THE UC/AIC QUARTERLY
THE NEWSLETTER OF THE UC AGRICULTURAL
VOLUME 12. NO. 3. 1998
Pest and Disease Policy Study: An Update
Export Statistics Reported by AIC
Outlook Workshop Wrap-up
AIC Video List
Agriculture is used to variable
production and market conditions. This reality has been particularly
evident this year with El Nino, the Asian financial crisis, and
variability in financial markets with its implications for the
U.S. economy, as well as the related drop in many commodity prices.
These issues are each important
and AIC has programs of work related to each. For example, at
our Winegrape Outlook Workshop this summer one focus was on the
importance of continuing income strength in the United States
to create demand for the new winegrape production that will soon
be forthcoming. The Asian financial crisis is of particular concern
because such a high proportion of California farm exports goes
to Asia. AIC has recently developed data to document more accurately
the magnitude and distribution of these exports. This fall we
will prepare an Issues Brief and other material presenting detailed
analysis of just how economic troubles in Asia affect the California
agricultural economy and its prospects.
Our forthcoming seminar on risk management will consider
how growers and agricultural business may deal more effectively
with variability in markets and other factors of uncertainty affecting
agriculture. That seminar will deal not only with production,
markets and financial risks, but also with labor, environmental,
water, and farm and family business considerations. This December
our annual Executive Seminar will focus on Risks and Opportunities
for California Agriculture to emphasize that change may
have both upside and downside aspects.
Not all variation means risk; risk relates to variability
that is not fully anticipated. Further, the costs associated with
variability depend on the degree to which one anticipates and
plans ahead. Thus, a sound strategy for dealing with variability
is to improve one's information and knowledge. That is the role
of AIC. Our goal is to help California agriculture take advantage
of the upside and prepare for the downside. We think this is useful
for agriculture and important for California as a whole.
AIC Exotic Pest and Disease Policy study is designed to strengthen
the scientific basis for public policy decisions. We have the
involvement of crucial UC faculty and staff assured, with active
participation from government, industry and others.
Research will be centered around broad
unifying principles and on case studies selected for their diversity
of biological and social effects, control methods and policy issues.
These multidisciplinary research teams include collaborators from
academia, government and industry.
The case studies and team leaders are:
- soilborne nematodes-Howard Ferris, UCDavis
- Mediterranean fruit fly-Jim Carey, UCDavis, together with
Jerry Siebert, UCBerkeley, and Joe Morse, UCRiverside
- recent thrips and mites affecting avocados-Mark Hoddle,
- ash white fly-Tim Paine, UCRiverside
- red imported fire ant-John Klotz, UCRiverside
- yellow star thistle-Joe DiTomaso, UCDavis
- weed issues in general-Marcel Rejmanek, UCDavis
- citrus canker-Ed Civerolo, USDA and UCDavis;
- rice blast-Bob Webster, UCDavis
- diseases affecting greenhouse and container grown plants-Jim
- foot and mouth disease-David Hird and Lovell Jarvis, UCDavis
- bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)-Alex Ardans, UCDavis
- exotic Newcastle disease-Patricia Wakenell, UCDavis.
In addition, Deborah Golino,
with Dan Sumner, will head a team looking at international trade
include Jerry Siebert, David Zilberman and David Sunding from
UCBerkeley; Lovell Jarvis, Karen Klonsky, Hyunok Lee, Jung-Sup
Choi (a Fullbright scholar from Korea) from UCDavis; Keith Knapp
from UCRiverside; and from AIC, Dan Sumner, Karen Jetter (a post
doc for this project) and JooHo Song (an international policy
fellow jointly with CDFA).
Department of Food and Agriculture and the USDA Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service have committed resources to the project.
In addition, CDFA, USDA and a number of private sector scientists
and economists have volunteered to participate on the research
teams and provide their expertise. Marcia Kreith, the project
coordinator, is keeping the project on track and on schedule (530-752-8670;
The Agricultural Issues Center, in conjunction with the California
Department of Food and Agriculture, recently reported new and
more accurate export statistics for California agriculture during
1995-97. These statistics help fill a data void; previous efforts
to quantify agricultural exports by state have had well known
deficiencies. The Center-designed system synthesizes USDA data,
California port data, Canadian import data and information from
industry sources to provide the most accurate estimate of California
agricultural exports available.
California agricultural exports were nearly $7 billion in
1997, a $500 million (8 percent) increase from 1995. Cotton and
almonds top the list of commodity exports in all three years.
Wine contributed $165 million to the export value growth, with
an 80 percent increase over the three-year period. The ten highest
value export products (cotton, almonds, wine, fresh grapes, oranges,
cattle products, processed tomatoes, dairy products, raisins and
walnuts) constitute more than half of the total agricultural export
The chart below shows
1997 exports by commodity group. East Asia and other Pacific Rim
countries receive the bulk of California agricultural exports,
with Japan and Canada the two largest destinations. Japan imported
more than $1.3 billion of California agricultural products in
1997-a diverse list of cotton, fruits, nuts, vegetables and animal
products. California agricultural exports to Canada, totaling
nearly $1 billion, were almost exclusively fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Asian countries comprise six of the top 10 export markets, with
cotton, dairy products and table grapes the leading products shipped
to those markets. European countries import processed horticultural
products such as wine, nuts and dried fruits from California.
AIC also used export data
to develop estimates of the farm value of exports, comparing exports
to the value produced for each major commodity. For example, more
than 80 percent of California cotton and more than half of California
almonds are exported. For animal products such as dairy, beef,
chicken, eggs and turkey, less than 10 percent of California production
is exported. The export share for most fruits and vegetables falls
between 15 and 35 percent.
more detailed account of the results, their implications and their
limitations will be the subject of an upcoming AIC Issues Brief,
and will be posted on the AIC web page, https://aic.ucdavis.edu.
The World Wide Web is now
a main attraction of the information age. Without the Web, the
newly opened cyberspace would be populated only by technology
experts and researchers. AIC's website, opened in 1996, is now
a standard part of our public presence.
In order to find out more about the use of information sources
on the Internet, AIC circulated a questionnaire earlier this year
and received more than 250 completed responses from those on our
address list. We thank those of you who supplied these data. They
have been informative and useful.
We asked about computer technology, experience with computers
and Internet applications, and about how and why the Web is used.
The responses provide information on the adoption and diffusion
of Internet applications, and will help AIC and others design
improved Web sites of more use to patrons.
Survey respondents are well-educated leaders holding responsible
positions in all sections of California agriculture. The majority
of our respondents (43%) are between 46 and 55 years old, most
(53%) attended graduate school, and most (54%) have executive
responsibility in their organizations. Educational institutions
are best represented (29%), followed by government agencies (19%).
Farming enterprises, agribusiness and public affairs organizations
are equally represented, each accounting for 16% of the total.
Most respondents work in relatively large organizations.
A small set of questions probed the
computer literacy of our respondents. This turned out not to be
an issue as 96% of the respondents use computers regularly at
work and a similarly large proportion has used computers for more
than two years. Nearly all use their computers for writing (97%)
and for sending email (93%). Spreadsheets and databanks are also
widely adopted by these leaders in agriculture: 77% of our respondents
employ spreadsheets and 69% use databanks.
AIC's clientele is well wired; 71% are networked and almost
all respondents (94%) can connect their PCs to the Internet, many
(41%) by means of a fast (> 28.8 Kbs) modem. Only 4% have never
used the Web at work and 71% have used the Web for more than one
year. Popular uses of the Web are to retrieve reference material
and research reports. Accessing newsgroups, information about
commercial services, financial information, or finding addresses
are infrequent uses.
most frequently listed causes for frustration when visiting Web
sites are having to wait for a slow page to view or download,
followed by broken links, and not being able to find the information
one is looking for. Other causes of frustration, such a losing
one's orientation on the Web or having difficulty navigating a
site, are not as frequent.
respondents also assessed AIC's own Web site, which many had visited
for the first time only recently. Using the information obtained
from this survey we are now in a much better position to accommodate
the feedback we received and design a site that is more informative,
quick to access and navigate, and pleasant to visit. The new AIC
website at https://aic.ucdavis.edu will be up and running soon.
Look there for a complete review of the responses to the AIC Web
Note the fliers for the Agricultural
Risk Management Conference on October 21 and the Executive Seminar
on Agricultural Issues on December 8 (both in Sacramento) which
are enclosed with this AIC newsletter. For more information, phone
530-752-2320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIC's first Winegrape Outlook
Workshop, held in Sacramento on July 24, drew over 160 growers,
vintners, and associated industry personnel. All aspects of the
industry were represented, from growers, wineries, concentrate
buyers and nursery operators to financial institutions and grower
organizations. John Kautz, the luncheon speaker, provided a personal
historical perspective on changes in the industry. AIC Director
Daniel Sumner moderated the workshop.
The main focus was on the economic outlook during 1998-2000
for the popular varietals: cabernet, merlot, zinfandel, chardonnay
and sauvignon blanc. Speakers discussed recent trends and the
near future for prices and acreage. Barry Bedwell, President,
Allied Grape Growers, presented his recent analysis of statewide
plantings and their implications for acreage and crush levels.
Dale Heien, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at
University of California, Davis, gave price forecasts based on
acreage estimates by Bedwell. Their results indicated that oversupply
and hence the possibility of lower prices is more concentrated
in the southern San Joaquin Valley and in varietals such as merlot
and chardonnay. Vaughn Koligian, CEO of the Raisin Bargaining
Association, concluded the morning session with an overview of
the raisin industry.
afternoon session featured George Schofield (George Schofield
Company), Eric Sims (Motto, Kryla, & Fisher), Robert Smiley
(Dean, Graduate School of Management at UCDavis), and Bill Turrentine
(Turrentine Wine Brokerage). Their discussion centered on the
demand for wine at the bulk and retail levels. The broad conclusion
of this session was that the demand for wine remains both robust
and highly correlated with the performance of the national economy.
One of the most impressive characteristics
of the Workshop was the vigorous and thoughtful discussion in
each session. Based on the success this year, AIC plans to make
this outlook workshop an annual affair. Watch for our announcement
for WOW II in coming issues.
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