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International Ag 10 US commodities: corn cow milk soy beans wheat sugar cane sugar beet potatoes indigenous chicken meat tomatoes indigenous cattle meat

US spends the least amount of take home income on food - only 6.2% LDC (Less developed country) spend 1/3 to 1/2 of their income on food Top 3 customers of US Ag Canada China Mexico Most of the time, the US has a trade surplus in ag, meaning the amount of items we export is higher than the amount of items we import Outside of Ag, the US has a HUGE trade deficit - meaning we bring in more than we send out (things like computers, clothes, TVs) US top exported by price is soybeans and China is our biggest customer of soybeans US top import by price is alcohol Canada is our largest customer overall for Ag

US top import by quantity is bananas US top export by quantity is corn The bulk of US trade is not in agriculture Food Security - availability of food. It exists when all people at all times have physical, economic, and social access to nutritional food

Every 5 years the USDA does a farm census - how big are the farms, who owns them, how much do they make, what do they produce California does an ag census every 3 years, each state varies in time frame In 2012, the US saw a 33% increase in sales of all ag product, this was also the first time since the 70’s that crops outsold livestock - possibly to change in diet The global recession in 2008 caused a downfall in livestock sales in the US as meat is more expensive for consumers than crops

Average US farmer age is 58 75% of farms make less than $50,000 86% of farms are ran by men, 14% by women 92% of farm owners are white, non hispanic with hispanics being the largest minority of the remaining 8% minority farm owners Value-added ag is any ag product that has a step in-between production and sale (like shelled almonds, or bagged fruit) California produces more than half of the ag in the US

FAO - Food and ag organization, completes the census every 5 years


The US top products are: cattle, milk, and corn

A farm is defined as anywhere where $1,000 or more of ag is or has been sold

There were 2 million farms in the US in 2012 Land in farms is more important that the # of farms 2% of all US farms are corporate owned Growth of farms is coming from smaller, family owned farms

Although there are less farms, the farms that remain are becoming bigger 98% of farms in the US are family owned A Farm operator is anyone who owns, manages, is a tenant, or a partner of the farm

In 2013, California was the top ag producer in the US Iowa came in 2nd place as it is the nations top pork producer

North Carolina is the second producer of pork in the US Good return items: grans and oil seeds, milk which is capital intensive, fruits, nuts, poultry, eggs and greenhouse products (4 of which are produced in CA)

Poor return items: Sheep, goats, aquaculture (purposeful farming of fish), and horses Horses are seen more as a recreation animal and so raising them for sale is not a lucrative business FAO - Food

Government interferes with agriculture for three reasons: Social - ensure food supply, maintain lower prices, divert surplus, save small farms, environmental concerns Economic - stabilize prices of farm commodities, income equality for farmers, availability of farm inputs, domestic and international trade Political - domestic strategic asset, in less developed countries the govt seek to reduce prices to minimize urban upset

The government is either responding to a food problem or a farm problem Food problem - There is a lack of food supply. There is less food produced than what is being demanded, this increases the price of food. Farm problem - There is a surplus food produced. There is more food available than what is being demanded. This decreases the price of food.

Farm output does not equal demand - there is no way to create ONLY what is needed on a farm


Food problem adjustments: Encourage production through investing in research to increase yields Increase acreage Invest in new irrigation

Subsidies for crops Subsidize farm inputs

Make loans easier to obtain Farm problem adjustments: Restrict imports (the US has import restrictions on corn because we have too much of it)

 Control production through subsidies Govt purchase surplus (food aid) Subsidize domestic consumption (food stamps) Offer credit on more liberal terms

Nearly all countries provide SOME money for ag research and assistance to farmers

Japan - Food problem, too many people not enough food, the government is heavily involved with ag

New Zealand - there is a farm problem, too much food, the government is not involved as world supply and demand dictate price of goods US - Farm problem (too much food), farm policies designed to support price, curb production, not always aimed to protect consumers - but farmers. 1930’s the US began its farm subsidies through the New Deal from FDR (1933 - first “Farm Bill”) There was a surplus of Ag and the act called for crop reduction through plow ups

. Price support was introduced in the form of insurance for farmers.

Farm bills ’30’s-’60’s - subsidized farm products by paying for planting and reduced planting, give controlled supply of product, food programs for surplus were created

Farm bills ’70’s-’90’s - transition from govt control and transition to govt direct payment based on history, greater flexibility, more export opportunities

1996 farm bill - money given to farmers based on historic acreage yield (failure)

 Crop insurance - subsidized by government, affordable for farmers, insured against national disaster, has a price floor guarantee for when prices fall below cost Conservation programs - pays farmers to retire land, adopt sustainable practices


US farm subsidies - Food stamps (84% of the farm bill goes to food and nutrition programs for low income families), food for peace (foreign government can buy food surplus in the US, food turned over to private aid)

There was a spike in food stamp use in 2008 during the recession

The government has strong influence on the price of wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, cotton, dairy, sugar, and oil seeds (about 35% of farm income) and no influence on fruits and vegetables, and other specialty crops as market force dictates price (65% of farm income) Impact of govt interventions

Gains - payments concentrated on payments to farmers of few crops, greater environmental sensitivity from conservation programs, food aid to the world Losses - promotes high volume production of limited crops. Little government support for other crops like fruit and vegetables, payments made to large farms and not to small farms

Hunger - a strong desire or craving, an urgent need for food or a specific nutrient, weakness, debilitation or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food, exhausted condition, painful

*also known as the want or scarcity of food in a country

 Chronic hunger - a consuming, debilitating, minute-by-minute, day after day experience, keeps people from working productively, prevents clear thinking, painful, can permanently damage the body and mind, decrease resistance to disease, can be deadly

Types of hunger:

 Malnutrition (under nutrition) person does not get enough food Protein-energy malnutrition lack of protein from meat or other sources, lack of essential amino acids, lack of food energy, most lethal

Micronutrient deficiency insufficient vitamins and minerals, vitamin a (scurvy, rickets, blindness), vitamin c (scurvy, teeth loss, inability to fight infection), iron (anemia), iodine (physical crippling, mental retardation)


Malabsorptive body is incapable of absorbing nutrients, often due to parasites in intestinal tract or severe protein deficiency, common where water is contaminated

Chronic under nutrition - most widespread manifestation of hunger today, person consumes fewer calories and less protein than the body needs, lethargic, ill, primary victims - children

Wold hunger - steady increase since 1996, spike in 2009 to 1 billion due to recession and crop failure, as of 2012 925 million, 13.6% of the worlds population were hungry

805 million people suffered from chronic hunger in 2012-2014

 791 million live in developing countries 25,000 people die everyday from hunger and related causes

Asia and the pacific are over 1/2 of the worlds population and almost 2/3 of the worlds hungry people

More than 60% of chronically hungry people are women

 1 billon people in the world live on less than $1 a day

2.6 billion people live on less than $2 a day (40% of the worlds population)

 Almost 1/2 of the world lives on $2.50 a day

65% of the worlds hungry people live in 7 countries:

India China Democratic republic of Congo Bangladesh Indonesia Pakistan Ethiopia

Primary victims of hunger are children (5 million child deaths per year from hunger,

1 child dies from hunger every 6 seconds)

 Malnutrition claims more children’s lives than HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria

 COMBINED 1/3 of children in the developing world are chronically malnourished 70% live in Asia 26% in Africa 4% in Latin America

Malnutrition worsens the effects of other diseases due to a lowered immune system

Undernutrition in pregnant women in developing countries lead to low birth weight (1 in 6), neonatal death, learning disabilities, mental retardation, poor health, blindness

Undernutrition in pregnant women in developing countries lead to low birth weight (1 in 6), neonatal death, learning disabilities, mental retardation, poor health, blindness

Hunger in the US Nearly 1 in 4 children are at risk of hunger,

1 in 3 if African-American or Latino 4% of US homes experience hunger (11 million people including 430,000 children)

1 in 8 people live below the poverty line

in the US, 1 in 5 are children Preschool aged children who experience severe hunger have higher levels of chronic illness, anxiety and depression, and behavior problems than children with no hunger

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