December 10, 2019

Policy Issues; Ag Economy; Biofuels; Biotechnology; and Climate Issues

Farm Bill

The Washington Insider section of DTN reported on Friday (link requires subscription) that, “[A] new challenge for ag policy may be emerging. Earlier this week, the White House released a report on childhood obesity with the extremely ambitious title, ‘Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity in a Generation.’ It observes that neither children nor adults are eating fruits and vegetables at levels recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. Its solution is to increase consumption of these foods by 70 percent by 2020.

The analysis focuses mainly on supply. For example, it observes that Americans ate 643.6 pounds of fruit and vegetables per person in 2008. That may sound like a lot, but the report’s authors think it is far too little and that the key problem is to find ways to boost the supply of these foods — and they expect to boost consumption by 453 pounds per person.

“In spite of all these numbers, the report does not focus much on how these shifts would be accomplished. If the current markets are anywhere near equilibrium, economists say, new incentives would be needed across the board if a big change is to be expected.”