2001

December, 2001

By: Vercammen, James
A tax on fuel is one of the primary mechanisms for reducing truck transport externalities such as greenhouse gas emissions, road damage, congestion, and accidents. The economic efficiency properties of a fuel tax are examined for the farm-to-elevator grain trucking sector--a sector for which the road damage externality is often severe. Because trucking volumes cumulate more rapidly near the delivery points, marginal external cost is generally not proportional to distance. Further, noncompetitive FOB pricing by grain buyers implies that road tax discounts to offset price markups should be independent of location. In both cases, a fuel tax is not capable of efficiently addressing the externality. With discriminatory pricing by buyers, "cross-hauling" emerges and the optimal fuel tax is unexpectedly high because the buyer passes on only a portion of the tax to the farmer. In a simple example with discriminatory pricing, the optimal fuel tax reduces excess average trucking distance by less that 50%.

December, 2001

By: Loomis, John B.; Gonzalez-Caban, Armando; Englin, Jeffrey E.
Surveys of visitors to National Forests in Colorado were conducted to determine whether different fire ages and presence of crown fires have different effects on hiking and mountain biking recreation visits and benefits. Actual and intended behavior data were combined using a count-data travel cost model. The intended behavior trip questions asked about changes in number of trips due to the presence of a high-intensity crown fire, prescribed fire, and a 20-year-old high-intensity fire at the area respondents were visiting. Using the estimated recreation demand function, years since a non-crown fire had statistically significant positive effect on the trip demand of hikers. In contrast, presence of crown fires had no statistically significant effect on the quantity of hiker trips, but had a significant and negative effect on mountain biking trips. Crown fires also had a large effect on the value per trip, with crown fires increasing the value per hiking trip but lowering the value per mountain biking trip.

December, 2001

This section includes: JARE Editor's Report October 2001; Reviewers, April 2000-October 2001; WAEA 2000 Award Winners; WAEA Past Presidents, 1927-2001; Past Editors; Author Guidelines for Submitting Manuscripts to JARE; Membership Information; Back Cover

December, 2001

By: Brester, Gary W.; Marsh, John M.
Real livestock prices and farm-wholesale marketing margins have steadily declined over the past 20 years. Studies examining the causes of these declines have generally failed to account directly for technological change in livestock production and red meat slaughtering. We estimate reduced-form models for beef and pork farm-wholesale marketing margins and cattle and hog prices that include specific measures of technological change. Empirical results indicate cost savings generated by improved meat packing technologies have reduced real margins and positively influenced real cattle and hog prices. However, technological change embodied in cattle production weights has led to substantial declines in real slaughter cattle prices. Nonetheless, the net effect of improved meat packing technology has been to increase cattle price by $1.75/cwt and reduce the farm-wholesale beef marketing margin by 22.8 cents/lb.

December, 2001

By: Sanneh, Njundu; Moffitt, L. Joe; Lass, Daniel A.
The continued decline in both the number of and the acreage in small-scale farms and rural communities, as well as food safety and environmental concerns, has heightened interest in the community-supported agriculture (CSA) concept. Mean-variance, stochastic dominance, mean-Gini, and exponential utility/moment-generating function approaches to stochastic efficiency are employed to analyze three years of farm survey data on core management options for CSA farms. The core concept yields higher net income per acre than non-core management and, based on the stochastic efficiency analysis, should be regarded as the preferred management option for many CSA operators.

December, 2001

Analysis of U.S. feeder steer prices normally includes fed cattle prices and feed grain costs. An expanded econometric model which investigates finance cost, profit risk, hay cost, technology, and Mexican feeder cattle import shares is estimated. Results indicate statistical significance of nearly all variables. The increase in feeder import shares contributed to $0.60/cwt of the $24.48/cwt decline in real feeder price from 1980-1999. Improved technology in producing feeder calves had reduced feeder prices more substantially, by $4. 86/cwt from 1980-1999. Increased feedlot technology through cost savings has increased feeder price. Feedlot risk management and macro-economic policies affecting the U.S. prime interest rate could continue to affect feeder prices.