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APR: Fall 2022 Articles

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Conservation Investment and Carbon Payments in US Agriculture: Implications of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Zhushan Du, Hongli Feng, and Lisa Schulte Moore
The United States has a long history of governmental investment in conservation to maintain the economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture; and, recently, the pursuit of carbon neutrality has brought increased attention and funding to conservation in agriculture. The Inflation Reduction Act will invest $369 billion in climate solutions and environmental justice and help reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030. About $19.5 billion will go toward agricultural conservation through increased funding for large, existing USDA conservation programs. As the tremendous amount of government and private funding flows into agricultural conservation, it is imperative for us to understand the interactions between government and private programs.

Electric Vehicles, Horses, Oats, and Ethanol. Does the last Transportation Revolution Reveal Anything about the Next One?

John M. Crespi and Joshua L. Rosenbloom
Are US drivers ready to get rid of their gas tanks? There was a 60% increase in EV registrations in the United States in the first quarter of 2022—the overall share of EVs represent nearly 5% of the new vehicle auto market and about 2% of all EVs in the United States. However, a frequent question that arises is whether the energy infrastructure exists or if the United States can build it in time to match such a movement. This article considers similar concerns that emerged during the last transportation revolution whereby automobile usage gained in popularity despite the doubts.

Agricultural Projections into 2023

Lee Schulz and Chad Hart
Autumn is a transition season in a variety of aspects—schools are fully back in session, college football fires up another season, and agricultural markets shift their focus. For crops, the focus moves from supplies to usage, and for livestock, the market chatter often delves into the outlook for the upcoming year.

The Tillage Input: Technical Change, Markets, and Policy

David Hennessy, Chaoqun Lu, Scott Swinton, and Braeden Van Deynze
Tillage is closely associated with the emergence of settled societies. Critical for food security, incentivized by crop sector profitability, and implicated in environmental degradation events such as the US Dust Bowl era, the activity has long been matter for public policy. Driven by profit, technical innovations, and some regulation, tillage choices have changed dramatically since World War I, when tillage was horse-powered and chemical herbicides usage very limited. Looking forward, technological change as well as fuel and commodity prices are likely to retain their importance in determining whether and how soil is cultivated.

Increasing Local Production of Table Food in Iowa to Improve Agricultural Sustainability: A Food-Energy-Water Systems (FEWS) Project Case Study

Tássia M. Brighenti, Tiffanie F. Stone, Phillip W. Gassman, and Janette R. Thompson
In spite of Iowa’s productive landscape, the state is a net table food (for direct human consumption) importer, with approximately 95% of table food grown elsewhere. As the human population of Iowa becomes more concentrated in urban areas, the opportunities to expand local table food production to meet nutritional, environmental, and social sustainability targets in these places increase. The ongoing Iowa UrbanFEWS project focuses on identifying opportunities to increase table food production in the six-county Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.