Extension Ag Update
September/October 2004
Articles Research Resources Internet Links Ag Facts Education

Internet Links

New Herbicide Injury on Soybean Fact Sheet
A new fact sheet covers a wide range of herbicides and "typical" symptoms associated with injury from those herbicides. The front of the fact sheet displays images of soybean injury and is arranged by herbicide site of action, while the back of the fact sheet focuses on symptomatology associated with that site of action or a specific herbicide.

Factors Affecting U.S. Pork Consumption
Pork ranks third in annual U.S. meat consumption, behind beef and chicken, averaging 51 pounds per person. The Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) indicates that most pork is consumed at home. Pork consumption is highest in the Midwest, followed by the South, the Northeast, and the West. Rural consumers eat more pork than urban/suburban consumers. Pork consumption varies by race and ethnicity. Higher income consumers tend to consume less pork. Everything else remaining constant, demographic data in the CSFII suggests future declines in per capita pork consumption as the share of Hispanics and the elderly in the population rises because those two groups eat less pork than the national average. However, total U.S. pork consumption will grow because of an expansion of the U.S. population.

Organic Farmgate and Wholesale Prices
This data set provides farmgate and wholesale prices for select organic and conventional produce items for the Boston and San Francisco markets. Prices are based on those reported by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Market News reports for 1995-2004 (wholesale prices), Organic Food Business News for 2000-04 (organic farmgate prices), and USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service as reported in ERS Vegetables and Melons Yearbook

Market Integration of the North American Animal Products Complex
The beef, pork, and poultry industries of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have tended to become more economically integrated over the past two decades. Sanitary barriers, which are designed to protect people and animals from diseases, are some of the most significant barriers to fuller integration of meat and animal markets. In addition, diseases such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, have caused major disruptions to beef and cattle trade.

Will 2005 Be the Year of the Whole Grain?
For the first time, the Dietary Guidelines have specific recommendations for whole grain consumption separate from those for refined grains. The Guidelines, released in January 2005, encourage all Americans over 2 years old to eat roughly half of their recommended 5 to 10 daily servings of grains, depending on calorie needs. The goal of this new recommendation is to improve Americans' health by raising awareness of whole grains and their role in nutritious diets. The Guidelines could also, however, have big impacts on farmers and farm production. How big depends on consumers' and manufacturers' responses.

North America Moves Toward One Market

This feature article for Amber Waves examines how the agricultural economies of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are increasingly behaving as if they form one market. To illustrate this trend, the article provides several examples of market integration from grains and oilseeds, livestock and animal products, fruits and vegetables, and food processing. The article concludes by identifying several areas in which further integration could be pursued.

Why Hasn't Crop Insurance Eliminated Disaster Assistance?
This Amber Waves article reviews farmer participation in the Federal crop insurance program, which has been promoted as a replacement for ad hoc disaster assistance. Despite increased participation in crop insurance disaster assistance has been enacted. This article discusses the government costs of the crop insurance program, mainly premium subsidies, and how crop insurance participation varies by type of farm and region.

Population Interaction Zones For Agriculture (Piza)
This data product provides electronic access to indexes that measure the degree of influence that nearby urban-related population exerts on agricultural land. The county-level and 5-kilometer indexes are based on a "gravity model" of urban influences.