Which rose first: the price of chicken or corn? Sumner comments on shifting markets

Broilers by Michael Czarick

Marketplace / May 11, 2021

“So China has turned to U.S. corn, and that drives prices in the United States,” said agriculture professor Daniel Sumner at University of California, Davis.

He said American farmers have been growing more corn to meet demand, so they have less room for other crops.

“Corn takes land away from wheat. Well, that reduces wheat supply, and you increase the price of wheat as a consequence,” Sumner said.

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Drought adds pressure on Central Valley farmers as other factors cause food prices to rise. Dan Sumner comments on drought and food price

Snowpack statewide is only at 59% of its April 1 average, based on electronic measurements according to the California Department of Water Resources. Farmers in the Central Valley producing water-intensive crops such as almonds and tomatoes are already facing some difficult choices. “It’s really serious, particularly in the Central Valley.”

UC Davis Agricultural Economist Daniel Sumner

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Food Availability is ‘Not the Thing to Worry About’ During Pandemic

AgeNet West / May 4, 2020

While there may be continued disruptions within the supply chain over the coming weeks and months, there will not be a shortage of food in the U.S. One thing that Sumner assures is that food availability will remain strong. “We’ve all got lots to worry about these days, enough food is not the thing to worry about,” Sumner noted.

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As meat plants idle, California has no shortage of fish, dairy

NBC News / April 29, 2020

California produces about 20 percent of the nation’s milk and has a large poultry processor in Foster Farms, but is otherwise dependent on the Midwest for pork and much of its beef, according to Daniel Sumner, director of the University of California’s Agricultural Issues Center.

The state slaughters dairy cows for hamburger and raises calves for beef. But the 1-year-old livestock is sent to the Midwest for corn and soy feeding before being processed for beef there, he said. “We’ve never produced any hogs to speak of,” Sumner added.

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AIC Director Sumner Presented at the California Farm Bureau Federation Townhall on The Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Monday, April 27th

The virtual townhall was co-chaired by Senate and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chairs, Assemblymember Susan Eggman & Senator Cathleen Galgiani.

Opening remarks were by Jamie Johansson, President of the California Farm Bureau Federation. Other presenters included Roland Fumasi, Ph.D., Vice President, Senior Analyst and Manager, Rabo Research Food & Agribusiness at Rabobank; and Daniel Kowalski, Vice President, Knowledge Exchange Division, CoBank.

Click here for the California Farm Bureau website.

California Agriculture in 2050: Still Feeding People, Maybe Fewer Acres and Cows

Public Policy Institute of California / February 18, 2020

It is important to recognize that global markets and climates interact, and so what economists call “comparative advantage” remains crucial to economic success. Let’s say climate change makes table grapes more expensive to grow here or moves the season earlier. But if climate change affects Mexican growing conditions even more, climate change could cause grapes to become more profitable and therefore expand in California. The crucial issue looking forward is what will grow well in California compared to other places and compared to other crops.

Dan Sumner
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