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Economics

Tanzania fertilizer use increased after intervention, but changes were not sustained, study shows

Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa tend to use very small amounts of fertilizer, limiting their crop productivity. A 2016 intervention in Tanzania increased farmers’ fertilizer use and their crop yields.

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Organic farmers’ beliefs about soil microbiome affect their practices, study shows

Organic farming can support soil microorganisms that promote plant defenses and reduce insect pests. But not all organic practices are equally beneficial for soil microbes, and it’s important to understand farmer motivations in order to encourage the adoption of microbiome-supportive efforts.

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Study: Social networks can influence perception of climate-change risk

A new paper co-written by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign urban and environmental economics expert shows that social networks can play a significant role in influencing the financial behaviors and perception of catastrophic risks brought about by climate change.

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Consumers across political spectrum share food pricing frustrations

In his State of the Union address last week, President Biden touched on a topic close to the hearts of U.S. consumers: food prices. In this election year, we can expect high food costs to come up repeatedly, with candidates from both parties invoking price gouging, shrinkflation, and corporate greed. But who do consumers blame? And how do political leanings shift those opinions?

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Despite uncertainties, cellulosic biofuels still a win for ground transportation

Despite the fervor around electric vehicles and their potential to reduce the transportation sector’s carbon footprint, 2023 projections suggest EVs won’t edge out gas-powered vehicles for decades to come.

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How the Russian invasion of Ukraine has impacted the global wheat market

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 caused an immediate disruption in the global wheat market, with serious implications for food prices and global food security. Wheat is a staple commodity in many countries and one of the most extensively traded crops worldwide.

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Paper: Multistate foodborne illness outbreaks impact restaurant stock price, public perception

As demand for food from restaurants soars in the U.S., so does the importance in understanding the impacts of foodborne illness outbreaks. A new paper co-written by a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign expert in food marketing and food policy finds that outbreaks spanning multiple states bring swift financial losses, increased media attention and a public-relations hit that makes smaller outbreaks more financially damaging. 

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Legislative trailblazer Bradley Fritts followed an unexpected path

Representative Bradley Fritts (R-Dixon), the youngest elected member of the Illinois General Assembly, is shaping a distinctive path in his early political career.

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Study: How farmers decide to store or sell their grain

When farmers harvest their grain, they can choose to sell it right away or store it to obtain better prices later in the season.

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