Agricultural and Resource Economics

Fertilizer Prices Keep Rising and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict Could Make it Worse

We’ve heard a lot about rising fertilizer prices since mid-2020 and various explanations have been offered. UC Davis DeLoach Professor of Agricultural Economics, Aaron Smith, says a confluence of factors have combined to cause the price spike and that, in part due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, prices continue to increase. "Oil and gas prices have surged in the past couple of weeks due to supply uncertainty created by Russian threats to invade Ukraine,” said Smith.

Social Distancing Varies by Income in U.S.

Poorer Communities Face Double Burden During Pandemic as They Stay Home Less

Wealthier communities went from being the most mobile before the COVID-19 pandemic to the least mobile, while poorer areas have gone from the least mobile to the most mobile, according to a study by the University of California, Davis.

How has coronavirus pandemic impacted California food, agriculture and environment?

New report explores long-term effect on state’s agricultural industries

A new report from agricultural economists at the University of California examines how COVID-19 continues to impact California agriculture. Profiles of leading California agricultural industries illustrate the different ways the pandemic has impacted leading industries like dairy, beef, and produce—industries that have scrambled to repurpose products from food service to retail—and tree nuts, an industry that saw a temporary spike in sales as consumers hoarded storable goods.

How Much Does It Cost California Cannabis Growers to Safety Test?

Study Finds High Cost to Disposing of Rejected Product

The high cost of testing cannabis in California leads to higher prices for the consumer, which could drive consumers to unlicensed markets.

new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis, finds the safety tests cost growers about 10 percent of the average wholesale price of legal cannabis. The biggest share of this expense comes from failing the test.

Quantifying Hope

Hope might seem like the business of philosophers and motivational speakers. But economists, too, are exploring the power of aspirations.

More than 800 million people in the world live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 a day. Interventions usually focus on providing tangible resources, such as access to clean water, nutrition, health care, education and a viable income.

But new research from economists in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences highlights a psychological asset that could be equally important: hope.

California Farmers Have Raised Wages, But Still Unable to Find Enough Workers

Statewide Survey by Farm Bureau and UC Davis Finds Farmers Turning to Labor-Saving Crops

Despite raising wages and increasing benefits, California farmers are failing to find enough people to pick fruits and vegetables and harvest other crops, and they are offsetting this labor shortage by changing to less labor-intensive crops and adding automation. Moreover, farmers are calling on Congress to enact agricultural workforce reform that would allow immigrants to work as guest workers legally in order to help them grow food.

Farm Labor Supply from Mexico is Falling Fast

For decades, farmers in the United States have depended on people from foreign countries—mostly Mexico—to work in the fields. Only 2 percent of California’s farmworkers were born in the U.S. 

But Mexico is changing. Fertility rates are falling, rural education is rising, and fewer young people have the need or interest to come to America to pick crops. California’s farm-labor supply from Mexico has been decreasing for several years. New data from a long-term study by UC Davis researchers suggests that supply will soon disappear.