2003

December, 2003

By: Lohr, Luanne; Park, Timothy A.
Responses from a national survey of U.S. organic farmers indicated dissatisfaction with the extension service. An ordered probit model was used to identify the factors influencing effectiveness ratings of extension advisors by farmers. Study findings show that part-time, higher income organic farmers who used a variety of highly rated private-sector information sources rated extension providers as more effective. Farmers in the Northeast and West regions rated extension usefulness more highly than in other regions. Not accounting for these demographic components in effectiveness ratings may result in under- or overestimation of results of organic-targeted extension programs. Extension agents can improve their usefulness to organic farmers by complementing educational and technical services offered by the private sector, and by facilitating farmer information exchanges as well as presenting relevant research findings as they have traditionally done.

December, 2003

By: Hunnicutt, Lynn; Israelsen, L. Dwight
Recent court rulings question the ability of commodity groups to fund generic promotions through mandatory check-off programs. A model examining incentives to fund brand advertisements when both brand and generic advertising exist is presented. Brand advertising expands the market by attracting new consumers to the industry, and allows the advertising firm to take customers from rivals in the industry. Homogeneous products are advertised too little relative to the amount that maximizes total industry profits, and brandable products are advertised too much. The optimal check-off rate is derived, and the Dorfman-Steiner condition is shown to be a special case of this model.

December, 2003

By: Jaenicke, Edward C.; Frechette, Darren L.; Larson, James A.
By using a stochastic frontier framework, the mutual effect of input use on production risk and inefficiency is investigated. Disentangling this mutual effect proves important for empirical reasons, at least when applied to west Tennessee cotton systems grown after various cover crops. The most striking result is that the stochastic frontier model, when compared with a typical Just-Pope model, reorders the relative riskiness of cover-crop regimes associated with the cotton systems.

December, 2003

By: Davis, Elizabeth E.; Connolly, Laura S.; Weber, Bruce A.
The employment outcomes of a group of jobless poor Oregonians are tracked in order to analyze the relative importance of local labor market conditions on their employment outcomes. Local job growth increases the probability that a jobless poor adult will get a job and shortens the length of time until she finds a job. After accounting for both the effects of personal demographic characteristics and local job growth, there is little evidence that the probability of employment or the duration of joblessness differs in rural compared with urban areas.

December, 2003

By: Padilla-Bernal, Luz E.; McFadden, Dawn Thilmany; Loureiro, Maria L.
Fresh tomato trade between the United States and Mexico grew significantly during the 1990s. Moreover, major structural changes in U.S. produce marketing channels increase the complexity of conducting analyses to delineate the impact of liberalized trade. Following the work of Barrett, Li, and Bailey, this study implements a mixed distribution to examine spatial-price relationships between major shipping points and terminal markets for Mexican imported, and Florida and California tomatoes. Although markets are often efficiently integrated, results suggest strategic pricing and product shipments may exist and vary among terminal markets in Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago.

December, 2003

By: Norwood, F. Bailey; Marra, Michele C.
Pesticide productivity is both important and difficult to measure. Typically, pesticide marginal products are estimated without information on the pest pressure. Three theoretical models are developed which suggest absence of such information may cause an underestimation of pesticide productivity. Using application frequency variables as a proxy for pest populations, we show that pesticide marginal products are higher when pest pressure is accounted for.

December, 2003

By: Lai, Jing-Yi; Myers, Robert J.; Hanson, Steven D.
Most previous research on post-harvest grain storage by farmers has assumed risk-neutral behavior and/or made restrictive assumptions about underlying price probability distributions. In this study, we solve the optimal on-farm storage problem for a risk-averse farmer under more general assumptions about underlying price distributions. The resulting model is applied to Michigan corn farmers and findings show, contrary to the "sell all or nothing" risk-neutral rule, risk-averse farmers will spread sales out over the storage season. As farmers become more risk averse, the optimal strategy is to sell more grain at harvest and spread sales over the storage season, even though this practice reduces expected return. This result is more consistent with observed farmer behavior than the "sell all or nothing" risk-neutral rule.

December, 2003

By: Stewart, Hayden; Blisard, Noel; Jolliffe, Dean
This study assesses whether income constraints inhibit spending on fruits and vegetables among low-income households. If this is the case, then it is hypothesized that the distribution of expenditures on fruits and vegetables by low-income households should be stochastically dominated by the distribution of expenditures on these same food items by other households. Moreover, it must be the case that low-income households would increase their spending on fruits and vegetables in response to an increase in their income. Using household data from the 2000 Consumer Expenditure Survey, a test of stochastic dominance is performed. Censored quantile regressions are also estimated at selected points of the conditional expenditure distribution. Low income households are found to spend less on fruits and vegetables than other households, but they are not responsive to changes in income.