College of ACES
College News

Sep15

CLACS Lecture Series. Inequality in Latin America: Past and Present

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
101 International Studies Building

Speaker: Joseph Love, Emeritus Professor of History, UIUC

Click here for more information.

Sep26

Conference on "Immigration, Migration, Refugees, and the 2016 Election"

All Day Event
Heritage Room, ACES Library

Women and Gender in Global Perspectives (WGGP), the Department of Sociology, and the School of Social Work are co-sponsoring the conference "Immigration, Migration, Refugees, and the 2016 Election" on September 26-27, 2016.

This one-and-a-half-day conference focuses on the issues and attitudes as well as the historical, economic, and legal dimensions associated with people immigrating, migrating, or seeking refugee status. This conference will bring together experts from a variety of disciplines and will allow for ample time for interactive dialogues between presenters and conference attendees.

View the full conference program and speaker list online.

Location: Heritage Room, ACES Library, 1101 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana (Film screening on the first day will be held in Lincoln Hall, Room 1000.)

Co-sponsors: Center for Business and Public Policy, College of Law, Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics, Department of Economics, Department of Latina/o Studies, Department of Political Science, Program in Law and Philosophy, Program in Modern Greek Studies, Division of Student Affairs, and Illinois Inequality Initiative, and support from the LAS Conference Grant Program.

Sep12

Food and Data Workshop: Interoperability through the Food Pipeline

All Day Event
CSL Auditorium

The increasing ability to capture data at the level of individual agricultural fields, individual culinary recipes, and individual food waste digesters is allowing analytics-based optimization within the distinct industries responsible for producing, transporting, trading, storing, processing, packaging, wholesaling, retailing, consuming, and disposing of food.  Yet addressing the pressing national/global challenges in food security due to climate change, as well as public health challenges such as obesity and malnutrition, requires optimization across the food pipeline.  This workshop is concerned with understanding the relationship between data and food writ large, with a particular focus on questions of interoperable data ontologies, privacy, and analytic insights.

Register here: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/7478594

Soybean use exceeded USDA projection. Did corn use fall short?

Published September 6, 2016

URBANA, Ill. – The 2015-16 marketing year for corn and soybeans ended August 31. The USDA’s quarterly Grain Stocks report to be released on Sept. 30 will reveal the magnitude of the total consumption of those two crops during the year and the magnitude of stocks available for use during the 2016-17 marketing year. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, based on data currently available, soybean consumption exceeded the forecast of 3.889 billion bushels contained in the USDA’s August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

“There is more uncertainty about the magnitude of corn consumption because feed and residual use during the final quarter of the year is never known until the Sept.1 stocks estimate is released,” says Darrel Good.

Good reports that soybean consumption has exceeded the USDA August projection due to a very strong pace of exports. The USDA has projected marketing-year exports at 1.88 billion bushels. Cumulative export inspections for the year totaled 1.886 billion bushels.  However, cumulative Census Bureau export estimates through the first 11 months of the year exceeded inspections by 53 million bushels. “Assuming that margin persisted through August, marketing-year exports totaled 1.939 billion bushels, 59 million bushels more than projected and 97 million bushels more than the record-large exports of the previous year.”

The USDA projected the marketing-year domestic soybean crush at 1.9 billion bushels. Based on the USDA’s monthly Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks report, the crush during the first 11 months of the year totaled 1.746 billion bushels. Good says that to reach 1.9 billion bushels for the year, the crush during August needed to be 154 million bushels. That is 9.4 million bushels, or 6.5 percent, larger than the crush during August 2015.

The combined crush in June and July this year was 2.5 percent larger than the crush in those two months last year. “It appears that the marketing-year crush may have fallen 5 million bushels or so short of the USDA projection,” Good says.

The National Oilseed Processors Association estimate of the August crush by its members will be released on Sept.15. Good says that report will provide a reasonable estimate of the total crush for the month. For the first 11 months of the year, the USDA crush estimate averaged 6.4 percent larger than the NOPA estimate. The USDA’s estimate of the August crush will be released on Oct. 3.

For corn, the USDA’s August WASDE report projected 2015-16 marketing-year exports at 1.925 billion bushels. Cumulative export inspections for the year totaled 1.841 billion bushels.  However, cumulative Census Bureau export estimates through the first 11 months of the year exceeded inspections by 67 million bushels.  Assuming that margin persisted through August, marketing-year exports totaled only 1.908 billion bushels, 17 million bushels short of the projection.

The USDA has projected corn used for production of ethanol and co-products during the 2015-16 marketing year at 5.2 billion bushels. Based on the USDA’s monthly Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report, use during the first 11 months of the year totaled 4.748 billion bushels.

“To reach 5.2 billion bushels for the year, the crush during August needed to be 452 million bushels,” Good says. “Based on weekly ethanol production estimates provided by the U.S. Energy Information Agency, ethanol production during August 2016 was 1.04 percent larger than in July 2016. If the mix of feedstocks and the ethanol yield per bushel of feedstock was the same in August as in July, corn use would have totaled 460 million bushels. It appears that use for the year may have been 5.208 billion bushels, slightly larger than the USDA projection.”

The USDA’s estimate of the August corn crush will be released on Oct. 3.

The USDA has projected feed and residual use of corn during the 2015-16 marketing year at 5.2 billion bushels. Based on the quarterly Grain Stocks reports released in January, March, and June of this year, use during the first three quarters of the year totaled 4.552 billion bushels.

“To reach 5.2 billion bushels for the year, use during the last quarter needed to be 648 million bushels,” Good says. “That would be 110 million bushels larger than use during the same quarter last year and the largest use for the quarter in seven years. Use at that level would be somewhat surprising given the level of livestock and poultry inventories during the quarter and the widely expected increase in wheat feeding during the summer months. However, because revealed use varies substantially from quarter to quarter, use at that higher level cannot be ruled out.”

Good concludes that the magnitude of soybean and corn inventories carried into the 2016-17 marketing year is of some importance given the large crops expected this year.

“Based on currently available consumption information for the 2015-16 marketing year, it appears that stocks of soybeans at the end of the year may have totaled about 200 million bushels, 55 million bushels less than projected in the August WASDE report,” Good says. “Stocks of corn may have been larger than the projection of 1.706 billion bushels based on expectations of smaller than projected feed and residual use during the summer.  For both crops, however, the USDA’s Sept. 1 stocks estimate has often differed from expectations.”   

 

Farming adaptations to combat climate change impact crop yields in 2050

Published September 6, 2016
sorghum
  • Sorghum is a staple food crop in West African countries whose crop yields already suffer from long droughts and unpredictable rainfall.
  • Using heat-tolerant varieties of sorghum as a new management practice shows the most potential as an adaptation for maintaining crop yield as global warming raises the temperatures in West Africa.
  • This study’s unique framework compares how West African sorghum crop yields will fare in the higher temperatures and higher CO2 of the future—if specific farming management practices or technologies are adopted and if they are not adopted.

URBANA, Ill. – As the globe continues to spin toward a future with higher temperatures, crop yields will likely decrease if farmers do not adapt to new management or technology practices. Establishing new strategies is particularly difficult for sorghum farmers in West Africa where seed varieties and fertilizer are scarce, while drought and unpredictable rainfall are prevalent.

Using more heat-resistant sorghum varieties may yield the most benefits, research shows.

“Climate change will impact both natural and agricultural ecosystems on the planet. The difference is that farmers can do things to adapt to the changing climate, and hopefully alleviate the impacts on their crops,” says Kaiyu Guan, an environmental scientist at the University of Illinois.

Guan and his colleagues conducted a research project modeling practices farmers could adopt, weighing them against climate change scenarios.

“We started with a long list of adaptation options, but we finally narrowed it down to five that we believe are more feasible options for the future and for the sorghum farmers in West Africa,” Guan says.

The team uses 30 years of historical precipitation and temperature data—from 1961 to 1990—as well as eight different scenarios to project future climate changes from 2031 to 2060. Drawing from a new schematic of crop yield response under historical/current and future climate developed by the co-author David Lobell from Stanford University, they were able to determine the impact on crop yield from five management practices.

A summary of the findings show:

  • Late sowing, or choosing a safer time to plant, did not show much benefit.
  • Increasing seed density and using more fertilizer results in higher crop yield, with or without climate change.
  • Changing the length of thermal time required for sorghum to grow results in a reduction in crop yield.
  • Collecting rainfall to use during a dry spell will only marginally benefit crop yield with or without climate change.
  • Using sorghum varieties that are more resilient to heat stress during the flowering period proves to have the most potential for greater crop yield with higher temperatures in the future.

Guan says this research confirms what previous studies have concluded. “If farmers don’t do anything about climate change in West Africa, there will be a severe impact—a net loss in crop yield. We have to do something. We also discovered that most of the approaches are not as effective as what we expected.”

But, it’s the novel way the team uses well-validated crop models to address the specific research question for which Guan sees the most value in assessing the potential impacts of the five farm management strategies.

“Our goal is to quantify the impact of a specific proposed adaptation option to determine how effective each adaptation is,” Guan explains. “The new framework allows us to make those calculations so that the five adaptations in the eight climate change scenarios can be assessed against what the crop yield would be if no adaptations were initiated by farmers.”

Guan adds that this study provides detailed data for sorghum grown in the region of West Africa and a suggestion that the use of more heat-tolerant varieties of sorghum is the adaptation that will be most helpful. He believes this information will be useful to government agencies as they decide where to invest research dollars for adapting to climate change.

“People have said for a long time that some adaptation should be possible. But identifying which specific investments are most likely to help, and by how much, is still a pressing need, especially given the billions of dollars now being earmarked for adaptation,” says Lobell.  

Getting new heat-tolerant varieties to West African farmers could be the next challenge. The current common practice is that farmers save seed from each year’s harvest and use the same variety over and over, Guan says. He suggests that perhaps government funding agencies or non-governmental organizations might be tapped to establish a way to distribute heat-tolerant sorghum varieties to these developing countries.

“Assessing climate adaptation options and uncertainties for cereal systems in West Africa” is published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. The article is co-authored by Kaiyu Guan, Benjamin Sultan, Michela Biasutti, Christian Baron, and David B. Lobell. The work was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the US National Science Foundation, the NERC/DFID Future Climate for Africa Programme, and the France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

In addition to being an assistant professor in ecohydrology and geoinformatics in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at U of I, Guan has a joint appointment as a Blue Waters professor affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

The paper is available online.

 

 

 

News Source:

Kaiyu Guan
Sep09

ACE Departmental Seminar - ACE Faculty

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
426-428 Mumford Hall

The Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics Seminar Series
September 9, 2016
12:00 p.m.
426 Mumford Hall

ACE Faculty volunteers will give 7 minute presentations on their current research.
Please come to find out what your colleagues are doing.
The schedule is listed below...

Amy Ando
Ben Crost
Hope Michelson
Mindy Mallory
Peter Christensen
Yilan Xu
Scott Irwin
Gary Schnitkey

Sep02

ACE Departmental Seminar - ACE Faculty

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
426-428 Mumford Hall

The Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics Seminar Series
September 2, 2016
12:00 p.m.
426 Mumford Hall

ACE Faculty volunteers will give 7 minute presentations on their current research.
Please come to find out what your colleagues are doing.
The schedule is listed below...

Sandy Dall'Erba
David Bullock
Craig Gundersen
Bryan Endres
Todd Kuethe
Mary Arends-Kuennning
Madhu Khanna
Kathy Baylis

Sep22

IPAD Seminar - Pushpendra Rana

12:30 PM - 1:20 PM
426-428 Mumford Hall

International Policy and Development Workshop (IPAD) Seminar

Pushpendra Rana

"Smallholder Forestry, Land Tenure and Livelihood Security"

Thursday, September 22, 2016
12:30-1:20 p.m.
426-428 Mumford Hall

Nov17

IPAD Seminar - Amanda Qi Qi Ang

12:30 PM - 1:20 PM
426-428 Mumford Hall

International Policy and Development Workshop (IPAD) Seminar

Amanda Qi Qi Ang

"Identifying Heterogeneous Impacts of Climate Change with Machine Learning"

Thursday, November 17, 2016
12:30-1:20 p.m.
426-428 Mumford Hall

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