December 7, 2019

Ag Economy; Nutrition Fact Panels; Biofuels; EPA Issues; and Budget Issues

Ag Economy

The latest edition of the Main Street Economist, a publication from the Kansas City Federal Reserve, is titled, “A Rural Rebound in 2010.” The article, which was written by Jason Henderson and Maria Akers, stated that, “In 2010, rural America was at the forefront of the economic recovery. As sluggish job growth reined in the U.S. economy, rural firms harnessed stronger global commodity demand and raced ahead of their metro peers. In fact, rural job growth sped up in the second half of the year with jobs stretching 2 percent above year-ago levels in the third quarter, outpacing metro gains. In addition, rising exports of farm commodities and manufactured goods spurred job and income gains in rural communities, fueling optimism for economic prospects in 2011.

“Farm profitability strengthened with commodity markets at the end of the year. Robust agriculture and energy markets also fueled gains in manufacturing and service activity to overcome the headwinds of a weak housing sector. In past recoveries, robust commodity markets and firm manufacturing activity sustained growth in the rural economy for multiple years. Can the rural economy lead the nation’s recovery again in 2011?

“This article reviews developments in the rural economy and discusses prospects for the year ahead. In 2010, rising global food demand and smaller supplies fueled a booming farm economy. Rural firms seized these opportunities to restore economic activity and job growth on Main Street. Together, stronger farmgate and Main Street activity point to further prosperity in 2011. Rural prosperity, however, will depend on the ability of rural firms to compete in emerging global markets.”