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APR: Fall 2017 Articles

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Efficient Environmental Regulation in the Unconventional Oil Industry

Gabriel Lade and Ivan Rudik
US oil production has skyrocketed since 2007. Technological advances in oil and gas drilling (commonly referred to as ‘fracking’) have allowed producers to access vast petroleum reserves that were previously too costly to recover. The growth in oil and gas production from unconventional sources has been tremendous, so that unconventional sources now make up more than 50 percent of total US petroleum production. While this represents a boost to job growth and the broader economy, growth in the oil industry comes with its fair share of problems. Some of these costs were seen in Iowa with the contentious nature of right-of-way issues associated with building out the Dakota Access pipeline across the state. Farmers and environmentalists alike are bound together in their concern for right-of-way, human rights concerns, and environmental issues.

China’s New Nationwide E10 Ethanol Mandate and Its Global Implications

Minghao Li, Wendong Zhang, Dermot Hayes, Riley Arthur, Yantao Yang, and Xiudong Wang
In September 2017, the Chinese government announced a new nationwide ethanol mandate that expands the mandatory use of E10 fuel (gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol) from 11 trial provinces to the entire country by 2020. This measure would require ethanol consumption in China, the largest motor vehicle market in the world, to at least quadruple within the next three years. For US producers, this recent development fuels interest in whether China is going to import ethanol and/or corn (the main feedstock for ethanol production in China) to meet the mandate.

How Do Swine Producers and Veterinarians Expect the VFD to Affect Their Business?

Gary Wynne, Georgeanne Artz, Lee Schulz, and Christopher Rademacher
Antibiotic use in livestock production is a controversial subject in the public eye. Concerns over perceived over-use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance has prompted public policy debates. In response, the United States Food and Drug Administration has created new antibiotic-use guidelines in livestock. These guidelines direct the use of medically important antibiotics (deemed to be important for human medicine) in livestock for therapeutic purposes (prevention, control, and treatment) only, thereby eliminating medically important antibiotics for growth promotion purposes.

The Importance of NAFTA for the Agricultural Sector

Sebastien Pouliot
The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 opened borders to trade between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAFTA eliminates almost all barriers to trade and investment between the three North American countries and includes provisions for the protection of intellectual property rights. Certain trade barriers for agricultural products remain under NAFTA—notably, products under supply management in Canada (dairy, eggs, and poultry).

The Ebbs and Flows of International Trade

Lee Schulz and Chad Hart
As we have detailed in various articles in this and other ISU outreach publications, international trade is a significant demand component for our agricultural markets. For the major US agricultural commodities, exports capture between 12 (cattle and corn) and 85 (cotton) percent of total use. Many factors shape international demand, from the growth, or lack thereof, in the general economy or the population to the agricultural and trade policies employed by various countries. At a time where the US agricultural sector is hoping to find the bottom of the economic downturn it is in, it is searching for growth in traditional markets and opening in new markets to bring about a financial resurgence; and, with 95 percent of the world’s customers outside of our borders, the potential for growth is sizable.