Economics, markets and policy

CLIMATE CHANGE AND LAND-USE CHANGE IN THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES
Climate variability is the main reason for fluctuations of agricultural yields in the central United States, making information on climate variability and change necessary to inform policy decisions on adaptation and resilience of agricultural systems. In addition to global climate change, there is the potential for climate change over Iowa and nearby states due to large-scale modification of land use arising from development of renewable energy sources such as biomass and wind.
Investigators:  Ray Arritt, Gene Takle, agronomy

INVESTIGATION OF ALTERNATIVE CROPS FOR IOWA
The purpose of this research project is to increase crop species diversity on the Iowa farming landscape by developing longer crop rotations that include summer and winter annual species as well as perennial species. The inclusion of species with different life cycles also can serve to improve cropping systems and minimize erosion by increasing the amount of ground cover throughout the year and help disturb life cycles of weed species. Incorporating multiple species into a crop rotation may also improve yields of other crops such as corn and improve farmers’ economic stability.
Investigator:  Mary Wiedenhoeft, agronomy

CYCLONE SCHOLARS:  PREPARING MULTICULTURAL STUDENTS FOR CAREERS IN THE GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM
The food system, including all aspects of growing/raising, distributing, marketing and consuming food, is the largest employer in the world that transcends local, regional, national and international boundaries. The number of multicultural students entering careers in Agriculture, Science, Technology and Math, and particularly Food Science, has not met global demands. The goals of this project are to prepare students to meet the challenges of responsible citizenship and have effective professional roles in a culturally diverse global community; to disseminate information about careers in the food system to students throughout Iowa; and to support five multicultural, especially Hispanic/Latino, Cyclone Scholars for baccalaureate food science degrees.
Investigators:  Ruth MacDonald, Cheryl Reitmeier, Anne Oldham, food science and human nutrition; Denise Williams, human development and family studies; Aurelio Curbelo, agriculture and life sciences administration

FIRM PROFITABILITY, FIRM STRUCTURES AND MARKETS IN MEETING THE NEEDS OF FOOD CONSUMERS
The overall goal is to better understand how the food and agricultural sector meets the needs of food consumers. Through an evaluation of the food system and related public policies, the research will provide guidance to better public policies for food markets and to assure a safe and nutritious food supply. The project will provide new knowledge about the food sector and how firms respond to consumer preferences, so it can be applied to the development of more efficient markets and improved public policies that support the availability and access to safer and high quality food.
Investigators:  Helen Jensen, David Hennessy, Sebastien Pouliot, John Beghin, economics

AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL FINANCE MARKETS IN TRANSITION
Financial issues relevant for agribusinesses management, such as adequate financial practices and capital needs for long-term sustainability will be the focus. The project also will study how current policies and developments in agriculture impact the ability of agribusinesses to access capital.
Investigator:  Sergio Lence, economics