limited to increasing the reference prices in farm payment programs. Among other things, this narrowed perspective ignores the impact that inflation has on conservation assistance to farmers, as well as the consequences for farmers who adopt conservation practices.

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Rural Growth Requires More Housing

Providing more housing, and housing options, is an important element for slowing the outmigration that exacerbates the workforce challenges facing Midwestern communities. Local communities might explore programs to address derelict or distressed properties. Rural communities might also consider efforts to promote more diverse types of residential housing that sometimes face opposition from existing residents and homeowners. Communities must work collaboratively on multiple strategies to effectively address these issues.

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