Efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and the impacts of global warming will fall significantly short without drastic changes in global land use, agriculture and human diets, leading researchers warn in a high-level report commissioned by the United Nations. The special report on climate change and land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes plant-based diets as a major opportunity for mitigating and adapting to climate change ― and includes a policy recommendation to reduce meat consumption.
This Special Report on Climate Change and Land1 responds to the Panel decision in 2016 to prepare three Special Reports2 during the Sixth Assessment cycle, taking account of proposals from governments and observer organizations3 . This report addresses greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in land-based ecosystems , land use and sustainable land management4 in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation, desertification5 , land degradation6 and food security7 . This report follows the publication of other recent reports, including the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15), the thematic assessment of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on Land Degradation and Restoration, the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and the Global Land Outlook of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This report provides an updated assessment of the current state of knowledge8 while striving for coherence and complementarity with other recent reports.
We are again living that famous blessing or curse, “May you live in interesting times.” Some news items are very similar to last year. Trade disputes and the lack of progress on trade agreements dominate the demand discussion. There is a round of trade aid on the way. Weather issues have significantly impacted farmer decisions. Old crop supplies remain substantial. But a few things have changed. The weather issues were large enough that planted acreage is still unknown. The corn and soybean crops are generally one to two weeks behind in development, so we’ll need a long fall to achieve full maturity. But the largest change is the return of potential profitability in the corn market, with cash prices hovering around $4 per bushel for harvest delivery. While the soybean market continues to feel the pressure from the U.S.-China squabble, corn prices have strengthened enough to offer good returns throughout the summer.
Americans throw out a lot more food than they expect they will, food waste that is likely driven in part by ambiguous date labels on packages, a new study has found. "People eat a lot less of their refrigerated food than they expect to, and they're likely throwing out perfectly good food because they misunderstand labels," said Brian Roe, the study's senior author and a professor agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University. This is the first study to offer a data-driven glimpse into the refrigerators of American homes, and provides an important framework for efforts to decrease food waste, Roe said. It was published online this month and will appear in the November print issue of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling. Survey participants expected to eat 97 percent of the meat in their refrigerators but really finished only about half. They thought they'd eat 94 percent of their vegetables, but consumed just 44 percent. They projected they'd eat about 71 percent of the fruit and 84 percent of the dairy, but finished off just 40 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Panel regressions are used to relate standardized county weather variables to yield outcomes in order to develop a crop disaster program for the top producing states of corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton. Farm-level simulations are used to draw yield realizations and provide realistic consistency between county, district, and state yields and national prices. The proposed crop disaster program is estimated to save between $3 and $4 billion per year relative to the current crop insurance program, a reduction of approximately 30% compared to the $10.06 billion in federal expenditures on the crop insurance program in 2016. The savings are realized though two main mechanisms: (1) Focusing agricultural support on systemic weather risk and excluding idiosyncratic risk; and (2) Reducing the administrative cost of the program by eliminating underwriting gains accruing to private companies currently participating in the delivery of crop insurance. The disadvantage of the crop disaster product from the producers’ perspective is the basis risk associated with the program being tied to a simulated and aggregate index rather than field-level yields, with a decrease in downside revenue risk protection relative to the current Revenue Protection (RP) policies available for crops with well-functioning futures markets.
Urbanization in Ghana has spurred growth in nonfarm jobs in rural areas with little impact on agricultural intensification, defined by higher land productivity. Simultaneously, neglect of public investments, low even by African standards, in the non-cocoa sector has stagnated agricultural growth in the country. These are some of the key findings of a new book from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) researchers and collaborators.