THE UC/AIC QUARTERLY
THE NEWSLETTER OF THE UC AGRICULTURAL
VOLUME 12. NO. 2. 1998
Foot and mouth disease surveillance
Pest and Disease Project
Awards and Honors
AIC-Generated Export Statistics
AIC Publication List
Regular readers of the AIC quarterly may have noticed how much
of what we do at the Agricultural Issues Center has an international
flavor. This does not reflect a conscious choice to emphasize
the global nature of California agriculture as much as recognition
of an inescapable reality.
current major project on non-indigenous agricultural pests and
diseases involves international issues in fundamental ways. First,
international commerce and visitors are the source of many of
the pest invasion threats with which the state's programs of exclusion,
control or eradication must deal. Second, much of the concern
about exotic pests reflects the potential harm that their establishment
here would do to California's ability to export agricultural products.
The goal of exotic pest policy is to maintain a protective system
for California agriculture that is both science-based and reasonable,
and also to recognize the legitimate objectives of other countries
in maintaining their own systems. Indeed, one objective of trade
negotiation for California and the United States is to ensure
that import rules imposed by other countries are truly science-based
and reasonable. Trade is always a two-way street, and technical
trade rules must protect against pests while allowing legitimate
Another project illustrating
the importance of international trade is the Center's current
effort to help the CDFA and others provide more accurate agricultural
export data on a state-by-state basis. It turns out to be difficult
to measure the actual scale of California agriculture's international
trade. Data, either in-total or by-commodity, simply are not available
from official sources. The AIC project will help provide more
A third topic
with clear international significance is measuring the contribution
of agricultural research and extension, and implications for organizing
and financing public research and extension. Even more than agricultural
goods, ideas flow readily, if not freely, across international
boundaries. This means our research in California has benefits
for agriculture in other countries. It also means that we gain
from innovations created elsewhere. Further, consumers and others
in California benefit from innovations used in California agriculture,
regardless of their source. Californians also benefit from innovations
imbedded in products we import, just as customers around the world
benefit from our innovation. Any reasonable evaluation of research
and extension programs in California must take into account important
international spill-ins and spill-outs. In the world of ideas,
as in the world of commodities, we are in a global market.
An upcoming AIC report deals with a crucial if question
involving public policy and regulation: What if a highly contagious
livestock disease-foot-and-mouth disease, in this case-suddenly
appeared in California?
specifically, how much economic loss could be avoided by quick
and effective control measures? What are the possibilities for
quick and effective control? The study involves an intensive study
and provides sobering results.
The chances of such a disaster are unknown, but may be increasing
because of more intensive international travel and trade. The
AIC publication describes seven possible scenarios that might
follow an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Tulare County,
where dairy cows and other livestock are concentrated and therefore
more vulnerable to the disease. It also reviews current planned
strategies in case of an outbreak, identifying potential problems
and suggesting actions.
150-page publication is titled The Potential Impact of Foot-and-Mouth
Disease in California. The author is Javier M. Ekboir, formerly
a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Agricultural and Resource
Economics at UC Davis. (Now with CIMMYT in Mexico City.) Ekboir's
project was in cooperation with the UC School of Veterinary Medicine,
and was supported by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)
presents no danger to humans, and in fact most adult livestock
can recover from the disease. But because the virus can spread
so rapidly, both livestock and livestock products from a FMD-infected
region or country are embargoed throughout much of the world.
In the past, outbreaks in FMD-free zones have been commonly met
with stamping-out programs-which means slaughtering
all exposed as well as all infected animals, cleaning and disinfecting
all livestock premises, and then waiting to be declared FMD-free
again. That is the official policy in California, in case of an
cost of an outbreak would be the sum of eradication costs (including
compensation to livestock growers), production losses and, even
more significant, loss of prime national and international markets
for months or years. In the various scenarios, those costs in
California are projected from about $2.5 billion to about $4.5
billion-and that's assuming the outbreak is contained in the South
Valley (Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties). Total U.S. trade
losses would be substantially greater.
A crucial finding of the model scenarios is that, in an
area crowded with livestock like Tulare County, a day or two delay
in diagnosing the disease, establishing a quarantine zone, and
starting the stamping-out program could make the difference between
a contained outbreak and a statewide economic disaster. The
opportunity for decisive intervention lasts only one week,
the report emphasizes.
for various reasons, including lack of awareness of the threat
and lack of immediately available resources in case of an emergency,
it is highly likely that implementation of this stamping-out
policy would face enormous problems which would seriously compromise
its chances of success, the report says. In the concluding
chapter, those problems are analyzed and recommended actions listed.
The foot-and-mouth disease study
preceded, but will contribute to, a more comprehensive extensive
AIC project on exotic pest and disease policy in California. The
large AIC project is considering a wide variety of pests and diseases
and involves scientists, economists and others from several UC
campuses, CDFA, USDA and the private sector. A conference and
major report are planned for 1999.
The Potential Impact of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in California
will be available later this summer from AIC.
The Center's new study on exotic pest and disease policy
will be comprehensive in its scope of issues, but will focus in
depth on a limited number of case studies. At an advisory committee
meeting on June 5, 23 attendees looked over the project plans.
Represented on the committe are state, local and federal governments,
UC research and extension, and the public, including agriculture.
Under consideration for case
studies are exotic Newcastle disease, foot-and-mouth disease,
the Medfly, rice blast, citrus canker and tamarisk.
The project's goal is to provide a much
stronger objective scientific basis for policy decisions about
exotic pests and diseases, and to increase overall public understanding
of the issues. Multidisciplinary research teams will review information
on exotic pests and on affected crops, animals, and third
parties, as well as relevant regulations and trade aspects,
before undertaking economic analyses. USDA-APHIS and CDFA will
collaborate with the UC-led research teams.
These public policy issues, and others, are
on the project's agenda:
Since our last report we have
accelerated the project timeline with an eye to reporting preliminary
findings at a public conference in May, 1999.
- What are the potential economic and environmental consequences
of the establishment of non-indigenous agricultural pests
- How effective are current regulations in preventing new
- What will be the effects of recent changes in import regulations
and international trade barriers?
- How much does exclusion, eradication or managed control
of exotic pests benefit and costs the overall public?
and seminars sponsored or co-sponsored by the Center are scheduled
during the next few months. To register or get more information
about these events, contact Laurie Treacher at the Center. Phone:
530-752-2320; fax: 530-752-5451; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winegrape Outlook Workshop,
Friday, July 24, in Sacramento. There is still time to register
for this event, which will address the outlook for winegrape demand
and supply, pricing and trade issues. John Kautz, president of
the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and chairman
of the board of Ironstone Winery, will be the luncheon speaker.
The panel of industry and academic experts includes:
Daniel Sumner, Director of the
Agricultural Issues Center, will moderate the panel.
- Barry Bedwell, President of Allied Grape Growers.
- Dale Heien, UC Davis professor of agricultural and resource
- Vaughn Kiligian, President of the Raisin Bargaining Association.
- George Schofield, industry consultant.
- Eric Sims, a key analyst for the Motto, Kryla and Fisher
study 1998 Grape Trends: An MKF Research Report.
- Robert Smiley, Dean of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.
- Bill Turrentine, of Turrentine Brokerage in San Mateo.
The workshop is scheduled from 10 am
to 3 pm at the Hyatt Regency at Capitol Park in Sacramento. Lunch
is included in the $30 registration fee.
Risk Management Seminar for Agribusiness Producers,
Wednesday, October 21, in Sacramento. Co-sponsored with the USDA's
Risk Management Agency, this event will include sessions dealing
Joe Glauber, USDA Senior Economist
for Policy Analysis, will be the opening speaker at the seminar,
which will be in the Doubletree Hotel, Sacramento. Details will
be announced later.
- Financial and marketing risks.
- Farm labor.
- Environmental issues.
- Water supply.
- Estate planning and family business organization.
Seminar on Agricultural Issues, Tuesday, December 8, in Sacramento.
Sponsored by UC's Giannini Foundation for Agricultural Economics
and by the Center, this year's seminar has the theme Risks
and Opportunities for California Agriculture. It will focus
on the risks and uncertainties of regulations, policies and the
marketing environment, as well as opportunities for California
agriculture. A marketing and financial outlook session will open
the seminar, followed by sessions on risks and opportunities for
fruits, nuts, vegetables, field crops and animal agriculture.
Vernon M. Crowder, vice-president and senior economist for Bank
America Corporation, will be the lead speaker. The seminar will
be held in the Hyatt-Regency Hotel, Sacramento. Details will be
Colin A. Carter, a UC Davis professor
of agricultural economics and AIC Associate Director, has received
the Distinguished Policy Contribution Award of the American Agricultural
Economics Association. The AAEA award cited his contribution in
objectively analyzing the issues surrounding single desk
an AIC student assistant, was named the Western Agricultural Economics
Association's Outstanding Senior at UC Davis. Ms. Benson graduated
in June and leaves AIC in August on her way to law school at Vanderbilt
An upcoming AIC report is previewed in the May-June issue of California
Agriculture, published by UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural
Resources. A special section of the DANR publication, with spectacular
color photos, probes crucial land-use issues in California involving
farmland protection, the urban fringe, growth policies, and land
The articles are
condensed from several chapters in California Farmland and Urban
Pressures: Statewide and Regional Perspectives, to be published
by the Center later this year. The editors are Al Medvitz, a Solano
County rancher and land-use specialist, and Al Sokolow, public
policy specialist at UC Davis. The authors are from the academic,
private and governmental sectors.
The papers, focusing on both statewide patterns and regional
profiles, were first presented at meetings of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
ongoing AIC project will generate revised and more accurate agricultural
export statistics for the State of California. These data will
be officially released by the California Department of Food and
Agriculture in August.
about 1990, California farm export statistics were produced by
an intensive system of information-gathering. This system proved
too costly, but the procedures used subsequently did not produce
reliable numbers. The Center has analysed the situation and is
using a procedure that produces more accurate results in a cost-effective
way. Since the need for reliable agricultural export statistics
is nationwide, other states have expressed interest in the Center-designed
system and are cooperating in its development.
Accurate agricultural export figures are important
for planning and decision-making by government agencies, financial
institutions, industries and others.
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