The Gardner Agriculture Policy Program is funded by the Leonard and Lila Gardner/Illinois Farm Bureau Family of Companies endowment. This generous gift is dedicated to the memory of Len Gardner, a leading voice on agricultural policy for decades. The program will coordinate and prioritize analytical and outreach efforts for farm, conservation and international trade policies, elevating the University of Illinois’ voice in the national debate.
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
Concentration of US Crops in Corn and Soybeans: Importance to Increasing US Production of Grains and Oilseeds
In today’s farmdoc daily article, we examine an apparent cap on US grain and oilseed acres, which have been range bound between 225 and 250 million acres since 1985. Some likely causes are restrictions that date to the 1985 farm bill on the conversion of highly erodible land into new cropland and conversion of wetlands, specifically hydric soils, into new cropland. Whatever its cause, the lack of new acres puts pressure on raising production by other means to meet increasing demand.
In today’s farmdoc daily article, we continue our multi-part series presenting a view of the Farm Bill through perspectives of policy design. This article turns to the farm payment programs in Title I of the Farm Bill and explores the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) row crop programs. If the words of statutes determine the operation of policies and the distribution of benefits, then the PLC and ARC programs offer straight-forward examples.
The calendar continues to countdown towards the scheduled expiration of the 2018 Farm Bill, but there have been no public indications that either the House or Senate Agriculture Committees have…
In today’s farmdoc daily article, we look at the intersection of base acres and reference prices. A mandatory base acre update that better aligns program payments with planted acres will impact states and crops to different degrees depending on where Congress established reference prices relative to market prices. It is at this intersection that the political collisions within the farm coalition occur as farmers, commodity factions, and production regions are pitted against each other.
The past half-century has witnessed tremendous change in farm employment, and it remains foundational to the economy in many rural regions. Farm employment — the number of workers engaged in the direct production of agricultural commodities — accounted for nearly 4 million jobs in 1969 or 4.4% of total U.S. employment. By 2021, farm employment generated just 2.6 million jobs or 2.2% of total U.S. employment. These trends resulted from the greater use of labor-saving technologies and ongoing farm consolidation, among other factors. Despite the overall decline, agriculture remains a vital economic activity in many parts of the country, particularly in rural America.
Population trends can reveal much about a community’s economic vitality. More people can lead to new opportunities for businesses and workers, and new homeowners and businesses can grow the local…
Preparing the Future Food and Agricultural Workforce: Trends in Agricultural-Related Degree and Certification Completions from U.S. Post-secondary Institutions
Addressing the agricultural sector’s workforce needs remains a persistent challenge. Slower migration within the U.S. agricultural workforce, combined with declining immigration, has limited the supply of farm laborers (Hertz and…