World Perspectives

Political Economics

Political economy is economics as a branch of knowledge or academic discipline; political economics is what politicians use when they need red meat rhetoric for their base of supporters. Thus, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), a vegetarian, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), still vying to be the populist vice presidential candidate, are demanding some rather obvious answers from the major meat packers.  They asked each major company ten questions but there are really two key things they want to know: Why did the companies pay less for animals when the number of head available was relatively high, and their capacity to process them was low? Why did the companies charge consumers higher prices after they p...

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feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Summary of Futures

Dec 20 Corn closed at $3.365/bushel, down $0.0825 from yesterday's close.  Sep 20 Wheat closed at $5.2475/bushel, down $0.0925 from yesterday's close.  Nov 20 Soybeans closed at $8.7525/bushel, down $0.155 from yesterday's close.  Dec 20 Soymeal closed at $291.7/short ton, down $...

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Illuminating the value of technical research

On behalf of a commodity producer organization, WPI evaluated the outputs from a project that featured a $5 million investment into technical research over multiple years. WPI’s team captured the results of this extensive effort and synthesized them for presentation to the organization’s governing board; among the findings uncovered and presented for the first time was the development of genomic traits proven, via rigorous testing, to provide crop yield advantages of 50 percent or more to U.S. farmers in times of drought. Capturing measurable results from long-term efforts can be challenging. Educating clients on the dynamics of success measurement when quantifiable results are not readily available requires deep client-consultant collaboration and an ability to consider both near- and long-term client aspirations with market/policy dynamics – attributes that WPI brings to every consulting engagement.

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