The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy (NCFAP) is working with USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses/Chief Economists Office on a project to determine the relationship between agricultural feed stocks and petroleum prices. The beginning is with feed stocks that are used for biofuel, oilseeds, corn and wheat. Additional investigations are currently being undertaken for timber and switch grass and corn stoves. Preliminary results show that there is in fact no long term relationship between these feedstocks and petroleum and petroleum products over the period 1999 to 2010. The approach uses time series methods and monthly data if available. Two papers were completed for this contract, one on switch grass and corn stover using budgetary data, one using advanced time series analysis on corn, ethanol, petroleum process and one that is a technical report summarizing the data and analysis. Papers will be posted after USDA had reviewed and released them for publication.
The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy (NCFAP) is implementing a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) for long-term training for officials involved in biotech research and regulation in China. These training agreements are for scientific exchange and called Borlaug Fellowships. This year we hosted a Chinese delegation of two scientists during April and May. They were in the USA for a period of about six weeks and observed the regulatory approach of the USA government for GMOs (involving the USDA,EPA and FDA) as well as GIPSM export facilities and restrictions and university research on the GMO issue, the regulatory authority of GIPSA and views of stake holders about the USA and Chinese regulatory process.
The two members of the delegation were Dr. Yong Liu, Researcher at Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Vice Director at Chengdu Center of Inspection and Testing for Environmental Safety of GM Plant (MOA) and Dr. Jiajiang Xie, Deputy Director of Inspection and Testing Center for Environmental Safety of Transgenic Crops, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (MOA).
Primary goals of the USDA scientific exchanges for China are to equip participating scientists and policy makers with skills and knowledge for better understanding the USA regulatory system for agricultural biotechnology products, as well as to foster collaboration between USA and Chinese agricultural scientists and officials. NCFAP will host another delegation of two scientists from China during the summer of 2012.
Stanley R. Johnson, Board Chair of NCFAP, has just finished a book “Extension in Kazakhstan and the Experience of the USA: Lessons from a Working National Model” which is co authored with Rector Tlektes I. Espolov, at the Kazakh National Agrarian University. The book will be published in English in 2012, and translated into Kazakh later in 2012. The theme of the book is to discuss aspects of the USA system that have worked well and not so well, and offer them as possible guidance for organizing the emerging Extension Service in Kazakhstan. Of course, Kazakhstan is a very different country than the USA with a culture and history that will influence the evolution of the Extension System, but there are ideas in the book that may be useful to the Kazakhs in developing their Extension System. When it is published we will update this information with a reference to the book.
The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy has joined with five universities (the University of Guelph in Canada, The Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Purdue University and the University of Nebraska) and John Deere Company to begin to understand the uses of farm level data that are collected by sensors on tractors and combines in the USA. The project involves farm level experiments for new products coming from these data, aggregated uses of the data, standards for the machinery industry for such data and cooperation with a Global Harvest Initiative, and activity of major agriculture business companies in the USA. Additional amounts will be forthcoming when we determine what projects that we will undertake.
The Center has a contract from UDA to present two seminars in Turkmenistan, one in April and one in early fall. The seminars will be presented at the Desert Institute. The subject will be market economics and applications to natural resource management. They will be delivered in Russian with the assistance of an interpreter. Materials have been prepared and are ready for the offering of the seminars. The seminars will be delivered by Dr. Rang Nayarann, Senior Fellow of NCFAP, and Stan Johnson. He contract is for $96,000.
NCFAP will host another group of Borlaug Fellows from China during summer of 2012. The objectives will be the same as for the Borlaug Fellows hosted in 2011.
A new contract as been signed with the Chief Economist’s Office at USDA for extending the analysis of petroleum prices and agricultural feed stocks. The focus this year will be on futures prices for petroleum, and agricultural feed stocks and for timber products.