We are pleased to launch Policy Briefs by the Purdue Agricultural Economics Department.  We aim to provide short insights, readable for the general public, on policy issues that are national in scope with an Indiana flare. We were initially motivated by the need to provide timely analysis in the lead up to 2018 Farm Bill discussions. However, the breadth of expertise in our department and the ongoing policy discussions related to farm, food, environment, trade, and development issues warrants a longer view and broader scope. The plan is to add new briefs on a monthly basis, although we may add more frequent contributions when more timely information is needed.  We hope to enrich policy debates by providing data and context, quantifying impacts, and offering alternatives.  



Author: Michael Langemeier
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_8
Date: May 17, 2018​
Tags: Crop Insurance; Farm Safety Net
Abstract: This brief provides a brief discussion of crop insurance products available in 2018. Crop insurance products differ by whether they protect against low yields or low revenue, whether they pertain to farm or county yields, and by coverage level.

Author: Michael Langemeier
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_7
Date: May 17, 2018​
Tags: Crop Insurance; Farm Safety Net
Abstract: Crop insurance can be an effective tool to mitigate downside risk on crop farms. As with last year’s crops, in 2018 there are several crop insurance products to choose from in the Corn Belt. This brief provides an illustration of insurance guarantees and potential insurance payments for various yield and price scenarios.

Author: Otto C. Doering
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_6
Date: May 1, 2018​
Tags: Conservation Title, Farm Bill Draft, Conservation Budget
Abstract: On April 12th, the Republican majority of the House Agriculture Committee reported out a draft Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. Title II, the Conservation Title, includes substantial changes to several existing programs. The Conservation Reserve Program acreage cap is lifted from 24 to 29 million acres and contract rents are reduced to 80% of county averages. Reduced rental rates may make this land retirement program less attractive to farmers, especially if commodity prices increase. Reduced rental rents may also keep high quality productive land from going into the reserve. For the working lands programs, the Conservation Security Program (CSP) is eliminated and some of its components put under the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). Whole farm comprehensive program options that were available in the CSP are reduced without commensurate increases in the practice specific EQIP programs. The combined program budget is cut by 20%.

Author: H. Holly Wang
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_5
Date: April 17, 2018​
Tags: Export to China, Pork, Soybeans
Abstract: Over the past two weeks, U.S. and Chinese governments announced a series of tariffs against each other’s export.  These tariff threats, if materialized, may cause multi-billion dollars of export loss for the U.S. farmers because pork and soybeans, the two largely exported agricultural commodities are included on the list of products being heavily tariffed.  

Author: Larry DeBoer and John Sanders
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_4
Date: April 17, 2018
Tags: tariffs, trade deficit, budget deficit, exchange rates, interest rates, china, soybeans, steel
Abstract: The U.S. is considering tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.  This brief analyzes the effects of tariffs on our production of goods and services, and on employment, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates.

Author: Jayson L. Lusk
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_3
Date: March 27, 2018
Tags: Farm Bill, Food Stamps, Nutrition, School Lunch, SNAP, WIC
Abstract: This brief describes federal food assistance programs administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  These programs represent the over 70% of the USDA budget and affect millions of U.S. citizens.

Author: Roman Keeney 
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_2
Date: March 8, 2018
Tags: Farm Bill; Nutrition; Commodity Support; Federal Budget
Abstract: This brief uses the occasion of President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget to review the role of presidential administrations in Farm Bill deliberations. We look at specific proposals offered in the new budget document and identify how those might be interpreted in comparison to previous published budget documents.

Author: Roman Keeney 
Issue Number: PAEPB-2018_1
Date: March 8, 2018
Tags: Farm Bill; Nutrition; Commodity Support; Federal Budget
Abstract: This brief is intended to provide an overview of the Farm Bill process including the key issues of scope and timing. Growth in the federal deficit along with the broad scope and time sensitive nature of Farm Bill expiration make for an uncertain future for farm programs and other included measures.
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