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Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies

Author

Listed:
  • Sands, Ron
  • Westcott, Paul
  • Price, J. Michael
  • Beckman, Jayson
  • Leibtag, Ephraim
  • Lucier, Gary
  • McBride, William D.
  • McGranahan, David
  • Morehart, Mitch
  • Roeger, Edward
  • Schaible, Glenn
  • Wojan, Timothy R.

Abstract

Agricultural production is sensitive to changes in energy prices, either through energy consumed directly or through energy-related inputs such as fertilizer. A number of factors can affect energy prices faced by U.S. farmers and ranchers, including develop- ments in the oil and natural gas markets, and energy taxes or subsidies. Climate change policies could also affect energy prices as a result of taxes on emissions, regulated emis- sion limits, or the institution of a market for emission reduction credits. Here we review the importance of energy in the agricultural sector and report the results of a case study on the economic implications for the farm sector of energy price increases that would arise from plausible, constructed greenhouse-gas-emission reduction scenarios. Higher energy-related production costs would generally lower agricultural output, raise prices of agricultural products, and reduce farm income, regardless of the reason for the energy price increase. Nonetheless, farm sector impacts were modest for the scenarios and time periods examined. We demonstrate the unique distribution of effects resulting from price (or cost) increases for different types of energy due to pricing their carbon content, as well as the relative use of energy in production of different agricultural commodities. Our analysis focuses on relatively short-term adjustments to higher energy- related costs and does not include potential financial benefits from seques- tering carbon or reduced climate change. Finally, we find that agricultural sector impacts on farming-dependent counties would not be substantial but would be potentially largest where education and employment levels are relatively low, while effects on rural communities due strictly to energy production adjustments would be concentrated in the few U.S. counties with significant employment in energy extraction industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Sands, Ron & Westcott, Paul & Price, J. Michael & Beckman, Jayson & Leibtag, Ephraim & Lucier, Gary & McBride, William D. & McGranahan, David & Morehart, Mitch & Roeger, Edward & Schaible, Glenn & Woj, 2011. "Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies," Economic Research Report 262236, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:262236
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Key, Nigel D. & Sneeringer, Stacy E., 2011. "Climate Change Policy and the Adoption of Methane Digesters on Livestock Operations," Economic Research Report 102758, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Horowitz, John K. & Ebel, Robert M. & Ueda, Kohei, 2010. ""No-Till" Farming Is a Growing Practice," Economic Information Bulletin 96636, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Shoemaker, Robbin A. & McGranahan, David A. & McBride, William D., 2006. "Agriculture and Rural Communities Are Resilient to High Energy Costs," Amber Waves:The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources, and Rural America, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, pages 1-6, April.
    4. Huang, Kuo S., 1993. "A Complete System of U.S. Demand for Food," Technical Bulletins 157046, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Zihan & Gong, Yazhen & Chen, Kevin Z., 2016. "Energy use and rural poverty: Empirical evidence from potato farmers in north China," IFPRI discussion papers 1577, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2014. "Do oil price increases cause higher food prices?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(80), pages 691-747, October.
    3. Bhattacharyya, Ranajoy & Ganguly, Amrita, 2017. "Cross subsidy removal in electricity pricing in India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 181-190.
    4. Volpe, Richard & Leibtag, Ephraim S. & Roeger, Edward, 2013. "How Transport Costs Affect Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Prices," Economic Research Report 161355, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. Valdes, R. & Von Cramon, S. & Engler, A., 2018. "The role of fuel prices on the wholesale price relationships between horticultural markets," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277064, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Dong Hee Suh, 2015. "Declining Energy Intensity in the U.S. Agricultural Sector: Implications for Factor Substitution and Technological Change," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-14, September.
    7. Hitaj, Claudia & Suttles, Shellye, 2016. "Trends in U.S. Agriculture's Consumption and Production of Energy: Renewable Power, Shale Energy, and Cellulosic Biomass," Economic Information Bulletin 262140, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    8. Suh, Dong Hee, 2015. "Identifying Factor Substitution and Energy Intensity in the U.S. Agricultural Sector," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205264, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Nigatu, Getachew & Hjort, Kim & Hansen, James & Somwaru, Agapi, 2014. "The Impacts of Energy Prices on Global Agricultural Commodity Supply," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 169953, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Revell, Brian J., 2015. "One Man’s Meat…. 2050? Ruminations on future meat demand in the context of global warming," 89th Annual Conference, April 13-15, 2015, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 204205, Agricultural Economics Society.

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