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Collated List of Articles

I post Ag Data News articles every Wednesday. Here's a convenient list of past articles based on whether they include R code, use data from our apps, address the effects of events or policies, or were written in my ARE 231 class.

List of most-read articles in my first year doing this (5/27/20-5/26/21):  It's Been a Year

Acreage of Major Crops Isn't Increasing

In 2021, American farmers harvested 280 million acres of the eight biggest crops, which is less than any year from 2012-2018 and less than all but three years from 1996-2018. Acres for these crops are down 13% from their 1981 peak.  

These statistics were included in the 2021 crop acreage report released today by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).  

The Monopolistic Meatpackers

On Monday, President Biden signed an executive order directing the Federal government to spend a billion dollars to increase competition in the meatpacking industry. Meatpacking is dominated by a few large firms, especially in beef where the top four companies have 85% of the market.

Why Are Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions So Difficult?

Fossil fuel emissions are relatively easy to understand. If someone pulls coal, oil, or gas out of the ground and burns it, then they warm the earth. If they leave it in the ground, then they don't.

Agriculture is more complicated because it both absorbs and emits a lot of greenhouse gas. Every year, crops absorb about 17 gigatons (GT) of carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, which is almost double the 9.4 GT emitted by burning fossil fuels.

The Soybeans and the Forests

This article was written by UC Davis ARE PhD student Bruno Pimenta.  It is the seventh in a series of excellent articles written by students in my ARE 231 class this fall.

Split Over Bananas – How China and India are Meeting Demand Differently

This article was written by UC Davis ARE PhD student Sam Raburn.  It is the fourth in a series of excellent articles written by students in my ARE 231 class this fall.

India is the world’s largest producer of bananas. It has plenty of fertile soil, tropical climate, and access to water via the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. You may wonder, however, “why have I never eaten a banana grown in India? Only Ecuador or Costa Rica?”

The Bitter Taste of Coffee Shortages

This article was written by UC Davis ARE PhD student Natalya Slipchenko.  It is the second in a series of excellent articles written by students in my ARE 231 class this fall.

The coffee we drink may come from many parts of the world, but recent bad weather in Brazil has raised the possibility of global shortages. 

Pumpkin Season in America

This month, Americans have jack-o'-lanterns on their front porches, cafes smell of "pumpkin spices", and in a few weeks we'll eat pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Also, yesterday was national pumpkin day.  

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