The Cheapest Way to Skin a Cat

BBC News reports on a study arguing that pollution targets in the European Union are not strict enough:
A study confirming a link between atmospheric pollution and heart-attack risk strengthens the EU case for tougher clean-air targets, experts say.
Research in the BMJ looking at long-term data for 100,000 people in five European countries found evidence of harm, … Continue reading

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Jan 17, 2014

For Livestock Prices and Production Information CLICK HERE.
Cash Cattle:
The hot streak continues for cattle and beef prices. The five-area fed steer price ended Friday at $142.39 and $227.27, respectively for live and dressed, up $2.91 and $5.79 compared to last Friday. In the Southern Plains, live cattle were about $3 higher at $142 on Wednesday. … Continue reading

MS State Economist Projects Continued Growth

Dr. Darrin Webb, Mississippi State Economist and MSU Agricultural Economics alumnus, presented the 2014 Legislative Economic Briefing on January 14. This briefing provided some welcome highlights to the economic situation for the state. In short, the Mississippi economy is growing, but mainly in terms of jobs (income growth continues to be relatively slow). The Index of Coincident Indicators has risen fairly steadily since January 2012 and the November 2013 index was slightly above its pre-recession levels. … Continue reading

Grain Market Update: January 17, 2014

It has been a slow news week for most commodities following last Friday’s WASDE report. Corn futures have slowly declined over the course of the week after jumping 20 cents in response to last Friday’s WASDE report. Early acreage estimates for the 2014 crop have begun to flow in, with Informa estimating about 93.3 million acres. … Continue reading

Economic development through the lens of an environmental economist

From the NY Times, a natural gas company in New Jersey that proposed constructing a pipeline through the protected Pinelands, has had its proposal rejected.
The decision dealt a defeat to Gov.Chris Christie, whose administration vigorously lobbied for the pipeline, saying it was an important economic development tool for southern New Jersey. … Continue reading

Cash Rental Rates

Cash rental rates have trended upward throughout Mississippi in all four geographic/soil regions while share rental rates have remained relatively constant.  However, cash rental agreements have become more common relative to share contracts as the number of share contracts have dwindled according to surveys conducted by Mississippi State.
Rental rates for corn producers have seen rate increases of around 25% since 2008 with the exception of the Hills Region which was about the same in 2012 as in 2008. … Continue reading

January WASDE Shakes Up Corn, Wheat Markets

Several major reports were released by the USDA on Friday, with the biggest being the January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE). The biggest shakeups took place in the corn and wheat markets, while soybeans had no major surprises. Corn acres were increased from 87.2 million acres to 87.7 million acres, much higher than expected. … Continue reading

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Jan 10, 2013

*** There are price and production tables at this link (here). As always, if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to let me know (, 662-325-7986) ***
Cash Cattle:
Wow, much has happened since my last update. Cattle markets have been on fire as 2013 came to an end and thus far in 2014. … Continue reading

Deep Freeze Kills Off Invasive Species

From the New York Times, entomologists think the deep freeze may help kill off invasive species in the northeast.  Here in the southern US, we have invasive species too, such as cotton bollworms and tarnished plant bugs (insects) and kudzu (a plant) that cause damage to crops, forests, and water resources.  Dealing with invasive species is a common topic for environmental and ecological economists. … Continue reading

County Economic Profiles

Mississippi’s economy is recovering from the 2008 financial crisis and ensuing recession. Analysis indicates that the government, retail trade and health care sectors are experiencing advancements in competitive advantage and that total output for the state is increasing with the Utilities, Finance and Insurance, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing sectors leading the way with double digit growth from 2007-2012. … Continue reading