Based in Washington, D.C., the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy fosters and conducts objective, non-advocacy research, analysis, and education to inform public policy on food, agriculture, natural resources, environmental quality, and rural economics. It was founded in 1984 with a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. By virtue of its location in our nation's capital, the National Center has unique access to national policy leaders. In February 2004, the National Center significantly increased its research capacity and networks with policy researchers, analysts and institutions when it entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.
The National Center does not duplicate or attempt to compete with existing research and educational institutions. Rather, through partnerships with a network of universities, federal agencies, and other institutions, it accesses the most appropriate data, analysis and expertise for the policy issues at hand, and molds the resulting information into products and services to inform policy. Stakeholders are provided a balanced perspective on the likely outcomes of alternative policy approaches, including how gains and losses are distributed.
NCFAP is currently engaged in a cooperative agreement with the Office of the Chief Economist of USDA for investigation the relationship of petroleum and agricultural feedstock prices. The result has been that a sophisticated time series analysis of monthly prices for the period 1990 – 2010 has shown that there is no relationship, except for short tern period that were brought on mainly by government policy. This result will be published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics during 2013. We have also shown that with current technology switch grass and corn stover are not competitive with grains for biofuel. Our last project is now being completed and is focused on the relationships of futures prices for petroleum products and agricultural feedstock. These papers will put a halt to the specious claims that agricultural feedstock used for fuel are diminishing the potential for feeding the world with grains, a constant clam of various groups that are watching technology and used of agricultural products worldwide. It also drives a stake in the rhetoric about alternative feedstock and their potential use for agricultural feedstock for producing petroleum like products.